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Rent vs. Buy

Rent Vs. Buy
by Gary Woods

As a Realtor people are always asking me about what the benefits of buying vs. renting are. When it comes to software however you've really only had the option of buying. But now, there is a move afoot to make some software available on a rental basis. The upside of renting is you've always got the latest version of whatever you're using and you only rent what you need for the time you need it.

One company which has stepped up to the plate for the rental market is Adobe. They make great products but some of them are incredibly expensive. Some of Adobe's Creative Suites with After Effects, Dreamweaver, Flash Professional, InDesign, Photoshop and Premier Pro can cost anywhere from $1,300 to $2,600. So renting just the parts of the suites you want can make good financial sense. For instance, if you've lusted after Photoshop Creative Suite 5.5 which costs upwards of $700 you can rent it on an annualized basis of $29 per month. At that rate it would take you over 2 years before your rental charge would over take your purchase price and I can guarantee you that Photoshop Creative Suite 6 will have wandered around the corner by then. Also for $29 each you can get Flash Professional, InDesign, and Illustrator. And for just $19 per month you can get Dreamweaver.

With more and more computing being done in the cloud the idea of renting software is starting to come around. We're going to start having work stations with small or even no hard drives. The operating systems will be in Read Only Memory which would make these machines start up instantly and all our data would be stored on the Internet. At that point Renting Software instead of buying will be a great way to go.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc