UK firm crosses pond to sell preowned Microsoft licenses

Disclic has closed its first deal selling licenses it procured from companies going out of business in the U.K. to a company in the U.S.

A U.K. company that has made a business out of selling preowned licenses for Microsoft Corp. products has brought its products to the U.S. for the first time.

Disclic recently closed its first deal selling licenses it procured from companies going out of business in the U.K. to a company in the U.S., said Noel Unwin, a director of Discount-licensing.com, the Web site and trading arm of the company that sells the licenses.

Discount-licensing.com sold licenses for Microsoft Office it obtained from two companies that divested their property in the U.K. -- Food Brokers and Quidnunc -- to WaferTech LLC, a U.S. semiconductor manufacturer, he said.

Discount-licensing.com also recently made its first deal selling licenses it procured from a U.S. company to companies in the U.K., Unwin added. Discount-Licensing.com sold preowned licenses from an insolvent U.S.company, Cornell Trading Inc., to U.K. businesses in September and October.

The U.K. businesses that purchased former Cornell Trading licenses were Benefit 2 Business, which purchase licenses for Exchange 2003; Abnormal Loads, which purchased licenses for Terminal Server 2003 CALs; 3D Computer Systems, which purchased licenses for Exchange, Windows and Terminal Server 2003 CALs; and Orange IS, which purchased Office 2003 Professional licenses.

Unwin said his company did not sell preowned licenses in the U.S. until recently because it believed there would be license restrictions in reselling licenses from one region to another. Discount-licensing.com worked with Microsoft to ensure this was not the case before selling its licenses, he said.

Microsoft could not be reached for comment through its public relations firm on Wednesday. But the company has acknowledged in the past it is legal to transfer product licenses for software owned by companies that are divesting.

Disclic has built its Discount-licensing.com business since November 2005, gathering up Microsoft product licenses from insolvent companies and distributing them through its Web site. The company recently updated its site with comprehensive product search and ordering features, so customers can do their entire transactions online.

Customers can access Discount-licensing.com's product search feature here

Unwin said prices for U.S. customers are generally 15 percent less expensive than prices for U.K. customers. The company sells preowned licenses for about 35 percent to 40 percent cheaper than the original cost of the license.

Because of these discounts, software resellers have been purchasing software from Discount-licensing.com to sell to their customers so they can make higher margins, Unwin added.

Discount-licensing.com has added several hundred new customers so far in 2006, in addition to repeat customers. The most popular licenses the company sells are for Office XP, Unwin said. Other product licenses that do well include the SQL Server database and Exchange 2003 messaging server.