Technological Dissonance: Another way to pay?

— 12:42 AM on December 28, 2000

Our column Technological Dissonance is back again with another intriguing topic. This time, Geoff points out problems with the current pricing structure of some software applications, then makes a case for an alternative pricing scheme. What makes this one different? It would allow mere mortals to afford such high-end gems as Photoshop and AutoCAD. Here's a sample for you:

Without getting into specific numbers surrounding this kind of price model, the basic idea is that for XYZ program you pay A rate per B time period. While charging per hour is probably not the best idea, charging per minute or even second could be quite feasible. So how much do you charge for each unit of time? Well, obviously it's going to vary depending on the cost of the "retail" version of the software. The important thing is the concept: you only pay for the software when you're using it; when it's sitting idle it isn't costing you a dime.
As always, Geoff raises some interesting (and most likely controversial) points, but he makes a convincing argument to back up his idea.
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