Quote from http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2009/feb09/02-10PatentMilestone.mspxIBM's worldwide patent portfolio exceeds 40,000
Microsoft has been awarded its 10,000th U.S. patent
Exactly... I hate companies that do this and when I can will completely avoid using them. Reminds me of the rumors of Win7 being more expensive...It seems like so many corporations are trying out "tiered" methods now. It's now all about delivering less, and then charging more for "normal."--Ed.
This has been in various software for years. Speaking as a programmer who worked on such a scheme about ten years ago, there are many professional software packages out there that include the full code to run all the features included in the package, however, they are not enabled unless the appropriate digital key is present somewhere on the machine. IMHO, that makes this patent open for challenges and, perhaps, invalidation.In exchange for payment, a software or hardware vendor will acquire a digital signature(s) for the appropriate program files from the supplier of the program files … so that the next time he or she attempts to execute the application or driver the appropriate signatures will be in the digest catalog and the program files will be loaded.