asks: "I've been reading a lot about how software makers want subscription-based services to be the norm, but how will OEMs handle the distribution of this new type of software? Today Dell ships a copy of Office 2000 that will run forever, but does this mean tomorrow they'll ship a copy of Office XP that will run for one year? How will this affect the prices of PCs?"
I suspect that, if the foul idea of subscription-ware catches on, OEMs will effectively be relegated to the role of hardware pushers. The software will come foamed in with the hardware, with the install procedure being simple: plug in the computer and the phone line/network cable; insert the CD; and then turn the machine on. Your software company will then happily install all the software they
think you'll ever need for a nice, (moderately) low, monthly price. Nice idea, however I don't think I trust commercial software enough for them to force
this idea down our throats just yet. Do you?