Microsoft to Adobe: People not ready to give up on stand-alone software

By on May 8, 2013, 9:44 AM

Adobe recently announced that it's no longer going to sell stand-alone versions of Creative Suite or its individual components, instead choosing to offer the software as part of cloud subscription packages only. Microsoft started offering something similar with Office 365, but unlike Adobe, the company feels that the transition needs to happen overtime rather than pulling the rug out from retail offerings in one go.

While Office 365 is available as a subscription, Microsoft continues to offer Office 2013 as a separate product on disc or through a download. The company clearly hopes for the subscription model to take off, but it understands that some consumers are not ready for such a business model yet. In a blog post, Microsoft explained its stance:

However, unlike Adobe, we think people's shift from packaged software to subscription services will take time. Within a decade, we think everyone will choose to subscribe because the benefits are undeniable. In the meantime, we are committed to offering choice--premier software sold as a package and powerful services sold as a subscription.

Indeed, the benefits of cloud-based subscriptions are great for the company offering them -- piracy becomes harder and it's a steady revenue stream every year. If the price is right you could argue it's a winning proposition for customers as well, with the added benefit of having always up to date software. But of course not everyone is ready to commit or will see the value in an ongoing subscription, thus the decision to offer both options.

Microsoft went on to say that Office 365 has been quite successful, with more than 25-percent of buyers opting to sign up for the subscription. "So, perhaps the shift is happening faster than we originally thought, and Adobe is helping blaze the trail," the company said on its blog

Only time will tell which stance on cloud services will win out, but based on the initial consumer backlash online, it seems that Microsoft's slow transition might be the smarter approach.




User Comments: 31

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4 people like this | Guest said:

I don't want anything to do with subscription based software. I don't want a monthly bill for anything. Netflix is damn lucky I give them 6 bucks a month. I already have enough monthly bills to pay, I don't need one to edit pictures.

1 person liked this | Blkfx1 Blkfx1 said:

I may be one of the few people who like subscriptions lol. I definitely prefer it over a lump sum payment.

1 person liked this | Sniped_Ash said:

If a company intends to upgrade their software after a certain number of years, subscriptions make sense. Paying a lump sum for multiple seats at once can be really tough and I'd rather do it Adobe's way than have to finance a large software upgrade. It's why I got our firm onto Autodesk's subscription plan during our last round of AutoCAD upgrades.

Unfortunately for Adobe, we have CS5.5 and won't need to upgrade for a LONG time. So they can suck it.

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

"Unfortunately for Adobe, we have CS5.5 and won't need to upgrade for a LONG time. So they can suck it."

+50 Internets to you sir.

I love how Microsoft knows whats best for me. First with Windows 8 now with subscription based software. Tell you what Microsoft, I'll use those only two brain cells still functioning to make my own decisions. I guess we consumers are a bunch of window licking knuckle draggers that really do not know how to operate with our computers and must rely on a company to instruct us.

To borrow part of Sniped_Ash's response:

Steve Ballmer, you can suck it also.

johnehoffman said:

In the long run, subscription based software will likely lower expenses for users, just as the advent of suites like MS Office and Adobe CS did, because of the enormous savings to vendors:

1. Having most of the software downloaded saves the costs of producing disks, boxes, etc., as well as shipping costs.

2. Having most of the software downloaded directly from the publisher saves the costs of the retail markup

Hopefully, competition will force those savings to be passed along to the users.

Guest said:

Oh yes! I'm sure the entire intent behind releasing cloud based software is to lower the cost of their product to consumers. You are a genius sir.

RH00D RH00D said:

I can understand not liking subscriptions for certain types of products. For me, I would never subscribe to a movie service because I rarely watch movies and there's very few I really enjoy so I'd rather just pay a one time fee for a BluRay and rip it to my external hard drive. But for something like Office software where I use it nearly every single day, a subscription makes sense.

Also, with Office it's a yearly or monthly and you can set it to renew automatic or manually so you don't even have to tend to paying the fee every year if you don't want to.

The other great thing about the subscription model is that if you almost never use Office but all of a sudden you need the suite for a short period of time, you can just pay $10 and get full access to the Office suite for a month and have no big upfront costs or long term commitment.

If you let your subscription end, the software just switches to read-only mode so even when you're not paying money, you can still read any kind of Office document without having to use 3rd-party solutions which may present compatibility problems.

