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Subscription Software: Nope



You hate it, you really hate it

The results are in. We didn’t get a single yes to May’s cover question – “Subscription Software – Yes or No?

Not a single one of many dozens of responses, either in messages to us, on our Facebook page, or people stopping us on the street (okay, that didn’t happen, but if it had…).

It’s true that this is marginally self-limiting, because people with strong feelings are more likely to respond to a question like this (and we thank you for doing so). But even so, 100% is as close to a poster slam dunk as it’s possible to get.

Why? Well, all the negatives (as well as the positives, and there certainly are some) I could think of are in the original story. The only one I missed, that someone pointed out, is the risk of a software company going out of business and leaving their subscribers in the lurch. That is possible, but probably not a very serious concern.

So why do software companies still persist with this? Surely they must know how much subscriptions are universally reviled?

Occam’s razor: because they can. That doesn’t mean developers don’t care about the customers who license their software, in fact my experience has been 180 degrees the opposite – most developers in our field create tools and instruments they want to use themselves.

But as I wrote, it’s to companies’ advantage to have a steady stream of income and a financially committed base of customers.

Software subscriptions can actually be a good deal in some cases, and as we said, many companies also offer permanent licenses. But we still hope that the word will get out. What say ye, developers?

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