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"Lifetime" is not what you think

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Parent Category Name: Infra And Operations
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A number of software resellers have turned to use the term "lifetime" to give the impression that you buy software that will be "legal" and "supported" for ever. or at least during your lifetime. Don't be fooled!

In (corporate) software there are no examples of one-time purchases that mean to include perpetual support. 

As a matter of fact, there are few software companies that include the term "lifetime" in their offerings. Most every software version has a support horizon. After which it may very wel continue to function, but without support from the vendor. And more importantly, without updates by the vendor. 

Of course, after the "general availability" period, vendors typically offer "extended support" options and even "extended life support" options. Note that these typically cost increasing amounts of money and may contain reduced support levels.

Returning to the topic at hand, some vendors offer "lifetime" versions of software which is normally sold by the original manufacturer as a subscription.

Typically these are versions of software that are available outside the subscription model. Before the advent of the subscription model, vendors typically sold "perpetual" licenses. That means that the softwere will continue to function on your computer. That is, until it does not...

E.g., I have an old office 2010 license. i "could" install that on a computer that fulfills the requirements of Office 2010. That would be an old version of Windows.  And yes! it would work. happy days, right? Wrong.

That old Windows version, also benefitting from a "perpetual" license, will be full of security holes. So, better not give that thing internet access. That old Windows (or MacOS, or  Mac OS X, or Linux or ....) no longer receives security and performance updates and no bug fixes. And neither does that old Office install. It means that you are at risk of every conceivable hack since more than 12 years ago now.

 Even if you were to buy the "latest" "lifetime" bundle of say Microsoft Office from some vendor (at the time of writing that would be Office 2021, it is not YOUR lifetime. It is the lifetime of the SOFTWARE. Microsoft stops the support in any case in 2026. Lifetime then means 4 years! 

There is also no guarantee whatsoever that the license you receive is an actual valid license. many of the licenses sold in this way are actually unused licenses bought by companies that are now resold. Nothing wrong with that, as long as the contract between the original buyer and the vendor allows for the resale. 

If you as a private individual want to take the risk that is perfectly up to you and you may make your profit with it. As a company, my personal stance is to reflect before you take this plunge.

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