MICROSOFT HAS EXTENDED its Microsoft Office Genuine Advantage regime to the UK.
The benevolent programme (*cough*) will see the firm offer Office users in the UK and twelve other countries the chance to validate their copy through official sources, while also regularly asking whether that's something they would like to do, you know, just in case.
The Vole cautioned people who carelessly use its software applications without first checking to see if they are legit or not, warning that unofficial copies, though professional looking, are actually shoddy and buggier than a hedgehog's hairbrush. "Piracy is an industry-wide problem and it's certainly not a victimless crime," said Cori Hartje, senior director of Microsoft's Genuine Software Initiative.
"When non-genuine software comes bundled with hardware or when it is painstakingly packaged to look like the real deal, customers become unsuspecting victims. There are many methods that can be used to defraud consumers, and as an industry leader, Microsoft is constantly engaging in cross-company efforts through programs like Office Genuine Advantage to protect our partners and customers."
The firm also warned that any problems encountered while using dodgy copies of its flagship productivity suite are the users own and nothing to do with it. Debbie Walsh, director of emerging markets and licence compliance in Microsoft's Information Worker product group, said, "When customers are misled into buying non-genuine software, they forfeit access to technical support, upgrades, user manuals and bug fixes. Even worse, they are forced to deal with incomplete software code and increase the risk of exposing their PC to debilitating viruses that could destroy data and steal personal information."
The upcoming release of Microsoft Office has additional anti-piracy measures designed to stop over-licensing, including volume activation tools for IT managers. This is pitched as better enabling firms to manage their applications software inventories, but we all know what the Vole means.
You haf bin varned. µ