Microsoft accidentally delivers Office Genuine nagware

Microsoft is acknowledging that on April 15 it accidentally delivered its new Office Genuine Notifications to users outside of its planned pilot areas of Chile, Italy, Spain and Turkey.

Microsoft is acknowledging that on April 15 it accidentally delivered its new Office Genuine Notifications to users outside of its planned pilot areas of Chile, Italy, Spain and Turkey.

Infoworld quotes Cori Hartje, the Director of Microsoft's Genuine Software Initiative, on the mix-up:

"The Office Genuine Advantage notifications update (KB949810) is intended only for Microsoft Office users in Italy, Spain, Turkey and Chile. For a short time on the 15th of April, it was made available to users in other countries. A number of users who proactively sought product updates in this time frame were able to download Office Genuine Advantage notifications. We commend those users who actively seek product updates and apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this update may have created. We have taken steps to limit access to this update only to those users in Italy, Spain, Turkey and Chile."

Some users who noticed the inadvertent KB 949810 update on April 15 called it out in Microsoft's public Genuine Advantage forum earlier this week.

Microsoft officials said earlier this month that the company planned to add the notification mechanism to Office for users in the four aforementioned trial countries -- by making it a voluntary Microsoft update -- so that it would remind repeatedly those running illegal copies of Office (or those deemed illegal by Microsoft's Genuine Advantage mechanism) to stop running pirated software. The Redmondians didn't say when the company planned to turn on the new Office notification mechanism for all Office XP and Office 2007 users.

Update: From Microsoft's explanation, posted April 18 to the Windows Software Update Services (WSUS) Team Blog:

"We are available to offer full assistance if you have problems or questions related to this issue, via your regular support channels. Customers who want to learn more about OGA notifications can reference the online KB Article. Customers who require support should submit a Technical Support Request for Microsoft Genuine Advantage Issues."

Update No. 2 (on April 21): Jeff Centimano, on the Windows Connected site, notes that while Microsoft needs tighter controls on publishing, OGA notifications required admin approval in order for them to have been deployed.

Anyone participating in the Office Genuine trial (or who downloaded the OGA notification update on April 15) have any feedback about Microsoft's latest Office anti-piracy technology?