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Microsoft rolls out Office Genuine Advantage for Gulf

New program to identify pirated Office applications and promote benefits of genuine software launches next week

Microsoft is set to bring its Office Genuine Advantage (OGA) program to the Middle East from next week.

The program, similar to the Windows Genuine Advantage introduced to the Gulf in 2005, program prompts users to download and install the OGA service which will detect pirate copies of Microsoft Office, with the aim of converting users to genuine software.

The OGA is pushed to users as a voluntary download, as part of regular updates. Once installed, it identifies pirated software and then notifies the user. Users are then offered information on where to get a genuine copy of Office, or may be offered a complementary copy.

Microsoft says that OGA will not disable the pirate software, or track or identify users to Microsoft in any way, but it will periodically remind them that they have counterfeit software.

Shahab Ahmed, Information Worker Business Group Lead commented: “People who use non-genuine Microsoft Office are putting themselves at risk. Non-genuine software has been shown to be more vulnerable to viruses and spyware, which can be used to damage a user’s PC or steal personal information. OGA Notifications helps fight software piracy and helps customers validate that the copy of Microsoft Office installed on their computer is genuine and properly licensed.”

The OGA scheme is scheduled to go live on 27th January.