Microsoft third-party licensing and activation server set to RTM

Microsoft third-party licensing and activation server set to RTM

Summary: In July, Microsoft announced its intentions to deliver a number of licensing technologies to ISVs interesting in deploying Microsoft-like activation and licensing in their products. One of those components, the Software Licensing and Protection Server (SLP), is likely to be released to manufacturing (RTM) on August 31.

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In July, Microsoft announced its intentions to deliver a number of licensing technologies to third-party vendors interesting in deploying Microsoft-like activation and licensing in their products

One of those components, the Software Licensing and Protection Server (SLP), is likely to be released to manufacturing (RTM) on August 31, according to a Microsoft blog entry by a member of the SLP team.

The SLP server will allow third-party software vendors to host their own servers and create software licenses — machine-based, time-based (for software subscriptions and trials), user-based and/or feature-based — for their products. The server will generate a key, which users will use to activate their software, via a digital license. ISVs will be able to turn on different features and different SKUs for different markets without having to go back and tweak the code for each version. Microsoft plans for the SLP Server will come in two versions: Standard and Enterprise.

Although SLP won't provide the kind of anti-piracy checks that Microsoft's own Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) system does, it does provide third parties with product-activation technology. (And yes, the irony of Microsoft RTMing an activation product a week after its own activation system went down is not lost on me.)

Microsoft has said to expect its SLP server and accompanying services to launch on October 1.

Topics: Microsoft, Servers, Software

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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16 comments
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  • A bit more irony for you, MJ...

    Looks like the open source folks beat Microsoft by a long shot, and take a look at the latest news at the bottom:

    <a href="http://www.linuxgenuineadvantage.org">Linux Genuine Advantage"</a>

    :D
    Tony Agudo
  • Oh, bloody wonderful...

    Now everyone can harass their customers with WGA.

    Folks, all we can do is refuse to buy products with this crap. If we don't speak with our wallets, the leash will just continue to get shorter and shorter and shorter.

    Before long, we'll all be saying "SIR! Request permission to use my paid-for software, SIR!"

    Response: "Server down. Permission denied!"
    BitTwiddler
    • It's really simple

      Most of these third parties don't have it as good as MS. If they fail to give you the level of service you expect you can dump them for someone else, and they know that. So they know that they can't jerk you around the way MS does. Which means if they do go with this authentication they will make damn well sure it works, and they will have a backup policy in place in case something goes wrong. And if they fail, well then you can say buh-bye to them.
      Michael Kelly
  • Great, now the most annoying thin around is available to others

    These companies are so anti-consumer it is ridiculous. I can't take it anymore. Everyone should donate to open source, we have no where else to turn. We have to build a new cyber-culture from the ground up.
    Protector
    • Are they "anti-consumer"?

      My guess is that the term "consumer" applies to those who purchase their items as opposed to stealing it. If no one stole, would steps like this be needed?
      GuidingLight
    • Yes, thieves will dislike it.

      But wait, almost all commercial software already has some sort of protection against thieves. Gee, imagine that. People that work hard to build and offer software wanting to be paid for their effort. What ever is the world coming to???
      No_Ax_to_Grind
      • Come on dude...

        I do not condone piracy at all. But you know as well as I do that NONE of the antipiracy schemes to date have had an effect on software piracy.

        [b]IF[/b] I wanted, I could have almost any commercial software you care to name by the end of today, without paying for it. None of the antipiracy efforts would affect me the least.... uh.. bit. And I am sure I'm not the only one here who knows how true that is.

        So even if you refuse to admit it, the system's broken, and all it does is put the burden on the honest customers who pay for the software.

        And of course I am [b]not[/b] suggesting that DRM should be abolished along with copyrights, patents, etc, etc, etc, so please do not insult me by accusing me of being a pirate simply because I disagree with you on a few points.
        Hallowed are the Ori
        • I agree, though with one exception

          [i]But you know as well as I do that NONE of the antipiracy schemes to date have had an effect on software piracy[i]

          That may be true with the die hard hackers, foreign countries, or someone absolutely determined to get around activation, but I think it does have an effect on piracy on the consumer level. In years past I have seen in at least 1 place where 1 copy of MS Office was installed on 15 machines. Many times I was asked to help someone out with their computer only to see then pull out a burned copy of Windows 98 from their CD box.

          Small scale to be sure, but I can't be the only person to have seen this, and all those "small scales" add up after time.
          John Zern
      • Not at all, thieves will LOVE it!

        Thieves will have no problem breaking this just as they do DRM and WGA now. The only thing this will do is make life hell for the average user. Or hasn't anyone learned from using Dongles how stupid this whole idea is?

        The best way to secure your product is to charge a fair price and provide quality software. Businesses that put the user first succeed...those that abuse users fall by the wayside, no matter how mighty they are at the time, once their monopolies are broken.
        johnf76@...
  • Will make Microsoft look better

    Then all your Microsoft activation problems will seem minor by comparison.

    Imagine rebuilding a box and reactivating a dozen different pieces of software. ROFL! Yeah, that's convenient for the consumer.

    Yuk, yuk, yuk. Sysads are going to love this.
    Chad_z
  • FlexLM License servers are history!

    I guess now that MicroSoft has entered the market FlexLM software
    license servers will become obsolete. An other one bites the
    dust.
    kd5auq
  • This could actually kill some companies ...

    "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

    Princess Leia, Star Wars

    Now that I've committed my required copyright infringement for the day, let's get to the point:

    Some companies with monopolies similar to Microsoft might be able to use MS-style product activation successfully (Adobe, Oracle). Others will find that using the system does not enhance their revenue streams, as users will switch to alternative products that do not involve the hassle of using this system. Many companies will experience crippling rises in customer support costs and customer sat issues, to the point of putting them out of business if they implement this kind of system.

    I will be waiting to see what new business opportunities arise from this latest flash of genius from Microsoft.

    "Where there is pain and confusion, there is profit to be made."
    terry flores
  • For everyones good!

    MS licencising is soooo affordable, we charge as little as possible!




    http://fakesteveballmer.blogspot.com
    FSB
  • Should be required to supply

    A goodly amount of vaseline with it to
    prevent friction with customers.
    Ole Man
  • Vista - Tho Operating System No One Wants

    Why buy a miserable failure? WGA hasn't worked for Microsoft, so why would it work for you?
    chessmen
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