MS Adds Genuine Advantage Goodies

Microsoft announced Wednesday that it will be adding benefits to the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) program it launched last fall, which requires users to validate their Windows license in exchange for special perks at the Microsoft Download Center. Users with genuine versions of Windows will now be able to download Language Interface Packs, or LIPs.

LIPs are add-ons to the operating system that will allow the user to change some of the commonly used features into their native language, above the 24 languages in which Windows is already released.

Currently, 22 LIPs are offered through the company's Local Language Program (LLP), with plans to add more at the rate of "several per month" through the end of this year.

"For customers the LLP and LIPs allow people around the world to work with PCs - some for the first time - in their native languages," a Microsoft spokesperson told BetaNews.

The first LIP to require Windows validation will be released in Vietnam. Microsoft is ostensibly trying to stop piracy at its source; in many countries where these LIPs will be useful to users, piracy of Windows software is rampant.

Microsoft was quick to maintain that while WGA is necessary in order to use advanced features of its operating system, essential security updates will be sent to all users whether or not they have validated their copy of Windows. However, it is apparent validated customers will receive the red carpet treatment.

"Microsoft wants to continue to add value for genuine Windows customers -- for customers in all languages -- and build on the success of WGA," the spokesperson said.

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