WGA anti-piracy mode for Vista softened thanks to Linux and OS X threat?
Microsoft’s Sievert says that addressing piracy is a top priority, as it remains an “ongoing problem that faces most industries with strong intellectual property components, and is particularly severe for us, our customers and partners”.
“The good news is we are starting to see some progress. This past quarter, we reported that about five percent of Windows desktop OEM revenue growth was attributable to piracy declines”, said Sievert, who added that “In the last year alone, we have pursued legal action against more than 1,000 dealers of counterfeit Microsoft products, taken down more than 50,000 illegal and improper online software auctions and reached out with our “How to Tell” and anti-piracy focused educational Web sites to millions of customers”.
Sievert also added that: “While piracy rates are hard to measure precisely, we’re seeing indications from internal metrics, like WGA validation failures, that the Windows Vista piracy rate is less than half that of Windows XP today”.
In response to questions on how WGA will evolve in a post SP1 future, Sievert responded that: “As we go forward, we always want to be mindful of our customers and their experience with Windows, and operate the WGA program to be as responsive as possible to feedback we hear. At the same time, it’s important that we be consistent in how the program evolves in the future. We have and will continue to base our decisions on some fundamental principles”.
“Namely, we want to ensure that through this program, we maintain a great customer experience, and to do so, we will go after pirates and counterfeit software in a way that minimizes any disruption to our genuine customers. We are committed to transparently communicate how the program operates so that our customers and all interested parties clearly understand what’s happening and why”.
So, knowing Vista pirates be warned – Microsoft wants your free ride on the Vista bandwagon to end in return for a simple payment of US $119 (or the re-installation of a genuine copy), while some users should prepare to be shocked to discover they were ripped off and will need to make an additional payment.
The battle between Microsoft and the software pirates won’t end with SP1, however, with plenty more action from both sides yet to come.
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One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks, including stints as presenter of Ch 10’s Internet Bright Ideas, Ch 7’s Room for Improvement and tech expert on Ch 9’s Today Show, among many other news and current affairs programs.