Every year, millions of consumers and businesses worldwide are hurt by counterfeit software that they have purchased unwittingly, and many companies that sell legitimate software have difficulty competing with the artificially low prices offered by software counterfeiters. Counterfeit software puts users at risk of receiving an inferior product that may present security risks, be missing code or contain malicious code.
"Software piracy costs customers, software vendors and national economies billions of dollars every year. The best way to fight software piracy is to ensure that users recognize and receive all the benefits of genuine software," said Will Poole, senior vice president of the Windows Client Business at Microsoft. "When our customers participate in Windows Genuine Advantage, they will know they have easy access to updates, added-value software offerings and other benefits of genuine Windows XP, not the uncertainty and risks of counterfeit software."
Introduced as an optional pilot program to users of English-language versions of Windows in September 2004, Windows Genuine Advantage already helps protect millions of Windows users from an inferior computing experience, viruses and other vulnerabilities that can result from counterfeit software. According to the Business Software Alliance Global Software Piracy Study, conducted by International Data Corp. and released in July 2004, 36 percent of the software installed on computers worldwide was pirated in 2003. Microsoft aims to reduce the impact of pirated software on legitimate software resellers and economies around the world, which lose nearly $29 billion a year to pirated software, according to the Business Software Alliance. Continue At Source