Desktop Software - Is there room to charge a higher price for a version that is portable?


I'm in the process of upgrading a 5 year old desktop application, and I'm looking at different ways to generate revenue from existing customers as well as new customers.

A new feature that will be added to the software will be a portable option, whereby the user can install onto a thumb drive and run from any PC - without reference to the Windows registry or local files.

Would it be legitimate to charge extra for this option? To have two versions: Product A and Product A Portable, with one priced at $40, and the other at $65 or thereabouts?

Or have users come to expect software these days to be fully portable without paying extra?


asked Sep 29 '11 at 02:46
Carlton D
38 points

3 Answers


This is indeed a handy feature and good enough from business point of view to generate revenue as well. IMO, if your desktop application has potential but sales are lower then you need not to sell this feature as a separate add-on. But if the sales are justifiable then you can surely ask your customers to pay for this portable option.

answered Sep 29 '11 at 03:37
Usman Sarfraz
1,326 points


I'd say the answer depends on how you operate right now.

If you are licensing per machine, say, then portable use may be high added value. That would justify a significant premium.

If you license per user, requiring installation, and maybe a policy of so many activations, there's some benefit... but if it's really just a more convenient (for the user) way of doing something you already intend or they already expect, it's harder to create an added value. In this latter case, it might be better to take the opportunity to increase the base price for all users of the latest version, with portability one of the new and improved features happening at the same time.

answered Sep 29 '11 at 08:05
Jeremy Parsons
5,197 points
  • The software is licensed per user, so multi-PC use is allowed. It already contains synchronizing functionality, but there are a small number of users who would like to use it on PCs that they can't install it on - various work PCs and such. A portable version would be an added benefit for those users. – Carlton D 12 years ago
  • OK, so it sounds to me as though your proposition was "use this anywhere" and you're overcoming what's essentially a technical limitation that meant your users couldn't always do that, e.g. on machines where they didn't have admin rights. There's some dissonance charging extra for that as a feature, so I'm going to suggest you think about whether to use it more as part of a general price increase. For the users who want the extra flexibility, there's a strong incentive to upgrade; for new prospective users you may be lowering friction, which is always a good thing! – Jeremy Parsons 12 years ago
  • Thanks Jeremy - very helpful. – Carlton D 12 years ago


Yes. I do charge a little extra for portable version since Portable version can be used on any number of computers. No one has complained about it. I do get sales.

answered Sep 29 '11 at 11:00
116 points
  • Very helpful, thanks. I notice there's quite a difference in price between the two versions on your website. Do you get a lot of users 'upgrading' to the portable version? – Carlton D 12 years ago

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics: