back to article CIA tells big biz to serve up bite-size software

The CIA has told big software firms that it plans to ditch long-term licenses in favour of a slurp-as-you-go approach to new technology. The US spy service said it didn't want to splash out on enterprise licensing agreements and then getting stuck with old technology, but wanted to buy bits and pieces of software on a metered …


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  1. asdf

    $$$ talks

    Perhaps their budget is being reduced some but considering the US Black Ops budget alone is bigger than all but few countries entire military budgets they do have some purchasing power. By the way those $10,000 toilet seats you hear about? The black ops budget has to be hidden somewhere so that toilet seat is very well padded.

  2. sabba
    Paris Hilton

    Pun alert!

    If you 'Ira hunt', this is what you get!!

    Why the heck is he known as Gus?

    1. frank ly

      Re: Pun alert!

      'Ira' as his name is interesting...

      Hebrew: means 'watchful' (CIA, yes)

      Greek : means 'warrior' (could be an info warrior, budget warrior)

      Sanskrit: means 'the Wind God' (maybe it's all a load of air)

      1. Brad Ackerman
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Re: Pun alert!

        Don't forget "cyber warrior" — everything's cyb0r these days.

        If you have to ask why the black helicopters, you're visiting the wrong website.

      2. Vic

        Re: Re: Pun alert!

        > Hebrew: means 'watchful' (CIA, yes)

        In Latin, it means "anger".


  3. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    C;oudn't help thinking

    Ethan's less athletic little brother?

  4. MacGyver

    Sounds like someone will be retiring soon...

    ..and starting at their new CEO job at "Pay-as-you-go industries"

    Strange, it must be impossible to sign only yearly contracts. I sure hate when my "insert software here" decides mid-year to change completely, making my current version completely useless and lame by comparison. Let me see, Office 2000, Office 2003, Office 2007, Office 2010, if only they wouldn't be so quick to update to the next big thing, if only they waited 4 years all the time. /sarcasm

    Pay as you go is good for one thing, continuous income to the software company. "Everyone needs to stop using Excel this month, our app bill is crazy." I could bankrupt an entire office by spamming their email with Word and Excel docs that would require a nickle each to Microsoft to open. Hell software companies could boost their end of the quarter sales withsome nice well placed attachments.

    As a tax-payer, screw you. A bird in the hand will always be better than a bird in a bush that if your network is up and their server is working correctly and you pay someone a dollar they will let you look at it for a minute. I think that is how the adage goes.

  5. JetSetJim

    Budget shifting

    However much they don't report to the public, I'm sure it will also help look like it's reducing the CAPEX budget, even though it's an increase in OPEX. Don't get me started on Total Cost of Ownership stuff, either...

    Icon for alternative software licensing model they could use :)

  6. James 100


    "Strange, it must be impossible to sign only yearly contracts."

    I don't think yearly contracts are what he's after - rather, an example of what he wants to escape. He cites Amazon, who provide bandwidth and storage based on exactly what you use: if I shave 10% off the size of my web content, I pay Amazon 10% less for it. If I need a dozen big Windows servers for a day to test something, I get charged for 288 machine-hours, not for buying a dozen Windows licenses. If I tune it a bit to finish an hour sooner, that's a direct financial saving.

    "I could bankrupt an entire office by spamming their email with Word and Excel docs that would require a nickle each to Microsoft to open."

    Or they could save that fortune (and dodge the virus risk too, with malicious attachments) by opening all the attachments in Google Apps or OpenOffice instead of paying anything at all to Microsoft. Instead of $100/yr for an Office license they use 0.01% of the time, pay ten cents an hour for the hundred hours they actually need Excel - and put the other $90 to something more useful.

    With annual contracts, you pay for it whether you use it or not. This way, you only pay IF you actually use it - a huge improvement, as long as the PAYG rates aren't stupidly high.

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