When it comes to types of software available for download or part of a service, you have thousands of choices. Knowing how to compare computer software is essential for getting the right features and the necessary support to use the software as desired.

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Triple Check
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Video interviews are designed to showcase real customer experiences with a variety of companies. They give consumers a chance to tell their side of the story and expand upon their original complaint posted to PissedConsumer.com

I run a Tech Support division for an online education company in New Zealand and have 20+ years background in corporate software and know that Tech Support is something that can either make or break a business ...... and now have a disappointing 3-week experience that demonstrates Microsoft Tech Support IS A COMPLETE AND UTTER FAILURE.But this is not a story of complaint about the individuals at MS attempting to assist. No, this is a story of the Microsoft Tech Support Infrastructure ... that is poorly designed ... certainly not monitored, managed or supervised.Three weeks ago one of our key PC's (Win 10 Pro) used to provide Tech Support to our own customers was corrupted by the latest Windows update. On that PC is 10+ years of customer emails, phone support records and our extensive Tech Support data and systems. We immediately ordered a new hi-spec Dell as a replacement thinking that recovery of the data and would enable a transfer of all those records to the new PC. While awaiting delivery I started chasing MS Tech Support for assistance.But THREE WEEKS, 12 case numbers and 60+ HOURS on the phone to them later .... Microsoft have still not resolved our problems.BUT the problem gets worse ... much worse.The new PC arrives with Win 10 Pro installed, and believe it or not .... yes ....., we encounter issues installing the disc-based MS Office, Project Pro and Visio Pro that we own on it. So I call MS Tech Support. Very quickly we discover that MS is trying to get all their customer's to use their 365 subscription offering, rather than support the software we've purchased from them. Then I'm informed MS Tech Support needs to remove 365 from Windows 10 Pro, because it is preventing the installation of their own disk based products????Three weeks later, with more than 12 different case numbers given to us, and 60+ hours sitting on the phone, the problems in both the old PC AND the new DELL computer, are STILL NOT fixed.So the cause of the problems:1: Constant phone disconnections from the MS Tech Support Centers in the Philippines and India ... and the Tech Support Center in the United States simply refuse to speak to anyone outside the US.2: When you attempt to make a call to MS Tech Support from here in Australasia, you have to fight to get through at least 6 levels of automated call selections - most of which attempt to send you back to the MS website. (MS must think everyone is stupid if they seriously think we have not already checked there first. But their own software updates corrupting customers PC's is not dealt with on their website.3: When you finally manage to speak to someone in MS Tech Support, is when you encounter being repeatedly cut off. No fewer than 8 times ....... and their Tech Support staff explain they are in the middle of replacing their ISP. ...... For three weeks???4: When you are cut off, you have absolutely no way of reconnecting with the same person that you have already spent more than 30 minutes explaining the problems to ... and then you are back fighting with their totally inadequate automated phone system to then arrive back with someone completely new, whom you then have to spend another 30 minutes explaining the problem a second ... or third time. What becomes even more infuriating is the fact that despite the fact you are cut off ...... and they have your contact number ... they will NEVER call the customer back. I was informed by those there that MS management does not allow them to contact customers back????.On one day alone I wasted over 9 hours sitting waiting on the phone.5: Next you discover that there are Tech Level 1 technicians and Tech level 2 technicians ....... The chances of you speaking to the more experienced Level 2 Technician is virtually impossible. Both these more experienced people AND especially their Windows Tech Support department, are literally guarded and not allows to speak