Unlike Windows XP, which was thrown barefoot into the world, as far as anti-piracy measures are concerned,
Microsoft has planned ahead for Windows Vista, and revealed that the operating system has impacted and
redefined the piracy game.
Microsoft claims come just one year after it has debuted the Genuine Software Initiative through the voice of Cori Hartje, GSI director. “The new Software Protection Platform (SPP) built into Windows Vista and Windows Server “Longhorn,” the forthcoming next generation of Microsoft’s server operating system, incorporates new anti-piracy technologies and tamper-resistant features that change the game for pirates. Genuine Windows Vista customers will have a different experience than non-genuine customers. For example, key product features, including Windows Aero, Windows Defender, and Windows ReadyBoost, are reserved for customers running a genuine, properly licensed copy of Windows Vista. WGA for Windows Vista will provide a notice to consumers if they have installed a counterfeit copy,” Hartje explained.
According to recent data made available by Microsoft, the Windows Genuine Advantage mechanism has processed approximately 600 million unique products since mid 2005. Hartje did not present details about the extent of the piracy affecting Microsoft products, but she did state that the global rate of counterfeit or unlicensed software is in the vicinity of 355, and that this is also felt by the Redmond Company. The fact of the matter is that from the redesigned packagings for Windows Vista and the 2007 Office System to WGA, Microsoft has taken preemptive actions designed to reduce piracy.
“There are those in the marketplace who make it a hobby of theirs, or even a business, to try and hack through the activation technology or distribute counterfeit software. As Microsoft discovers those attempts, we take action. In past versions of Windows, counterfeiters could take volume licensing media and make sellable copies using the media in combination with a stolen or artificially generated volume licensing key. That practice was typical of some of the high-quality counterfeit packages for Windows XP and Microsoft Office. Thanks to some of the engineering advances in Windows Vista, the practice of combining media with a key will not work as easily,” Hartje added.
Although Microsoft’s efforts to combat piracy are visible foremost at the product level, the Genuine Software Initiative also plays a role in customer education, in enforcing intellectual property laws via governmental collaborations, in promoting a healthy software ecosystem and also in coordinating Microsoft’s internal business groups.
“We recognize that in some parts of the world, including in emerging markets, it may be difficult to find genuine product. We will make a concentrated effort to do a better job of making sure genuine product is readily available for consumers when they want to make a purchase,” Hartje said.
Microsoft, Windows Vista, Piracy, Anti-piracy, WGA, Genuine