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View Full Version : When buying software, do you prefer "subscriptions" or one-time purchase apps?



OrangeBrow
02-04-2017, 03:13 PM
I see more and more products are being sold as monthly subscriptions. If you had a choice, would you prefer to just buy once or pay a little every month?

ferrarr
02-04-2017, 03:30 PM
For me, it depends on the App. Professional software, I can definitely see the advantage of monthly subscription. Apps I know I will use less than 2 or 3x/month, I feel are not worth the fee.

It also depends on the purchase price vs subscription price.

chscag
02-04-2017, 03:39 PM
Moved the thread here since it's off topic for "Operating System....."

Some providers give you more when you subscribe than when you purchase. An example of that is the popular "Office 365" subscription. You do have to personally weigh your needs before deciding on a subscription or an outright purchase.

cradom
02-04-2017, 07:07 PM
Personally I got no use for subscription software. It's like leasing a car. Just give me a one time payment with free minor updates. Pay for major upgrades.
I use Malwarebytes on my PC. Subscription is one year. If I could find something as good as a one time deal I'd drop it like a hot rock.

Ember1205
02-04-2017, 08:39 PM
The subscription model has come about because software companies have to keep their revenues up. One "benefit" to the consumer from a subscription model is the lower buy-in price and another is "constant updates". To me, however, I do not / will not use subscription services. There's NO WAY that my data is going to end up being "held hostage" because their system goes down or doesn't credit a payment I made, or whatever. I have some items that require pieces "in the cloud" to be operational and that infuriates me. I don't NEED their systems in order to access my devices and such inside of my home, so why am I forced to use their systems (and these are devices that I'm -NOT- paying for on a subscription basis).

Rod Sprague
02-04-2017, 09:57 PM
Personally the only subscription apps I have are the ones that are not available any other way. VPN service, internet TV ect. Everything else I prefer one time payment. There are some things however that are good value in the subscription field such as Microsoft Office 365. I recently became aware of this when a friends son needed the package for school. He was running an old MBP but was intending to get a new Windows PC for college. The Microsoft Office 365 subscription allows use of the package on 4 devices, either windows, android, iOS or macOS. The price of the subsciption for 4 years is only $90.00 but the macOS package is $170 and limited to macOS.

chscag
02-04-2017, 11:23 PM
The price of the subsciption for 4 years is only $90.00 but the macOS package is $170 and limited to macOS.

I thought that was $90.00 per year not 4 years worth?

Rod Sprague
02-04-2017, 11:57 PM
Um, I may have got that wrong. See this page (ignore price in Rupiah) they have a US account.
You will note it says 4 year subscription but neglects to say per year. https://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msapac/en_GB/pdp/Office-365-University/productID.263527800

chscag
02-05-2017, 12:16 AM
That might be correct as it clearly states it's a student subscription. So it probably is four years. Not sure if that's the same in the US because I know that a normal Office 365 subscription here is yearly automatically renewed. But student prices have always been less expensive.

toMACsh
02-05-2017, 08:54 AM
Subscriptions are for newspapers and magazines, where it makes sense. Software: not a good plan, IMO.

MacInWin
02-09-2017, 05:58 PM
I use the Office365 subscription and it works well for me. I pay $7/month and the entire Office suite is kept up to date. Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, all included. That works out to breaking even in two years, which is about the Office update cycle.

Ember1205
02-09-2017, 06:11 PM
I use the Office365 subscription and it works well for me. I pay $7/month and the entire Office suite is kept up to date. Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, all included. That works out to breaking even in two years, which is about the Office update cycle.

I'm running Office '11 on my Mac. Clearly, I don't follow Microsoft's schedule for updates - I upgrade when there's actually something of VALUE in a new version or it has something I actually need.

And, since I qualify for the Home Use Program through my employer, I get the software for something like $15.

toMACsh
02-10-2017, 01:51 PM
I use the Office365 subscription and it works well for me. I pay $7/month and the entire Office suite is kept up to date. Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, all included. That works out to breaking even in two years, which is about the Office update cycle.

