Microsoft ditches Office Genuine Advantage

Microsoft has shut down its Office Genuine Advantage anti-piracy program.Microsoft wrote "the Office Genuine Advantage (OGA) program has been retired", on a Microsoft help and support webpage on 17 December.

Microsoft has shut down its Office Genuine Advantage anti-piracy program.

Microsoft wrote "the Office Genuine Advantage (OGA) program has been retired", on a Microsoft help and support webpage on 17 December.

OGA checked whether a copy of Microsoft Office was licensed when a user attempted to download add-ons or templates for the office productivity suite. If OGA detected that the version of Office was unlicensed, it would not allow the user to download the add-on or template.

"The Office Genuine Advantage program was designed to notify many customers around the world whether their copy of Microsoft Office was genuine. The program has served its purpose and thus we have decided to retire the program," Microsoft said in a statement on Monday.

Windows Genuine Advantage, which certifies the Windows operating system (OS) and restricts downloads of Windows Security Essentials to licensed OS's, is still active and available from Microsoft.

ZDNet.com blogger Ed Bott found that the retirement of the program has brought a variety of changes to a number of Microsoft websites, including the Genuine Microsoft Software webpage.