It didn’t take long for that to come about then. Less than a year after Adobe launched its rental alternative to software buying, it’s now confirmed that this is the only way forward for people who want to keep using its software. Pay a – quite substantial – monthly fee or lose access to their programs.
For anyone used to – and happy with – paying outright for software even in the form of an electronic download rather than a physical boxed item, Adobe’s move is a bit of a shock. Certainly, much feedback online today has been ferocious in its opposition, Adobe’s self-congratulatory Twitter feed plagued by less than happy replies such as “I’m sure forcing people onto rent-a-software to make more money will help your ‘focus’.”, and “great things also come from getting customers to fork out $600 a year, every year”, and even “One more reason to pirate software” (TubeShooter does not endorse this, or indeed any, of the opinions expressed)
It’s fair to point out also that there have been several posts in praise of the strategy. Businesses may prefer the monthly fee option than outright purchase for cashflow reasons. And apparently more than half a million people have signed up to the subscription model that was launched almost a year ago.
Meanwhile Adobe, knowing there might be a backlash, and in a move only slightly reminiscent of a cult forced to defend itself against critics, has taken to YouTube to present their “Creative Cloud Myths”:-
Will anybody be happy about the notion that their software only works for as long as you continue to pay? At least at the moment when you’ve bought an application it’s yours forever even if it goes well out of date. Under the new Adobe scheme, the software will simply cease to work if you cease to pay the monthly fee. And as any mobile phone user knows only too well, fees can go up seemingly at a whim.
With project settings and other attributes all now being stored “in the cloud” – aka Adobe’s servers – for your better sharing and security, supposedly, users are potentially being held hostage to the company, albeit that there is a free version of Creative Cloud that your subscription will default to upon your .. er, default.
So it’s a bold, drastic (and some might say foolhardy) move then. Yet if it works commercially for Adobe regardless of whether some people jump ship, it might not be long before other companies jump on the bandwagon too.