Upload & Sell: On
It is clear that Adobe and many other software companies are trying to move to a subscription model. What is not so clear is:
- if this will be in the best interests of the majority of their customers
- if this will allow those same companies to "get lazier" where innovation and software improvements are concerned - particularly in cases like Adobe's where the software developer has a very dominant place in the marketplace. This seems likely since the very reason that companies are flocking to this model is because they know it is getting more difficult for them to show value in maturing products.
It is true that companies are also moving more to "services" instead of just software, but where Adobe broke new ground was in the forced jump to the subscription model when their "cloud" services are still very immature. The minor cloud services that are included in Adobe CC (settings sync, relatively small amount of cloud storage, online photo gallery, etc.), other companies are providing for free.
From a pure numbers perspective for Adobe, the CC scheme makes a lot of sense. The execs know they will lose customers, particularly those that have bought Adobe products in the past and are seeing a good portion of that investment erased with the CC plan. They expect to recover those lost customers, however, with new customers who are attracted by what seems at first to be a low monthly fee. Most of the multi-license media business shops will stick around since they need to stay current, their software outlays are practically regular payments anyway, they probably see a slight decrease in cost if they're using most of the "Master Suite", and they probably have enough clout to negotiate better pricing should they ever feel the need to.
I think the biggest loss for the smaller customers was losing the ability to "vote with their wallets" when new versions came out. That was partially removed when Adobe tightened up the upgrade requirements but now that has been bolstered with the threat of disabling the software once you stop paying. Adobe has truly joined the likes of cable tv and mobile phone companies in terms of business model - limited competition and onerous long-term contracts with little motivation for innovation, customer service, and competitive pricing.
Of course there are tons of people who have no problem paying for cable tv and long-term cell phone contracts. History seems to show that if you spread payments out enough, people will pay for just about anything - lotteries and sales tax included.