Expanding its measures to combat software piracy, Microsoft will require users who want to download local language add-ons to Windows to first validate their copy of the operating system as legitimate. Microsoft offers versions of Windows XP in 24 languages at present. It supports an additional 20 languages with free operating system add-ons, called Windows XP Language Interface Packs. The add-ons do not offer complete translations of the Windows XP user interface, but cover many of its common features. Over the coming months, Microsoft will require users who want to download the add-ons to first authenticate their copy of Windows, blocking access for users of pirated Windows copies, the company says in a statement. The first add-on to be affected will be the Vietnamese language interface pack, which was made available this week and requires validation to download.
Microsoft has been testing the piracy lock, which it calls Windows Genuine Advantage, on its Download Center Web site since September. Over 5 million users have taken part in the test, according to Microsoft.
PC World, http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,120249,00.asp