Software Lifespan

When you buy a piece of software, unlike a kettle, it will not wear out. 20 years later it will be identical to the day you bought it. However, it will not last forever either. It will gradually stop working because of changes in the OS (Operating System). Eventually, it becomes unusable. That lifespan might be a year or it might be 20 years. The author might be able to keep the program going with a minor tweak. The author does not want to have to maintain many versions of the program. If software were rented by year, you would get all the fixes, updates and new features. Your software would continue to work. You would not pay for a lifetime of use then get cheated and get only a year. You get what you pay for. If the vendor stops performing, you stop paying. You don’t pay massively upfront for service you may never be able to use. Since the vendor would get the bulk of his income from existing customers, he would focus on keeping them happy, rather than coming up with cheap flash to attract new customers. To try out new software would not be as big an investment. I think this is a win-win situation.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)