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New software distribution--thoughts?

Discussion in 'Computers & Technology Forum' started by Phillip, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. Phillip

    Phillip <b>Moderator</b>

    Jun 29, 2001
    Microsoft is pushing very hard for a new method of software distribution. The idea is that eventually all computers will be on the net and will lease software by "time used"--much like satellite TV.

    You will be able to buy monthly "packages"--for instance, if you use MS Office, you can get unlimited use for X amount or a smaller package that let's you use the word processor all the time, but the spread-sheet by the hour.

    The positives for the comsumer that MS claims is:

    A. Bigger and better software available from a mainframe with only nuggets sent to your computer for what you need.

    B. You don't have to upgrade, ever (as long as you keep subscribing).

    C. Software costs will go down as distribution costs go down. (and do you REALLY believe this?)

    The Real Positives to Microsoft:

    a. Eliminates the middleman entirely.

    b. Eliminates any and all product production and distribution chains

    c. Ties people in to on-going and predictable cash-flow (less risk than having to come up with a good version)

    d. Eliminates much competition or requires the competition to feed through these master distribution computers.

    e. Eliminates pirated software, but forces you to automatically upgrade simply by having to keep paying.

    Just the elimination of competition and the distribution chain will help keep MS the top dog of all computers.

    What say you? If you don't believe this is happeniing, go to Microsoft and read about their enterprise solutions.
  2. natters

    natters New Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    It's an interesting approach, especially as internet use and connection speed continues to grow. However, it can be tricky from a marketing perspective - most users aren't ready or comfortable with it. For example, I work for a company that creates software, and a couple years ago we tried a "subscription model" where users had to pay yearly to keep the most beneficial features (which were online-related) of the software active. We marketed it as a "service", sort of like how people pay for other services like cable TV or telephone: you buy the TV or phone, but still have to pay regularly to keep it usable. We had a strong negative response from users, and tech support calls consisting of complaints and related issues dramatically increased, costing the company money to handle all the extra calls. After the third year, we abandoned the subscription model and returned to the typical only-initial-cost model.

    However, with a company as big as Microsoft going this route, the business model in general might start to become more common and accepted, as so many more people will have to get used to the idea.
  3. exscentric

    exscentric Active Member

    May 24, 2004
    There has been talk of this for several years. If they thought it would fly they would have tried it by now.

    Time may come that the public will buy the "cheaper" line. We all know that will never happen. It might be cheaper for the month, but over a period of months you certainly won't win.

    Most people use too many programs to start aquiring monthly payments for each one. Possibly if say microsoft offered a package of couple dozen different programs for a minimal price they might fly it.
  4. AresMan

    AresMan New Member

    Aug 12, 2005
    As a software developer, in my opinion the value of actual software is forcefully highly overrated. Part of the value of software is that it can duplicated so easily, quickly, and with next to zero cost. With that being the case, I think most software should be licensed in such a way that promotes the distribution of it, but makes money from support contracts and development pay, not so much per-copy charges. The idea of "renting" something that is not in a fixed tangible medium is very much overrating something that should be getting its compensation through other means.
  5. Magnetic Poles

    Magnetic Poles New Member

    May 16, 2005
    The problem with software being online, is that you have no software if your network connection goes down.
  6. Trotter

    Trotter <img src =/6412.jpg>

    Jun 29, 2003
    The lack of "ownership" is what bothers me.

    That's why I bought my house, so it would be mine. Renting something you know you will need continuously is a waste of time and money.

    Besides, I might want to use this super-duper, can't-live-without-it siftware when I'm not connected.

    In Christ,
  7. JamieinNH

    JamieinNH New Member

    Nov 4, 2005
    A linux product has had this style of sofware since it was created. The OS called Linspire, which is Linux platform, but runs with the ease of Windows, has a module called CNR

    CNR stands for Click and Run, you can search a database of softwarem click what you want installed, and it will install it for you. You are able to get FREE software, or with CNR Gold, you can get steep discounts on commerical software.

    I believe in the end, this will be more likely the concept that MS will go with that will work. The ease of CNR but the software will be bought.

    I would not get any of the "rental" version of any software until I had to, and with the alternatives out there, I don't think I would ever have to.