You don’t have to be a genius in order to intelligently buy computer software. Follow these tips and have your computer fully equipped in a jiffy:
Know your operating system
In addition to the basics of distinguishing between a Mac and PC, before buying software you must be aware of your computer’s operating system version number. For a PC user, this would mean Windows 98, 2000, ME, XP, Vista or 7. Knowing how much RAM (random-access memory) and hard-disk space your computer has available is important too. On a PC you can find this information in your Systems folder in the Control Panel. Mac users can find this information in the Utilities Folder.
Make sure software works on your operating system
When looking at software check to make sure it will fit on your computer. Each software programs list how much memory and disk space it uses. Do you have enough hard-disk space and RAM left? Be sure to purchase the right software for your operating system. Most software companies offer different software for Mac and PCs, while others are even more specific for each operating system within the Mac and PC families.
Purchase the current version
Obviously the most current version of software will be the most efficient and up to date. Check to see if future updates to the software are free. If not, check to see when the next version is coming out. It might be worth waiting a few weeks for the most updated version.
Look for free trials before you buy computer software
Many software companies offer free trials so you can test out their software before you purchase it. I would recommend this option since software can often be expensive. If you do not like the product, simply do not purchase the full version online once or cancel your registration before the end of the trial.
Know what kind of technical support you will be getting
In the case that you have a problem or question regarding the software it is important you are aware of the technical support available to you. Some software companies offer 24 hour toll-free customer service, while others will charge you for their time when you have a problem with their product. Before you a call a help line, it is good to check the software’s website for any FAQ’s that might answer your questions.