If you are short of the odd Microsoft license or two, it could be worth your while taking a look at a new company that has been set-up to sell second-hand Microsoft software licenses.
Contrary to what you may be thinking Discount-licensing.com is not a fly-by-night firm run out of the back of a white transit van but is entirely legal operation based in offices in Burton Upon Trent, according to an article by OUT-LAW.com.
Discount-licensing works by finding firms with multiple user licenses that are now insolvent or downsizing, and then uses Microsoft’s own transfer conditions to pass these unused or unwanted licenses onto a new company. This, the company says, makes the process entirely legal.
The company is offering a variety of Microsoft software at typical discounts over Microsoft resellers of between 20% for Windows Server 2003, through to 50% for Windows NT.
The discount figures are certainly attractive but the downside is that licenses must be bought in batches, so if 150 Office XP licenses become available from a knackered company, you won’t be able to buy just 120 of them, according to the firm’s boss.
According to the anti-piracy hounds at the BSA, just over a quarter of software in the UK is unlicensed so Discount-licensing.com should have a large market to go after and could well appeal to those companies that have previously balked at the cost of Microsoft licenses or have recently undergone a software audit to discover they are short of licenses.
Whilst Discount-licensing claims it is the first firm of its type, others are sure to follow. However, as OUT-LAW points out, with the latest figures from the DTI showing between 12-13,000 company insolvencies a year and only a small percentage of these possessing the right license agreements for transfer, Microsoft is unlikely to be panicking over a new wave of Swiss Tony-style second-hand software salesmen.