December 16, 2003

Software on Demand

Microsoft will offer some applications in the SoftwareToGo kiosks, developed by Protocall Technologies Inc. And CompUSA will roll out the kiosks to all its stores starting next year.

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Software Kiosks Expand
Deals signed with Microsoft, CompUSA

By Richard J. Dalton Jr
STAFF WRITER

December 16, 2003

A Commack company whose kiosks offer software on demand has reached agreements with two big-name companies in the technology industry: Microsoft and CompUSA.

Microsoft will offer some applications in the SoftwareToGo kiosks, developed by Protocall Technologies Inc. And CompUSA will roll out the kiosks to all its stores starting next year.

"The key advantage is that the product will never be out of stock because it's held in an electronic inventory and produced on demand," said Bruce Newman, president and chief executive of Protocall.

Software-on-demand could become an important part of Microsoft's product distribution, Steve Schiro, vice president of retail sales and marketing for the software giant, said in a statement.

CompUSA has already installed Protocall Technologies' SoftwareToGo in 25 stores and will install it in all 228 stores from January through April, said Dewey Thoes, senior buyer for Dallas-based CompUSA.

While many people can download software on-line and burn it onto CDs, kiosks are still useful because some applications can be as large 600 megabytes and some publishers worry that downloading directly to the computer user would make it easier to illegally copy the software.

The kiosks prevent piracy by including holograms in the innermost ring and by adding copy-protection technology, Newman said.

About 230 publishers offer software via SoftwareToGo, including Microsoft and Symantec, Newman said.

Protocall licenses the application from the software company and marks it up for sale at CompUSA. Newman wouldn't disclose further details on financial terms.

Posted by Craig at December 16, 2003 10:32 PM