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Validating Windows

Access to many updates is now restricted to validated copies only

The Business Software Alliance, of which Microsoft is a member, put the software piracy rate in the UK at 27 per cent in 2004 - valued at over �1 billion. Piracy includes the installation of more copies than your licence covers, and illegitimate purchase of restricted versions (such as upgrades), as well as the sale of illegally copied CDs or DVDs.

Windows Genuine Advantage is part of Microsoft's ongoing commitment to protecting its customers from software counterfeiting, and to helping support partners through education, engineering, and enforcement of policies and laws.

From now on, in order to receive most available updates and downloads from Microsoft, you will be required to validate that your PC is running genuine Windows software. If your system fails validation, you will be directed back to your system builder for assistance. You will also be given the option to fill out a counterfeit report if you feel you have been a victim of software counterfeiting, and may purchase a genuine copy of Windows from Microsoft.

Additionally, if you are found to be using a non-genuine version of Windows you will receive a message during logon that you copy appears to be non-genuine. You will be directed to the Windows Genuine Advantage website to learn more. If you choose not to obtain a copy of genuine Windows at that time, you will be regularly reminded.

Validation will be required for all customers using Microsoft Update, Automatic Updates, and the Download Centre. Critical security updates remain available to all Windows users - with or without validation - in the usual ways.

With Genuine Windows, you get:

Peace of mind in knowing that your software is authentic, properly licensed, and supported

Confidence that your system will deliver the features, options, and performance you need

Access to updates, enhancements, and innovations that help you protect and do more with your PC, including free downloads and special offers reserved exclusives for people who have validated their software

For more information on Windows Genuine Advantage, visit www.microsoft.com/uk/windows/genuine

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