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Computer application buying tips

Purchasing a software application or program can be a big consideration, especially when purchasing advanced and usually expensive programs such as Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop. When considering purchasing these programs it is important that you or your staff be familiar with the program and are sure it's going to be capable of what you need it to do.
On this page we've listed different considerations to think about before buying a computer software application.

 Competition

Before buying any application make sure there is not a competing program that may be cheaper or even free. If available and something that's capable of doing what you want it to do this could save you hundreds of dollars.
A good example of such a program is OpenOffice and Corel WordPerfect that would be a competitor to Microsoft Word. Both programs are an excellent choice for a word processor but can be a considerable price difference. In the case of OpenOffice, it's 100% free.

Documentation

Make sure proper documentation is included. Many programs today will include on-line documentation that is more than sufficient. However, it is also useful to obtain a manual or user guide for the software program or application.

Licenses

If you are a company who plans on having software programs used by its employees (more than one person), you need to consider licensing options. It is required that for each computer a product is installed onto that it have a software license. If a company purchases the program and shares it with all its employees without the proper licensing, this would be illegal and can cause your company to face a criminal lawsuit.

Price

Look at your overall price and shop around. Because a software price can change often, you can sometimes save hundreds of dollars on expensive software. If possible, do not purchase directly through the company; many times, the company's price doubles a retailers price.
Be cautious of OEM software. Many resellers will sell a program as OEM, which requires you buy a computer or motherboard. OEM software is software that is included with large manufacturers' computers and only includes either just a CD or a slim manual and CD. This is not what you would find at a retail store. This option is not a bad option, it is only important that you are aware of what you are getting.

Package

Look at the overall software package. How many CDs or diskettes are included, what inserts and documentation is included, and is there any bonus or extra software included?

Media

Today, the majority of software is included on CDs and DVDs. When looking at a program, make sure you have an acceptable drive that's able to read the media, While not common today, an example of why this is important is it's better to receive one CD instead of 32 floppy diskettes.

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