Microsoft has suddenly pulled the plug on the Office Genuine Advantage feature without any notice. Earlier, any attempt to download any add-on (templates etc.) from the official website required you to go through a validation process that checked if your copy of Microsoft Office was genuine.
However, very recently, Microsoft has removed the service completely and all links to web pages relate to Genuine Advantage at Microsoft now point to the Microsoft homepage. As reported by ZDNet, the only confirmation of the shutdown is from a Knowledge Base article, which says:
The Office Genuine Advantage (OGA) program has been retired. For more information about the benefits of genuine Office, please visit the following website:
Benefits of genuine Office
The actual pages can still be seen in Bing’s cache but not in Google’s. Other than this, the Office Genuine Advantage plugin for Firefox is also dead and the only security feature is the key you enter while installation.
Microsoft has a fondness for its Genuine Advantagefeature. The protection can be seen in Microsoft Windows as well. The removal of this feature needs word from Microsoft before we can speculate further.