My View on Subscription Software

I was listening to the latest Windows Weekly podcast over the weekend, and they started talking about how expensive software is, and some possible solutions to the problem.  While I can see the problems subscription software can have, I hate the idea of paying hundreds of dollars for Windows of Microsoft Office.

Software that lasts for 30-90 days trials are no good. The problem is the average computer user realizes it’s a trial version at first, but by the time 90 days hits, they forget and the security software stops working, leaving their computers vulnerable to threats. I think trying software out before you buy it is a fantastic idea, and allows people to get a feel for it and see if they want to continue using it, but 90 days is far too long. Either way, companies like Symantec and McAfee need to make it much more obvious when the software stops working. To their credit, I do like their annual subscription fee after the first year.

No one likes paying hundreds of dollars for Microsoft Office or Windows. Leo Laporte (@leolaporte) and Paul Thurrott (@thurrott) suggested charge a yearly subscription fee instead, say $49. I’m not sure how that would work on multiple licenses, but it’s certainly a much more economical pricing point. Apple isn’t using subscription pricing for Snow Leopard, which comes out later this year, but they’re only charging $29 to upgrade from the Leopard operating system.

Just a thought. Hopefully more people and companies start thinking this way.

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