Microsoft to Launch Stricter Anti-Piracy Campaign in China

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Oct. 17 – Microsoft is set to launch an anti-piracy campaign in China starting October 20 to deal with pirated versions of Windows XP Professional and Office software, reports ChinaTechNews.

The report is based on an internal email circulated by Microsoft China. The company said it will release two new updates that include genuine advantage notifications of Windows XP Professional and Office that can be automatically downloaded. Microsoft’s Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) will detect and inform users of copycat operating systems.

Computers found to be installed with unauthorized Windows XP Professional software will show a black screen during start up. Users will then have to reset the background to be able to use the software normally although the black screen will reoccur every 60 minutes.

Every time a user logs into the pirated system, a notification at the right corner will pop up saying, “You may be a victim of software counterfeiting.”

Microsoft is giving users of illegal Microsoft Office software 30 days to change to an authorized version or the menu bar of their Office programs will be labeled with a pirated software sign.

China is the world’s second top market for personal computers and more than 90 percent of computers in China are installed with Windows and Office products.

As part of its strategy, Microsoft is also slashing prices for its Windows and Office products. The Windows Vista package for families and students is now priced at RMB499 while the Microsoft Office package costs RMB199.

Recently, Microsoft sued the website, Tomato Garden, for allowing users to download an unlocked pirate version of Windows XP for free. The website’s distributor, Hong Lei, has been arrested by police following the charges.

Companies operating in the country are then advised to act accordingly and verify if their computers are using authorized versions of Windows XP Professional and Office software.