Redmond (WA) - Microsoft announced that it will broaden its anti-piracy effort by limiting access to most software updates to users who authenticate their Windows software. A pilot program that currently encourages mainly US users to reveal the identity of their operating system will be extended to 20 new languages in February.
Microsoft has come with an array of ideas to find an effective tool to make software-piracy of its products more difficult and less attractive for users. But the success of efforts such as holographic disc media, and mandatory software activation has not only been limited, but often created controversy outside the US.
As it turns out, the solution to this problem could be less complicated : Microsoft will leverage its download content and access to updates for its software, such as additional content, patches and security fixes, to make purchasing its software more attractive : A pilot program was launched in September of last year, that encouraged users to type in the serial number of their operating system, before they were able to download additional content such as the firm’s recently announced anti-spyware.
On February 7, Microsoft will expand the opt-in pilot to an additional 20 languages and include "most Windows content on its download center.
To lure users into the initiative, the company will offer free downloads of Photo Story 3, Winter Fun Pack 2004 and rebates for MSN Games, Windows SharePoint, List Builder and Outlook Live. A mandatory authentication of software for virtually any download is expected to be implemented by midyear.