with customers ......and I only succeeded after being assisted and introduced by a Level Tech 1 technician.6: If and when you finally get to speak to a Tech 2 Department techie, you will start to discover a number of distinct and severe abnormalities ... one of the more ridiculous is that the world's "largest" software company's, does not even have the tools to allow them to capture and transfer your old Outlook settings and data from an older Win 10 Pro PC to your brand new Win 10 Pro PC ... even if you are using the same versions of Windows and Office on each.In other words MS is only too happy to sell you the software at ridiculous prices AND to then break it with their updates ... but certainly not support your ongoing use of it..7: Finally, as I sit here now - with not just one broken PC, but also a second broken "new" PC, .... here is the funniest and saddest aspect of this whole debacle. After each of the calls I have made trying to get these problems fixed, I am sent an email asking for me to Rate Their Service. I now have received FORTY NINE of them. I ignored each of the first 48 because of the problems had not been sorted because the majority of the calls remain unresolved due to their phone lines constantly dropping out.On the 49th however, in an effort to alert their management to the extent of the problems with their Tech Support, I took the time to send them a long and detailed description of the problems I had encountered. I had hoped someone in Microsoft would have been there to take some sort of interest, so I provided my private contact number where they could call me back. Guess how many calls I received? ...... ZERO .... ZIP .... NOT ONE ... which tells me how disinterested Microsoft - and their management, really is in regard totheir business customers and support..So in conclusion I have to suggest that I really hope that Microsoft NEVER has the opportunity to provide any of their technology to the autonomous vehicle industry or Elon Musk's space rockets ... because it is way beyond their capacity if they cannot even plan or manage their own Tech Support service, let alone develop reliable software.And if I was located in the United States I would have already contacted an Attorney to represent us in suing them.MICROSOFT ... it is no wonder your days of glory expired 20 years ago with the creation of Windows 3.1. I will be publishing a copy of this debacle online .... if for no other reason than Dell should refuse to have your broken software on their computers. They still produce a quality product and service ... sadly the outrageous accident that is Microsoft, is 20 years beyond its expiry date and shelf life.Long live LibreOffice and the other quality free offerings because they appear to want our business ... unlike Microsoft.
My website is hosted at bluehost. I got an email from sitelock about a malware and my account was instantly deactivated.I logged in to the live chat asking for Security, then I got a call from a weird dude from SITELOCK.This guy started asking me how much money I make from that website, and tried to convince me to pay +$700 a year to have the malware removed and some firewall installed.After I repeatedly told him I have no money to invest in that BLOG, he actually told me:"Use someone else's money. Just use a credit card."Every time I told him that I just needed to remove the malware, he would try to scare me saying that it wont work, they will come back, hiring SiteLock is the ONLY way.I felt creeped out and hung up.After some google searches I realized those guys are a scam.Went to the live chat again and asked to speak with customer support.A Bluehost guy told me that all I had to do was delete 3 files on the file manager and the account would be reactivated.I did that in 3 minutes and solved the problem.Sitelock is a scam.
Horrible horrible company, after setting my profile up, I found the service to not fit the needs of my company after the first two months of using it. Only to discover I can't even buy my way out of the contract. There is no way out, according to their customer service. This is a company who aims to squeeze anything out of anybody, and does not aim to serve or help their customers. Horrible horrible ethics, horrible service (when I used it), and horribly unethical trapping mechanisms built into their business model and contracts. Also super disappointed with Facebook for partnering with them and suggesting their services for small business owners.

