By moving to a cloud-based subscription model, Adobe gains a huge amount of control over creative individuals. While this model may be wonderful for bigger businesses and organizations, it clutches the throat and wallet of freelance designers and individuals. In the long run, we're forced to pay more for the subscription than we would for the former Creative Suites. We also surrender control to Adobe, who can terminate our subscription at any time for any reason (per their terms).
With Adobe's new Creative Cloud model, as soon as someone stops paying the monthly subscription, even if they have one of the first versions of Photoshop CC, for example, their installation will lock itself up after 180 days. While Creative Cloud costs less, we don't get to keep what we pay for. The moment we discontinue your service we're left with nothing.
While Adobe won't force us to update our software, we'll continue paying our monthly fee for the old versions. If we could buy a copy of the software outright, we could stay with an older version for as long as we like without paying extra. Early adopters will like these frequent updates, but those who don't care will find themselves paying for nothing.
While I'd like to trust that Adobe has good reasoning for this, considering the recent concern over government and corporations controlling people, this seems to support that theory in a whole new light - Adobe has the ability to completely terminate anyone's access to their software at any time for any reason.
Another concern of mine is that the sign-up pricing seems so enticing, it almost seems like it's designed to trap people into signing up for a cost-effective deal, only to be slapped in the face with a higher price after the first month or two. (Unless we subscribe to a single-app) I, for one, only need Photoshop and Illustrator. Over the course of two years, I will have paid more for two individual apps than I would have if I purchased them separately with the current model.
Current Adobe customers likely won't mind the commitment too much because they'll want at least a year's worth of access. For many others, however, a commitment means paying as much as $600 for something they may decide they don't want after a few months. Students, for example, may not need access to Creative Cloud for more than a semester but will have to pay for it for an entire year. To make this situation worse, we gain nothing from making a year-long commitment.
Likewise, there is absolutely no option for us to pay on a monthly basis - we're locked into a year. Adobe has always been known for being a pioneer in the media and design industry, as well as in business in general. However, this decision seems to be taking Adobe into a direction similar to that of AT&T and Verizon - control by contract.
All in all, we do not like Adobe's decision to completely discard software you can purchase. While renting Creative Cloud provides a more affordable path for some people, and we're glad it exists, we find the lack of choice and annual commitment extremely frustrating and not in the interest of the consumer. While we doubt Adobe will return to selling software, we hope to see them at least treat their customers with a little more respect and remove the year-long requirement without an adding cost, as well as lowering the pricing options.
We, the creative individuals who rely on Adobe products for a huge portion of our income, will not stand for this attempt at controlling us, or forcing us to pay more than we already do, for less. If Adobe Systems does not wish to comply with our request to lower the pricing and reconsider the entire subscription model, we will find alternatives to Adobe Products, such as the open-source GIMP, Inkscape, etc.
Just because you are an industry leader, doesn't mean you can control the market.