Monday, May 6, 2013

Software you own becoming a thing of the past

Remember the days when you went to a store and bought a software application that came in a box? It looks like the days of picking up boxes of software with neatly packaged CDs and user manuals are rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

Last year, Microsoft rolled out its Office 365 suite, which is the software giant's alternative to spending upwards of $400 for Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel and Access (among others). Now, for a monthly fee (called "subscriptions"), users can continue to utilize this software, so long as the bills are paid. If you stop paying the bill, you can still access your files with restricted abilities.

Adobe is the latest software company to jump on the clouded subscription craze. In a recent announcement, Adobe has decided that applications part of their creative suite, such as Photoshop, will ONLY be available in the cloud, under a subscription.

The benefits to you as the consumer are low cost of entry for gaining access to the software, which will now change more gracefully through frequent, periodic updates, as opposed to drastic changes from version to version.

The downside? You'll need to tie your bank account or credit card to Adobe or Microsoft to pay the monthly subscription fee to continue to use the software. Effectively, you will no longer own the software, but only have rights to use it under their EULA and as long as the bill is paid.

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