Why have Adobe and Microsoft gone to an annual subscription model for Creative Suite and Office? Whenever something new and different shows up you can trace it all back to money. They want more money.
What’s the problem with an annual subscription?
Actually, it’s a good news and bad news option. The good news is that businesses know exactly what their Creative Suite or Microsoft Office expenses will be. Businesses like that kind of predictability. Also, Microsoft takes care of upgrading the apps so file version control is more easily managed. The same holds true for Adobe’s Creative Suite and the monthly payment plan.
The bad news is the math involved. Many businesses and most individuals, whether using Creative Suite or Office, don’t automatically upgrade to the latest versions, thereby robbing Adobe and Microsoft of upgrade revenue.
Ho hum. So sad, right?
Both companies go to considerable expense to get their customers to upgrade, often offering discounts in special promotions. But if you do the math, hold off for a year on upgrading to the latest versions actually saves money.
It also means less revenue and lower profits for Adobe and Microsoft.
What is it that is attractive about a subscription service? Many of Apple’s iTunes Store competitors have subscription models. All the music you want from 10 or 20-million song library is yours to download and use for one, low monthly price. What’s not to like?
Stop the subscription and you lose access to the money. Stop paying Adobe or Microsoft and you no longer have access to Creative Suite or Office. Compare that draconian response to what happens when you buy an app and then don’t upgrade to the latest and greatest version.
In the face of competition Apple may offer a subscription service of one kind or another in the iTunes Store, but Apple executives have always talked about how users like to own what they buy. A subscription to applications is more a rental agreement. Stop paying and you get kicked out of the residence.
The company where I work is flirting with annual subscriptions for both Creative Suite and Office. The company has annual maintenance agreements for hardware, and other software, so why not include the apps we use the most? That’s the reasoning.
What about you? Are you ready to go to annual or monthly app payments?