Microsoft buys $7.5m worth of IPv4 addresses

In an incredible act of desperation, Microsoft announced today its intention to spend $7.5 million on IPv4 addresses from Nortel. The telecom company has begun selling off its assets, including 666,624 IPv4 addresses to Microsoft, after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2009. Objections can still be filed against the deal, and the purchase is expected to be finalised on April 4th.

Microsoft was a part of 80 firms all interested in the address collection, according to a Delaware bankruptcy court, and papers revealed Microsoft to be the highest bidder in the group. According to the BBC, the deal will see Microsoft leave with 470,016 addresses, with the remaining 196,608 locked up until Nortel's former customers have moved on to other telecom firms.

Each address in the deal is worth a staggering $11.25, showing that Microsoft has begun to feel the heat after the remaining free IPv4 addresses ran out at the start of February. At the time, the repercussions were unclear, but today's deal may mark the beginning of how IPv4 addresses will be treated for the next few years: as an expensive commodity.

As the amount of IPv4 addresses on sale dries up, it's highly likely that deals such as these will become commonplace. The cost attached to upgrading to IPv6 has meant a slow adoption from businesses, and the unreliability of transition technologies such as 6to4 has further discouraged IPv6 adoption.

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In an incredible act of desperation

Really? You have some divine knowledge of their intent and motives?

Did you ever stop to think about the profit motive of most of the other companies trying to obtain them? Is it possible Microsoft doesn't want the addresses to become an expensive commodity?

Microsoft to date hasn't leveraged IP addresses or IP address sales, so I am not sure why you see this as some form of desperation, or what even makes them desperate.

thenetavenger said,

Really? You have some divine knowledge of their intent and motives?

Did you ever stop to think about the profit motive of most of the other companies trying to obtain them? Is it possible Microsoft doesn't want the addresses to become an expensive commodity?

Microsoft to date hasn't leveraged IP addresses or IP address sales, so I am not sure why you see this as some form of desperation, or what even makes them desperate.


Pretty sure he meant desperation on Nortel's part

"In an incredible act of desperation"

With an opening like that, this should really be listed as an Editorial. The rest of the article is interesting, though. The age-old story of supply and demand, basically.

COKid said,
"In an incredible act of desperation"

With an opening like that, this should really be listed as an Editorial. The rest of the article is interesting, though. The age-old story of supply and demand, basically.


Pretty sure he meant desperation on Nortel's part

Xenosion said,

Pretty sure he meant desperation on Nortel's part

The article is very poorly worded. It does sound like he's accusing Microsoft of being "desperate".

After reading through it again....maybe he is accusing MS. If that's the case, this article is garbage.

Xenosion said,

Pretty sure he meant desperation on Nortel's part

"In an incredible act of desperation, Microsoft announced today its intention to spend $7.5 million on IPv4 addresses from Nortel."

If that's what he meant, Nortel should follow "In an incredible act of desperation", not Microsoft.

After reading that article i'm failing to find the part which makes it an "In an incredible act of desperation"... They bought some IP addresses, oh noes.

I mean seriously...

RealFduch said,
In an incredible act of desperation Neowin writers are pushing more and more biased and sensationalist titles.

How is "Microsoft buys $7.5m worth of IPv4 addresses" sensationalist?

The Angry Bunny said,

How is "Microsoft buys $7.5m worth of IPv4 addresses" sensationalist?

The title isn't, but the first line of the article is...
"In an incredible act of desperation..."

"An incredible act of desperation" lol....now if MS decided to push IE9 out via WU all at once to gain browser dominance this might be described as "an incredible act of desperation" but buying up some IP addresses..I think not

I feel I should add a couple of points about IPv4 and IPv6 and Microsoft's participation.

IPv6 would not be where it is today without Microsoft and their work in shoving the industry and contributing to the specification.

Microsoft is behind a lot of the tunneling technologies for IPv6 adoption over IPv4, with emphasis on using secure mechansims, like with Teredo.

Microsoft has been a major force in maturing IPv6, by adding to the specification, especially with regard to security.

Microsoft also started very early on in helping mainstreaming and creating alternative methods of extending the IPv4 lifecycle with technologies to remove the need for public IP allocation.

This includes the inclusion of NAT technologies (ICS) in Windows server and home versions in the mids 90s in addtion to their work with UDP and UPnP technologies.

Microsoft even gave away their patented technologies involving NAT, UDP, and Tunneling with specific restrictions that requires these technologies to remain free forever.

