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.