Microsoft to use new techniques to stop piracy

Microsoft to use new techniques to stop piracy

By Reuters

Los Angeles: World’s largest software makers, Microsoft Corp has said it would disable the two primary methods used by software pirates to illegally copy Windows Vista software in the next major update of the operating system.

Microsoft loses billions of dollars to software piracy every year. It has said new features built into Vista are reducing piracy levels by half compared with its previous operating system, Windows XP.

The company plans to improve that one step farther still with changes built into Windows Vista Service Pack 1, the first major update to the operating system, which is due out in the first quarter of 2008.

Microsoft also plans to close a loophole that allows pirates mimic activation used by some computer manufacturers to install Vista. The company will clamp down on a method of extending a grace period time between installation and activation.

“About 35% of the world’s consumer software is pirated. Windows, which sits on more than 90% of the world’s computers, accounts for the bulk of those pirated copies," informed trade group Business Software Alliance.

Many software pirates sell copied versions on auction sites illegaly and some small computer manufacturers install pirated versions of Vista on PCs sold to unaware victims.

Microsoft said it would also change ways of dealing with pirated versions of Vista, whose users will now get recurring notifications that their version of software is fraudulent with a link to buy a genuine copy. Presently, the company shuts down features in Vista when it finds a pirated copy.

Reducing piracy is considered one major way for the $51 billion (Rs2,010,77 crore) software maker to spur growth in its dominant software franchises. The company said improvements in reducing piracy helped to spur a 25% rise in Windows sales in the September quarter.