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Rental Agreement

As we discussed Wednesday, software licensing is a tricky thing. The licenses are written by lawyers in consultation with software folks. Can you say complex?

One of the hidden secrets of Windows and Office licenses is they don't allow for machines to be rented. Instead, thousands of Internet cafes, rental companies and gaming centers around the world have paid a subscription fee -- or pretended nothing's wrong.

Microsoft has a fix: Pay a one-time fee, and now your PC can be rented out to whomever. This is far simpler than shelling out subscription fees every month. The price for the Windows rental option is $23, and Office starts at $45. And no, you don't need to buy extra insurance!

Posted by Doug Barney on 01/15/2010 at 1:17 PM


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