Microsoft gets a little controlling

by Simon St. Laurent

Related link:

Microsoft has apparently filed objections to the sale of KMart's because of licensing issues, at the same time that CNET wonders if Office 11 will continue support for older versions of Windows.

According to a Reuters story:

""The licenses that debtors (Kmart) have of Microsoft's products are licenses of copyrighted materials and, therefore, may not be assumed or assigned with Microsoft's consent," Microsoft said in its objection, filed last week."

It must really sting for a company in bankruptcy to be told that products it paid for are not transferable assets. While I never expect Microsoft to act outside of what it perceives as its own best interest, this seems to create an entirely new category of business reasons to worry about software licensing details.

At the same time, the initial beta test for Microsoft Office 11 only runs on Windows 2000 and XP. notes that:

"Itís still too early to discuss system requirements in Office 11," the company said in a statement. "At this point, Microsoft has done testing on both Windows 2000 and Windows XP, which are both supported in beta 1 (of Office). However, this doesnít reflect any decisions regarding system requirements in the final product."

The release of a beta version that only supports recent environments shouldn't normally generate massive concern; after all, the product isn't cooked yet. However, given the fiscal importance of where that product runs to a lot of different people, maybe it's worth paying attention if not getting paranoid - yet.

Caveat emptor? (Let the buyer beware?)


2002-10-29 17:18:33
A little?
I'd say more than a little..

I wonder if the Bankruptcy judge will let this fly?

Does anyone know if the 'non-transferable' clause of any software license has ever held up in court?

Personally, i think not being able to resell something that is mine is violating my rights as a consumer.

I'm very glad that Apple has decided to treat me like an American and not some crimial-to-be. At least one tech company understands it's customers. :)