See, that's why it doesn't make sense for me. I don't upgrade every time a major revision comes out that I would have to buy.

I bet you trade in your vehicles a month or so after the last payment too. ;) I keep mine for 10 years or more. I save up and pay cash.

chscag
02-10-2017, 03:14 PM
Let's not get judgmental, OK? Everyone does what is best for themselves based on their needs. And that applies to software, autos, computers, etc.

MacInWin
02-10-2017, 11:59 PM
toMACsh, don't take this personally, but I don't really care much whether it makes sense for you or not. I do it that way because I volunteer at my church and they have a Subscription service, too, and the staff there take advantage of very advanced features of Office, so it makes very good sense for me. Being stuck a couple of versions back is not an option. The $7 doesn't break the bank, people spend more than that on coffee these days.

As for cars, I last traded in a 10 year old beast and then gave away a 13 year old one, still running fine, to my daughter. Sprang for a new one for me, the first in a couple of decades.

So, it's every man for himself, as Charlie said. That's why there are horse races. :)

toMACsh
02-11-2017, 09:00 AM
Whoa! Judgmental? Way off base there. I said subscription software doesn't make sense for me because of my buying habits. I even used a smilie about the car; only teasing. Jake, I do care that it makes sense for you. Knowing why helps me understand other perspectives.

Yeah, we gave away a 12 year old car once too. It was still in good condition mechanically, and only a few cosmetic flaws.

To reiterate, yes, to each his own. That's why my post stated my practice. It did not criticize anyone else for having a different practice.

lclev
02-11-2017, 11:21 AM
Well I will throw in my 2 cents. I prefer to pay for a package one time. That said there is a growing trend for subscription services. I do get why they are doing it. A guaranteed revenue stream, easier to keep security holes plugged, and new updates/features disbursement.

I use adobe creative suite. Until recently I was clinging to CS6 hoping to milk many more years out of it. This past year I had an HD project come in and found CS6 would not handle it. I was missing a codex. I downloaded a trial of CC and when I imported the video it immediately downloaded the codex I needed and I could now start editing. I ended up getting a subscription. I don't like it but I have to have it so I suck it.

Lisa

chscag
02-11-2017, 03:26 PM
I downloaded a trial of CC and when I imported the video it immediately downloaded the codex I needed and I could now start editing. I ended up getting a subscription.

I see nothing wrong with subscribing to software that's needed to do your job. We use some fairly expensive church software in our ministry which recently has gone to a quasi subscription scheme. Subscribing offers more features and better support, however, after weighing that with using what we already have and knowing that we will not get all the bells and whistles, we decided to keep using our already paid for software.

But it does look like the big developers are all trending toward the subscription scheme: Microsoft, Adobe, Faithlife, Corel, and others. :(

lclev
02-11-2017, 05:11 PM
I see nothing wrong with subscribing to software that's needed to do your job. We use some fairly expensive church software in our ministry which recently has gone to a quasi subscription scheme. Subscribing offers more features and better support, however, after weighing that with using what we already have and knowing that we will not get all the bells and whistles, we decided to keep using our already paid for software.

But it does look like the big developers are all trending toward the subscription scheme: Microsoft, Adobe, Faithlife, Corel, and others. :(

I agree. I just have trouble moving to a monthly fee for software I was use to paying for only if I chose to upgrade the version but I could still get patches for the version I was using. I would upgrade only if the newer version had a feature I needed. In years to come I believe that for people new to using software - Adobe CC, Microsoft Office, etc - subscription fees will be the norm for them. Only long time users (read: old farts ;) ) will remember and lament the old days of one time purchase software.

We do use a subscription based online service to track our members information, organized ministry participation, sign-in for kids and youth, online giving and a few more things I have forgotten. It is not a cheap service. I was not on staff at the time so I wasn't involved in it's selection. They had lost their prior member database due to an inadequate in house backup system so they wanted a better solution guaranteed to not fail. AND as long as the internet is working .... and the company is not doing any upgrades to the service .... we are good to go!

