Does anyone still use disks to install software? Should you?

Remember the days when you’d anxiously await the arrival of your new software installation CD so you could finally get started on your new software?

While some companies still rely on install disks for their software I see it eventually going away. Companies that still use install disks sell them in a retail environment, because, let’s face it: it’s silly to sell an empty box with a download link, although I’ve seen companies do it… *cough TurboTax*. This option is seen less frequently now since most software doesn’t require the disc to run it if you’re using up-to-date operating systems.

In the past few years, software giant Adobe has done away with discs and made everything available online for purchase and download through links alone.

With the rise of web based apps and downloadable content, issuing a install disk is outdated as soon as you put out an update. So it makes sense that we see more and more companies going to an install link vs. an install disk. It definately expedites the install process.

I would assume there are people out there that hold onto the data disc and like knowing where it is purely for the nostalgia. I have a stash of CDs from my childhood that I keep for no other reason than to look at them and relive the memories. (Other than that, they just collect dust). 

CDs were vital to software companies originally so the user could install the game or application on a new computer with the disc (and it didn’t get scratched). But this was also a time when internet speeds were creeping along and a download would take weeks not minutes.

Today with the Internet assisting in daily operations it would be more trouble than help to have a CD on hand. Here at SherWare, I’m at work around 8+ hours a day on the computer. Since getting my MacBook Pro over a year ago, I’ve installed probably 10-20 different programs that I use. In the last year I can count how many times I’ve touched an install disk: 0. My computer doesn’t even have a CD drive. If your updates come from the Internet anyways, why can’t your install files?

The simple answer: It can, and should.

Source: SherWare Blog

Phil Sherwood

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