When it comes to pirated software, perhaps none is as consistently pirated as Adobe's Creative Suite. Programs like Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator are some of the most sought after software for students and starving artists alike, and a quick glance on any torrenting site shows people's unwillingness to pay for said products.
Well, Adobe is hoping to change all of that by taking something out of the books of World of Warcraft, by switching to being completely subscription-based.
The new formula, called Adobe Creative Cloud, will essentially mean users pay $50 a month to access the latest and greatest of Adobe's programs, rather than a lump sum for a static edition.
The upshot of Adobe's new model is that users will consistently have access to the most recent features and versions at any given time. The subscription model will also serve largely to counter any forms of piracy, making it much more difficult for users to skirt the monthly access.
However, the downside is that users will have to pay $600 a year to use said programs on an annual basis, a price that some are already complaining about. In fact, disgruntled users have already set up an online petition in order to publicly display their displeasure, with more than 13,392 signatures at press time.
According to petition founder Derek Schoffstall, "In the end it comes down to this: all of Adobe's consumers will not be able to make such a large payment every month on the CC subscription model. In the short term, the subscription model looks to be okay, but over time the only entity that is benefiting from this is Adobe. The (no longer) current model: paying a one-time fee for infinite access is a much better business model, and is better for the consumer."
Despite the outcry, Adobe claims that more than half a million users have already signed up for Creative Cloud.
Current owners of Adobe Creative Suite 3 or higher are also being offered an introductory rate of $30 per month for the first year, and those wanting to subscribe to just one program, (i.e. Photoshop or Illustrator-only users) can do so for $20 a month. It should also be noted that the $50 per month rate is only applicable to those who sign up for the whole year, otherwise single-month subscriptions are $75.
In time, perhaps Adobe will tweak pricing if the user base dwindles, or even pull a complete about-face and revert back to releasing static versions every few years.
For now, Creative Cloud is a bold move by an industry leader capable of taking such a leap. Undoubtedly, many a software developer will be closely monitoring the reception to Adobe's gamble. Whether users begin abandoning the platform for other editing software, or simply stay using Creative Suite 6, remains to be seen. email@example.com
© Copyright 2013