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Redmond Wants to Protect Your Code

Microsoft to sell software protection suite, but not the one it uses.

Microsoft is jumping into the crowded-but fragmented-software protection and licensing tools market with a suite of products and hosted services due out in October.

Microsoft's forthcoming Software Licensing and Protection Services (SLP Services) is largely based on the managed code "transformation" technology Redmond acquired in January with its purchase of Secured Dimensions.

Thomas Lindeman, a Microsoft group product manager, said in announcing SLP Services that the company had no plans to market its internal anti-piracy Software Protection Platform. That means the world's largest software maker will be in the somewhat awkward position of protecting its own IP with one technology and hawking another one entirely for dev shops and ISVs to protect theirs.

While Microsoft may well want to keep its in-house technology under wraps for security reasons, IDC analyst Amy Konary says the strategy also makes sense in that Microsoft's methods likely have evolved into a highly customized system not necessarily relevant to smaller software shops.

"There's somewhat of a captive audience in that there are a lot of developers out there developing to Microsoft's platform, so I think Microsoft will make an impact with this because of who they are," Konary says.
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