Microsoft Anti-Piracy Solutions Extended to Upcoming Versions of Office, Windows and Visio Products Worldwide

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 2, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced plans to step up its worldwide anti-piracy efforts through the expansion of existing technological solutions. The company will apply its successful Product Activation anti-piracy technology and edge-to-edge anti-counterfeiting hologram to the next versions of many products in the coming year, including the Microsoft® Office suite of business productivity applications, the Windows® operating system and Visio® drawing and diagramming software.

“Although software piracy is a rampant problem in many parts of the world today, recent increases in technical deterrents, educational efforts and enforcement actions represent important steps to curbing piracy and its incredible negative impact,”
said Robert Holleyman, president and CEO of the Business Software Alliance (BSA), a software industry watchdog group.

Product Activation Curbs Unauthorized Copying

As an anti-piracy technology, Product Activation discourages casual copying by limiting the number of times a product can be installed and activated on individual computers.

“Consumers sometimes unwittingly violate their license agreement by sharing software with others,”
said Allen Nieman, technical product manager for Microsoft’s licensing technology group.
“Through education efforts and the use of technology solutions like Product Activation, we’re working to make sure that customers who choose Microsoft software products acquire genuine software and are eligible for technical support and product upgrades.”

Microsoft successfully implemented Product Activation in retail versions of Office more than two years ago in Australia, Brazil, China, Hong Kong and New Zealand, and last year in the United States and Canada. In the two years since the introduction of Product Activation, nearly 6 million activation requests have been successfully processed. In addition, the company has made several enhancements to the technology based on consumer feedback, making activation a seamless process.

“HP joins and strongly supports efforts within the software industry to combat piracy, because these efforts help ensure that consumers can buy software with the confidence that they’re getting authentic products,”
said Jean-Luc Meyer, worldwide marketing manager for HP’s PC organization.
“HP provides operating system recovery tools designed expressly for the PCs we sell, and we will continue to provide these to our customers.”

Retail customers who acquire future versions of Microsoft products, including Office, Windows and Visio, can activate the software anonymously via the Internet or by phone. When consumers activate via the Internet, they provide a product ID code, and an automatically generated installation ID number is sent to confirm activation. Consumers are not required to provide any personally identifiable information and have a grace period of 50 start-ups for application software products like Office and Visio and 30 days from first boot for the Windows operating system before activation is required. Through the activation process, consumers are also given the option to register their contact information to receive notices of important product updates, service releases and other useful information to get more value from their investment in Microsoft software.

Consumers who acquire their Microsoft software preinstalled on a new PC will likely find the software already activated, but in some instances consumers may need to activate the Microsoft software that is loaded on the machine.

Successful Edge-to-Edge Hologram Expanded

Since the launch of the edge-to-edge hologram on retail versions of Windows 2000 CD-ROMs last February, Microsoft has expanded the hologram to retail versions of its Office 2000 and Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me) products. The edge-to-edge hologram has been a highly successful anti-counterfeiting feature, with no counterfeiters to date being able to replicate the anti-counterfeiting technology. In light of the success of the edge-to-edge hologram, Microsoft will expand the anti-counterfeiting technology to its next versions of Office and Windows and, for the first time, Visio.

The edge-to-edge hologram is etched into the surface of the CD-ROM, and when the CD-ROM is tilted in light, it displays the product name and product-specific holographic images from the hub to the outer edge of the disc. The edge-to-edge holograms are unique on each product, making them particularly difficult to counterfeit. The various holographic images can be viewed at http://www.microsoft.com/piracy/ .

Piracy Harms the Consumer and the Economy

“Unauthorized sharing and distribution of illegal creative works, through any means, pose a serious threat to consumers and the global economy and must be taken seriously,”
Holleyman said.

Software piracy, the illegal copying and distribution of software, takes a toll on the global economy and adversely affects honest resellers, customers and the software industry worldwide. According to a study conducted by International Planning and Research (IPR) and commissioned

by BSA, software piracy caused the loss of $13 billion in revenue worldwide in 1999, which translates into nearly 107,000 lost jobs and more than $5 billion in unrealized wages in the United States alone.

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 company’s piracy 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 .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, Windows and Visio are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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