There is a type of deception which takes place where something is renamed to obscure what it is and to leave behind any negative connotations of it’s original name.
Like the Conservatives slowly privatising the health service but calling it outsourcing so that people don’t realise the health service is being privatised.
Another example of this deception is ‘Software as a Service’ which should really be called ‘Software Rental’, the people who push this idea don’t like the name ‘Software Rental’ because they would like to obscure the fact that you are renting software so they call it something that doesn’t sound as bad.
Let us call it what it actually is, Software Rental!
I can see why software developers like rental software because it provides them with a continuous revenue stream so they are pushing the idea but I have yet to hear any convincing arguments as to why it is good for the customers. For the customers it is a continuous revenue drain.
The software companies claim that it is better because the customers get continuous updates to the software, but if the software worked properly in the first place it wouldn’t need fixing, and the continuous tweaks to the way things work and to how things look for the sake of novelty are just annoying and unnecessary.
There are two models for ‘Software Rental’ one of them is the model adopted by The Brain Technologies (TheBrain) where if you stop paying the rent then you are left with the version of the software you had when you stopped paying but it still works, but there are no updates.
This is not as bad as the other model adopted by Microsoft (Microsoft Office 365) where if you stop paying the software stops working altogether. If you have a lot of data and documents produced by these programs then it is as if the company are holding your data hostage against your continuing payments. This model is very bad.
The problem is that ‘Software as a Service’ may come to be seen as the norm in the software industry, this would be very bad for the users.
I hope this does not happen but I suspect a lot of people in the software industry might use the fact that Microsoft are using this model as justification to use it themselves.