Usually I’m pretty rigid about getting my taxes done early, but for some reason this year I’ve been taking a particularly long time to just sitting down and doing them. There’s actually been several times over the last 2 months that I’ve been at Fry’s, Office Depot, Target, etc and I’ve picked up the box for TurboTax Deluxe, just put it back on the shelf. Not sure why exactly – probably cause I think I’m going to owe this year.

While driving home yesterday, I finally caved and decided to just stop off at Costco and pick it up. As I pulled through the parking lot, which was surprisingly barren, it hit me that I could just go online to Intuit’s website and download the bits, rather than buying the physical CD. Why on earth would I want to walk inside, pick up the media, go home, install it and in 3-4 weeks toss the whole package into the trash? I promptly left Costco empty handed and headed home.

Then last night, I just jumped over to the web site, paid for the software and did a quick 50mb download. Boom. The whole thing took under 2 minutes and I was up and running.

Just as CDs, DVDs make their way to the garbage pile, buying physical media for software is so 90’s. Then again, buying physical media for anything is so 90’s.

As I continue my house-wide purge of crap, the last thing I want is software boxes and media taking up space (especially ones that require a KB article to open). A few weeks ago, I bought two copies of MS Office 2008 – why couldn’t I just download the bits and a license from

Physical media is dead: All content (software, television, movies, music, etc) should be available for download. I don’t want to own CD’s, DVD’s, etc. any more.

So it goes.

P.S. I’m almost getting there with books too – everything should just be a PDF.


    Dave Kekish (February 6, 2008 @ 7:53 am)

    While I agree with your stance on CD’s/DVD’s/Software. I can’t stand to read a book on a electronic device. It may be that I just haven’t seen the right display yet. I rather like getting a book and reading in bed.

    Just my 2 cents.

    David (February 6, 2008 @ 8:00 am)

    Recently, my desktop became hosed and I needed to re-install the OS and all the software. With Apple, I simply went to: and clicked on the iWork free trial. Once it downloaded, I entered in my product key that I copied of my original box and “boom” it just started working. I could have also purchased this digitally.

    Interestingly enough, digital software downloads has been around. In fact, Microsoft is one of the largest distributors of digital content: The odd thing, nobody knows that you can go there and buy software for your PC.

    Jamie (February 6, 2008 @ 8:12 am)

    I’m with you man. I haven’t bought a music CD in 3 years. Haven’t bought a DVD in about 2. All my CDs are ripped and in iTunes. The physical copies are stored in the loft at my mums house. DVD’s sold at the flea market.

    Xbox Live Marketplace
    Bit Torrent
    Software developer websites

    These are my stores. I travel a lot so having EVERYTHING on a single laptop is a beautiful thing.

    Now I just got buy a MacBook Air…

    Randy (February 6, 2008 @ 8:46 am)

    Too many people like boxes still, especially for people that want to bring a movie over to someone’s house… discs are still plug-n-play, in place of a “OK, were do I plug my iPod in?” Give it another 3 to 5 years, at least for DVD’s. Software may be less, considering that the people that are concerned about buying software is more accepting of media-less transactions… for the public and entertainment media? Consider how long it took for people to stop buying CD’s after legal MP3 sales hit the market – with all the crap that comes with video encoding, it’ll take longer. Especially with your current record of killing things off :)

    John Ludwig (February 6, 2008 @ 9:39 am)

    if you don’t have a kindle, get one. you’ll start to get close on books.

    Steve (February 6, 2008 @ 10:56 am)

    The reason I want PDF’s for books is easy Spotlight searching. Why leaf through a reference manual when I can just have everything indexed on my machine: docs, books, help files, receipts, etc.

    Phil Weber (February 6, 2008 @ 12:49 pm)

    I agree with you in principle, but in the real world physical media still support fair use. If I download DRM’d music or movies, I can’t loan them out or consume them in any venue I choose, so I’m not quite ready to abandon CDs or DVDs.

    ken partridge (February 6, 2008 @ 5:09 pm)

    I have been were you are at. Then for some reason someway, you can’t download/find the iso image on a hard drive that piece of software for some reason, and its out to the garage to look for that install CD.

    Jamie (February 7, 2008 @ 8:51 am)


    VHS/CDs/DVDs by their nature are DRM. Physical formats enable the content companies to make you rebuy your stuff every 10 years. I mean, good luck finding a VHS player at your regular electronics store these days.

    Mark Nottingshire (February 8, 2008 @ 7:13 am)

    I just went to Adobe and purchased Adobe Photoshop (CS3) for OS-X online. What a lovely experience.

    Michael (February 8, 2008 @ 1:14 pm)

    Bezos agrees with you:

    Arie (February 9, 2008 @ 2:42 pm)

    What is your position on social networking? All of my friends keep their accounts, but it seems to me that the usage of the masses is very low. I have 3 or 4 our of my 120 friends on Facebook that actually do anything, post or send messages. It seems like all of my communication is now back on e-mail instead of these social sites. Is the social site now matured? Is the peak over? Is it just like any other boring application? Is it the notepad of the Internet? Have people moved on? Thoughts?

    smakofs (February 10, 2008 @ 6:33 am)

    Arie –

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