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When it comes to types of software available for download or part of a service, you have thousands of choices. Knowing how to compare computer software is essential for getting the right features and the necessary support to use the software as desired.

Go Beyond Software Checklists

A checklist is a good start for reviewing basic features. However a list can only give you a rudimentary comparison. A checklist lacks a deeper insight into the form, features, feel, and issues within software development methodologies.

Some software companies focus on checking the boxes for marketing purposes and to earn ratings rather than developing a more streamlined or useful feature for customers. More in-depth reviews will often provide more feedback on software features that are cursory rather than highly functional.

Customization of Software

Some software and software services allow personalization or customization for your own business or personal needs. How much customization you will ultimately need depends on how you plan to use the software and your budget restriction, but you should have the option to fine-tune the software you’ve purchased.

The best way to check for customization options is to look for advanced options in the terms of conditions, workflow and rules and to read the software companies reviews created by unbiased experts and other customers. If the same business software can be adapted to an accounting firm and a marketing agency, it has to have at least some customization options.

How to Choose Adaptable Software

The best way to choose the right enterprise software for your company is to know what you are looking for and have a deliberate selection path and criteria including the following steps.

  • Prioritize your requirements. It’s not enough to know what you need in a software suite. You must also know what is the most important. Prioritizing your requirements will go beyond just checking boxes and allow you a deeper look into the software.
  • Try it for free. If the software or software service doesn’t offer a free trial, work with the appropriate department in the company to arrange one. Using your list of priorities and needs, test the product extensively during the trial. Look for the capabilities of the software by pushing it to its limits and look for areas that will need customization and improvement.
  • Measure simplicity. How easy is it to get the job done using the software? Do you have to host the software or is there a software service that is more functional? Having to make extra clicks and go through extra steps can be tedious and time-wasting, even if the end product is satisfactory.
  • Check intuitiveness. Even if you are the only one using the software, you’re going to miss some features during a trial period. You will need to figure things out down the road, or you will be working with employees who are doing the same thing. While a great customer service team is also critical, being able to figure out how to do most of what you need is a great feature as well.
  • Assess the customer service now and later. Companies will do anything and everything to help you learn to love their product before you buy it. The real test is how the customer service will treat you after the money is spent and the refund period has expired.

The reliability of customer service is often best measured through reviews. Read what others have said and discovered before you and allow their experiences to guide your own. The reviews for software companies may provide valuable insight you hadn’t previously considered. This is especially important if you will be implementing new software across your company with multiple users.

Don’t just rely on your own opinion to find software that seems to be a good fit. A selection committee offers different viewpoints and user experiences if you are choosing a comprehensive, large piece of software. Choosing the best software can be expensive and time consuming. It makes sense to spend the time and energy to compare and select carefully.

Understanding the Types of Computer Software

Software is a broad term that covers a wide selection of programs. Software can be downloaded to your machine or sold as part of an ongoing service and hosted online. Fundamentally, software makes hardware work. But making the screen light up or the keyboard functional is only the tip of the digital iceberg. There are millions of programs out there, but almost all fall into one of the following software types.

System Software

The system software on your computer allows everything else to work. The system is the brain of the computer and it provides a platform for functionality. Different brands and types of computer (and smart devices for that matter) use different brands of system software in order to allow the computer to function.

Programming Software

Computers speak multiple languages, but the programmer must also be fluent. Programming software includes the platform necessary for coders and engineers to “speak” to the computer. These are used to write, debug, test, improve and develop all other types of programs for computers and devices.

Content Control

You can limit or control what users can see and do on their computers using content control software. These include parental monitoring software, firewalls and web protection systems.

Utility Software

The janitorial staff of the software world, these are small programs coexist with other system software to help manage hardware and other software packages by defragmenting and cleaning periodically. For example the registry cleaner speeds up your computer by deleting the invalid registry entries and cleaning up the trail software downloads can leave behind.

Application Software

While system software is necessary to make the computer turn on and do anything at all, application software are programs that fit the needs or wishes of the user and might be cloud-based or run from a personal computer or server. Application software covers a wide range of offerings including the following:

  • Project Management Software – A package that allows multiple users to simultaneously access the programs to allocate resources, schedule and collaborate.
  • Internet Browsers – To access the internet, you will need some form of access software.
  • Antivirus Software – Security software is designed to fight off harmful programs and protect your computer.
  • Graphics Software – Designing images and art on the computer requires the use of software that can handle very fine graphical detail.
  • E-Commerce Software – While e-commerce occurs over the internet, building the necessary websites, online stores and platforms requires e-commerce software on your computer.
  • Games – Games come in a variety of styles and options.
  • Office – There are many types of software to help write papers, design reports, organize information and perform mathematical functions.
  • Media – Computers not only use media software to let you watch movies and see pictures, but to edit and improve them as well.
  • Educational Software – Programs designed to help students learn and allow teachers and administrators to manage digital classroom components.

The world of technology is changing rapidly, and software is changing along with it. While this list includes many of the most common examples of software in today’s world, there is no telling what might be included in the computing world of tomorrow.