The Effect of Cloud Computing on Software Pricing

The transposition in today’s technology towards Cloud Computing means big things for lots of people.  There is an entire generation of new services and products that will have a sleek, far-reaching form of distribution.  This new method of disseminating software stands to do a lot for the pricing of traditional software packages and a lot for our wallets as well.

But how exactly will this change?  Instead of the burdensome bundles of Microsoft Office and other similar suites, Saikat Chaudhuri is cited in Financial Post’s article, “Cloud Computing Disrupts Software Pricing” as saying, “Instead of big suites, lightweight applications will become the norm.”  With the accessibility that comes with Cloud Computing, customers will be given more options on what specific products they want to buy.  This cuts out on the burdensome office suites, which allows consumers to pinpoint what software they need and not have to deal with the rest.  Mitchell Osak writes in his article, “Fading fast are the days when general-purpose software packages were sold in boxes with a one-time, perpetual software license fee plus expensive maintenance and upgrade charges.”  We don’t want to deal with those annoying prompts for updates and maintenance when we only plan on using the software for a limited period of time. This new distribution structure has the potential to drop all of the extraneous pieces of proprietary garbage, and what we get in exchange is a leaner system of purchasing software, one that reduces prices and caters to the needs of the customer.

As a college student, I am forward to this opportunity that Cloud Computing has opened up.  What we will see in the coming years is experimentation with subscription based services and pricing of software.  This will most certainly lead to cheaper prices for us software hungry masses.  I will have the ability to pick and choose software that I require for my classes, and not only that, but there will most likely be options for subscription services in addition to traditional licenses.  As long as the quality of the software stays the same, having more options when it comes to purchasing the software is strictly better than having fewer options, and I’m certainly not complaining.