Microsoft to Pilot Office Anti-piracy Nagging

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.