Software Subscriptions

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Wheels-Of-Fire 4 days, 9 hours ago.

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  • #35506

    Drezha
    Participant
    @drezha

    With news that another of the apps I used on the iPad has recently switched to a subscription model, I find myself being driven more and more towards FOSS and Linux. After all, there’s a limit to how much money I can spend a month and paying for every single bit of software I currently use (some of them very rarely), isn’t a cost effective solution for me.

    I’ve already dropped my writing app of choice, as that switched to subscription, and I’m still using 1Password, but only because they allow me to purchase a license (and the Keepass compatible iOS apps are awful – if I was Android, then these are at least pretty decent!). I’m stuck using YNAB as there appears to be no competitor for them – the older v4 of the software works perfectly fine on Windows (no longer for the Mac) but doesn’t sync well to the mobile devices anymore and that’s all my wife uses now.

    As more of my software goes subscription, I’ll be getting more used to Linux and using that on the desktop – after all, two of the main programs I used already are Linux based (Zim and GNUCash). I see that Setapp have tried to address this for the Mac by having a single monthly fee for apps, but that’s still another £120 a year on programs after paying the Apple tax!

    I think the only major things stopping me moving full time to Linux is that I can’t believe that no one has created a Linux equal to Keyboard Maestro or Hazel. (I’ve no doubt that Hazel can probably be replicated with shell scripts, cron and inotifiy but it’s not very friendly for non techie’s or those that don’t want to delve in to the CLI and would prefer a nice quick easy solution).

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  • #35511

    Richard
    Participant
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 2,301

    I still use the original versions of things I wanted and paid for, ignoring the so called appeal of subscription model down-grades for the reasons you put forward. Do the things you want disable any older versions? Can you not continue to use the previous versions and ignore the down grade to a subscription. Recently a mail advised that an item was due for an annual refresh. It had been bought as a one off to do a ‘then’ task a year ago; as it has now expired so it is history.

    Perhaps it is easy to see why lazy sellers like the repeating revenue stream, but I am not on the receiving end of the money stream, so it is not for me. I apply the same logic to the likes (or in my case non-likes) of Sky’s subscription model – not for me!

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    #35512

    blacklion1725
    Participant
    @blacklion1725
    Forumite Points: 1,189

    The only subscription software I use is MS Office 365 – and then only really for the OneDrive 1TB storage. I have the “home” sub that is officially £79.99 but always obtainable (per year) around £40-£45 (stackable ebay codes). For 5 users (I’m only using 4) it is working out £8-£10 year per user for 1TB online storage each – the Office functionality is almost incidental.

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    #35513

    Drezha
    Participant
    @drezha
    Forumite Points: 982

    I still use the original versions of things I wanted and paid for, ignoring the so called appeal of subscription model down-grades for the reasons you put forward. Do the things you want disable any older versions?

    In terms of the writing software I used, yes, it got disabled basically when it switched (thanks iOS updates). Generally, it hasn’t for other software – thankfully 1Password still allows me to use without a subscription (and use Dropbox to sync), rather than it’s inbuilt sync storage, though I may have to change this if my new job doesn’t let me install a password manager (as then I’ll have to suibscribe to get the Lastpass style run in the browser plugin version).

    I upgraded to the YNAB SAAS model when the v4 software would no longer sync reliable with my wife’s iPad and iPhone, whilst it remained fine on the laptop. I’ have however found a Mac software that promises to work the same and will sync between the devices. We’re running in tandem to see how it performs before I purchase the software.

    BL – that’s a pretty good deal. I haven’t had to buy previously, as my old firm had Office 365 and wer got 5 installs per person, so I used that on my personal devices. May consider it now, though will wait and see what the new firm is like, as I can use it as a backup location for Arq (though I recall it has issues with Onedrive, rather than Dropbox or simialr) – probably going to go down the B2 Backblaze route for that shortly though, or expand my Synology storage.

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    #35517

    Richard
    Participant
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 2,301

    BL’s deal idea is a better option than many, but for me I am not really convinced. Basically, though I have 4 PCs my wife does not really use Office and an old version of Outlook does all she ever wants. It is pretty much the same for me, though I do use Office a very tiny amount more than her, these days it is a tiny amount of use, some medical histories plus Outlook with its diary function and that is about the sum total. The two portables are kept up to date, but not really used at all so a subscription would be wasted on them. Our daughter uses even less and is in a world of her own much of the time anyway, the odd text, a tiny bit of Google and a very few emails. As long as her PC keeps working, I want to keep well away from messing with its ways.

    Adobe want to sell me a subscription down grade from my present version of Lightroom, but I use it so rarely at the moment that I am unlikely to learn about any new functions, let alone use them.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Richard.
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    #35521

    Dave Rice
    Moderator
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 2,374

    Drezha, whilst not exactly the same as Zim, have you looked at Synology’s Note Station?

    I’ve never heard of anything like Hazel, interesting. Organize My Files looks like it does similar on Windows and Linux too. Not free but a one off £19.95 https://qiplex.com/software/organize-my-files/#1

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    #35576

    Drezha
    Participant
    @drezha
    Forumite Points: 982

    I’ve used Note Station in the past and been fairly impressed with it – it replaced Evernote for me for a time, but then I moved to Zim. I’m not really looking at moving away from that at the minute, as I like it and it stores everything in plain text.

