Microsoft Guards Against Windows 2000 Piracy

Windows 2000, due to be officially launched at the Windows 2000 Expo in San Francisco on Feb. 17, will ship on CD-ROMs that will sport an "edge-to-edge" hologram to hinder efforts to illegally copy the discs, according to Anne Murphy, a corporate attorney for the software giant.

Also, new PCs shipping with Windows 2000 installed will include a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) label that will include a copper, holographic, interwoven thread with the words "Microsoft" and "Genuine," as well as a unique product key. Retail versions also will ship with the COA, according to Murphy.

The edge-to-edge CD-ROM hologram will also be incorporated into other Microsoft software products, Murphy said, starting with a service release of Office 2000, due in the spring.

Microsoft has been on an anti-piracy campaign for years, taking steps such as helping to turn in resellers who offer unlicensed versions of its software and working with ISPs to remove sites that post illegal downloads. Murphy said that in January, Microsoft aided in the closing of more than 100 sites that posted illegal Windows 2000 downloads.

Detection of the Web sites offering illegal software came about through a new Internet monitoring program that Microsoft recently began, Murphy said.

In 1998, Microsoft began requiring registration of Office in academic circles and overseas. Office's Registration Wizard requires customers to provide their country in order to receive an installation number, which confirms registration.

That registration program likely will find its way into future releases of Windows 2000 and other software offerings from Microsoft.

"We're expanding the [Registration Wizard] program with Office, and we'll see how it goes," Murphy said.

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