Jun 30, 2011

Is renting software a good idea?

Adobe started renting software for a monthly fee. Is this a good price, or a ripoff?

I'd say it's a back and forth question. So say they charge $30 a month for the software, and the total cost to purchase it straight up is $700. So when you hit the 2 year mark of paying for the software, you will have paid $30 * 12 months/yr * 2 yrs = $720. And after that, you will continue to pay $30/month just to use the product. So, if you know you will use the product for a really long time, then it will save you money to just buck the money for the full license right away. The lower price per month makes it affordable, but you end up paying more money over time.

So, by switching to renting software on a monthly fee, they actually make more money then when they just sold the product straight up. So is it a ripoff, yes. Is it a good price, yes. The monthly fee is real small for a lot of their software. Is it smart on Adobe's part, well yeah. Really smart actually. A lot of people don't realize, like renting, you end up paying more money in the end. Just like it's better to buy a house then rent an apartment. Once you pay off the house, you own it and can gain equity on it. Renting an apartment, you don't own it. You are just borrowing it for as long as you pay the money.

Personally renting software (SAAS) as it's often called is set to be the main business model. Many people find it easier to pay a small monthly fee then a big up-front fee like Adobe used to charge ($699+ OUCH!). 


If you are a software provider you can try getting setup on a cloud-friendly instant setup platform such as offered by most web hosting providers now. Here are a few resources:


Rentalsoftwaredirectory.com - directory of places you can get rental software from many of whom offer pay per month type plans. 


Rental-e-commerce-software.com - provider of rental booking software


i think it is good price, if anyone who has small requirment about any product then he/she should be take service or renting of software


I think companies like Microsoft and ESRI pushing software rental underlines their postion that you only buy the right to use the software.  I believe this enhances the case for  Open Software and will cause many users to convert to Linux or at least to open source office applications such as LibreOffice and MapWindow.  There are a growing number of people who want fewer dependencies rather than more.  Concerns about privacy and control will drive many away from MS-Cloudware.  If you onlu use a text editor once in awhile a pay as you go account that you use on some sort of pad or netbook might be alright but I like a lot of control over my applications and environment so I'll stick with local storage of the operating system and main applications. 

It might work well, depending on the company. But why not look for free and open source software first? If you find an application that is open source then you can do what you like with it without having to pay anybody anything.

Sourceforge has a huge amount of free and open source software. Check there if you need something and you might just find it.


"SourceForge is dedicated to making open source projects successful.

We thrive on community collaboration to help us create the leading resource for open source software development and distribution. With the tools we provide, 2.7 million developers create powerful software in over 260,000 projects. Our popular directory connects more than 46 million consumers with these open source projects and serves more than 2,000,000 downloads a day. SourceForge is where open source happens.

SourceForge.net is owned and operated by Geeknet, Inc., a publicly traded US-based company.

Connect with us:

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I agree with you on looking for a free open source software before spending the money, but sometimes the free stuff is just not as good as the pay stuff. Take for example Adobe's movie editor program Adobe After Effects. There's not many open source free programs that have all the awesome things that you can do when using Adobe. So sometimes, the money for the good software is worth it.

It's a terrible idea. Companies used to update their computers and software every 5 years, and that's the time period that the IRS uses when amortizing the life of computer hardware over time. So financially it's a burden. But even worse, to upgrade your software constantly, whether through a desktop software download or through a cloud office login, means users will LOSE productivity as the vendor changes stuff around on them. There was NO REASON for Microsoft to move the location of the File menu, and the choices for NEW, OPEN, SAVE, CLOSE, and EXIT. Changing the environment on non-technical users generates a lot of extra work for IT, and the only one who benefits is Microsoft.


But the whole point behind Cloud Computing is to deploy apps once on your app server, then have all the users authenticate against their account to have access to all the apps they need, without having to load programs directly on their physical computer. All updates are handled behind the scene, so users don't have to hassle with waiting for stuff to update when they just want to get back to work. Microsoft Office 365 is basically their cloud computing interface for all the programs in the office suite, plus Lync and Sharepoint -- which means they've finally got a decent "software rental" program which I think is still in beta. Although renting software is an unfamiliar concept, it might just catch on - if the price isn't ridiculously high.


It depends on how much you need the software and how much it ends up costing you. Microsoft has wanted to get into the software rental scheme for years, because it means more of their customers will be using the newest software and not plugging away with ancient versions of office. But we already pay a monthly cable bill and monthly cellular bill - who wants to also pay a monthly Microsoft bill?

If you don't have $$$$$ to throw at Adobe, but just need their products occasionally for a task or two, it probably wouldn't hurt to rent just the programs you need, when you need them. On a month-to-month basis it's $59/month or $39/month if you pay them an annual subscription fee ($468 for the math-impaired).
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