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Forrester Blasts Software Licenses

For years you've been telling me that software licenses are overly complex. You suspect (or more likely know) that vendors make licenses purposely confusing because it gives them control during negotiations.

Forrester Research recently tackled software licensing, but focused less on the vendor-inspired labyrinth and more on the basics. According to the research house's recent report, tying license fees to the number of processors, as is often done, no longer makes sense, especially in the world of multi-core processors and virtualization. Forrester prefers licenses based on roles instead, something Microsoft is starting to do.

I think buyers should fight back. Instead of just blindly accepting the mess that is a typical license, demand your own, simpler terms. Tell vendor to make licenses less like a legal brief and more like a Hemingway novel – clear and clean.

How would you change software licenses? Be as irritated and opinionated as you want when you write to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 04/20/2011 at 1:18 PM


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