Lisa

toMACsh
02-12-2017, 08:46 AM
My theory is that if companies are moving to a subscription model, there's only one reason: to make more money. That, of course, means that customers are sacrificing more of theirs. I use Excel files that I wrote/created to "keep the books" for our church as well. I've never had an issue by not keeping up with the latest upgrade. I'll just get the security updates until Excel won't run on the latest (free upgrade now) OS. I didn't miss out on anything by not buying Office for Mac 2008 that I know of, and am happily still using 2011.

XJ-linux
02-12-2017, 09:30 PM
I won't buy subscription software. Either sell it to me, or I'll buy something else. No worries, no hard feelings. I also won't buy most things that lock me into someone else's cloud ie: someone else's hardware, admin staff and software. I like control over my stuff, or at least the illusion of it. I get mad enough relying on Apple to sync my calendars from my phone to my home computer, I'd be through the roof if my home security system didn't let me save locally or record if the internet was down.

OrangeBrow
02-16-2017, 08:15 PM
The subscription model has come about because software companies have to keep their revenues up. One "benefit" to the consumer from a subscription model is the lower buy-in price and another is "constant updates". To me, however, I do not / will not use subscription services. There's NO WAY that my data is going to end up being "held hostage" because their system goes down or doesn't credit a payment I made, or whatever. I have some items that require pieces "in the cloud" to be operational and that infuriates me. I don't NEED their systems in order to access my devices and such inside of my home, so why am I forced to use their systems (and these are devices that I'm -NOT- paying for on a subscription basis).

My thoughts exactly. Except I would pay to subscribe to software that I require a lot of technical support for. Like the crappy software we use at work (management bought it, employees are stuck with it). The support is better if they know you have to renew every so often.

macgig
03-19-2017, 01:19 PM
Im debt free and want to stay that way, so monthly bills/payments don't work for me. I prefer to buy a program one time and keep it for as many years as I can get out of it.

Sawday
03-19-2017, 02:17 PM
Im debt free and want to stay that way, so monthly bills/payments don't work for me. I prefer to buy a program one time and keep it for as many years as I can get out of it.

Technically you are only in debt if you miss a payment - but I agree with you about buying once and keeping it.

macgig
03-20-2017, 08:41 PM
soon as you borrow money you're in debt. even if you can make the payments. you sign papers for a $200,000 house, you borrowed money and made a promise to pay that money back over time. that is debt. :)

chscag
03-20-2017, 08:44 PM
soon as you borrow money you're in debt. even if you can make the payments. you sign papers for a $200,000 house, you borrowed money and made a promise to pay that money back over time. that is debt. :)

No, that's life for most of us who can't afford to lay down $200K cash for a house! LOL. :P

bbnck
03-21-2017, 06:22 AM
I don't necessarily mind buying software on a subscription model as long as it provides added value each time I renew it. I use PHPStorm as my development IDE, and that's probably the first major piece of software I've purchased sold on a subscription model. What made the decision easier for me is their perpetual fallback licensing, which allows you to continue using the same version of PHPStorm that was released at the time you bought your subscription after it expires a year later, even if you choose not to renew.

Adobe CC on the other hand - well we all know why they switched that to a subscription model. It might be cheaper month-by-month, but it's stable regular income for Adobe and a lot more over time between each customer. Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo from Serif are very compelling alternatives that don't use a subscription model. I'm just hoping Adobe don't try and buy Serif out in an effort to limit competition.

toMACsh
03-21-2017, 01:50 PM
Technically you are only in debt if you miss a payment - but I agree with you about buying once and keeping it.

In the instance to which this is referencing, that is absolutely correct.

Jason Samuelson
05-08-2017, 11:17 AM
depends on the app. If I know that I will be using this app for a long time (for ex., image editors or file downloaders), I prefer one time purchase. If I will need this app just once (like I needed an app to move files from my Android to iPhone when switching) - subscription is better.