Microsoft Distribution

Essay by whizper7University, Bachelor'sA+, August 2006

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Microsoft has to consider two issues when discussing distribution. It looks at the method of distribution, as well as the licensing issues. The license is the "right" the customer has purchased to use the software. Unlike regular tangible merchandise were the company is not really concerned with the use of the product once it is purchased. Microsoft does have to take into account the usage. It is pretty east to create a marketing plan to place the product in consumers' hands. The problem arises when you try to prevent the piracy or unlawful duplication or uses of those products. This is controlled by the licensing system. To accomplish this, more and more, Microsoft is faced with the decision to use either hardware-based security keys or electronic licensing to protect their software. But a new trend is evolving that demands an all-inclusive licensing process that links many different options into one system, actually stimulating sales rather than limiting them.

Microsoft developers don't just need to choose which method of distribution and protection they're going to use, but rather, they need to fit those tools into the sales process itself and effectively link security, distribution and marketing.

Microsoft marketing is relying on the ever-evolving mixture of sales channels that are now commanding the ability to see the big picture. They are combining traditional software sales with online stores, direct mail initiatives and live events. All of these combine into one processs:"Software Digital Rights Management" (Software DRM). Not only are more companies protecting software, but also they're doing so because it's now becoming an integral element of business expansion. Use of software protection and licensing are merging, and actually becoming a valuable sales/expansion tool. It's a perfect example of killing two birds with one stone. Successfully, Microsoft is starting to realize the...