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Microsoft Extends Anti-Piracy Features in Office 2000

Technology in International and Academic Versions of Office 2000 Simplifies Registration and Helps Thwart Piracy

REDMOND, Wash. - Dec. 9, 1998 - - With the release of Microsoft Office 2000, Microsoft Corp. is expanding an already successful anti-piracy pilot program to several countries to help reduce piracy and simplify registration so customers can get the most value from their Office investment.

In Office 2000, Microsoft will include the Registration Wizard, a new easy-to-use technology that improves on previous industry methods to discourage piracy. The Office Registration Wizard will be included in versions of Office 2000 offered in Australia, Brazil and New Zealand, as well as in academic packages distributed in the United States and Canada. This technology is designed for full-package products in these markets and will not be included in products obtained by customers with volume license agreements, due to their unique deployment processes.

In addition to automating registration, Office 2000 will include a hologram on the CD to help customers identify the authenticity of the Office product. Microsoft will also introduce a new type of in-box packaging to prevent thieves from easily removing the CD from the box in retail stores.

Software piracy, the illegal copying and distribution of software, takes a toll on the global economy and adversely affects software companies, resellers and customers throughout the world. According to a study conducted by International Planning and Research (IPR), commissioned by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and the Software Publishers Association (SPA), software piracy caused the loss of more than 600,000 jobs and $11.4 billion in revenue worldwide in 1997. In addition, honest resellers frequently lose business to competitors that deliver systems with pirated software applications installed. And consumers who acquire pirated products could find they are missing key elements, such as user manuals and product identifications, Certificates of Authenticity and even software code.

"Four out of every 10 software applications worldwide were stolen in 1997, causing the loss of jobs, wages and tax revenues from the software industry and harming unsuspecting customers," said Bob Kruger, vice president of enforcement at the Business Software Alliance, the voice of the world's leading software developers before governments and with consumers in the international marketplace. "We believe that technical innovation by the industry is an important component of the battle against software piracy."

"Software piracy is a significant problem for the entire industry. We are launching this registration approach because no effective technology exists today to validate licensing," said Jon DeVaan, vice president of the desktop applications division at Microsoft. "We believe that to do it effectively, it's extremely important to provide a customer-friendly approach."

The Registration Wizard technology has been successfully tested over the past six months in full-package versions of Office 97 Small Business Edition and Publisher 98 in Brazil, as well as in Office 2000 beta 1. Customer feedback from these tests has indicated that the Registration Wizard did not interfere with the ease of use of Office.

The Registration Wizard is a user-friendly technology in Office 2000 that makes registration a natural part of installing the product and helps prevent illegal installations. Customers can use the product 50 times before registration is required. Registration simply involves customers providing the name of the country in which they reside; an automatically generated installation ID number confirms registration. Users are not required to provide personal information and can register anonymously. Customers can register via e-mail, the Internet, postal mail, fax or telephone. In accordance with the Microsoft End-User License Agreement, customers can install a copy of Office on a single computer, then install a second copy for exclusive use on a portable computer. Installations on additional computers that violate the License Agreement will not qualify for registration. The Registration Wizard will allow routine changes in hardware so that users can upgrade their computer without having to reregister.

In addition to helping reduce piracy, the Office Registration Wizard will help customers get more value from their investment in Office. Users are asked, but not required, to supply additional information to help Microsoft maintain its registered user database. Microsoft frequently offers Office users free updates, service releases and other useful information, and complete registration will allow customers to proactively receive these benefits.

Customers or resellers with questions about the legitimacy of Microsoft products should contact the Microsoft anti-piracy hot line, toll free, at (800) RU-LEGIT (785-3448), send e-mail to piracy@microsoft.com, or visit the Web site, at http://www.microsoft.com/piracy/. Customers and resellers can also obtain information about software piracy by calling the Business Software Alliance anti-piracy hot line at (888) NO-PIRACY (667-4722) or sending e-mail to software@bsa.org.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft is either a registered trademark or trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

 

Microsoft Contact
Waggener Edstrom
(503) 245-0905

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