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Apple drops anti-piracy measures from iWork '09

updated 09:25 am EST, Tue January 20, 2009

iWork drops serial numbers

Apple has removed a common security measure from its iWork '09 office suite, according to an official support document. Mirroring a decision taken with iLife, which is bundled with new Macs as well as sold separately, Apple has eliminated the need to enter a serial number when installing a retail copy of iWork '09. A number is still needed to unlock trial versions of iWork, unless users install a retail copy over top.

It is uncertain why Apple would remove anti-piracy measures from iWork, as the suite is entirely optional and likely to be pirated. The combined iLife and iWork decisions may indicate that Apple feels serial numbers are no longer effective, however, or that they are simply an unnecessary hassle when copies of both suites may often be pre-installed on Macs.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Propofol

    Joined: Dec 1969



    They probably want people to pirate it so their user share goes up... Once people know how great iWork is, they'll buy more Macs to be able to use the software. A loss leader...

    Comment buried. Show
  1. zaghahzag

    Joined: Dec 1969



    they want it pirated. they don't care if you install using a copy your friend bought. they need as big an installed base as they can get for iwork or else they'll never sell it.

    plus, they give it away with new macs, so they're already killing most of their sales.

  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969


    There is a plan.

    Maybe they WANT a little piracy. Sure, they may not get as many sales right now, but the secret to allowing limited piracy is that it gets their software in the hands of more users. Once they hit critical mass, then they can start enforcing payment.

    Microsoft did the same thing with their office suite. They turned their heads as thousands of businesses and schools pirated their software. Once they were entrenched in using it, then they came knocking telling them to pay up or else. Let's hope this isn't Apple's plan.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    10.5.6 requirement

    When the application requires Intel and 10.5.6, the removal may stimulate sales of OS and new system. Well, for that matter, it may stimulate hardware piracy (non-Mac Intel) and OS piracy.


  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969



    They do track the MAC addresses and IP's of the machines that install a copy however. Maybe they actually just want to know how the product is used. If they used a serial number they would get skewed results, this way they know exactly how many machines it ended up being installed on and the geographic spacing as well. Could be useful info.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969



    They should spend less time and resources coming up with stupid decisions like these, and more time on updating the stinkin' Mac Mini and iMacs.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    iWork doesn't require 10.5.6. iLife does. iWork will operate under 10.4.11 as well.

    And this has little to do with 'wanting' piracy. What they had previously was as useless as having no protections, since all it did was check your current network (if it did that - I don't know). At least they make it less annoying to install (nothing like trying to retype a freakin' large serial number to annoy a customer to no end - esp. when it is printed in a small font that makes it hard to distinguish certain numbers and letters).

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: insignificant

    Maybe they made this decision to pull off all the people responsible for serial number generation and customer support and move them over to the 'mac mini updated design team'.

    So it isn't as insignificant as it might seem.

    Then again, I'm sure someone will try to use logic and explain that those making this decision would have no bearing on those making decisions on the mini, and thus stop your complaining, but that's just logic. Who needs that.

  1. jondesu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No evidence of tracking

    There's no evidence Apple is tracking anything about who is installing this software, and no real reason for them to do so actually. I think it's a good idea, most anti-piracy measures are easily bypassed by those who will steal software, and just provide an annoyance for those who don't.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "It is uncertain why Apple would remove anti-piracy measures from iWork"

    Na´vetÚ - how cute!

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