Microsoft removes restriction on resale of software licenses

Microsoft removes restriction on resale of software licenses


The used software trade is breathing a sigh of relief: Microsoft has lifted the ban on license sales. […]

Microsoft again allows private license sale (c) Pixabay

In May 2020, the market for used Microsoft software was shaken as if by an earthquake. Microsoft had introduced a passage in its license terms that included that customers who switch to the cloud and take advantage of a discount can de facto no longer sell their existing licenses. Now the software company rowed back again.

“Industry insiders suspect that Microsoft originally took this drastic step to deprive the market for used software, which has been booming in recent years, of the trading basis,” says Stefan Tauchhammer, Managing Director and founder of Software ReUse. If there are fewer companies that can sell their no longer needed licenses, dealers of used software also have a much harder time getting these products. “The withdrawal of the software giant causes a real respite in the entire used software market.“

Since the beginning of June, however, Microsoft has removed the sales-limiting passage from the license terms without notice. Companies that now decide to purchase certain upgrade licenses to the cloud can still freely have their licenses, such as Office and Windows licenses, that are no longer required. “This is very gratifying in that many companies can now finance the transition to the cloud more easily,” says Tauchhammer. “Many companies today still do not know that selling their Microsoft licenses, which are no longer needed, can be a profitable source of income. Hopefully, this change will encourage some companies to recover their unused capital.“

Since a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice in 2012, the used software market in Europe has become a real alternative to quasi-monopolistic software products. “Second-hand software licenses are playing an increasingly important role for both medium-sized and large companies, especially in times of corona-related tight IT budgets,” says Tauchhammer.

“Software ReUse” specializes in the purchase and sale of used software licenses. Founded more than 10 years ago in Vienna, its customers include companies throughout the German-speaking region and numerous EU countries. Quality control of the purchased software and high service orientation distinguish the company and make it a top provider of tested used software.

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