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Microsoft revs anti-piracy technology

With the release of Office 2000, the company is expanding its anti-software piracy program to several countries to help reduce theft.

With the release of Microsoft Office 2000, Microsoft is expanding its anti-software piracy program to several countries to help reduce theft and simplify registration of the popular desktop productivity suite.

Microsoft will include the Registration Wizard in Office 2000, a new technology to discourage piracy.

The Registration Wizard makes registration a part of installing the product and helps prevent illegal installations. Customers can use the product 50 times before registration is required.

Microsoft has recently been stepping up efforts against software piracy. This year, the company has sued many computer resellers across the country for allegedly selling pirated versions of the Windows 95 operating system and Office 97 Professional software, among other products.

Last month, Microsoft launched the second beta of Office 2000, making it available to an unprecedented 700,000 testers.

In addition to automating registration, Office 2000 will include a hologram on the CD to help customers identify the authenticity of the Office product. Microsoft will also introduce a new type of in-box packaging to prevent thieves from easily removing the CD from the box in retail stores.

The Office Registration Wizard will be included in versions of the product offered in Australia, Brazil, and New Zealand, as well as in academic packages distributed in the United States and Canada. This technology is designed for full-package products in these markets and will not be included in products obtained by customers with volume license agreements, due to their unique deployment processes.