With regard to IPv4 depletion, going back to Microsoft networking technologies, they tried to get the world to look at alternatives to IPv4, and this is why they shoved for things like WINS and other technologies that if adopted as the Internet standard would have avoid the IPv4 nightmare and we would of already had a 128bit GUID based specification nearly 20 years ago.

Microsoft was trying to prevent the looming IPv4 depletion long before the commercially accessible Internet even existed.

Which is what makes the 'editorial' comment at the begining of this argument scream ignorance with a personal anti-Microsoft bias.

thenetavenger said,

Which is what makes the 'editorial' comment at the begining of this argument scream ignorance with a personal anti-Microsoft bias.

There's been a HUGE increase of that kind of behaviour on Neowin over the past few months. Quite frankly it's disgusting and insulting.

I understand where the confusion comes from with the whole "act of desperation" but, damn, guys stop attacking your journalists! Seriously how disrespectful can you guys be?! If you gave a second thought and didn't jump to accusing them of lousy writing, then you may have seen that what he probably meant was that NORTEL was the desperate one.

Xenosion said,
stop attacking your journalists! Seriously how disrespectful can you guys be?! If you gave a second thought and didn't jump to accusing them of lousy writing, then you may have seen that what he probably meant was that NORTEL was the desperate one.

I can't have much respect for a journalist (ie, someone who writes for a living) who can't write for ****.

Journalists are complaining that standards are dropping. This doesn't help.

_dandy_ said,

I can't have much respect for a journalist (ie, someone who writes for a living) who can't write for ****.

Journalists are complaining that standards are dropping. This doesn't help.

Can't write for ****? What are you talking about? I thought the article was just fine.

warwagon said,

Can't write for ****? What are you talking about? I thought the article was just fine.

If, as Xenosion points out, the author meant that *Nortel* selling its IP addresses is an act of desperation, rather than Microsoft *buying* IP addresses being an act of desperate, than yes, it *would* be fine.

So I ask the author, which is it? Because one is the *exact opposite* of the other. You're okay with that? I suppose if names, numbers, facts, attributions, etc were unimportant, then yeah, I could see how the article is "just fine" as it is.

Er, just a thought: the desperation is about the issue of running out of IPv4 addresses - thus there is a bit of an issue about getting new ones. Thus, some desperation to get more.

That's not insulting to anyone.

In an act of desperation, commenters make their point with personal attacks, sweeping criticism and vast generalizations trying to discredit the writer's ability instead of forming a cohesive argument.

Tzvi Friedman said,
In an act of desperation, commenters make their point with personal attacks, sweeping criticism and vast generalizations trying to discredit the writer's ability instead of forming a cohesive argument.

I don't agree with that statement but the article otherwise was good. We just don't want this to turn into Betanews *shiver*

Since when can IP addresses be sold between LIRs?
As far as I know the RIR (Regional Internet Registry, ex: RIPE NCC) assigns addresses (which it obtains from the AINA) to a LIR which can use them (configure routing over the internet and make them reachable). The addresses itself stay under the ownership of the RIR. (And in theory, can be revoked.)
So unless Nortel has old ipv4 addresses directly assigned by the IANA (might be aquired through mergers etc), I hope MS didn't buy an empty bubble that is about to burst...

bsquirle said,
Since when can IP addresses be sold between LIRs?
As far as I know the RIR (Regional Internet Registry, ex: RIPE NCC) assigns addresses (which it obtains from the AINA) to a LIR which can use them (configure routing over the internet and make them reachable). The addresses itself stay under the ownership of the RIR. (And in theory, can be revoked.)
So unless Nortel has old ipv4 addresses directly assigned by the IANA (might be aquired through mergers etc), I hope MS didn't buy an empty bubble that is about to burst...

i'm fairly sure youre right... but then again, obviously we dont know the details of the deal. the RIR might be a middleman.

bsquirle said,
Since when can IP addresses be sold between LIRs?
As far as I know the RIR (Regional Internet Registry, ex: RIPE NCC) assigns addresses (which it obtains from the AINA) to a LIR which can use them (configure routing over the internet and make them reachable). The addresses itself stay under the ownership of the RIR. (And in theory, can be revoked.)
So unless Nortel has old ipv4 addresses directly assigned by the IANA (might be aquired through mergers etc), I hope MS didn't buy an empty bubble that is about to burst...

Large companies were given large amounts of IP spaces, in the beginning stages of the internet, before all these organizations existed. I guess they are free to do what they want with them.

It makes all the sense in the world to buy up as many IP blocks as possible. Eventually, the vast majority of the world will be using IPv6 by default, and the remaining companies that have reserved space in the IPv4 realm will be able to experiment with their "obsolete" ranges, create their own networks, etc.

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