Microsoft announces Windows 2000 anti-piracy plans

Microsoft Corporation announced Thursday its plan to protect Windows 2000 from piracy, which includes a range of initiatives aimed at protecting consumers from counterfeit copies of the new operating system.

"The proliferation of piracy requires us to constantly re-evaluate how people can ensure they are getting the real thing when they see the Microsoft name," says Jackie Carriker, the group manager of anti-piracy efforts at Microsoft. "It seems we are in a perpetual cat-and-mouse game with counterfeiters. But hopefully these features will make it more challenging for would-be pirates to make a quick buck while making it easier for customers and resellers to differentiate between genuine and counterfeit software."

Microsoft's plans for Windows 2000 are widespread. In January along, the company shut down over 100 "warez" sites on the Internet that were offering free downloads of Windows 2000. Windows 2000 Professional, as well as the upcoming Office 2000 Service Release 1 (SR1), will ship on new CD-ROMs with edge-to-edge holograms. This new graphic effect will be incredibly hard for counterfeit operations to duplicate, the company says. Versions of Windows 2000 that are distributed through normal distribution channels will also include a new peel-and-stick Certificate of Authenticity (COA) that will identify products as "genuine Microsoft" and include a unique product key. This sticker must be placed on PCs that ship with Windows 2000 included.

The company realizes that it is swimming against the tide, however, and that it must always come up with new ways to protect itself against loss

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