Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pay-to-Use Software

With pay-to-use software, you visit your local computer store or a big name chain store, find a box containing the software you want to install on your computer, and your bank account balance is then lowered anywhere from $20.00 to $600.00. Another version of pay-to-use software is found when you visit a company’s web site, provide your credit card information, and then download the software immediately using your broadband connection. (Sometimes you have to wait for the company to actually send you the software on a disc—anxiously checking your mailbox daily for its arrival.) With the downloadable software, you get no CD/DVD disc, no printed manual, and no pretty box with color graphics on the front. Would you believe, however, that you’re probably charged the same amount of money as if you’d purchased the boxed version from a brick-and-mortar store? It’s happened to me! You’ll typically get no explanation for why you’re not getting a discount for saving them packing and shipping costs.

Finally, there’s another version of pay-to-use that’s even more devious: subscription software. You pay a one-time product initiation fee (typically large) to get the software and then you pay a weekly/monthly/yearly subscription fee (sometimes also referred to as a maintenance fee) to keep using the software.

Believe it or not, the current rumors buzzing around the technology world are that subscription software is the future of software: you won’t buy software anymore; you’ll “rent” it. Miss a payment and that software might very well uninstall itself from your computer, requiring a completely new purchase (with that large product initiation fee) before starting up with the subscription fees again.

Shocked? Angry? Confused? Yes to all three? Well, let me put your mind at ease and let you know that there are individuals, teams, and companies out there determined to fight subscription fees every step of the way. And they’re doing this by creating free applications that are competing with the big name applications (BNAs).

Source of Information : Apress Ubuntu On A Dime The Path To Low Cost Computing

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