- You can avoid it by purchasing a normal license like we have for many years
- It is not inevitable as it has already happened
There is a harm for the developer that offers too many pricing options. Adobe customers already struggle with understanding if they have a suite license or a single license, what version they have (CS5.5 or 7.5), from how old of a version they can upgrade, the unique upgrade costs for each older version, and now... subscription pricing. I don't think Adobe has any direction here. It is a mess.
I'm sure they will streamline it. I like the idea of leasing ID for 3 months if I have a project that will last about that long. I no longer have a full time designer so to spend $1200 or whatever on a 2nd version of the suite is a waste of money. Having both of us on CS5 if a project comes in and I need a freelancer for x number of weeks is extremely appealing. I don't need to update PS or AI. I could probably go years without updating either one but a PS expert will probably feel otherwise.
That is certainly the benefit of subscription pricing but you have to count on the idea that you will be using a program for only a short period of time.
If you actually rent the software for a longer period of time, you'll end up paying more than if you bought it. I have not seen any documentation that says that you are able to easily switch to a full purchased license once you have paid enough in rent.
Kind of like printer leasing. In this economy it's hard to get financing Instead of getting a bank loan and buying your digital printer for $80K, you end up leasing it for $100K over the course of a 5 year lease. With sw, there should be a smoother, cost-effective way to go from rental to ownership (though in reality it's all a licensing fee). After all, at the end of the print lease I own the machine or can buy the machine at 10% of the lease and own forever.
They have been sending out surveys to volume licensing to make it more appealing. As of right now it is braindead to subscribe if you are going to be working in these applications for the majority of the year. You can upgrade 3.5 licenses cheaper than you can subscribe to one currently.
I'm kind of in the old fashioned camp in that I want to own my software and all previous versions. If you subscribe to say CS 5.5 and then CS 7 comes out and you faithfully subscribed the whole time you can presume that you'll continue to have rights to each version, but what if for some reason I let my subscription drop? When do I lose the ability to use the other version? Can I just subscribe to each version for one month out of the product lifecycle and over the course of 5 or so years have rights to all the versions that have passed? That could be spelled out somewhere, but I couldn't readily find it.
I always liked volume licensing anyway. Even if you are only licensing a few products it is nice to have everyone under one key and have it all contained in a neat website where you can access your stuff, download your products and add delegates to it. I prefer only get a couple sets of media rather than have a cabinet full of boxed products anyway. I did prefer the old plastic boxes over the new paper sleeves on the media kits though. Volume license phone support is atrocious though, but I've heard the standard side isn't great either.
Subscription would be nice for things like interns or temps though if they got the cost down. As is a 6 month a year intern would be better to just buy the software outright. I suspect it will go down to be more like 1.5 times the cost of an upgrade than 3.5 times in future schemes for the pay for a whole year plan.