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Microsoft launches pirate crackdown
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Microsoft Corp will crack down on used pirated software products in China from next week, the world's No. 1 software vendor said yesterday. [Cast your vote]

Microsoft will also launch an aggressive price campaign in China, promoting Office suite for the world's lowest price, to cash in on the world's No. 2 personal computer market, industry insiders said.

The Microsoft move follows a lawsuit it brought against a Website providing Windows downloads. Microsoft sued a Website called "Tomato Garden" which provided users free downloads of unlocked Windows systems and other software. Police have arrested the Website's chief.

Microsoft said yesterday that computers with Windows and Office that failed to be validated online would turn to a black screen every 60 minutes and warnings would flash from Monday.

Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) would help users detect copycat operating systems, it said. After that, users would see their screens go black every 60 minutes and a warning flash across the screen.

OGA, to be used for the first time in China, would detect the Office suites, according to Microsoft.

In China, more than 90 percent of computers are installed with Windows and Office products.

Microsoft have also slashed the price of authorized Windows and Office products. A family and student version of Windows Vista now starts at 499 yuan (US$73). Office prices have been lowered to 199 yuan.

However, on the street, Windows Vista copies sell for less than 7 yuan.

(Shanghai Daily October 16, 2008)

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