Come this fall, however, the Redmond, Wash., software maker is planning to turn up the Genuine Advantage heat in two ways: by baking more Genuine Advantage checks directly into Windows Vista, and by taking aim at PC makers, system builders, Internet cafes and other sources of potentially pirated software.
Microsoft officials—whose Genuine Advantage Notification strategy came under fire earlier this summer—declined to share specifics about its new Genuine Advantage plans. But executives already have been setting the stage for the upcoming changes in recent keynote addresses.
"We expect to do more to make Windows more differentiated when its genuine, and so genuine customers get a truly different experience than non-genuine customers, as well as to make piracy harder, so that our genuine partners can do a better job competing with those that dont play by the rules," Windows Client Marketing Chief Michael Sievert told attendees of Microsofts Worldwide Partner Conference in July.
Microsoft Platforms and Services Co-President Kevin Johnson was more specific about Microsofts plans, in his remarks to Wall Street analysts at Microsofts Financial Analyst Meeting in late July.
"We built a set of features and a set of functionality that is only available to genuine Windows customers," Johnson said. "Windows Defender, for example, the anti-spyware for Windows XP and Windows Vista, is available to genuine Windows customers. Windows Media Player 11.0, Internet Explorer 7.0, will be available for download for Windows XP customers who are genuine, and of course those are built into Windows Vista. Future updates to Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player for Windows Vista will require them to be genuine. And certainly theres some premium features built into the Windows Vista operating system that will require genuine validation as well. So were really trying to amplify the fact that being genuine enables the set of benefits and value to access these types of features and capabilities."