Slowly but surely more and more software vendors have been moving to a subscription-based model, to a point where owning software outright has become somewhat of a rarity. In fact, some software vendors who moved to an annual subscription some time ago are now only offering monthly subscriptions. One has to wonder where it will all end.
Unless the software vendor provides a lifetime license at a reasonable cost, I never purchase any subscription-based software, but even lifetime licenses are becoming rare these days. Let’s face it, when that subscription expires the software no longer works and that, my friends, does not equate to ownership – it is merely a rental.
The one exception is antivirus software which I appreciate requires ongoing development to keep up with emerging/new threats. However, the move toward subscription-based software is trending across the entire spectrum, including lots of software that rarely, if ever, requires updating.
Occasionally, when a new Windows version is released, one might run into compatibility issues, but that would be rare. Heck, I’m still running software in Windows 11 that I first purchased and installed in Windows 7 and it’s all still working fine, even after going through several Windows upgrades.
Subscription Software Typical Examples
These are only a few examples among many popular software titles that are now only available via subscription:
Microsoft Office: In my opinion, this has always been overpriced. However, the latest Office 365 will cost me $109.00AU per year. Imagine, in 5 years’ time I would have paid out a whopping $545.00AU, and that’s only if the price isn’t increased during that time (I am still running Office 2010 with a portable version of LibreOffice also on hand).
CCleaner Pro: This can only be purchased now as subscription-based software. CCleaner is not great to begin with, and I can name several free alternatives that are far superior. Yet CCleaner Pro is currently priced at almost $50.00AU for a 1 year/1 PC license (the cleaning tool I use and recommend is PrivaZer).
Advanced System Care Pro: The entire IObit software range is available only via an annual subscription. As it happens, when I checked out the current pricing for IObit’s most popular software, Advanced System Care Pro, it was discounted for a Black Friday sale. Note the normal price of $90.00AU per year. No way I would pay that much for this software. Heck, I wouldn’t even pay the $18.00AU.
WinZip: I’ve never been a WinZip fan. When I installed it many years ago, it literally took over. Not my cup of tea at all, and I certainly would not pay $44.00AU per year for the current version.
Our John Durso recently reported that Windows 11 has now added native support for a wide variety of compressed formats – catch up with John’s article: Windows 11 Update – Added Functionality
I avoid subscription-based software like the plague. I use freeware 99% of the time and on the odd occasion when I need a professional or niche software that is not available for free, I always look for a lifetime license at a reasonable price.
Do you use subscription software? Let us know in the comments.