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May 02, 2007

$300 is my new limit for software

I'm fed up with overpriced software. Rarely is any software priced over $500 dollars worth its high price. It is almost always so bloated by feature creep that it has become unreliable and buggy to the point that it is no longer enjoyable to use.

I'm finding that most of the software that retails between $300 to $500 dollars is usually just as bad. Often software priced at this level jumps over the $500 price point just because if people are willing to pay over $300 dollars for it, they'll pay over $500 without giving it much additional thought.

The higher price point has nothing to do with adding additional programmers to develop it or to provide better customer service. If you think about it, most high priced software doesn't even include support at all anymore. If you need help you have no choice but to pay per support incident or find communities and resources to get help on your own.

So why are software companies charging us so much for software they only have to develop once, then make minor charges to, and can copy and manufacture many times, package, and distribute it at hardly any expense? Simply, it's because they can!!

We walk into the stores like drones and begrudgingly pay their inflated prices because we think we don't have a choice. But, you know what, we're starting to have viable choices!

Take a look at the competition, you'll probably find a comparable product for much less. In other cases you might find web sites, open source software, or independent authors that are offering the core features for much less, and in some cases even free.

If you haven't recently, take another look at what Google has been doing with its Docs & Spreadsheets. Google admittedly hasn't taken them far enough but they're already costing Microsoft Office to lose sales and upgrades.

Depending on the software, some times it might require combining two or three programs to equal the features you need in the overpriced application but often the smaller, less feature rich programs, are more reliable and can cost much less even when their cost is combined.

Do you really need everything to be in one application if it's not reliable? How often do you need to use all these features? Obviously if you're into video productions your choices are more limited. If you work for a corporation that pays for everything, that's another story too. But, if the software cost is coming out of your own pocket this is something you need to take a look at and think about before running out and possibly throwing out your hard earned money.

Personally, I've decided I'm not going to buy any software over $300 dollars. There is just no reason for me to anymore. I'm completely fed up with the unreliability and feature bloat in all the Adobe and Microsoft applications. Using most of them is a more stressful experience than it needs to be and I think we all forgotten that computers are supposed to be making our lives easier...not more difficult.


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