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Amazon Selling Soho Software Licenses

Amazon.com Inc. is breaking into software licensing. The move is designed to give small businesses a bit of the savings big companies get when buying hundreds or thousands of licenses.

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Amazon.com Inc. is breaking into software licensing, selling as few as five seats for financial, security, and word-processing software to small offices and home-based businesses. The move is designed to give small businesses a bit of the savings big companies get when buying hundreds or thousands of licenses, says Brian Birtwistle, general manager of Amazon's software store.

Licenses from Computer Associates, McAfee, Microsoft, and Symantec are available at Amazon's software center. Amazon will make the sale, while partner License Online Inc. carries out fulfillment.

"Buying [one] software license for Microsoft Office XP for 20 people amounts to big savings," Birtwistle says, because, "you don't have to buy 20 individual boxes and it's easier to maintain and upgrade one license." Says Geri Spieler, a Gartner analyst, small businesses can form buying communities to get volume discounts or, now, they can just go to Amazon for discounted apps.

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