So why is everyone jumping on the cloud bandwagon? You will hear that it is to help stop the flow of piracy and also to better serve their customers. Both Microsoft and Adobe are claiming that it will make it easier to keep clients up to date with patches and upgrades. Other companies are actually claiming that the move will help lower overall costs and save their users money. The problem is that while some of these reasons might be true (it is easier to keep cloud based software up-to-date) it is not going to save anyone money and subscription services are really only good for the companies that run them.
In order to offset some of the concern that current owners might have, Adobe is presenting what amounts to loyalty discounts. If you are have a current license for Creative Suite you will get a reduction in the monthly fee you have to pay (down to as little as $20 if you own Creative Suite 6) for the first year. After that things go back up to normal pricing of $75 per month if you are paying monthly and $50 per month if you pay for the full year in advance (or $600 per year). This fee also includes 20GB of cloud storage space for you to play around with.
$600 is a great discount for getting Creative Suite 6 plus 20GB of storage considering that a boxed version will cost you a minimum of $1300 and you get to download the software locally to the system of your choice. The problem is that the $1300 you spend give you CS6 for as long as you want to keep it. That is a one-time cost and those disks are yours. You do not have to pay anything else to continue using the product. With Creative cloud you are going to keep paying to use that software in order to use it. If you stop you lose the ability to run it after your subscription runs out. You are only renting the software for the time you are willing to pay. In the event that you let it expire or you cancel you have 90 days to get your files down to 2GB or they will be removed from Adobe’s servers. Adobe themselves are being a little ambiguous about the future of non-subscription purchases, in one place they say that electronic downloads will be available, but in another the clearly state that they have no plans to make new versions of Creative Suite. Our guess is that they will be getting rid of non-subscriptions slowly, but that their end game is going to be all cloud-based subscriptions.
This means there is no longer a question of ownership of these programs, Adobe owns them and you only get the chance to lease them. Adobe is also very aware that this will not stop or slow down piracy as someone will identify and remove the subroutines that look for authentication and licensing (you much connect every 30 days to verify licensing). Once they do you can bet that the torrents of these applications will show up on the internet in the same way they always have. Like we said this new model is all about a consistent revenue stream and nothing more. Adobe has seen that people are not upgrading like they used and instead are continuing to use their older versions of Creative Suite to get things done. By pushing this model they will lock that option out of new customers or those that want the features of the latest Adobe Products. Once they are in the cloud, Adobe will have held hostage if they want to keep using the programs they have become used to which makes this move almost anti-consumer if you think about it.
Tell us what you think about Adobe’s move in our Forum