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11/07/2005 Archived Entry: "Microsoft's rental plan"
Two years ago I passed on this warning from Andrew Grygus:
"Microsoft's expressed goal is elimination of the traditional perpetual license in favor of a lease plan. Failure to renew your lease will render all your software unusable and your business data inaccessible. "
Score one for Mr. Grygus: Microsoft is now trying to rent Windows and Office service over the Internet. "Office Live" will be an office suite that you access using your web browser. The catch? Two. First, it's a subscription service, which means you pay by the month instead of just paying once. (Microsoft desperately wants this to increase their cash flow.)
Second, the programs (and likely the data) are stored on Microsoft servers. Which means you're at the mercy of Microsoft. Once they've got you hooked, they can raise the subscription fee however they want. Fail to pay, and you lose access to your data, possibly losing the data files themselves. This is not a prudent approach for any business...or individual.
Insist on software that's yours to keep, and yours to use forever. Insist on storing your data files in always-accessible form, on your own computer.
Insist on computing freedom.