Please Go Paid!

By Team Digit Published Date
01 - Jun - 2006
| Last Updated
01 - Jun - 2006
Please Go Paid!
Here's how to go about buying legal software-flavours of Windows XP and more

My friend had just assembled a computer, and realising he hadn't bought any software, he called me to ask if he could "borrow" my installer CDs! Now, I'm known for my strong views against piracy, and I decided to make him my first lecture victim for the summer! Determined to make him realise the importance of buying the original software, I headed for his place.

My friend's not a cheat-he's just misguided because of all the piracy that takes place around here. Even system assemblers load pirated OSes and software when they provide you with a machine. Had he not decided to buy his machine in parts and assemble it himself (he had always wanted to do so), he would have got a machine with an OS and the most popular paid software-MS Office, Tally, Norton SystemWorks, and the likes-all pirated, all at no extra cost. The phrase "but everyone does it" is no justification for committing a crime, and my friend understood. But though he agreed to pay for the OS, he was quite confused about how to go about buying it. I decided to use my regular slot in Digit to tell all of you what I told my friend.

The OS
Windows XP is the unanimous choice, but not many know that there are various flavours available. There's the Professional Edition, Home Edition and Media Center Edition. Home users should not consider Windows XP Home crippleware, as popular belief goes, because all that the Home Edition does not have is some advanced tweaking tools and lack of support for IIS. Most home users will never notice these differences, and can pay less to obtain your legal copy!

XP Professional is the most powerful flavour of the lot, but there are complications when buying it. For example, if you're buying the OS for just a single computer, you can opt for the Box Pack, which contains the installer CD, the Manual and the End User License. The box contains a serial key that can be used only on one computer, and you will need to preserve the license to prove the authenticity of your copy. Now, if you have 15 computers or more in a SoHo setup, it would be stupid (and expensive) to buy 15 box licenses. So, you have the option of buying the Paper License. This means you get only one box and one serial, but can use that to install XP Professional on all your computers. The advantage is that you cut down on paperwork and costs, and all your computers have a single serial.

Software Price (Rs)(Box/Paper License)
Windows XP Home  3,500 (OEM) 
Windows XP Professional 9,500 / 6,270 
Windows 2003 Server  32,200 / 24,140 
Client user licenses for 2003 Server  1,165 
MS Office 2003 Standard 13,100 / 12,390 
MS Office 2003 Professional 16,100 / 15,330 
Adobe Photoshop CS2 35,570 / 32,500 
Adobe Illustrator CS2 27,440 / 26,660 
Adobe Creative Suite 2 Standard  48,250 / 45,000 
Adobe Creative Suite 2 Professional  64,260 / 60,000 
Adobe Acrobat 7.0  15,300 / 14,200 
Macromedia Director 10 58,450 / 56,600 
Macromedia Flash 8 19,700 / 19,000 
Macromedia Studio 8 49,130 / 47,100 
Norton Anti-Virus 2006 (Single user) 1,600 
Norton Corporate Edition (10-user pack) 6,500 
McAfee 10.0 (Single user) 1,350 
McAfee AVSS (10-user pack).. 8,600 

Those of you who want to buy a copy of Windows Server 2003 will need to remember that apart from the cost of a Server 2003 license, you also need to pay for a Client Access License (CAL). This is the license for the users who will connect to and use the server. Server 2003 comes with licenses for five to 10 users, and if you have more, you will need to buy the CAL for more users.

Open Source
Those of you who are averse to paying anything at all should seriously consider shifting to Linux. The beauty of this is that whether you need it for desktop or server use, you will never pay a penny-of course, you'll have to learn about Linux and pretty much start from scratch!

When it comes to office suites, most of us Indians use pirated versions of MS Office. If you want to stay out of trouble without coughing up-and MS Office comes with a hefty price tag-you can always give a try; it's an excellent replacement for MS Office! 

Team DigitTeam Digit

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