Yes, there is an Office 2007 ‘kill switch’

Buried in a Knowledge Base article that Microsoft published to the Web on November 14 are details of Microsoft’s plans to combat Office 2007 piracy via new Office Genuine Advantage lockdowns.

When asked last month whether Microsoft was planning to punish alleged Office 2007 pirates by crippling the functionality of their software in the same way that Microsoft is doing with Vista via reduced-functionality mode, Microsoft officials were noncommittal.

But now Microsoft’s intentions are clear: Just as it is doing with Vista, Microsoft plans to incorporate what basically amounts to a “kill switch” into Office 2007. Office 2007 users who can’t or won’t pass activation muster within a set time period will be moved into “reduced-functionality mode,” according to Microsoft’s Knowledge Base article.

Link: KB Article 927921

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MS Office Validation Now Mandatory

Want to use the extra features within Office? Be prepared to verify that your copy of the productivity suite is genuine. While the so-called Office Genuine Advantage has been around since April, Microsoft did not make it mandatory until Friday. Starting today, using Office Online templates would require the validation, and the ability to download updates would also require verification beginning in January.

The move signals a tougher stance from Microsoft, which recently has begun to crack down on casual piracy of its products by customers. Those who have acquired pirated software without their knowledge, but agree to assist Microsoft in identifying where they obtained it from, would qualify for a legitimate copy of the software. Those who do not agree to help would have to pay the full fee to obtain new software.

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