Rentable software

Ron Resnick (
Tue, 26 Aug 1997 16:22:33 +0200

August 25, 1997

Rentable software

Net vendors, ISPs raise credibility of rented software

Early users like the convenience and price, but the
jury is still out on rented software

By Amy Doan

Somebody should probably point out Cox/Superdistribution here.....

"Licensing is an antiquated model," says Jason Bluming, founder of
Pollinate, in Brookline,
Mass. "People are conditioned to purchase something in a box that
just has no business being in
a box."

Pollinate plans to offer tools that will break software out into
rentable, a la carte components.
Instead of making users download and pay for versions of software
each time the existing
license expires, developers could use the tool to finely control
software activation. For example,
a Web-based application could be disabled for specific clients or
groups of client machines
when a weekly rental period has expired.

As are other rental paradigms, the Pollinate toolset is intended
to eliminate wasted fees and
boost upgrade convenience. But a less obvious benefit will be the
clamp it puts on piracy,
Bluming says. "Stealware" risks would disappear, because a
license would be bound to a
specific user, machine, or time configuration and would thus be
useless to potential cheats.

//I really wonder about this. Good idea, but will it ever
really work? It's just bits, and bits can always be hacked. Ever
since my old 'copy protected' Apple II apps...

"The bandwidth to support it is finally here," says Kalat, network
security engineer at Netrex, in
Southfield, Mich. "Licensing can be wasteful and it's
time-consuming keeping track of all the
upgrades. Once it gets going, the financial and administrative
benefits [of renting] will be huge."

//Oh come on. The bandwidth to support large scale interactive
pay-per-use is here?? I don't think so...

Worth a quick read.

Ron Resnick                       IBM:
IBM Haifa Research Lab HRL        world:
MATAM 31905 Haifa, Israel
Tel: 972-4-829-6491

"A shadow is the .. ... mobile, persistent, distributed, self-descriptive, self-contained, pro-active, cooperative, trustworthy, object-oriented, software analog of some real world object" -- Sandor Spruit