Acknowledging the existence of a flourishing software piracy industry here, PT Microsoft Indonesia has warned against any tampering with its Windows Vista operating system, saying that it is equipped with an advanced protection system.
Senior director for worldwide antipiracy at Microsoft Corp., Keith Beeman, said Thursday that a software protection platform has been embedded into Windows Vista that automatically shut down a number of key features, and produced an automatic log-off once every hour.
He said that customers would first have to activate and validate their Windows Vista within the first 30 days of installation -- a process that requires an internet connection -- to gain full access to the program.
If not, Beemen said, then they would only be able to use Windows in a reduced functionality mode, in which the monitor would turn black and the computer would automatically log off every hour.
"We will apply the black screen mode within a few months. We will announce the date," Beeman said.
The special protective features are designed to combat software piracy, especially given that the company will gradually shift to Windows Vista and eventually phase out older versions of its operating systems, according to Hermawan Sutanto, product marketing manager of Microsoft Indonesia.
"By the end of 2007, 75 percent of shipped personal computers will be using Windows Vista. We estimate that 1.7 million personal computers will be shipped to Indonesia in fiscal 2008.
"Starting from Jan. 31, 2008, Microsoft will stop selling XP Pro, for instance. So new customers will automatically shift to Windows Vista," Hermawan said.
Beeman said that the level of piracy had been decreasing globally since the company launched the Genuine Software Initiative (GSI). However, he added, the software business had also been increasing, which resulted in losses from piracy actually increasing.
According to the Business Software Alliance, the piracy rate around the world stood at 35 percent in 2006, a one percent increase from 36 percent in 2003.
Indonesia's piracy rate was down 2 percent to 85 percent in 2006 from 87 percent the year before. However, total losses caused by piracy in Indonesia have been increasing, from US$153 million in 2004, $280 million in 2005, to $350 million in 2006.
To help curb piracy, Microsoft launched GSI in 2006 based on a three-pronged approach: education, engineering and enforcement. The antipiracy features of Windows Vista are part of GSI. (14)