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Microsoft Malaysia launches voluntary Office check

AvantiKumar | Feb. 2, 2009
OGA programme to avoid pitfalls, says Microsoft

Raveesh Gupta (left), Director, Information Worker Business Group, Microsoft Malaysia, and Anabelle Co, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Office System, Microsoft Malaysia.

KUALA LUMPUR, 2 FEBRUARY 2009 Microsoft Malaysia has launched a new voluntary update to help Malaysians check if their copy of MS Office is genuine.

Raveesh Gupta, Director, Information Worker Business Group, Microsoft Malaysia, said that from January 27 this year, the voluntary update has begun helping ensure that customers have genuine licensed editions of Office and are able to avoid the pitfalls of using non-genuine software.

We have millions of customers relying on Microsoft Office for business and personal purposes, said Gupta. We need to ensure that Office users enjoy the experience of full software capabilities. So the onus lies with us to continuously promote awareness on the merits of using only original software.

Gupta said counterfeit software has emerged as big business and is becoming an increasingly common way for criminals to deceive the public, and even commit fraud by stealing personal information. By using genuine Microsoft Office, customers help avoid the risks and viruses associated with non-genuine software. Genuine Microsoft Office is supported by Microsoft and its partners, and is the only type eligible for security updates and other important upgrades.

Users put themselves at risk when they use non-genuine Microsoft Office and it has been proven that using non-genuine software exposes a user's PC to virus infiltration and spyware which ultimately can lead to hardware damage or invasion of personal privacy, Gupta added.

Genuine Copies Help Businesses

Industry watchdog Business Software Alliance (BSA) Vice President and Regional Director, Jeffrey Hardee, said: In Malaysia, the BSA works closely with various government agencies and the private sector to educate businesses and other consumers on the benefits of using legal software and the risks of using pirated software.

Member companies of the BSA also conduct their own targetted anti-piracy efforts to protect their intellectual property, he said. Microsoft's Office Genuine Advantage [OGA] programme not only seeks to promote the use of original software, it also serves as a useful reminder that Office is a productivity tool, and the software's copyright belongs to Microsoft.

Hardee said that studies conducted by the research firm IDC in 2007, showed that Malaysia spent nearly US$4.6 billion on IT computers, peripherals, network equipment, packaged software and IT services. That spending accounted for 2.9 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP), supported more than 6,900 IT companies with 222,100 IT industry employees, and helped generate US$4.4 billion in IT-related taxes.

On the other side of the spectrum, further studies by the International Intellectual Property Alliance in 2007 reflected that the Malaysian economy incurred a staggering US$156 million revenue loss due to business software piracy said Hardee. A 10 point reduction in PC software piracy alone would deliver an additional 2,600 new jobs, US$140 million in tax revenue, and US$660 million in economic growth in Malaysia.

Voluntary Updates

Microsoft Malaysia's Senior Product Marketing Manager for Office System, Anabelle Co, said: OGA notifications help our customers understand the difference between genuine and non-genuine software, and by promoting the use of genuine Office, Microsoft is helping to create opportunities and create a level playing field for partners that distribute genuine Office. The success of Microsoft Office is largely attributed to our alliances with our business partners and we need to help them stay competitive and grow their local businesses.

Co said that OGA notifications are delivered as an update that the user can install voluntarily. If it finds the user has non-genuine Microsoft Office, OGA notifications present a dialog box alert and provide the user with options to get genuine software and secure the PC. OGA notifications will have no impact on customers using genuine Microsoft Office and does not affect the way Microsoft Office works on individual computers.


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