Software as a Monthly Rental
By DAVID POGUE July 3, 2013
There's a new reason for Photoshop to be famous.
Yes, it's still the program that just about every photographer and designer on earth uses to retouch or even reimagine photos. It's still the only program whose name is a verb.
But now, Photoshop is also the biggest-name software that you can't actually buy. You can only rent it, for a month or a year at a time. If you ever stop paying, you keep your files but lose the ability to edit them.
You have to pay $30 a month, or $240 a year, for the privilege of using the latest Photoshop version, called Photoshop CC. Or, if you want to use the full Adobe suite (Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere and so on), you'll pay $600 a year.
The price list is stunningly complex. The fees may be higher or lower depending on how many programs you rent, whether you already own an existing version and which one, whether you commit to a full year or prefer to rent one month at a time. There are also discounted first-year teaser rates, student/teacher rates and a 30-day free trial.
But you get the point: the dawn of Software as a Subscription is now upon us.
..***** Moderator's Note *****
I work for a non-profit which uses the Adobe Creative Suite to prepare a newspaper and other printer material, but we can only afford one copy of version 6, and must make due with older versions on two other machines, all of which are constantly in demand.
The only reason I can think of for Adobe to demand such high prices is that company executives have decided that they need to maximize income from a mature product line before open-source offerings take over. It's short-sighted, though: the profiteering will only hasten adoption of free alternatives, and the work is almost as portable as programming, so lower-priced overseas designers, using free software, are likely to cost Adobe its place as the PC world's graphic powerhouse.
You heard it here first.
Bill Horne Moderator