Software developers propose very different licensing alternatives. In recent years the industry has been affected by numerous changes and a strong influence from Cloud Computing, which introduced the concept of “Software as a Service” (SaaS).
In such cases, the program is delivered as a service, which is why it is not possible to speak of a perpetual license. This has led to the spread of rental licenses with both monthly and annual payments, but without retiring the perpetual license.
How does software with a perpetual license work?
When perpetually licensed software was the only alternative available, companies purchased a physical medium (e.g. floppy or CD) or a memory medium such as an optical disk. The devices used had to be perfectly suited to the type of software chosen. The same constraints also applied to the operating system.
With the possibility of digital downloads, the level of accessibility of the programs was improved, without substantial changes to the sales strategy and the developers’ license. In fact, we are always talking about software with a perpetual license, which means that you can use it for as long as you want and at no additional cost.
Cloud rental license
The advent of the cloud has changed that picture, leading to the birth of the rental software license. In these circumstances, often, though not always, the program is delivered via Internet downloads, and sometimes directly usable in Web form. The license is temporary and users make payments on a monthly or annual basis. Freemium versions are also available free of charge but with limited functionality.
With the rental license, developers can change the price of the service on a monthly or annual basis.
Which option to choose?
When making your choice, it is worth remembering that rented software leads to significant cost savings.
As far as payment flexibility is concerned, rental solutions are very attractive. In fact, developers offer a wide choice, allowing you to opt for very low annual fees compared to the initial investment.
From the point of view of independence, rental software is at its best in the long term. Thanks to the annual subscription, users have more freedom to choose which product to use.
As far as maintenance and support services are concerned, in case of rental, the above mentioned costs are generally included in the annual fee, as are updates.