Practical Technology

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Windows goes rental


Windows goes rental Microsoft has quietly made it possible to, sort of, to rent both Windows and Office. While you were probably having great fun on New Year’s Eve, Microsoft was quietly making it possible for businesses to rent Windows and Office. This stealth move has the potential to make big changes in how businesses works with Office and Windows.

Now you can argue—-I would-—that Microsoft hasn’t actually let you own Windows or Office for years. On the business side, Microsoft’s volume licensing options, such as Software Assurance, requires companies to pay for the right to use Windows and Office, over the course of three years amounts to a rental program as far as I’m concerned. With this new program, as first reported by Mary Jo Foley, though, business customers could “pay a flat fee to use Windows or Office 2007 (Standard or Professional versions) for a year.”

You might think, as an individual user that you ‘own’ the operating system that came on your PC, but you’d wrong. You can’t sell the Windows that’s pre-installed on your PC. Now, you can sell a used copy of Windows, if you bought a copy of the Windows operating system and then deleted it from your computer. So, for example, if you bought a copy of Windows 7 to upgrade from your old PC’s pre-existing Vista, you can’t sell that copy of Vista. This is one of the many reasons I prefer desktop Linux.

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