Software giant Microsoft has confirmed the retirement of its Office Genuine Advantage programme, less than 18 months after its launch.
The programme was introduced in August 2009 to help Microsoft keep tabs on whether or not users of its Office suite were running counterfeit versions of its software.
At the time, the programme was lauded by the vendor for generating a 600 per cent increase in anti-piracy leads.
In a press statement released yesterday, Microsoft said the programme had "served its purpose" and had been wound up.
It stated: "The Office Genuine Advantage programme was designed to notify customers whether their copy of Microsoft Office was genuine.
"The programme has served its purpose and we have decided to retire the programme."
However, the vendor stressed that, despite the programme's scraping, it is committed to stamping out piracy in the channel.
The statement continued: "We are making several new investments that will allow us to engage with customers and help victims of fraud."
The vendor's decision to terminate the programme has been welcomed by its channel partners.
Malcolm Newdick, managing director of Microsoft Gold partner Riverbank IT Management, said: "All these security measures run their course and need to be revamped because clever criminals always find a way round them."
Andy Trish, chief executive of Microsoft Gold partner NCI Technologies, added: "Scrapping the Office Genuine Advantage programme allows Microsoft to actively create new and more reliable ways of combating software piracy."
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