New Software Pricing Model: Rent or Buy

If you’re still using Office 2000 on that Windows XP machine, you know you’re falling behind the pack in terms of compatibility, functionality and security. The same goes if you’re still running Photoshop 7. Sure, they still work and do most of what you need them to do. Companies like Microsoft and Adobe realize they have lost a lot of revenue from users that are content with owning obsolete software.

But what if you rent the software?

Photoshop alone is several hundred dollars to buy. If you wanted the complete CS package containing Flash, Dreamweaver, Acrobat, In Design and other tools, it will wind up costing close to a thousand dollars. But how does $19 a month sound?

Microsoft 2013 can be installed on one PC–complete with Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote and Outlook for around $250 to own. But how does less than $10 a month for up to 5 computers sound for Office 365?


Should You Rent Or Own Software

In this digital age, there’s something to be said about having a physical disk in your hand. You can hold it. You can keep it in the jewel case or remove it and add it to the software binder with all of the other software you’ve purchased. No one can take that from you. But what about these digital bits? Where do they live and who owns them? You don’t. But you want to know a little secret? You also don’t own the software on the disk you physically have either. It’s licensed to you.

So the question of whether you should rent or buy really comes down to your needs.

If you have only one PC, buying Office 2013 for one PC certainly makes more sense. In the long run it will save you money. Same goes for Adobe CS. If you have a new PC that you plan on keeping for several years, buying the software will ultimately save you a little money.

But if you have multiple PCs in your home or if your company buys every new version of Adobe that comes out, renting the software ensures you always have the latest versions and updates. There may also be other perks, such as addition cloud storage space.

The Future OF Digital Software

Going forward, expect to see more and more of this type of model from major software brands. It helps cut back on piracy, improves their revenue stream by making the price point more palatable for consumers, and helps them reel in old customers that have been using previous versions for years. The cloud is where it’s at, and if these companies can convince users to subscribe to this new model, we might just see physical software media die in the coming years. How do you feel about renting software like Office 365 and Adobe CS? Is it a good idea or corporate trickery?

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