You'll recall that Microsoft has removed the "kill switch" in Windows Vista, meaning that users of suspected counterfeit copies will nagged rather than losing functionality. Microsoft is about to launch a pilot program for Office, with similar nagging notifications.
"Consumers will receive a pop-up dialog box alerting them that their Microsoft Office software is not genuine," said Cori Hartje, the director of Microsoft's Genuine Software Initiative, the company's anti-counterfeit operation.
According to Hartje, the new OGA notification system will display a pop-up the first time each day a user opens any Office application, and it will follow that with another dialog box two hours later. The process will continue for up to 30 days.
After the one-month run of the pop-up, Hartje said, the scheme changes. "Office applications will be marked with a visual reminder that the copy of Office is not genuine," she continued. "[But] none of the visual cues presented will impair a customer from accessing their data or preparing documents."
The reminders will disappear only when the user uninstalls the pirated copy of Office or replaces it with a valid version.
The lucky countries in the pilot program will be Chile, Italy, Span and Turkey.