by Mike Masnick

Customers Don't Like Renting Software

from the want-to-own dept

Microsoft is really having trouble understanding customers today. First they can't figure out why no one wants web services, and now they're giving up on a trial program to rent software. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that most people prefer to own something (and do what they want with it) than be limited, and lose the use of something after a certain period of time (though, the music industry still hasn't figured this out either). Microsoft said that the trials they ran to let people rent Microsoft Office have been a dismal failure - mostly because (and notice how they blame the customer, as opposed to their own inability to explain things correctly) people didn't realize that at the end of the "rental" period the software wouldn't work any more. People thought they were scoring a great deal and getting the software for not very much money. Clearly, Microsoft didn't do a very good job explaining how the "rental" program worked - and in doing so probably pissed people off even more, when they suddenly discovered their software wasn't working. Of course, if Microsoft had explained the program clearly, very few people would have bought into it, because a quick calculation would show that, over time, they would end up spending a lot more than they would by just buying the software outright.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  • identicon
    --brett, 12 Sep 2002 @ 7:30pm

    Data Storage fee's

    There was talk a while back from our aus_office that M$ had rent_a_bloat set up for off site storage. From what i understood not only it difficult to avoid it but involved, "storage", hidden extra fees.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Al, 12 Sep 2002 @ 11:00pm

    No Subject Given

    You are spot on there Mike, people want to own their own software, not rent. Please kill all Dongle driven programs as well. Selling a program like Lightwave with a limited life span of about two years just makes pirates who charge to get around the technology happy. In two years there will probably be a new version out anyway so why bother? And buying a proggie like 3D studio Max that decrees (at least in Australia) that you have to do a course to buy it's only affordable version, and the courses themselves are prohibitively expensive, not to mention the price of the software per se...it's actually easier to get the program free than it is to pay for it (not that I have) So much for wanting to do the right thing by the companies who make the software you use.
    Please forgive the topic drift :/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Sprechen, 13 Sep 2002 @ 4:13pm

      Re: No Subject Given

      Bingo. The more difficult you make it for people to use your software legally, the more likely people are to pirate it. The reason I started using no-cd cracks for games was that some of the "copy protection" systems made loading a game take 5 minutes. I know people who have legal copies of Win XP, but installed the pirate corporate version because it doesn't phone home.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.