Microsoft says it will expand a pilot of the Windows Genuine Advantage program that provides notifications to consumers using illegal versions of Windows XP.
Most customers will experience no change, but, for customers who are running a non-genuine copy of Windows, the new feature will enable notifications directly to their desktop that the copy of Windows they are running isn’t genuine. The Windows Genuine Advantage program was launched in July 2005 to provide an improved experience for consumers using genuine Windows XP and to help Microsoft address software piracy. To date, the owners of more than 150 million PCs have participated in the program. The first phase of the notifications pilot was launched in Norway and Sweden in November 2005, and in February 2006 in five additional countries. Today, Microsoft will expand the pilot to customers in the U.S., United Kingdom, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand. In addition, Microsoft is piloting Microsoft Office Genuine Advantage (OGA) this week to help customers determine if they have a genuine installation of the Microsoft Office system of productivity applications. The program will initially be piloted in seven languages: Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Greek, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Russian and Spanish.