    However, Note Station could come in handy for work, as the new job doesn’t let me install anything (or at least I’ve not tried to), so it looks like I’m going back to Onenote. Note Station could be an alternative to that, but as we’ve got Office 365, they would probably prefer me to use Onenote and tools already installed.

    File Organizer appears to be more simple than Hazel – I’ve been playing with DropIt, which appears to be reasonably good. However, that can’t do multiple steps in a single action, which is something that Hazel can quite nicely (auto filing PDF’s makes life easier!)

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    #35577

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 2,630

    I dont know why you keep calling it a downgrade Richard? Just cos you don’t need the newer features, doesn’t mean it’s a down grade. It’s defo an upgrwde, and in many cases it makes a cheaper entry point for those that couldn’t justify 100s of pounds upfront. Plus it gives the compang a relativly steady income stream, that can be all but garat3ed each month. So its win win.

    Office doesn’t even make you migrate form your old licence. And Adobe deal is actually very good. Not that I personally need it, as I don’t get the time to make the most of the powerful software.

    If you don’t need it, don’t subscribe, then you have no reason to moan about something you dont need/use. If you do need it, you you’ll be happy to pay, so again no reason to moan. Its win win.

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    #35581

    Ed P
    Participant
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 3,715

    Imo Drezha has the correct approach. If you require all the bells and whistles for competitive advantage then by all means upgrade. If not then evaluate using FOSS or just keeping your older software. (using a vm container makes that very practical for Windows but not I think for venal Apple).

    That said I dislike the subscription model as it can encourage companies to just put out fluff in their annual updates, and get fat and lazy. I much prefer the old M$ model in which you paid for a meaningful upgrade every couple of years and if not just kept using the old software. That way if the company did not give value for money then their sales suffered.

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    #35585

    Richard
    Participant
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 2,301

    Steve, I called it a downgrade offering as I have no use for the new features at an ever recurring cost; I do have other uses for the money. I don’t want to pay for nothing. It is a personal situation relating completely and uniquely to me. When I last looked they were withdrawing the non-recurring cost option, making it a downgrade package for me.

    For those who are either heavily into personal work or into professional activities then yes, it is potentially gains all the way. That said, I prefer the outright purchase option because I can then control my budget. It is also clear that the other side like the recurring income model for their own budgeting reasons.

    I dislike the loss of options to select the payment method, hence my use of the term downgrade for the new package being offered.

    I see that both Ed and Drezha hold similar views about subscription packages.

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    #35588

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 2,630

    To me you just sound childish. Everytime something is mentioned that you either don’t like or have no need for you resort to sill names and phrases.

    Your view is sound, it’s the constant name calling that is the issue.

    • This reply was modified 4 days, 18 hours ago by The Duke.
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    #35591

    Richard
    Participant
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 2,301

    What name should be applied? You do not like ‘downgrade’ being applied to the now, redirected appeal, rental, product.

    Do you also object to producers selling upgrades as being just name-calling?

     

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    #35593

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 2,630

    Not at all.

    its not a downgrade, nothing of the sorts. So to call it one is just childish. Thr product is constantly upgraded. All for a relativly cheap monthly cost. Which for many is more attainable than the old model of hundreds of pounds upfront.

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    #35594

    Ed P
    Participant
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 3,715

    To be fair, Richard was correct in using the term rental or lease in that if you stop paying you lose the product. Perhaps lease renewal is a more accurate terminology than ‘subscription’, but obviously software marketers thought that regular subscription sounded more ‘club-like’,

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    #35595

    Richard
    Participant
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 2,301

    Ed, you have it as I feel it is. I’d be happier if the lease package froze if one left, but cutting off access is a problem. Sorry I don’t understand that being offered something I don’t need, at a price I don’t want to pay is  an upgrade. There is a regular email stream of invites to rejoin the rental party with offers that provide no discernable value. I understand the proposition but it falls short of offering me any value. Were the offers were so good perhaps I might be tempted to buy desirable software tools on the basis of one off need, but their model blocks that option.

    I can buy a normal tool and it becomes mine, or hire it for a job. Tool hire shops do not normally expect  me to subscribe every month in case I ever want to hire a heavy-duty rock breaker at some point in the future, even if it is an improved version to the one I used a while back. Why should software tools be different?

    Perhaps we should agree to differ on the role of the software rental market.

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    #35596

    Richard
    Participant
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 2,301

    Steve, having walked the dogs and thought about my reactions to the software rental or leasing model, I can see that I resent being barred or effectively locked out of some examples of software choice that I had previously exercised. So you would be right to sense my annoyance and a hint of desire to be less than approving of the development.

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    #35599

    Drezha
    Participant
    @drezha
    Forumite Points: 982

    I mean some of the services I’ve looked at are pay to edit – once you stop paying, you can keep all the data and access them, but cannot edit or create new.

    One of my favourite websites is Alternativeto.net and I’ll check it for software that I am happy with on occasion, just to see what’s out there. Can’t hurt to investigate options!

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    #35600

    Wheels-Of-Fire
    Participant
    @grahamdearsley
    Forumite Points: 1,640

    Its a bit like the car leasing model. You pay for the use of the car and at the end of the lease period you have nothing.

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