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The Subscription Model needs to be adjusted.


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#1 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 1688

Posted 04 April 2014 - 12:44 PM

Issue:

You used to be able to buy Adobe Photoshop for a one time fee, but now you have to pay a yearly subscription in order to be allowed to use it. This means residual income for Adobe, and a lot of upset former Photoshop users. This is one reason I never use one software, and am a big time of quality free and open source alternatives. 

 

Why use Microsoft Office when you have Open Office (aka Libre Office)?

 

It seems a lot of companies are loving this subscription model, but I believe it is a business model that needs to be adjusted. I was originally going to say it needs to die, but that is a bit harsh (you can't keep people from being greedy). 

 

I think that a person should retain ownership of something they buy, and that something should be able to be paid in full, at which time the rights to the use of a product is transferred to the buyer. 

 

They typical model is that at the point of sale, the buyer obtains ownership of the product they buy and the seller looses ownership. This is fair. 

 

But now it seems that the seller wants to take your money, and still retain ownership of the product, so that they can take your money again. 

 

Solution:

 

The Subscription model should go to a contract type model, where a person pays a subscription for a set number of years and thereafter retains ownership of the use of the product. The reason I continue to say "the use of the product" is because as far as software goes, the owner does not retain full ownership of all parts of the software they purchase (re-distribution rights and such).

 

Application: 

Joe buys a 3 year contract subscription of Adobe Photoshop. It is a yearly cost of $600 (numbers may not be correct, but could even be set on a monthly basis). At the end of 3 years he would have paid $1,800 at which point he retains usage rights forever.

 

Even if it were a monthly fee, the buyer should retain ownership of a product they buy.

 

Does anyone see any issues with this, or a better way? Do you like subscription models? Do you think they are for desperate/greedy businesses?

 

I can see a case where people pay for upgrades, but making residual income off of software which only has to be maintained (and sometimes, not even that) just seems greedy to me.

 

Basically, it is more like you are renting software.  

 

 


They call me the Tutorial Doctor.


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#2 Mouser9169   Members   -  Reputation: 401

Posted 04 April 2014 - 01:06 PM

 A corporations primary fiduciary responsibility is to its shareholders. Never forget that.

 

So long as the subscription model keeps making money, there's no reason to change it. If you don't want to 'rent' software - buy it. If Adobe looks at their ledger and sees a ton of people still opting to buy Creative Suite 6 (still available for purchase), they'll change their business model.

 

What's interesting is that while some previously 'standalone' software is now moving to the subscription model, the original 'subscription model' software: MMO's are moving to FTP microtransaction models. Maybe that will be the next step for software like Photoshop: the 'basic' software is free, and you pay to 'unlock' the features you want to use.

 

As for Open Office, the last time I tried it (it may have been Libre Office - honestly not sure at this point), the software couldn't even handle .rtf files properly. For Open Source software to really take off, it needs to be _at least_ as good as, and preferably better than its proprietary alternatives. Constantly playing catch-up just won't cut it long term. At least not for 'serious' users of the software: this is where stuff like gcc and notepad++ shine.

 

The other side of this coin is that, outside of gaming, computers got 'good enough' for 90+% of people about ten years ago. Microsoft Office 2000 does everything I could every want from an Office Suite. Hell, my old Pagemaker could do anything I want for Desktop Publishing (wish I still had all those fonts that came with it...).


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#3 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 1688

Posted 04 April 2014 - 01:18 PM

I am glad you mentioned "features."

 

One issue with the way Adobe Products have progressed is that they are throwing in all of these features to make things easier. I remember when filters were not so popular. Now, if you want a certain affect you almost have to use a combination of filters that only Adobe Photoshop offers. If you want to do it in Gimp....

 

So I know that some people are spoiled by the features of Adobe, but for basic "truly artistic" tasks, Gimp serves the purpose very well. It is the same with Open Office (minus bugs and such, which I haven't really seen, though I don't use the .rtf file type). 

 

Another thing about the responsibility of corporations. Should not their primary responsibility be towards its clientele who provide the profit anyhow? Make enough mad and you end up like Microsoft's Xbox One. 

 

The whole "of the people, by the people, for the people" has surely lost its way, unless you make "the people" a select group who has power over "the rest of the people."

 

Did they ask the clientele if they would like a subscription model, or did they ask the shareholders? 

 

And yes, a business is a government. 


Edited by Tutorial Doctor, 04 April 2014 - 01:19 PM.

They call me the Tutorial Doctor.


#4 phantom   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7558

Posted 04 April 2014 - 03:35 PM

And yes, a business is a government.


No it isn't.

#5 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 1688

Posted 04 April 2014 - 05:22 PM

By definition it is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government

 

Historically, most political systems originated as socioeconomic ideologies; experience with those movements in power, and the strong ties they may have to particular forms of government, can cause them to be considered as forms of government in themselves.


