Microsoft has recently released another tool that validates whether Microsoft Office installed on users' computers is genuine or pirated.
It is understandable that Microsoft Corporation is trying to fight piracy and it is their right to do so.
On the other hand what implications does it have on normal users and administrators?
Microsoft has published a small FAQ about MS Office validation.
There is a number of conclusions that can be made from this document.
Only Office XP and newer are required for validation. This may have small impact on organisations that use Windows 2000 or older in their environment (It is well known that even Office 97 has sufficient features for most users, so there are many organisations that use old versions and dont plan to upgrade)
Users holding individual licenses for each copy of Microsoft Office are required to validate. This makes life harder for administrators as they would have to install ActiveX component in Microsoft Internet explorer on all machines with Office. People using Firefox or Opera will have another trouble as these browsers do not support ActiveX. Well, at least Microsoft offers validator as a plugin. For Opera validation should be performed using a small application that is downloadable from Microsoft. Running such an application may require changes to firewall rules on client computers.
The good news is that Volume Licenses do not require validation. So large companies should not be affected so much.