I hate subscription pricing for software. Hate. Hate. Hate.

I like to buy things. I like to pay $X and own a thing. That thing could be a phone, a refrigerator, or an application. Yes, an application. I want to pay a certain amount of money and own that application.

Before you get all angry and defensive, please re-read the above paragraph and note what I didn't say. I didn't say that I expect updates indefinitely. I didn't say that I expect the application to work on future devices. I don't. I just want to pay and be done.

I get why subscription pricing is good for developers. They get $Y per month indefinitely, instead of $X up front. Over time, $Y / mo surely adds up to much more than $X one time.

There's also an added measure of anti-piracy built in, since the software needs to regular phone home to make sure there's an active subscription.1

What I don't get, is why subscription pricing is good for customers2. What benefit do I get from paying a developer forever when I used to just pay once, and then again at upgrade time?

If your answer is "supporting developers" - I reject your answer. If $X up front isn't enough to make sense to the developer, then the developer isn't charging enough.

Charge a fair price for your software. Charge a fair price for your upgrades. Don't be a jerk to your customers.


  1. I am not so na├»ve as to thing that this solves piracy. But I guarantee you that there is less piracy with Office 365 than with the versions before it. The same goes for Adobe's software. 

  2. Not consumers. I hate that fucking word