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 email@example.com, or visit the Web site, at http://www.microsoft.com/piracy/default.asp. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Office 2000 Registration Wizard
The Registration Wizard is a new anti-piracy technology in Microsoft Office 2000 designed to reduce end-user copying by requiring user registration. Users will be prompted to register their copy of Office 2000 the first time they install and launch any of the applications. The Office Registration Wizard technology allows users to launch Office 2000 applications 50 times before registration is required. Upon the 51st use, users will need to register in order to continue using Office 2000 applications. Users can choose between five different methods for registering: Internet, e-mail, postal mail, fax or phone. The Office 2000 Registration Wizard will be implemented as part of a pilot program and will not appear in all copies of Office 2000. The already successful pilot program will be expanded to include copies of Office 2000 full packaged product sold in Australia, Brazil and New Zealand, as well as academic packages sold in the U.S. and Canada. The Office Registration Wizard will not be included in copies of Office 2000 sold to volume license customers in these markets because of their unique deployment circumstances.
Design of the Registration Wizard
The Office 2000 Registration Wizard was carefully designed with a focus on respecting user privacy and ease of use. Users are not required to provide personal information beyond their country of residence and may register anonymously. Many users have seen the benefits of software registration, such as assurance that the product will include user manuals, product identifications, Certificates of Authenticity and complete software code.
Almost all of the information requested during the product registration process is optional. Only the following information is required to register successfully:
The Registration Wizard also helps users get more value from their Office investment by asking, but not requiring, them to supply additional information to help Microsoft maintain its registered user database. From this database, Microsoft is able to offer its customers free updates, service releases and other useful information.
Office 2000 provides five integrated methods for registering: Internet, e-mail, fax, postal mail and telephone. Internet registration is the simplest method, but all methods employ the same easy-to-use interface. In addition, all methods are localized, with telephone and fax numbers and postal addresses keyed to the closest registration center, based on the country specified by the user. Toll-free telephone numbers will be provided for calls within countries where the Registration Wizard is implemented. Otherwise, users must call the appropriate international toll number.
Registering via the Internet is the easiest and fastest way to register Office 2000. As a default, the product presents a dialog box for Internet registration. If users have Internet connectivity, they simply click Next> and product registration occurs quickly and easily (see figure 1).
Figure 1. Default Internet registration dialog box
Clicking Next> takes the user to the Product Owner dialog box. As noted previously, the Registration Wizard is designed to register the user's product, not the individual user. There are benefits to registering as an individual user, including the option to receive product updates, service releases and other information.
Since most of the information requested is optional, users can decide what they do and do not want to provide.
In addition to owner name, users may also provide their address and phone numbers. Again, all information is optional except that which is necessary to send users a confirmation of successful registration.
Because Internet registration is immediate during the connection, no additional information is needed to return a registration confirmation, so all personal information is optional and voluntary.
Once a user has provided the required information, the computer creates a 16-character installation ID, which is used to identify a unique installation. The installation ID does not contain or encode any personal information. Rather, it contains a signature of the hardware of the machine on which the user has installed Office 2000.
Once the installation ID has been generated, it is sent, in this example over the Internet, and a confirmation is returned to the user's PC. When users register over the Internet, the confirmation is automatically entered and the product registration process is complete (see figure 2).
Figure 2. Successful registration dialog box
Office 2000 provides users with a convenient opportunity to visit the Office Update Web site once registration is completed. The Office Update site contains product information, tips, clip art and other useful items to help users get the most out of Office 2000.
Other Methods of Registration
While the Internet is the fastest and easiest method of registration, other methods are also simple and quick. Clicking on the More Options... button (see figure 3) provides users with a drop-down list of the available registration methods. Once users select a method, the text describing corresponding requirements appears.
Figure 3. Registration selection method dialog box
Users, including those who don't have Internet connectivity, can choose to register over the telephone. The telephone registration dialog box (see figure 4) is localized with information corresponding to the country chosen by the user. The dialog box informs users of the hours of operation for the nearest registration center, as well as a toll-free number and an international or toll number.
Figure 4. Telephone Registration dialog box
With telephone registration, the Registration Wizard automatically generates the installation ID; the user only needs to type in the eight-character confirmation number, which the registration center customer service representative will supply during the registration telephone call.
Registration is immediate with telephone registration, so there is no delay in receiving a confirmation number, and no other user information is required to process the registration.
The only information required for a registration is the country in which the user resides and the automatically generated Installation ID. Beyond that, the only information a user will provide is that which is necessary to return the confirmation ID to them.
For example, if users don't enter any information into the Owner dialog box or the Address and Phone dialog box, they will be informed that, at a minimum, an e-mail address is required to complete and confirm the registration.
If users do not want to provide an e-mail address, they simply click the New Registration Method button and choose an alternate method.
Registering via the Internet and telephone can be done in total anonymity. E-mail registration requires only an e-mail address to be confirmed (see figure 5). Likewise, fax registration requires only a fax number to be confirmed. Postal mail registration requires the most information, to ensure confirmation is returned to a legitimate person at a legitimate mailing address.
Figure 5. E-mail address required dialog box
Reinstallations, Reformatting and Hardware Upgrades
The Office 2000 Registration Wizard takes real-world changes into account and allows for a degree of flexibility so that it is easy to use. This means that the product is able to accommodate users who want to expand, upgrade and change their machines over time as well as those who have to reinstall or reformat their machines.
Reinstallations are the simplest example. Office 2000 can be reinstalled, in most cases, on the same machine without requiring a user to reregister.
If users have reformatted their hard drive and have written their confirmation number down during the original registration, they can simply choose the telephone registration option and enter the confirmation number when prompted. In the case that the user has reformatted their hard drive or have not saved the confirmation number, they will need to obtain another one via any of the registration methods.
The Registration Wizard is intended to be resilient enough to recognize and accommodate changes to machines.
In some rare cases, if a user completely overhauls a machine so that it literally becomes a different machine, reregistration may be required.
Under the End User License Agreement, a user is allowed to install Office 2000 onto a single machine for personal use. Office 2000 can also be installed on a second machine (e.g., a laptop) for occasional use by the same person.