Microsoft shows piracy the genuine touch

3 Oct 2007

To make it easier for businesses to get legal licenses of its XP software, Windows yesterday debuted the Get Genuine Windows Agreement (GGWA), a program which is part of Microsoft’s anti-piracy efforts.

This program follows from the 2006 Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) anti-piracy technology which led to the biggest counterfeit software seizure in history earlier this year.

Cori Hartje, director of Microsoft’s Genuine Software Initiative, spoke out about why Microsoft invests so much in its anti-piracy initiative.

“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,” she said.

She also pointed out that the Business Software Alliance (BSA) revealed in a recent report states that commercial software is a US$175bn industry, a figure she says translates into 2.3 million jobs globally.

“Recent BSA research also reveals that the rate of counterfeit or unlicensed software is about 35pc worldwide and more than 80pc in certain countries.”

Hartje said that software pirates are constantly changing their tactics and becoming more sophisticated in such a way that the counterfeit product is barely indistinguishable from the genuine article.

There also are unscrupulous resellers in the channel, such as system builders, that load unlicensed software onto computers and sell them.

“In the corporate customer space there is also what is referred to as ‘mislicensing’ which involves misperceptions around the licensing rules in the Microsoft volume licensing agreements,” she added.

By Marie Boran