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ZDNet: Their gain, your pain - "Open licensing" schemes are nothing of the sort

Dec 22, 2000, 19:58 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Evan Leibovitch)

"The Unix wars of the last decade pretty well blew the word "open" into uselessness, but I'm still intrigued by the way it has been turned upside down yet again in one sad little corner of the computing world."

"I'm referring to the Microsoft Open License Program. Of course, Microsoft isn't alone in the misappropriation: Adobe calls it Open Options; Computer Associates and others also have "Open Licensing" programs."

"So what is an "open license"? The term apparently evolved from what most folks refer to as volume purchasing: buying software licenses in bulk without the extra boxes and CD-ROMs. With an open license, instead of all that packaging, all you need to keep track of are license numbers or unlocking keycodes - and those can even be delivered by e-mail."

"Is it environmentally friendly? Sure. Is it cost-effective? Not as much as it should be."

"Is it open? Heck, no."

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