Important Things to Remember When Buying Software/Hardware

Computer software and hardware are constantly evolving. These changes require some savvy on the part of the computer user.

If you are considering buying new software or hardware, you must stay abreast of these changes and act accordingly.

Here are a few tips to help ensure that your experience is a smooth one.

No Rush

If you are an early adopter when it comes to technology, you likely find it hard to resist purchasing that new application or computer.

But holding back does have its rewards.

For one thing, if you buy something as soon as it hits the market, you will be paying a premium. Manufacturers usually recover their research and development costs with early sales. Waiting a few weeks or months almost always means the price comes down significantly, once those costs are recovered.

Another benefit of waiting is that you are not the guinea pig. Sure, most manufacturers say they thoroughly beta-tested that new operating system, but there are always bugs. And most of them are discovered by real-life users like yourself.

System Requirements



Software is constantly evolving, requiring increasingly powerful computers.

Have a look at the minimum and recommended system requirements for the software you are considering buying. If your current computer does not meet the minimums, you may need to upgrade it in order to run your software.

Seek Feedback



Do not rely upon manufacturer’s advertisements. They will tell you the good and leave out the bad.

A better barometer is user reviews. Find sites where real people are talking about their experience using the product. You can get a great feel for the pros and cons this way.

Be Wary Of Used Items



There are some great deals on used software and hardware out there, but be careful. The seller may be hiding something.

Sites like eBay have seller ratings. If you see someone with hundreds of ratings and 99 percent positive feedback, you have just found a trustworthy seller. They will not try to rip you off, and any problems you experience should be rectified in good faith.

Licensing



When you buy software you must enter into a legally binding agreement that defines your rights and that of the software producer.

If you are using the software in your business, each computer should have its own software license. If you share this software with all of your employees without permission, you could face a criminal lawsuit.

Competition



Don’t automatically jump at the first application that meets your needs. There may be a competing program that is less expensive or even free.

One good example of this is OpenOffice, an alternative to Microsoft Word. It is totally free. There are also very good freeware alternatives to most antivirus programs. They might not have all the bells and whistles, but they get the job done and are suitable for most users.

Support

Before buying, inform yourself about support options for your hardware or software. You will need to know what a warranty covers and for how long.

If you have a problem, you will need to know how to get technical support. In some cases, students can have their computers repaired for free, even if the warranty has expired. Dell is one such company offering this feature.

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