The only way that buying the standalone version makes sense is if you plan on using that version for like 10 years... (I'm sure someone will do the calculation to show me it's less years, lol).

I just find it convenient to pay $100 a year knowing I will get all product updates/new versions, 20 GB additional SkyDrive storage, and 60 minutes of Skype world minutes every month, be able to install the suite to 5 different computers and be able to stream the Office suite to any computer over the Internet, and be able to manage all of it from the Office website.

Guest said:

Just don't call it a subscription and they will never know. Just call it a license and charge them every year like Microsoft does for corporations. Although I hear the MS Office products will be subscription, at least for businesses, so MS can streamline their money making.

Windows Blue was supposed to be a subscription, but MS figured out people would not upgrade from Windows 7 if they had to start paying $9.95 a month to use their computer.

Guest said:

Instead use a suscription mode for software, a lot of People will search for alternative Open Source or Free sofware, not only home consumers, enterprises too.

Really, Do you think Open Source software like OpenSuSE, LibreOffice, Scribus, Inkscape can't replace to Microsoft and Adobe with a suscription pay model of software ?

No doubt , These are doing a good job.

Thaks to all that do Open Source and Free Software.

;)

1 person liked this | Guest said:

I think it's absolutely stupendous to pay for software. It ought to be free and open.

When will the world realize this?

One thing is paying for hardware, as it requires natural resources to produce.

It also requires the right facilities.

But software? Anyone with a laptop can create software. . .

kajehart kajehart said:

I've been avoiding Adobe products anyway since they're system resource hogs. Adobe, like Apple, is too closed-source. I back open-source winners like Mozilla. If everybody else did, the world of software would be a better place!

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The only way that buying the standalone version makes sense is if you plan on using that version for like 10 years...
Thats exactly what I plan on doing with my copy of Windows 7, Office 2010, and Nero 10. I didn't buy them with intentions of replacing them in the next couple of years. I must admit, I'm not an Adobe customer but I have been looking at their software here recently. As a subscription based software, I will not be looking at Adobe any further. I don't even subscribe to computer protection, so why would I subscribe to other software?

I buy produces with the intentions of being able to use them for a while. Anything I do on a PC is a hobby. I shouldn't have to maintain a monthly fee, to keep the ability to do hobbies 24/7.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

In the long run, subscription based software will likely lower expenses for users, just as the advent of suites like MS Office and Adobe CS did, because of the enormous savings to vendors:

1. Having most of the software downloaded saves the costs of producing disks, boxes, etc., as well as shipping costs.

2. Having most of the software downloaded directly from the publisher saves the costs of the retail markup

Hopefully, competition will force those savings to be passed along to the users.

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus: http://www.newseum.org/yesvirginia/

spectrenad said:

If a company intends to upgrade their software after a certain number of years, subscriptions make sense. Paying a lump sum for multiple seats at once can be really tough and I'd rather do it Adobe's way than have to finance a large software upgrade. It's why I got our firm onto Autodesk's subscription plan during our last round of AutoCAD upgrades.

Unfortunately for Adobe, we have CS5.5 and won't need to upgrade for a LONG time. So they can suck it.

"Unfortunately for Adobe, we have CS5.5 and won't need to upgrade for a LONG time. So they can suck it."

+50 Internets to you sir.

I love how Microsoft knows whats best for me. First with Windows 8 now with subscription based software. Tell you what Microsoft, I'll use those only two brain cells still functioning to make my own decisions. I guess we consumers are a bunch of window licking knuckle draggers that really do not know how to operate with our computers and must rely on a company to instruct us.

To borrow part of Sniped_Ash's response:

Steve Ballmer, you can suck it also.

It's Adobe who force it upon the consumers, not MS. Why all the hate?

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

It's Adobe who force it upon the consumers, not MS. Why all the hate?
What's it to you?

Maybe we should draw straws on any given day to decide which monopoly to resent. Pending your approval, of course.

RH00D RH00D said:

The only way that buying the standalone version makes sense is if you plan on using that version for like 10 years...
Thats exactly what I plan on doing with my copy of Windows 7, Office 2010, and Nero 10. I didn't buy them with intentions of replacing them in the next couple of years. I must admit, I'm not an Adobe customer but I have been looking at their software here recently. As a subscription based software, I will not be looking at Adobe any further. I don't even subscribe to computer protection, so why would I subscribe to other software?

