Software for computers comes in many different forms. It may be applications software or database software. It could be a game for playing in one’s leisure time or a business application used at work. It is important to consider several factors when choosing where to buy software. One key item to consider is the importance of verifying the source. For example, a person seeking a suite of programs such as Microsoft Office will want to ensure that the product they receive is an authentic, licensed copy of the programs, not some copy that has been burned by an individual. This can usually be accomplished by looking directly at the disc containing the programs as Microsoft and other companies incorporate authentication markings into their labeling. The type of software being purchased will have a major impact on the choice of where to buy it. Those seeking top of the line business programs will generally purchase from either a computer/electronics specialty store or from a firm that produces and offers the programs directly to their customers. Serious buyers will almost always go to the source of the programs, sometimes even downloading them from the company’s website. Those seeking activities to occupy their leisure time can usually find a range of titles and genres at almost any discount store. These types of programs are relatively inexpensive and take only minutes to install from CD. Other possible outlets include book retailers and hobby supply stores, as well as those focused on games and entertainment. Antivirus and other anti-malware titles can be found in discount stores, computer dealers, and online. One should research the available offerings and choose the one that has the desired features at the most affordable price. Depending on individual needs and preference, these titles can be purchased virtually anywhere. Some can even be downloaded from the web at no cost. Certain types of utility programs such as registry repair and optimization programs should usually be purchased only from a computer retailer. For these types of programs, it is a good idea to seek the advice of technicians who are familiar with the system one is using and the hardware that comprises it. These individuals should be able to help one choose a suite of programs that is best suited for the particular configuration they are to be used with. In general, it is never a good idea to purchase software secondhand. Producers are quick to point out that one does not actually buy a program. What one is actually purchasing is a license to use that particular program. Purchasing from individuals, especially if they have not uninstalled the programs from their own systems, bypasses the legal chain of supply that ensures producers receive their payment for the license. It is not at all uncommon for computer users to purchase software bundles when they obtain their hardware. Home users generally obtain systems that have a host of pre-installed titles, including some version of the Windows operating system. It is very rare for a home user to purchase strictly hardware and plan to install all of the programs he/she will run on the machine at home. However, many business systems and web servers do come with their hard drives completely blank. Here, the users choose from several different bundles to get the programs they need installed when the hardware is installed. With so many factors to consider when choosing where to buy software, one may well wonder which is the best supplier. The answer is that there is no single supplier that will meet the needs of all customers. Users will have to do some research on their own to locate the most reputable supplier with the most reasonable pricing for the types of programs they need. Given the number of highly specialized applications in the market today, many find it best to purchase directly from the developer when seeking serious business oriented programs. This can usually be done through the mail if one requires a CD or DVD with the programs on it from which to install. This is often most convenient for businesses seeking several licenses for the same program compared to downloading the programs onto different machines. However, single users may find it more convenient to download from the website of the developer. Others can find the exact programs they need by shopping at the same retailer where they bought their systems. Leisure users seeking games to pass their time can find titles in many different types of stores and on the Web. Here, price is probably the primary factor that determines from whom they buy. Authenticity and licensing are critical elements that go into the choice of where to buy software. A program is useless if it has to be registered with the developer in order to work and has been previously registered by another user. Therefore, avoiding secondhand purchases is essential for serious business users.