Microsoft SLPS software licensing service has been terminated!

This is another illustration that the world’s leading suppliers of

software licensing and DRM are in flux.

First it was problems at SafeNet with their ex CFO being embroiled in an illegal options scandal; then Macrovision sold off its licensing unit to private equity for a song, then SafeNet thought that Aladdin was doing a poor job for shareholders and launched a hostile takeover bid and now Microsoft appears to be throwing in the towel.

It appears that the Microsoft SLPS service has been terminated, their site is no longer taking orders and its staff are not responding to enquiries about the service. What does this mean for all the users who were promised a free copy with MSDN? What about the future of those now using it to license their products? Having spent all the time and cost to implement a Microsoft solution, they will now have to find another long-term partner. What now?

ZDNet’s Mary-Jo Foley contacted Microsoft to see what gives. She received the following statement from Thomas Lindeman, Director of Marketing for SLP Services:

“SLP Services as a business does not structurally fit within its business unit where it currently resides.  We are actively looking for a home for SLP Services and will post that information once it becomes available. In any scenario, we will continue to support SLP Services for the duration of customer contracts. We will not be taking on any new customers at this time.”

Mary-Jo Foley, All About Microsoft : Microsoft quietly halts sales of third-party activation offering

This is a very disconcerting time for software vendors. With a major recession on the way, they need all the help they can get to fight piracy and offer flexible revenue-generation options for their customers to stand a chance of survival – the last thing the industry needs is instability and problems.

To be clear, if the licensing vendor has a problem, so does the software ISV – if a vendor’s software is deployed and then they lose their licensing system, what do they do? All the IP is protected by their licensing vendor; it’s a major issue in every area of the ISV business from sales, to marketing, to operations and finance. The failure of the licensing vendor could be catastrophic for the ISV using that technology.

While all this is going on, Nalpeiron, a major independent player in this market, is winning more and more customers to its modern and innovative hosted licensing platform. Why? It’s lower cost, faster to implement, easier to operate and involves a lot less risk than an expensive internal build or one of the above vendors who offer older charging models and a difficult technology roadmap.

Nalpeiron has the benefit of a totally modern, web services driven solution that’s easy in and easy out – vendors can try it for free and if it does what they need, they pay as they go for their licensing. In addition, the technology offers a great deal more functionality than the competition in the form of “active marketing” options to drive revenues.

Outsourcing to a hosted supplier has many benefits, and developers should choose a licensing partner with care, especially given the uncertainty in today’s market. With Nalpeiron, developers can even start with a hosted solution and then take the server in-house, should they wish to, avoiding any external supplier risks.

With the Nalpeiron Licensing Service, software developers get the best of all worlds, while avoiding the risks of the others. Developers interested in Nalpeiron’s licensing service can check out a free trial at www.nalpeiron.com/freetrial/ to see for themselves what Nalpeiron can do for them.

Jon Gillespie-Brown, CEO, Nalpeiron

Latest from TechCrunch: Microsoft Quietly Closes Software Licensing and Protection Service

UPDATE – Final word from Microsoft on TechCrunch:

As of September 23, Microsoft has stopped selling SLP Services. Many ISVs still use home grown software protection solutions, and the return on investment in this area is less than we hoped for. We will continue to create and improve our own internal licensing and protection technologies, but we will no longer be selling any such solutions externally.

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