Microsoft previews online software purchasing with the Digital Locker

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by NICK ADSL UK, Sep 27, 2005.

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    NICK ADSL UK Administrator

    May 13, 2003
    Microsoft previews online software purchasing with the Digital Locker

    9/26/2005 3:55:32 PM, by Jeremy Reimer

    Microsoft has a new preview web site entitled "Windows Marketplace Labs" to showcase new methods of buying and selling Windows software. The first such effort is called Digital Locker. Digital Locker is a method of purchasing and downloading third party Windows software online, and then using that purchased software on any computer you wish. This is handled through Microsoft's Passport authentication service, the same system that is used to identify your Hotmail account, MSN Messenger settings, and other Microsoft services such as MSDN.

    The system works by having the user log on to a web page, enter their credit card information and then click on software titles they would like to purchase. Once purchased, the titles are available to download in perpetuity, so if a user wants to use that program on a different computer (such as a laptop) they only have to go back to the web site, enter their account details, and they can download and install the program again.

    Digital Locker is not a new idea. Companies such as Valve achieved massive notoriety with the launch of their Steam digital download service, and many smaller companies have been offering digital payment and downloads for years. Some of these services offer 30-day evaluations of products, with an extra $10 charge for keeping the download past that limit. Others offer limited demonstration versions of their software, and purchasing an "unlocking key" from the website turns the software into the full-featured version.

    The new Digital Locker service is a collaboration with two existing e-software companies, Digital River and eSellerate. Microsoft is hoping that adding their brand name will increase the profile and popularity of electronic software distribution. Microsoft has previously inked deals with other companies that provide on-line game content delivery.
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