The Slow Death of Traditional Software

29 Jul ’05

Nicholas Carr writes about the death of the traditional software licensing model and views of software as a service. Quoting from Christopher Koch:

It’s unreasonable to expect vendors to discount up front and then cut maintenance fees on the back end–they have to get their money somehow. Customers bombard them with requests for new features and functions they say they want in the next version. There has to be some kind of ongoing payment arrangement to keep that cycle going. But the lack of transparency has killed the model. Customers don’t know how much money the vendors are really making and when. When you’re paying for software endlessly without knowing whether you can afford to upgrade the software when a new version comes out, or how much you will be charged for new software that the vendor develops, or how much of a say you will have in that development, you are tempted to simply reject the entire model out of hand. I think we’re there. When CIOs say they don’t trust the model even if they get the software practically for free up front, then something is clearly wrong here.

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