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Microsoft Moves To Patent Time-Based Software Licensing 118

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the how-can-we-squeeze-the-customer-more dept.
theodp writes "Microsoft's Open Value Subscription offering didn't get the warmest reception. Nor did the follow-up announcement of Albany, a planned MS-Office Subscription Service. Now comes word from the USPTO that Microsoft feels it deserves a patent for the 'invention' of 'Time-Based Licensing,' which aims to make the traditional pay-once perpetual license model a thing of the past. Hey, if your customers were waiting nine years between OS upgrades, you'd try touting a three-year lease with a balloon buy-out payment, too!"
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Microsoft Moves To Patent Time-Based Software Licensing

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  • by iYk6 (1425255) on Friday October 09, 2009 @06:28PM (#29699457)

    Microsoft feels it deserves a patent for the 'invention' of 'Time-Based Licensing,' which aims to make the traditional pay-once perpetual license model a thing of the past.

    If they successfully patent time-based software licensing, wouldn't that make the traditional model a more viable solution?

  • by clong83 (1468431) on Friday October 09, 2009 @06:31PM (#29699503)
    That's what I was thinking. I would assume that would then mean Microsoft were the only ones doing it... Or they would be charging other firms that want to do the same, thus making a less attractive option. If Microsoft wants to patent being a douche, more power to them.
  • Hi, Microsoft! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SecurityGuy (217807) on Friday October 09, 2009 @06:34PM (#29699543)

    Name's flexlm. I see you're new around here, and determined to reinvent everything that was done on *nix 30 years ago.

    But seriously--what here is new? Time based licensing has been around forever. Get the feeling they're just flailing around trying to find some revenue model that'll continue to extract money out of their customers? Microsoft's fundamental problem is that they've already sold many people what they need. XP works fine for me. I don't need Vista. Or 7. Office is fine. I don't care about the next round of bells and whistles. Most of what most of us do doesn't require them.

    I don't really begrudge them some kind of revenue, but the more they demand, the better alternatives (OpenOffice, Google Docs, or hell, just buying a mac and being done with it) look.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 09, 2009 @06:35PM (#29699549)

    Microsoft is effectively trying to patent the single most effective method of convincing ordinary users that alternatives are worth trying. That or piracy... Either way, it doesn't look like a very smart thing for MS to be doing.

  • Dangerous move (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 09, 2009 @06:40PM (#29699601)

    People have options these days. I'm on the knife edge myself and Vista was annoying enough to have me considering a shift. Turn my software and OS into a ticking time bomb and I'm likely to jump ship. Microsoft is desperate to establish a revenue stream that requires no innovation or effort on their part. Vista falling on it's face confirmed for them the need for putting a gun to their users heads to keep money flowing.

  • Re:Hi, Microsoft! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by garcia (6573) on Friday October 09, 2009 @07:00PM (#29699819) Homepage

    Name's flexlm. I see you're new around here, and determined to reinvent everything that was done on *nix 30 years ago.

    I see you're new around here and determined to think I give a flying fuck about you and what you know about how computer licensing should work. Thankfully you aren't my target market. My target market is corporate IT, moron Mr. and Mrs. Blow, and anyone else that wants to buy a machine that's priced below $599 and who still want to be able to use the same media, documents, etc that they do everyday on the machines/software we sold to the corporate IT shop that handles their work computer. These people don't care about your ideals, your knowledge of how the world "should" work, and the fact that Linux, Apple, and free software exist at either a markup or insane markdown with a steep learning curve.

    What's new here? Not you. So why don't you go the fuck away, before I throw a chair at you, and let me rake these poor douchebags over the coals so my stock options will go up a few percentage points more before a retirement full of picking the legs off of flies, throwing people off the towers of my 16th home in the French Riviera and throwing chairs in my $23 million dollar rubber room.

    Thanks,
    Steve Ballmer.

  • by MarkvW (1037596) on Friday October 09, 2009 @07:49PM (#29700089)

    A license is a contract. A contract is an exchange of enforceable promises. Patenting a contractual idea would deprive other people of the freedom to contract in a certain manner (because Microsoft has patented it). Freedom to contract is an idea that a lot of judges groove with--it has a lot to do with liberty, freedom, and other cool ideas like that.

    I don't think that Microsoft will be able to tell other people how they can and cannot order their affairs.

  • by kent_eh (543303) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:32PM (#29700675)
    Does anyone have a human-readable version of this?

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