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#6 phantom   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7558

Posted 04 April 2014 - 05:31 PM

No, it isn't.

That quote doesn't even support the assertion that a business is a government, just that governments tend to align to certain categories in relation to how business is done.

But if you want to play the 'quote game' then the opening two paragraphs utterly blow your argument from the water and leave it as a wreak of scrap on the side of said water.

A government is the system by which a state or community is governed.[1] In Commonwealth English, a government more narrowly refers to the particular executive in control of a state at a given time[2]—known in American English as an administration. In American English, government refers to the larger system by which any state is organised.[3] Furthermore, government is occasionally used in English as a synonym for governance.

In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislators, administrators, and arbitrators. Government is the means by which state policy is enforced, as well as the mechanism for determining the policy of the state. A form of government, or form of state governance, refers to the set of political systems and institutions that make up the organisation of a specific government.


So, no, a business is not a government.
Nor, for that matter, does it have anything to do with the 'for the people, by the people' rhetoric you quoted.

#7 Ravyne   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 8097

Posted 04 April 2014 - 06:11 PM

A for-profit business of any kind has one job: make money. When those businesses have shareholders that translates to doing whatever makes the shareholders happy -- e.g. make them money. Its actually illegal for a company to not act in the best interest of their shareholders. The shareholders can even get together and sue the company if they become really unhappy, although usually shareholder pressure will shake up management long before that is the only solution.

 

Therefore, a corporation treats its customers only as well as they need to to support the bottom line, and that falls somewhere between the minimum that said customers will accept and the maximum that said shareholders will allow.

 

This may not be "right", but it is how the rules of the system are set up and enforced.

 

Now, for a little history lesson, the rules that broadly govern a corporation's behavior make far more sense if you go back the what a corporation originally was. When they were first created, a corporation was a short-lived entity formed directly by the investors with only one specific purpose; not an immortal, multinational conglomerate traded and speculated piecemeal on an open market. For example, as originally used, a corporation might be formed to build a new bridge, and the articles of incorporation would define under what conditions its purpose would be complete and how its assets would then be dissolved and dispersed among shareholders. Later additions to the law changed what a corporation was meant to be, and when they did the original rules seemed fine for the general investor -- the problem, really, was that no one stopped to reconsider the rules in light of this now-immortal entity interacting with the rest of society in general. Things have generally continued in that same pro-corporate direction ever since, most recently with the Citizen's United decision.

 

This is why whenever I hear someone complaining that capitalism is what's to blame for our troubles, I kindly remind them that capitalism in its pure form (but not the oft-cited libertarian utopia of completely unregulated markets) is not the problem--corporatism is the problem. They can be forgiven for making the mistake though, given how utterly dominating corporations are in shaping our business laws, economic policy, regulation and taxation.



#8 Code Fox   Members   -  Reputation: 1806

Posted 05 April 2014 - 03:15 AM

The business model is to make $$$ for the share holder .

 If subscription based models make more $$$, they will inevitably switch to that.

 

 I still use Photoshop 2005 - so no issues on my end, however if one wishes to use "open source" alternatives they do have to understand that they are not the same standard as their corporate counterparts .

 

 Open Office is buggy as heck, and is unable to handle a lot of the file types MS Office does - it also uses outdated file structures from the 90's .

 Gimp lacks a lot of the tools Photoshop does.


Does Anyone Actually Read This ?
 


#9 Nathan2222_old   Members   -  Reputation: -400

Posted 05 April 2014 - 05:11 AM

Issue:
Why use Microsoft Office when you have Open Office (aka Libre Office)?

Very bad comparison. Why take a ship past the atlantic when you have a bamboo raft? :)
I don't have any problems with open source software (not that i want to make any) but some are not that good.
Free: Blender (paid: Maya/3ds) and Ogre seem to be the exception (of those i know) but some aren't.
So with that, the subscription model is ok except for those like adobe After-effect which seems to be quite expensive.

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#10 Luckless   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1883

Posted 05 April 2014 - 10:34 AM

 

Application: 

Joe buys a 3 year contract subscription of Adobe Photoshop. It is a yearly cost of $600 (numbers may not be correct, but could even be set on a monthly basis). At the end of 3 years he would have paid $1,800 at which point he retains usage rights forever.

 

Might want to check your numbers. Adobe CS6 (Which you can still buy outright, but there won't be a CS7 or any real upgrades) costs around $600, or you can get Adobe Photoshop CC, with its continuous updates AND Adobe Lightroom 5, for $10 a month. (Normally $20) And it is on just a one year contract. You can pay a little more and reserve the right to pull out of the contract on a month by month basis. So you think that paying 3 times the current value of software over the course of time that it would become obsolete is superior to just subscribing to it and getting all the updates?

