Over One Thousand Dollars For Software Per Computer?

Friday, 28. August 2009

This can’t be right. It’s going to cost $1000.00 just for software?

I must admit, this is quite a surprise, even for me. While pricing a PC for a client, I was shocked when I calculated the total cost of the software that they are required to use for their business.

The cost of software is one of those things that most business owners understand, but very few employees grasp. While there are open source alternatives available for these software packages, chances are that the client will elect to purchase this software, but as always, I’ll sure give him the option to try something different.

The Commercial Software List:

  • Windows XP Professional
  • Office Standard
  • Corel Draw Graphics Suite
  • Nod32 Anti Virus

Let’s look at the prices:

Windows XP Professional OEM: $ 159.00
Microsoft Office Standard:   $ 349.00
Corel Draw Graphics Suite:   $ 459.00
Nod32 Anti Virus:            $  40.00
Grand Total:                 $1007.00

Wow! That’s a bit more then even I expected. These prices are based on street price. I have no idea what the regular retail is. But that’s nuts! Especially when there are alternatives for all of these.

The Open Source Alternative:

  • Ubuntu Linux
  • Open Office
  • Inkscape
  • Gimp
  • ClamAV

What are the prices for these programs?

Grand Total:               $   0.00

That’s right! Now, I will admit that they will need to learn how to use Inkscape and Gimp. They are robust and complex programs, just like the ones they replace, but remember, if they are upgrading software in the first place, There’s a learning curve there as well.

You would think this would be a no brainer.

Well, it should be, but let’s face it, change is painful. This company will probably bite the bullet and spend the extra grand per PC. Why? Simple, they think because they pay for something, it’s got to be better. Well, it might look cooler when it starts up, but at the end of the day, the software all does the same thing.

Maybe someday, when the digital generation makes it to the board rooms, things will change… I can only hope.

— Stu


One Response to “Over One Thousand Dollars For Software Per Computer?”

  1. w6bi Says:

    Here’s the numbers I came up with for a presentation I gave at CIPCUG recently:

    Computer – $580 which consists of:
    Hardware – $500
    Operating System (Windows) – $80 <— the OEM's "Windows Tax"

    MS Office 2007 – $409
    Visio – $399
    MS Project – $450
    Photoshop – $630
    Hardware: $500
    Software: $1978! Yikes! 4x the cost of the hardware!

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