As Microsoft continues their battle with Piracy, they have disclosed that one in five, or 22% of Windows installations are not genuine. Surprised? WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage) started back in July of 2005 and has given Microsoft a good idea of how many people are using counterfeit copies.  They have validated 512 million PCs since WGA was started, and along with those 114 million copies that were counterfeit, an additional 56,000 users have gone to Microsoft to report that they were using a copy that wasn’t legitimate. Microsoft’s policy in that situation is to give the user a free replacement copy of Windows. WGA as many of you know, requires users to validate their operating system before they are able to get updates.

With Vista and Office release dates just around the corner, Microsoft is stepping up their effort to put a stop to piracy that costs them a lot in lost revenue!  Their new campaign is called Genuine Fact Files, and they’re turning to comic strips to help them out.  These black and white comics show the evils of software piracy, and have already been displayed in Italy, France, Indonesia, Australia, The United Arab Emirates, Brazil, and the UK. They’ll be appearing in the US shortly. I haven’t been able to come up with a version in English yet, but just for the sake of seeing what it look like, one version is pictured below.

Microsoft is also hoping that their online “Test Drive” for Windows Vista, and the preview for Office 2007 will be enough to satisfy those who want to try out the operating system before buying. Sometimes that excuse is the reason for using a pirated copy of software.

Piracy is by no means a new thing in the software industry.  In fact, here’s a video that the Software Publisher Association put out back in 1992 with their anti-software piracy campaign called “Don’t Copy that Floppy.” There’s no need for me to explain, just watch… :)

Returning to Vista, in case you’re thinking about purchasing the OEM version of Vista, the picture below shows what you’ll get.  It’s the same ole’ Vista minus the fancy packaging.  Remember, typically when you purchase the OEM version, you must purchase hardware along side of it.  This is because OEM is licensed for new computer purchases only.

Thanks to one of our readers, Jim Lester for snapping pictures after opening! He has more pictures here if you’re curios what to expect when buying Vista licensed for OEM distribution.


News Source: BetaNews