In a further crackdown on software piracy Microsoft NZ has extended its Windows genuine advantage (WGA) programme.
David Rayner, Microsoft’s Windows client product marketing manager, says WGA makes it easier for customers to validate genuine software.
“To be honest Microsoft doesn’t have a huge piracy issue with Windows XP in New Zealand but it does happen,” he says.
The pilot WGA programme was launched last June in New Zealand.
While this won’t impact the majority of Windows users, those who are running a non-genuine copy will be notified on their desktop. This will include guidance to seek redress from the reseller who sold the product and a counterfeit report if the reseller won’t help.
“I don’t think this will have a massive impact on resellers but it does help identify any who are selling pirated products,” says Rayner.
At this stage Microsoft doesn’t have any ongoing cases with local resellers. And if such a case does arise Rayner says Microsoft will always talk to the reseller.
“We aren’t taking a draconian approach to this, genuine mistakes do happen. But for resellers who proactively promote genuine software WGA can be a great tool.”
Rayner says customers who chose not to participate still have access to security updates but only users with registered software will have access to forthcoming product releases including Internet Explorer 7 and Microsoft Defender.
“WGA is a very easy way to touch a lot of people at once. Microsoft isn’t pushing this loudly but does see it as offering great value to customers.”