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Software licensing in the cloud

April 3, 2008

I don’t purchase downloadable games where you have the option to purchase it as a full packaged product, as I like to resell the product once I’m finished with it. Well it’s obvious that those days are numbered as "in the cloud" software licensing is becoming more prevalent.

Recently I purchased the full packaged product of Valve’s Orange Box for the PC. On installing one of the games in the package and entering it’s license code, a message appeared stating that it had registered the software and locked the license to my online Valve Steam account (Steam is Valve’s excellent online software distribution service). Which means the lovely packaged box & DVD are now useless as there is no ability to resell the product. All the software on the DVDs is available as purchasable download via Steam.

Instant access to software via download purchase is fantastic, except for Australian’s as games are usually multiple Gigabytes in size and with our poor broadband infrastructure downloading two games can end your monthly allowance.

imageLicensing in the cloud is not new, but the practice is now becoming more mainstream. Some innovative companies such as TDC in Denmark are thinking outside the box in using in the cloud licensing for mobiles.

TDC in Denmark have announced a new bundled music download service called PLAY, that is locked to the user’s subscription with the carrier. When the user leaves the carrier they loose the license & the ability to play the music. Whilst the whole notion of supplying a large supply of free music to the customer is one thing, using in the cloud licensing is allowing these users to use the same music on their PC and mobile device is a brilliant strategy.

The brilliance of the new service is that TDC are implementing a Telco As A Service model, not just a provider of disparate carriage products. Telecommunications companies need to migrate to Telco As A Service and provide customers with converged services across their carriage end points. This model includes partnering with entertainment & business applications companies such as TDC have done.

For more information about TDC’s PLAY service head over to their press release.

Posted by Shane Williamson

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