|... with absolutely no public announcement, Microsoft quietly retired one cog in its antipiracy machine.
... on Friday that Microsoft had shut down its Office Genuine Advantage (OGA) program as of Thursday, December 16. Previously, if you wanted to download an Office add-in or template, you had to pass through a validation step first, confirming that your copy of Office was “genuine.”
... the Office Notifier, the OGA ActiveX control for Internet Explorer, and the OGA plugin for Firefox are also officially retired.
This week’s change doesn’t affect Office activation, which still requires a 25-character product key and direct contact with Microsoft’s activation servers. It also doesn’t affect Windows validation, which is apparently alive and well and is still required for some downloads, such as Microsoft Security Essentials.