Any family and small business require the use of software in their laptops and desktop PCs. Although you can use free solutions like Linux and Open Office, you may eventually need to purchase software for various purposes. Before buying, you should do your research and choose the right software solutions. Some programs like Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Office can be quite expensive. For freelancers and self-employed professionals, they can’t really afford those. Here are some solutions that you should choose:
- Open source: Open source means that the program is not only free to download and use, but it’s code can be modified by any developer. Open Office is a good alternative for Microsoft Office and GIMP is a great free option for Adobe Photoshop. These programs are regularly updated and users can get good support from developers and experienced users.
- Student versions: Some developers offer Home and Student versions, which can be up to four times cheaper. However, you should be aware that professional-related components could be removed from these student version solutions. As an example, the Student version of Microsoft Outlook doesn’t include the Microsoft Outlook. So, you should be aware of any component that you will get when you plan to purchase a lite software solution.
- Extended trial versions: Leading software developers allow you to download trial versions of their software. If you don’t plan to use specific software for a long period of time and you need to complete a project shortly, these extended trial versions should be useful. After the trial period expires, you can install the open source version of the software.
- Get voucher codes and discount coupons: With quick online search, you should be able to find vouchers and discounts for various problems.
Getting low-cost listing for Adobe Creative Suite or Microsoft Office can be too good to be true. You should be aware of the dirty tricks that some software sellers may use. As an example, you may get OEM version of the software. OEM license is given when software is included with the computer, typically the operating system, antivirus and Office suites. Developers sell OEM licenses at lower prices to hardware makers, because the software is installed at many thousands of computer units. OEM programs shouldn’t be sold to regular computer users.
When buying low cost software, you should also avoid buying pirated software. These illegal software solutions are obtained for free and to prevent suspicion, sellers may sell these programs at only slightly cheaper price than the original version. These illegal programs are typically cracked with duplicated passwords or some codes that are injected to the files. Sellers of pirated programs can be smart enough not to sell at very low prices, so they can be harder to spot at first. If you use pirated programs, you won’t be eligible for updates and bug fixes from the developers. In fact, the program can be rendered useless after you apply the update, because the crack is only useful for specific release.