cisco ios licence

Is there a technical reason for requiring a licence for an upgraded IOS,(ie:won't the router work?) or is this a moral issue involving a multi-billion dollar company which no longer supports 22 year old,intensly obsolete routers?

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Cisco was only founded 23 years ago. What router do you have that is 22 years old or is lying another "moral issue" that you don't have a problem with?

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Anything that has to do with licenses is a legal issue, possibly enforced in software. Any software enforcement could have been written to not-enforce instead, so there is never a software technical reason for a license.

License enforcement is thus about one of:

a) ensuring that people using more valuable features on the same hardware pay more because it cost Cisco more; or

b) adjusting price points so that people who are not interested in extended features do not end up paying the cost of developing those features; or

c) ensuring that the use of particular features are properly accounted because Cisco has to pay a third party for the right to use the feature; or

d) protection against clones and grey-market merchandise; or

e) reducing the need to support old releases, as it gets expensive to issue security fixes for indefinite periods; or

f) reducing the need to support old releases, as it gets expensive to retain expertise in old equipment not often used; or

g) copyright and trademark and reputation protection; in particular, if trademarks are not enforced then they can be lost; or

h) maintaining cash flow (and thus company stability) by discouraging people from buying used old obsolete equipment (that was likely fully depreciated and written off by the owners).

Of these, the only one that gives -me- any pause is (h), their treatment of the used equipment market. Even then I acknowledge that they have a legitimate interest in protecting their reputation by ensuring that used equipment that is sold as "Cisco" equipment is in good working order. In other businesses, to some extent the protection of the market is developed by the reputation that resellers/ liquidators build up; but in these days of eBay, the market is too big for most of the transactions to go through long-established reputable companies.

I would -prefer- that Cisco offered more leeway for students and home networkers and small businesses (who have -somehow- managed to get competant techncial advice) to buy used equipment at reasonable (depreciated) prices, but I do not consider them to be "immoral" for their policies. Unwise, perhaps (as it drives people into the consumer market), but not immoral.

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