Here are tips on how to cut your software spending.
Don’t Buy Software Suites
Don’t buy a software suite thinking that you may need to use some of the programs in future. For example, if you’ll only be using Microsoft Word, don’t buy the Microsoft Office suite. Only buy software you need in the here and now.
Don’t Buy a Computer with Preinstalled Software
If you’re in the market for a new computer, don’t buy a unit with preinstalled software unless you really need it. Why buy a new computer with Windows Vista when you already have a licensed copy of Windows XP? Recently, many users bought computers with pre-installed Vista only to have them uninstalled from their computers and revert to Windows XP.
Use What is Already in Your Operating System
If you want to edit a video, try using Windows Movie Maker first. If you want to write a letter and nothing more, try Wordpad. If you want to crop a picture, don’t go out and buy Photoshop. Try Paint. Explore fully the programs already in your operating system and ask how you can put them to full use.
Use Freeware Alternatives
Before you go out and buy an expensive piece of software, ask whether there’s a freeware alternative. If you plan to buy Photoshop, why not consider GIMP? If you plan to buy Camtasia Studio, why not consider Freez Screen Capture? If you need Microsoft Office, why not try Open Office? Don’t fall for hype. More often than not, freeware alternatives can perform as well as paid versions. Check out freeware forums and reputable websites for advice on suitable freeware alternatives. You can find plenty of tutorials over at Youtube to help you use the freeware programs.
Use Trial Versions
If you are only going to work on a short-term project, say for a week or two, seek out fully-functional trial versions of the software you need. Cutting-edge software like Dreamweaver, Camtasia Studio and Photoshop have 30-day trial periods.
Use Free Old Versions
If you look around a bit, you can find software companies giving away old versions of their software for free. Serif, for instance, gives away five fully-functional previous versions of their software.
Do You Really Need The Latest Version?
If you’re considering purchasing the latest version of a software, ask yourself whether you can buy a previous version that meet your needs. More often that an older version will do the job. Check out Amazon and eBay for earlier versions of the software you have in mind. If you look carefully, you can really land a bargain.
Check Out Your Licenses
Some software licenses allow you to install programs in more than one computer. What’s the point of purchasing an extra license when you need only one? Also companies like Microsoft have provisions for academic and domestic licenses which cost lower then retail licenses. For instance, if you have a child studying full-time, you qualify.