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Microsoft Releases Rentable Windows, Office

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 35 comments

Versions of Windows and Office that are suitable for multiple partners.

Ever use Windows or Office in an internet café, a hotel business center or an airport kiosk? Believe it or not, those are all unauthorized uses of Windows that goes against the terms of the license agreement. Yes, that's piracy folks. But now in 2010 Microsoft has the answer with its new Rental Rights Licensing.

Microsoft introduces on its new partner site:

Windows desktop operating system and Microsoft Office system licenses do not permit renting, leasing, or outsourcing the software to a third party. As a result, many organizations that rent, lease, or outsource desktop PCs to third parties (such as Internet cafés, hotel and airport kiosks, business service centers, and office equipment leasing companies) are not compliant with Microsoft license requirements.

Rental Rights are a simple way for organizations to get a waiver of these licensing restrictions through a one-time license transaction valid for the term of the underlying software license or life of the PC. Solidify your role as trusted advisor by helping your customers become compliant using an additive license that fits their business model—without requiring special tools, processes, reporting, or paperwork.

To help spur adoption, Microsoft is offering customers 30 percent off its usual pricing. As noted by ZDNet: a rental version of Office Professional is available for $58 (regularly $83 via volume discount pricing). Office Standard (rental) is available for $45 per copy (as opposed to $64 per copy regularly.) Windows is available for $23 per copy (as opposed to $32 per copy).

This could be the first move on Microsoft's part in its exploration of "rentable" software. Of course, this isn't quite the same as having a time-limited usable period for software, but we think that this is just the beginning for rental SKUs.

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Top Comments
  • 11 Hide
    eduardosmx , January 12, 2010 12:46 AM
    Ha ha ha! XD another way that Microsoft found to take our money! Interesting :p ! What's next? are we going to be able to use our Windows copy for a period of hours per day?
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , January 12, 2010 12:55 AM
    Now that they have Rental Rights out of the way, what about when companies such as Rent-A-Center turn around and sell used computers to customers?

    How is the license Agreement going to apply then?

    I can just see The Heads spinning at Microsoft as I say this seeing as the License for the Rental Agreement does not extend to selling said equipment as it has only one option and that is to expire.
Other Comments
  • 11 Hide
    eduardosmx , January 12, 2010 12:46 AM
    Ha ha ha! XD another way that Microsoft found to take our money! Interesting :p ! What's next? are we going to be able to use our Windows copy for a period of hours per day?
  • -1 Hide
    loomis86 , January 12, 2010 12:51 AM
    Keep it up, M$. Keep pushing and people are gonna kick ya to the curb one of these days.
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , January 12, 2010 12:55 AM
    Now that they have Rental Rights out of the way, what about when companies such as Rent-A-Center turn around and sell used computers to customers?

    How is the license Agreement going to apply then?

    I can just see The Heads spinning at Microsoft as I say this seeing as the License for the Rental Agreement does not extend to selling said equipment as it has only one option and that is to expire.
  • -2 Hide
    rodney_ws , January 12, 2010 1:29 AM
    So... in addition to buying a legally licensed OS and in addition to buying a legally licensed application suite... I need to buy 2 additional rental licenses just to rent my computer (and its OH SO VALUABLE software) out to someone?!? Really?!?

    Like at work... what if a janitor sits down at my desk and uses my computer? Do I need another user license? It would just be easier if they asked us for all of our money because they're clearly not happy making nearly $15 billion (net) per year.
  • 9 Hide
    cappster , January 12, 2010 1:52 AM
    They really want to push people to open source options. Open office and Linux anyone?
  • 6 Hide
    seatrotter , January 12, 2010 2:14 AM
    Can't we have a printed warning on a box that says whether a software is licensed for single-machine or single-user-single-machine? If it's for single machine then as long as it's installed only on one machine then anyone can use it (one at a time, of course). But if it's for single-user-single-machine then not only can it be installed only on one machine, but that only a single user can use it throughout the license.

    If they want to do a single-user-single-machine, fine, as long as it is clearly specified (print on half the box in bold/red). If the companies doesn't want to coz it's bad for business, they better suck it up (and suffer) or just stick to single-machine scheme.
  • 4 Hide
    ta152h , January 12, 2010 4:23 AM
    cappsterThey really want to push people to open source options. Open office and Linux anyone?


    You can use Open Office with Windows NT derivatives as well.

    I'm not one to ever consider a Unix derivative, as I've worked with Unix enough to hate it, but I would definitely use Open Office, as I've worked with Microsoft Office enough to hate it.

