A Response to "Creative Cloud Capitivity"

by James Cook on July 24, 2013

There's a lot of misinformation out there about exactly what Adobe move to offer creative product upgrades only to Creative Cloud subscribers means to users. Part of it stems from poor communication by Adobe and part of it is the result of users really not having a realistic understanding of what a software license really does.

I recently responded to some comments about Creative Cloud that appeared in the text and comments of an article title Creative Cloud Captivity. It's an important topic so I thought I'd share an edited version here.

1. Perpetual only lasts as long as your computer.

I still “own” multiple versions of everything from Illustrator 1.1 to CS6. Most of them are now worthless. However, in reality, I never really owned them, I just have a perpetual license to use them, which is only valuable as long as my current computer is compatible with them..

But, semantics aside, there are a number of additional points people should realize:

2. Software subscriptions are the the future.

I expect all major software manufactures will, sooner rather than later, adopt this pricing scheme.

2. Any pricing change will have winners and losers

It makes sense that Adobe is focusing on improving value for their best customers (those who updated regularly). And it’s not surprising that those who updated infrequently might have to endure a price increase.

3. You are always welcome to protest.

Let Adobe hear from you at https://www.change.org/petitions/adobe-systems-incorporated-eliminate-the-mandatory-creative-cloud-subscription-model or find a replacement but Adobe has to a large degree “bet the company” on Creative Cloud and I’m sure they are willing endure short term pain in order to be successful with Creative Cloud in the long term.

4. People assume the cost of a perpetual license wouldn't have increased.

That's just not realistic. If, in the highly unlikely event, Adobe changed policy and started offering perpetual licenses again, it’s reasonable to assume they would be more expensive than past offerings.

5. If you are like the status quo, stay with it.

The new pricing structure takes nothing away from you. And you don’t have to make a decision now. You can wait until Adobe has taken more time to define and strengthen Creative Cloud before you make a decision about whether it is worth the monthly cost.

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