Microsoft: Office Genuine Advantage program retired!

Microsoft have retired its anti-piracy Office Genuine Advantage program.

The software giant issued a support article late last week confirming the change. OGA (Office Genuine Advantage) has been previously used to verify copies of Office to allow for add-in or template downloads from Microsoft’s Office site. According to Ed Bott; the shutdown of OGA occurred on Thursday December 16 and appears to have taken other parts of Microsoft by surprise.

Microsoft’s official OGA forums show no reference to the shutdown. The shutdown does not affect Office activation, users will still need to enter their product key. Microsoft’s Office Genuine Advantage program has long been battled against by pirates. A number of cracks have been made available to defeat the protection and allow pirated copies of Office to download add-ins and templates.

In other Office related news, Microsoft confirmed recently that Office 2003 and 2007 users will receive File Validation security improvements in 2011.

File Validation scans older versions of Office documents and loads any it finds into a protective view. Microsoft is also currently preparing its first Service Pack for Office 2010 users. The software maker released a beta copy of Office 2010 SP1 to testers in mid-November.

A final version of Office 2010 SP1 is due in 2011.

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