I buy produces with the intentions of being able to use them for a while. Anything I do on a PC is a hobby. I shouldn't have to maintain a monthly fee, to keep the ability to do hobbies 24/7.

Once a year, not monthly.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Once a year, not monthly.

That doesn't matter, it's still a subscription that will deactivate software at the end of its term.

RH00D RH00D said:

That doesn't matter, it's still a subscription that will deactivate software at the end of its term.

It goes to read-only mode, so you can still open and view any document. That's also why you can set it to renew automatically. And if you don't like charges being taken out automatically just set it to manual and I'm sure Office will warn you in advance that it is about to expire anyway.

Lastly, they do offer the Office web apps for free, like Google Docs, so even if your actual suite expires you can still actually edit and use and whatnot, all of your documents.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I will keep what I know is already paid for and doesn't have expiration dates. I see absolutely no reason why I should be forced into a subscription based library of software.

Ohh, and doesn't require an on-line connection to operate.

RH00D RH00D said:

I will keep what I know is already paid for and doesn't have expiration dates. I see absolutely no reason why I should be forced into a subscription based library of software.

Ohh, and doesn't require an on-line connection to operate.

Well at least you won't be alone in that boat. Just like the people who refuse to move on from landline phones. Who needs those damned smartphones anyway!

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

....[ ]..... Just like the people who refuse to move on from landline phones....[ ]....
I refuse to move on from my landline..
Who needs those damned smartphones anyway!
Only people who imagine they do. Well them, and the nerd/ delinquents who frequent tech web sites so they can argue, "my phone is better than your phone".

I don't really need a ":smart phone app", to tell me when I should take a crap, let alone subscribe to one. And judging by the junk apps I see being pushed on TV, people seem to need an app for everything else. So that could be last last frontier in computing, and app that monitors toxins in your blood so you'll know when to take a break from downloading pirated movies, and hit the john....:oops:

I do so hope they have a contest to name it.. Here's my entry, "Brave New Flush".

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Well at least you won't be alone in that boat. Just like the people who refuse to move on from landline phones. Who needs those damned smartphones anyway!

You speak as if those are the only phones available. I have a Cell Phone that is not a smartphone. Beside from my perspective, it's more like who needs a damned phone period. But then the topic of phones here is irrelevant, as they require a service to operate. Naturally if you can operate software without a service, there really is no need in service based subscription. Therefore your attempt at a humorous analogy is flawed.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

...[ ]....Beside from my perspective, it's more like who needs a damned phone period....[ ].
Ah, you're a man after my own heart. Personally, I have vowed never even call 911 again, unless my own life is in danger. I figure the cops will find the bodies in the street eventually, no sense in making their job easier.

(It took at last 3 people to call and close to an hour, before they found the last one).:eek:

1 person liked this | Arris Arris said:

I think it's absolutely stupendous to pay for software. It ought to be free and open.

When will the world realize this?

One thing is paying for hardware, as it requires natural resources to produce.

It also requires the right facilities.

But software? Anyone with a laptop can create software. . .

Of course, anything that requires someones time and effort should be free. *facepalm*

Guest said:

That's not what he's saying. Adobe is the one who is forcing customers to subscribe. MS is giving customers a choice of subscribing or buying the stand alone product. So Adobe at this point is the one to hate; if you feel the need to hate someone.

ddg4005 ddg4005 said:

Ultrabooks will eventually replace tablets. They're thin, light, and more powerful than any tablet could ever be. The main thing holding them back is price and that won't be a factor in a few years.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Ultrabooks will eventually replace tablets. They're thin, light, and more powerful than any tablet could ever be. The main thing holding them back is price and that won't be a factor in a few years.
Another tourist of the Iranian Time Machine. I think I need to plan my next vacation and get caught up with the times. lol

Lionvibez said:

Another tourist of the Iranian Time Machine. I think I need to plan my next vacation and get caught up with the times. lol

Great Scott!!!

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Another tourist of the Iranian Time Machine. I think I need to plan my next vacation and get caught up with the times. lol
I hear they're going to make this a ride at Dis-ni-ran.

Guest said:

IKR! A subscription is a another monthly bill. A monthly bill...for software, FK NO.

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