Why Software Subscriptions Make Perfect Sense

Photo Source: Flickr (credit: mwichary)

Do you remember the days of buying software for your computer on CD and DVD format? I bet some of you are even old enough to remember when software came on 3.5-inch floppy disks!

I’m probably showing my age here, but I remember when the MS-DOS and Windows 3.1 operating systems came on many 3.5-inch floppy disks, and the endless amount of time spent waiting for up to 1.44Mb of data to be transferred from the disk to the computer’s hard drive.

Nowadays, you can buy USB flash drives that are smaller than an AA battery and hold more than 10,000 times the space of an old floppy disk!

Given that we live in such a switched-on technological world, where broadband speeds are increasing all the time, we spend a large amount of our time using our PCs to surf the World Wide Web.

Software manufacturers of all people know this fact, which is why they are gradually shifting towards subscription-based software that you download, rather than the traditional business model of paying a large sum of money for only one particular version of the software.

But does the new subscription model make sense, or is it just a way of software companies to rip people off? If you think about it, paying for a software subscription is a much better way of obtaining software. Here are some reasons why.

You don’t need an optical drive

The only times I ever use the DVD drive in my computer are to install software. I listen to music streamed over the Internet, and even the games I buy are downloadable.

In fact, Apple is a computer manufacturer that have realised this fact a long time ago, and no longer offer DVD drives as standard on any desktop or laptop computers they manufacture.

The only thing you need is a good Internet connection, and with broadband and fibre speeds increasing each year, software downloads only take a few minutes, not an entire day.

You benefit from using the latest software

One of the main bugbears people have about buying software is that when new versions are released, they have to pay substantial amounts of money to upgrade.

They will therefore try to use the “old” versions as long as possible, subjecting them to numerous security vulnerabilities and bugs that won’t be fixed.

It works out cheaper to subscribe

One notorious software package that used to cost an absolute fortune to buy is Adobe’s Creative Suite.

For example, the Adobe Creative Suite 6 Design & Web package costs a mouthwatering £799 to buy as a standalone package from Coastal Software.

But if you buy the subscription-based “Creative Cloud” version, you pay just £46.88 a month for the complete suite of tools, or £562.56 a year. The price difference might only be £236, but you still save money as well as benefiting from free upgrades!

Even Internet security software such as Norton 360 is cheaper to buy online than it is off the shelf as it were.