In 2013 more than ever, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the rest of December are fantastic times to get big price breaks -- and even freebies -- on Windows and Mac software. Regardless of whether you're shopping for yourself or a friend or family member on your holiday gift list, you'll find great bargains on software from Microsoft, Adobe, McAfee, and other major vendors when you hit the shopping mall. Other special price cuts are in place at various points for those who'd rather escape the crowds and shop online instead. The deals vary, though, in when and how they're offered. Here's a look at some of the best, updated on Saturday, November 30.
Online Bargains and Freebies
Let's start with the online offers, before moving on what's on sale at brick-and-mortar stores. According to recent research, most consumers these days prefer to buy software over the Internet, confirming a fact that many of us knew at first hand already.
Through Cyber Monday, Nuance is selling Naturally Speaking Home 12.0 on its Web site for $49.95, a 50 percent markdown. The Premium Edition of the Windows software is priced at only $129.99, and so is the Dictate Edition (for Mac users).
While Best Buy ran its Black Friday sale both in stores and online, its deals for Cyber Monday and beyond will be available online only. As of Saturday, November 30, BestBuy.com is offering a 'last chance" at Black Friday offerings, while also launching the first day of "Cyber Week" bargains.
Like lots of other sites, Best Buy also runs specials on software at various times throughout the year. For instance, Adobe Acrobat XI Standard is now listed for $239, $60 off the regular price for this PDF software suite, with no expiration date attached to the offer.
Amazon.com is running a whole week of Black Friday deals this year, extending all the way through the weekend after Black Friday, with Cyber Monday-specific pages now slated to be added later.
Amazon is currently selling Microsoft Office Home and Student, a $139.99 value, in two ways: as a PC key card package for $113.40, and a PC download for $111.85.
Moreover, if you own an Android smartphone, you can get discounts of up to 90 percent on select apps in the Amazon Appstore. Through Cyber Monday, you'll pay only 99 cents for either Office Pro (usually $14.99) or Wheel of Fortune (regularly $2.99). The game includes a holiday update only available for a limited time.
For some of the absolutely sweetest deals on PC software, though, move on over to Frys.com, where the following software packages are still available, as of Saturday, free of charge after rebate: AVG Internet Security (3 PCs); ESET Smart Security 2014 (3 PCs); and Bitdefender Total (3 PCs).
Deals and Freebies in Stores
If you're planning to stand in long lines this year, you're probably more interested in grabbing a stellar price on high-ticket item like a TV or notebook PC than in buying software packages. Once you're inside the store, though, you can round out your shopping cart with a variety of free or deeply discounted software products from top vendors.
This year, Sam's Club will extend its Cyber Monday bargains for a full week. Advertised Cyber Week specials include an Apple iTunes $100 gift card multipack for $79.99.
Target is offering some bargains online only, some in stores only, and others both online and in stores. As of Saturday, the PC software edition of Windows 8.1 Pro is priced at $175.99 in both places.
Yet at Target stores only, and not online, you'll find Sid Meier's Civilization IV for $19.99, about half the usual price of this classic PC game.
Also at the mall, you might still be able to pick up some of the following previously announced Black Friday discounts and freebies.
Staples: Kaspersky's Internet Security 2014, free.
Walmart: McAfee Antivirus LiveSafe Total Protection, $9.98.
Office Depot: McAfee Internet Security 2014 (3 PCs), $4.99; Norton 360 PC Security, $24.99.
Office Max: QuickBooks Simple Start, free; Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac, $59.99; Adobe Elements 12 & Adobe Premiere Elements 12, $89.99; Hallmark Card Studeio Deluxe 2014, $24.99.
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