Amazon Opens Software-Licensing Center

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Amazon.com Inc. yesterday introduced a software-licensing center in its software section, targeting small- to medium-size and home businesses.


Customers can buy licenses for each individual user rather than buying several copies of software packages.


Retailing at amazon.com/licensing, the license gives the customer the legal right to use the purchased software package.


License Online Inc. will supply the volume software licensing technology for Amazon's software licensing center. Consumers exit the Amazon site for licenseonline.com once they start the process of placing an order for a software license.


Software licenses on sale cover products from Microsoft Corp., McAfee, Computer Associates and Symantec.


Microsoft has used this opportunity to promote its new Office XP software. The first 500 customers that buy Office XP licenses will receive a free Visioneer OneTouch 5300 USB scanner from Microsoft.


According to Amazon, small- to medium-size businesses this year will account for $2 billion in open-license software purchases. This is projected to grow 48 percent from last year.


The sale of licensed software is yet another Amazon initiative to hasten its dash to profitability -- a key expectation now from an impatient Wall Street.


Earlier this month, Amazon said it would start selling personal computers in the second half of the year. It will start a bookstore category targeting schools and institutions in an attempt to decrease its reliance on sales to consumers.


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