    I think they did a good enough job with Windows 7 they're probably not going to have problems there.

    But Office? Does anyone really need Office, or even like it? Open Office does everything most people want, and the interface is quite familiar and easy to work with. It's a real vulnerability for Microsoft if they aren't careful. You'd think they'd be lowering their prices. I'd pay $75 or so for something I've always used, but I'm not going to pay the prices they ask. I think their greed is going to cost them as people move from their Office, and find it's not so bad after all.


  • 0 Hide
    ashrafpasha , January 12, 2010 4:58 AM
    2012 for Microsoft anyone?
  • -2 Hide
    dmwright , January 12, 2010 5:39 AM
    Doctor : Would you like your son to be MS compliant for life?

    Parent : What programs will he be allowed to use?

    Doctor : Please, just sign here and pay $$$$$.
  • -1 Hide
    Gin Fushicho , January 12, 2010 8:44 AM
    This is actually kind of nice, I could check out a piece of they're software before I decide to buy it. That , and if some places religiously rent , it would cause the prices of permanent software to go down a little.
  • -4 Hide
    jsc , January 12, 2010 9:59 AM
    Foolish me. I always thought that MS products had to be installed on one computer at a time. I guess not.
  • 2 Hide
    rembo666 , January 12, 2010 10:13 AM
    You people don't get the point. This is just a different SKU to make Internet Cafe-type situation legal. It's just a simple formality, rather than some huge product release. It's like the Blockbuster version of a movie versus a version you would buy at the store. Read the article before you start hating people.
  • 0 Hide
    climber , January 12, 2010 10:17 AM
    Gin FushichoThis is actually kind of nice, I could check out a piece of they're software before I decide to buy it. That , and if some places religiously rent , it would cause the prices of permanent software to go down a little.

    In the very near future Microsoft won't sell you software, they will charge a monthly or yearly rental, if you don't keep up your subscription, you can't run your OS or any other Microsoft software you've got installed, whatever software it is, will be monthly or yearly subscription based, if you haven't kept up that subscription it stops working... Well they'll probably at first just not give you updates, but at some point once they have us by the dangly bits, it'll stop working all together.
  • -1 Hide
    leo2kp , January 12, 2010 10:52 AM
    And I suppose keyboards and mice will have little fingerprint readers in the individual keys so that if you are not the owner of the machine, you will have to "rent" the computer from a friend or family member? What a crock of s**t, MS. Why can't they just alter their own licensing terms to accommodate for kiosks and the like? Because it's all about the moolah. Can't be sensible; gotta be pricks about it.
  • 0 Hide
    gnesterenko , January 12, 2010 10:54 AM
    loomis86Keep it up, M$. Keep pushing and people are gonna kick ya to the curb one of these days.


    correction: kick ya to the curb one of these [YEARS].

    There, fixed it for ya.

    Seriously, if you think THIS, after all other things, will make the enterprise switch off MS, then I have a bridge to no-where to sell to you.


    "The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was accessed."
  • 0 Hide
    aleccj1 , January 12, 2010 12:19 PM
    Words cannot describe my anger towards Microsoft after reading this. Solution: Use Linux.
  • 0 Hide
    aleccj1 , January 12, 2010 12:22 PM
    Does this mean that if you buy a computer for your entire household, only you can use it? F*ck M$.
  • 4 Hide
    pooflinger1 , January 12, 2010 12:24 PM
    WOW. Did everyone just misread the article, or did we wake up on the wrong side of the bed? As someone else said, the licenses they are talking about are NOT sold to individuals, or companies that use permanent PC's in their office. The license above is merely for people that "RENT" the PC such as a rent-a-center or Cyber Cafe where you pay to use the computer for a period of time. The above situation would NOT apply to someone or a company who is selling their old equipment. The license does NOT apply to those who go and buy a PC. It has nothing to do with how many people use bought PC's at home or at the office. Not only that, but they also made it cheaper than what companies were buying via VL. Microsoft addresses an issue and not only fixes it, but saves people money, and people bitch.
  • 2 Hide
    back_by_demand , January 12, 2010 12:34 PM
    climberIn the very near future Microsoft won't sell you software, they will charge a monthly or yearly rental, if you don't keep up your subscription, you can't run your OS or any other Microsoft software you've got installed, whatever software it is, will be monthly or yearly subscription based, if you haven't kept up that subscription it stops working... Well they'll probably at first just not give you updates, but at some point once they have us by the dangly bits, it'll stop working all together.

    You mean like World Of Warcraft?
    How's that working out for Blizzard?
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