A loophole in a Microsoft contract has allowed a UK company to start reselling software licences bought from defunct companies.
Discount Licensing, based in Burton on Trent, has started up businesses trading in Microsoft licences after spotting a loophole in the current software contract.
This oversight allows disused or unwanted software licence agreements to be transferred from a insolvent company back into private sector businesses.
The company has been buying up licences from insolvency practitioners for the past year and is now trading them on the open market.
The firm promises Windows Server Exchange Server and Office 2003 at a discount of at least 20 per cent. Windows Server 2000 goes for 30-40 per cent below common reseller prices and older versions of the operating system receive a discount of as much as 50 per cent.
"You cannot do something like this without Microsoft's OK," said Jonathan Horley, director at Discount Licensing.
"We've spent a lot of time clearing this and are ready to go. We've had an awful lot of enquiries already."
The company is mainly dealing in applications licences, since the terms and conditions were revised with the release of Windows XP, eliminating the loophole.
However, for older software the cost of a licence is low enough to save up to half the traditional cost of the software.
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