Protecting customers and partners from the problems associated with counterfeit software has long been a Microsoft priority, and the company continues to invest in developing solutions to help customers resolve licensing deficiencies.
Most recently, Microsoft has responded to customer feedback by creating programs that add options for legalizing Windows XP Professional. The Get Genuine Kit (GGK), launched in July 2006, and the Get Genuine Windows Agreement (GGWA), launching today, seek to make it easier for businesses to obtain legal licenses of Windows XP software. With GGWA, business customers can now purchase full licenses of Windows XP the same way they acquire other software, through a Volume Licensing program offered through their reseller.
These programs follow the genesis of Microsoft’s Genuine Software Initiative (GSI), which unites Microsoft’s many anti-piracy efforts under a single corporate umbrella. The initiative targets three strategic areas: Education, Engineering, and Enforcement. Within each area, Microsoft is driving activities and creating programs that inform and protect consumers and resellers from counterfeit software and other forms of software piracy.
Associated programs such as the Microsoft Genuine Advantage programs—Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) and Office Genuine Advantage (OGA) —seek to add value for customers with genuine products through various add-ons and downloads, and provide redress for customers who have received counterfeit software. These programs also alert users whose software might not be genuine, and some customers may be eligible to receive a replacement copy in exchange for their counterfeit Microsoft Windows or Office software. To learn more about the GGWA and about other efforts Microsoft has put in place to help customers become properly licensed and acquire genuine software, PressPass spoke with Cori Hartje, director of Microsoft’s Genuine Software Initiative.
PressPass: What happens when software is pirated? Why is it a problem, and who is affected?
Hartje: We know there are people out there who probably wonder why Microsoft spends so much time and effort ensuring consumers and businesses have access to fully licensed, genuine software. For starters, the economic effects of software piracy are staggering, and it’s a financial issue that plagues everyone from Fortune 500 companies to family-owned businesses.
The Business Software Alliance (BSA) reports that commercial software is a US$175 billion industry, which translates into jobs for roughly 2.3 million people across the globe. Recent BSA research also reveals that the rate of counterfeit or unlicensed software is about 35 percent worldwide and more than 80 percent in certain countries. Technology can be a major contributor to economic development initiatives, and the introduction of counterfeit or pirated software threatens that process.
As we examine other aspects of the software ecosystem, illegal products adversely affect partners too. It’s often tough for them to compete with the lower prices of counterfeiters who offer non-genuine software products at lower prices. Some of the counterfeit packages are carefully designed to deceive the public because they look so much like the real thing. Customers who believe they’re buying genuine pay good money and get duped. Good, honest businesses and good, honest people can easily be deceived.
Full Story At Source