I don't always agree with John C. Dvorak (who I read in PC Magaazine), but his July 2008 "Ode to Shrink Wrap" column is, like his earlier "Shrink Wrap Software vs. Hosted Services" column, absolutely dead-on correct.
Given a choice between (1) software I can buy, preferably install via CD and keep on hand and (2) software that is delivered via the Internet as I need it--free or billed monthly--I'll choose #1 any time. Even the most reliable web connection goes down occasionally and having felt the full brunt of Murphy's law, who needs another headache?
Dvorak also demonstrates, once again, his insightful knowledge of the business side when he notes that using software services delivered online opens the door to potential gouging. "Imagine becoming dependent on one of your online apps and then watching the price quadruple just because the company knows you have no other choice. The temptation to do this is extreme," Dvorak says. I agree. Gimme shrink wrap.