Used Microsoft Software

A British firm claims software giant Microsoft is trying to crush second-hand used Microsoft software market.

ValueLicensing is suing Microsoft for £270m in damages in the English High Court, alleging that the US company is trying to crush a multibillion-dollar market in second-hand versions of its software.

ValueLicensing buys pre-owned Microsoft software licences from companies that upgrade their IT or become insolvent, and then resells them across the UK and Europe.

It claims on its website that its customers can save up to 70 per cent by buying used software, and points to one NHS Trust that allegedly saved £1m by using Microsoft Office 2016, rather than the latest version of the office tools suite.

Jonathan Horley, ValueLicensing’s founder, accused Microsoft of harming competition in the used software market by persuading companies to relinquish their perpetual licences, often in exchange for discounts on Microsoft’s cloud-based software, such as Office 365.

“Microsoft has an incentive to move to its new cloud-based model and remove the old licences from the market so customers have no choice but to move to its subscription model,” said Mr Horley.

Microsoft said it was “unable to comment on ongoing legal cases”. In February, Microsoft made sweeping changes to its perpetual versions of Office, including cutting the length of time it offers support on the products to five years, unlike the decade of support that Office 2016 received.

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