Microsoft is adding more "Genuine Advantage" features to its forthcoming Office 2010 release to make the product harder to pirate.
The company is planning to add new volume-licensing activation technologies to Office 2010 in an attempt to thwart the pirating of volume-license keys, Microsoft officials said via a press release. Microsoft also is adding more counterfeit-detection and tamper-resistant features to Office 2010, the press release says. It sounds like Microsoft will limit the ability of Office 2010 users to do an "Anytime Upgrade" to those users who those who allow Microsoft to do a Genuine Advantage scan:
“'While future (Office) consumer installations will closely resemble what we have today, additional advantages that customers can expect include the ability to issue product keys that upgrade the installed version to one that is incrementally feature-rich,' says (Cori) Hartje, (senior director of Microsoft’s Genuine Software Initiative)."
I found more details about some of the planned Office 2010 Genuine Advantage volume-activation changes in an August 24 posting on the Office 2010 Engineering blog.
Microsoft already has made Office more like Windows, in terms of the way it nags users who fail to activate their individual copies of a new release. With Office 2010, volume licensees will be required to activate, too. From the August 24 Office 2010 Engineering blog post:
"Starting in Office 2010, all volume editions of Office client software will require activation. What’s great for administrators is that Office has adopted the Windows Software Protection Platform (SPP), which means that most of what you have learned (or will learn) about Volume Activation for Windows applies to Office as well. For example, the same Key Management Service (KMS) host can be configured to activate Office 2010 clients as well as Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Also, there is no reduction in functionality in volume editions of Office 2010. Even if Office is not activated, your users will still be able to open, save, edit, and print. Office files, though users will see notifications reminding them to activate."
Microsoft also is expanding the Office Genuine Advantage Notifications program into 13 more countries, upping the total to 41 countries.