Buying Software? Research may save you money

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 9, 2016

When I look back at my software buying history of the past five or so years, it is clear almost immediately that I did not really buy many products in that time.

The main reason for that is that there are lots of free programs available for Windows -- and other desktop operating systems -- that provide me with the functionality I require.

In fact, there are types of software where commercial programs are non-existent. Think of web browsers for instance and let me know if you can name a single commercial browser.

While free software provides me with the functionality I require most of the time, it is not always the case.

If you think about security software for instance, you may come to the conclusion that commercial software is the way to go.

While there are free antivirus solutions available, commercial programs usually ship with better functionality and on top of that, may remove annoyances that are part of the free version.

To name a few programs that I think are worth buying: Sandboxie, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, Fast Picture Viewer, Bulk Image Downloader, ConvertXToDVD, Windows Firewall Control, and several others.

You can replicate some of the features with free software, and sometimes that is all you require.

Research before you buy software

When it comes to buying software licenses, it is highly suggested that you research before you make a purchase.

The main reason for this is that you can save -- sometimes a lot of -- money when you do so. To give you one example.

If you visit the Malwarebytes website to purchase the premium version of the security program, you get to choose between a one and two year subscription for $29.99 and $49.99 respectively. That's quiet a bit of money for a product that will expire after that time and revert back to a regular version unless you renew the subscription.

If you research the program, you may eventually come upon the offer on Downloadcrew where you get a lifetime license for $34 currently.

That's just $5 more than what you would pay for a one year subscription on the official Malwarebytes website but for a lifetime license which means that you can use the program on a single PC without having to renew the subscription on a yearly basis.

Another example: Office 365 Personal is available for $59.99 on the Microsoft Office website. The offer gets you a one-year subscription to the service.

If you head over to Amazon, you get the same subscription for $45.49 currently, a saving of about 25% over the regular price.

Office 365 is discounted regularly but you have to remember that those discounts are only valid for the first year and that you will have to pay the full subscription price to renew the product.

Another one? How about Windows 10 Professional? Microsoft's Store sells it for $199.99. If you head over to Direct2Play, you get it for $22 instead.

Please note that I have no experience with Direct2Play and cannot say anything about the legitimacy of the offer.

The very same is true for online services as well. If you are looking for a VPN for instance, you may get a better deal on deals sites than subscribing to a service directly on the company website.

Researching software offers

So how would you go about finding software discounts? The first stop should be to the developer's website to get a price baseline.

Once done, you may want to start running a couple of searches (replace program with the name of the software you are interested in).

  • buy program.
  • program lifetime license.
  • program discount.
  • program offer.
  • program coupon.

If it is a major product, you may also head over to retail sites like Amazon or Newegg directly to see if they have it on sale or at a discount at the time.

Your research may come up empty at times, either because the software or service is not discounted at the time, or it is never discounted.

There is little that you can do about the latter, but if the purchase is not a pressing matter, it may make sense to wait a couple of days or weeks before you run the search for discounts again.

Software programs like Price Pirates may assist you in the research as well.

Now You: have you bought software in the past?

Buying Software? Search may save you money
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Buying Software? Search may save you money
If you plan to purchase commercial software programs, you may want to search for offers and discounts before you buy to save money.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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