I get this question more lately than ever before, even though people don’t realize it.
These days whenever you get new software the company will probably offer 2 different ways to buy. A 1 time price like we have traditionally always bought software, or a subscription billed monthly or yearly.
Your first thought might be why would I want to pay every month for something I have the ability to buy outright? And in some ways you’d be right. For instance if you need Microsoft office home and student for 1 computer you can get it on amazon for about $100 https://amzn.to/1ISPYKv. However that doesn’t include Outlook, which many business users use. For that version you need Home and Business which is about $175 https://amzn.to/1mmkXVl.
The other issue with buying outright is that it’s a license for just one computer. If you have a laptop, a windows tablet, etc. those are not covered. Then you are talking about $175 per device, to cover the life of the device. So if you have 5 devices, that’s $875 in Microsoft office licenses alone. Most business users replace their computers every 3 years, which means a cost of $291.66 a year.
That’s why they offer Office as a subscription. You can get a subscription for between $10-$15 a month that covers up to 5 devices. That comes out to $180 or less a year rather than $291 a year in software, and you get the added benefit of automatically receiving updates to the newest version when they come out, and being able to move the subscription to a new computer when you get one.
Microsoft isn’t the only company that offers software this way. Adobe offers their software as a service, as do many others. So next time you look into upgrading your software, check into whether or not they offer it as a service, because it can save you money.