Office Genuine Advantage Starts Today

If you hate or have had trouble with WGA, or Windows Genuine Advantage, their tool that checks to see if your Windows is pirated or not, then you are going to love this. Today, Microsoft has launched Office Genuine Advantage, or OGA, which will require mandatory validation of Office software starting October 27, 2006. Any Office Online templates downloaded from the Office 2007 Microsoft Office System will require validation. Starting in January, Office Update will require validation as well before you can download updates. What will this mean for Office 2007 users? Many people have had trouble with WGA, can similar troubles be expected from OGA?

Users absolutely hated the first iteration of the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) program, and their protests pressured the company into revising it about a year after it launched in July 2005.

Microsoft said in a press statement that the validation process will be “quick and simple” for users. The OGA program, currently in the testing phase, is now available in 26 languages worldwide.

Microsoft has integrated this check directly into the next version of its OS, Windows Vista, as part of what it is calling a “Software Protection Platform.” Through that automatic validation system, a Vista user must activate his or her copy of the software with a valid activation key within 30 days after purchase of the software, or see the OS enter a reduced functionality mode. In that mode, users can browse the Web for an hour but then the system will log them out, and they will have to log in again if they want to browse more. Source: PC World

One would expect similar troubles with OGA, I expect more users to stick with 2003 instead of upgrading, and I know some business owners will probably look long and hard at what they plan on doing concerning Office from now on.