Sydney developer AIE Technologies wants to cut the cost of packaged software for consumers with a web-based service that lets people rent popular Microsoft applications.
Garry Ohlson, chief executive at the developer, said the service had taken three years to develop as a response to Microsoft’s Service Provider Licensing Agreements of 2002.
The service was based on AIE’s CALPIM software asset management engine. Users could rent Microsoft programs such as Word, PowerPoint or Excel, Ohlson said.
It was built on version two of Microsoft’s .Net platform. AIE had a production licence, he added.
"It works similar to the way that Citrix works – like a thin-client – everything runs on a host machine," he said.
The service was hosted by a Sydney data centre.
Many users found software licensing too expensive, so often borrowed or downloaded software illegally instead of buying it, Ohlson claimed.
"We can give them the option of renting it online. This is known as ‘software as a service’, a utility like electricity, water or gas. You should only have to pay for software when you use it," he said.
The developer was talking to Adobe about offering that vendor's software as well, he said.
Ohlson was adamant the service wouldn’t eat into the license revenues of software companies. "Most people [would] use [the service] on a temporary basis. This model has been shown to have little impact on licence purchases, as it appears that many people welcome the opportunity to ‘pay as you go’ when using software," he claimed.
Ohlson said the service was cheap and the company would only need 20 customers to pay its way.
The site – at www.software4rent.com.au – had gone live and users could use credit cards to rent software for around $2 a day, he said.