Posted on 26-Jul-2005 17:25.
Filed under: News
Microsoft Corp. has announced the transition of the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) pilot to a version 1.0 launch with worldwide availability.
WGA, designed to differentiate the value of genuine Windows-based software from counterfeit software, enables customers to enjoy the capabilities they expect, provides them with confidence that their software is authentic, and delivers ongoing system improvements, including software offerings available only to genuine users.
According to the Business Software Alliance, unlicensed and pirated software costs software vendors and national economies billions of dollars every year. Customers, businesses and resellers continually ask Microsoft for help in mitigating the threat posed by pirates.
One way to fight counterfeit software is to ensure that users recognize and receive all the benefits of genuine software. Customers who participate in WGA will have easy access to updates, added-value software offerings and other benefits of genuine Microsoft Windows.
"During the 10-month pilot of WGA, we have been very encouraged by the large number of customers -- more than 40 million in all -- who chose to participate in WGA because they were concerned about piracy and wanted a way to determine whether their Windows software was genuine," said Will Poole, senior vice president of the Windows Client Business at Microsoft. "It also became clear that customers want to take advantage of special offers reserved for genuine users, with the peace of mind that their software will deliver the features, options and performance they need."
With the release of WGA 1.0, Microsoft has made a number of changes to the original validation framework. For a starter, validation via WGA will be required for all customers using Windows Update, Microsoft Update for Windows content, and the Download Center.
Security updates remain available to all Windows users with or without WGA validation via the download center or Automatic Updates.
The company has enhanced and simplified the validation process by automatically checking participants' PCs to determine whether they are running genuine Windows software. All Windows users will no longer be required to enter their 25-digit product key to validate their
Two offers of genuine software will be available worldwide for Windows XP Professional and Home Edition for customers who unknowingly acquired counterfeit software.
Qualifying customers who fill out a piracy report, provide proof of purchase, and send in their counterfeit CDs may receive a genuine copy at no cost. Qualifying customers who submit a piracy report may receive a genuine copy of Windows XP Home Edition for US$99 or Windows XP Professional for US$149. The latter offer will be fulfilled online and via CD through postal mail to help customers get genuine Windows as quickly and conveniently as possible.