Should software always be subscription based or have more expensive lifetime licenses too?

  • Always subscription based

  • Lifetime Licenses

  • Both

Results are only viewable after voting.


Lifetime licenses - meaning a license that permits the install, activation of current and all future software versions to include all updates and ongoing support - are not economically viable unless the publisher is making a ton of money somewhere else. It is one of the reasons that Microsoft has chosen to make Education\Enterprise subscription. And what happens in Enterprise\Education eventually happens in Home... so expect a subscription fee for Windows Home at some point in the future.

Deleted member 178

Lifetime is viable for starting companies needing to create a userbase. Once done, it is not viable anymore , because lifetime won't afford enough incomes.

From a business view, yearly subscription is the only solid option. It will develop the company.


Level 19
I prefer to pay a reasonable price to use a certain version of a software and then paying an upgrade fee if the next major version has anything I need or think is interesting.

Paying subscription to something that I will use only every few months is not interesting at all to me.


Level 3
Developers propose, users decide, even if the lifetime maybe sounds cool, I don't like who abuse lifetime license meaning and respect more who play right with a monthly fee but don't play tricky games on my back with logging and telemetry to afford the cost.

Sadly honest developers are not so much spread, and even security field is becoming a joke lately, at least on Windows.

Luckily, there are some who resisted :)


Level 3
Same model is applied with PayTV, is software as a service model; I am not against the practice of lifetime license, but should be regulated, is hard keep the same product unchanged for 100 years, and usually what looks like a big bargain at the begin, result in a big flop later.

I count the lifetime license products that worth to be buyed on half hand, many of the devs that proposed the lifetime have to change opinion like Sandboxie, because there is another side effect, people bulk buy lifetime licenses, then resell at higher price on ebay after... :( Correct me if I am wrong.


Level 4
It depends. If you're selling license for a particular product version then lifetime licenses makes sense, because the lifespan of the product can be pre-determined so you can estimate the cash inflows from monthly subscriptions, and estimate a "lifetime license" for it and sell it. Though it's not exactly a life-time license rather a one time payment. Much like windows does and that makes sense.

In case you want sell life time licenses for a particular product irrespective of it's version number etc, then it won't be a financially sound decision for the company. Sure upon inception it can do so, but a perpetual life-time license offer in such scenarios will either be crazy pricey or make the company actually lose money in the long run.


Level 9
For users it is better to have lifetime licenses, either with all the upgrades for free or version limited lifetime. For devs, on the contrary, the subsciption model is cost effective and reliable. In between the users financial resources collide with the greed of the devs. :giggle:

Local Host

Level 21
Depends on the Software and costs.

But generally I rather pay more for a Lifetime License, with a subscription based license you may end up wasting more money overall.

Between 50€ one time, and 30€ a year, I would take lifetime every time.

Deleted member 178

Between 50€ one time, and 30€ a year, I would take lifetime every time.
and this will not happen unless you want the company to go bankrupt LOL
Of course if it is a one-man company, my statement above won't apply.


Level 43
The entire model of modern corporations is residual incomes. Residuals are predictable markers for a business to construct their models and future progress on. If they can play on X amount coming in every month or year, then they can plan X expansion, activities and operating costs. The transition to residual started in the 1990's but didn't reach a feverish pitch until around 2000 when every business was attempting to find a method to transition into residual (monthly or yearly) business models.

The consumer is the one that got hosed in the deal because now virtually everything has moved to a monthly or yearly fee based structure. Everything from your food, shopping, entertainment, cars, insurances, home, software, whatever, is subscription based. In some cases, your hardware - cable modem, router, DVR, whatever, is subscription based. When you add it up, it all becomes a tremendous expense over many years. My father always told me, if they can slap a meter on it they'll charge us for it. If they could meter air, they'd be charging us for it. Think about it, your water and your bowel movements are all metered and charged for.

If I can find ANY lifetime offering I usually go for it. I've been working more towards a subscription-free lifestyle, progressively more as years press forward because I think it's all generally a scam. Chromebooks require no security or additional software, so they are subscription free. Remember that! :)