 

I pay for a full CC subscription. Costs me about as much as my cell phone does, and I think I spend about that much a month on coffee. That gives me access to tonnes of awesome and powerful software that I'm still learning to use, and I'm doing this all for myself. From a business stand point CC makes far more sense. It is a regular expense of running the business, and doesn't require planning to save up for the next upgrade. (It also unlocks far more tools than what just buying a single title outright would have given you, allowing a business to stay flexible and expand their offerings by having ready access to more tools.)

 

 

As for why use a paid software such as Microsoft Office over Open Office? Features, polish, and stability. Excel is generally far smoother in operation than Calc, especially as your datasets grows. As a writer I have worked for years with both Open Office and MS Office, and Microsoft's tools just work better and I can get more done in less time.

 

 

The time and investment in the code base simply isn't there in many (most) open source projects. They become fractured, development goes off in different directions, and there is no strong cohesion in most projects. Just look at Libre Office and Open Office.

 

And personally if I am going to be forming my business around tools, I rather not invest my time and training efforts into a product being developed by someone who might get bored and decide they rather make a tool for a field that is completely unrelated to my industry.

 

 

I keep paying Adobe, and they will keep updating my tools with useful new things.


Edited by Luckless, 05 April 2014 - 02:00 PM.

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#11 Godmil   Members   -  Reputation: 744

Posted 05 April 2014 - 12:03 PM

I love the subscription services. Previously products like Adobe CS and unreal Engine were prohibitively expensive. Now they are extremely affordable and constantly providing me with the latest versions at no extra fee. These services are the best things to come to my work and hobbies in a decade.



#12 Mouser9169   Members   -  Reputation: 401

Posted 05 April 2014 - 10:46 PM


Might want to check your numbers. Adobe CS6 (Which you can still buy outright, but there won't be a CS7 or any real upgrades) costs around $600

 

You might want to check, yourself - try $2600 for the full suite ($2500 if you get it from Amazon).

 

Photoshop alone is $699 - CS6


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#13 Luckless   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1883

Posted 06 April 2014 - 05:46 AM

 


Might want to check your numbers. Adobe CS6 (Which you can still buy outright, but there won't be a CS7 or any real upgrades) costs around $600

 

You might want to check, yourself - try $2600 for the full suite ($2500 if you get it from Amazon).

 

Photoshop alone is $699 - CS6

 

 

So you disagree that $699, given that it can often be on sale for as low as $450ish and accounting for international currency fluctuations, is around $600?

 

His post specifically says PHOTOSHOP, as in a single application. Not Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection, which contains

 
Premiere Pro CS6
After Effects CS6
Photoshop Extended CS6
Illustrator CS6 & InDesign CS6
SpeedGrade CS6, Prelude CS6
Flash Professional CS6 & Flash Builder
Acrobat X Pro
Audition CS6
Fireworks CS6 & Dreamweaver CS6
Encore, Bridge, Media Encoder CS6

 

And a single app costs around $240 a year. Except photoshop which is on a sale that has already been extended by over six months, and which independent market research suggests is probably at the point that it will sell the best. If all you really want is Photoshop, then is rather hard to beat at $10 a month. I spend more than that on coffee alone.


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#14 Nathan2222_old   Members   -  Reputation: -400

Posted 06 April 2014 - 10:22 AM

Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection, which contains

Premiere Pro CS6
After Effects CS6
Photoshop Extended CS6
Illustrator CS6 & InDesign CS6
SpeedGrade CS6, Prelude CS6
Flash Professional CS6 & Flash Builder
Acrobat X Pro
Audition CS6
Fireworks CS6 & Dreamweaver CS6
Encore, Bridge, Media Encoder CS6

All that, for just $2,500, and Maya/3ds costs ~$4000?! :o

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#15 TheSasquatch   Members   -  Reputation: 452

Posted 06 April 2014 - 10:48 AM

Personally, I see their move to subscription-only as a way for them to ensure that they no longer need to improve the software enough to convince people to buy upgrades--they just sit there and exploit their near-monopoly market position, raking in money without ever lifting a finger. Meanwhile, the technology stagnates--they no longer have any motivation to make advancements. I'd bet money that if anyone tries to come along and make those advancements in an attempt to compete, they'll be either bought or sued away. All in all, a bad situation for everyone but the very top of the corporate ladder.

 

Add to that the fact that the "you can't own property, only rent it from us" scheme is the oldest class warfare tactic in the book and you've got a seriously scary trend as more businesses move in this direction. We'll be serfs in no time if more people don't get upset about dirty business practices like this.



#16 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 1688

Posted 06 April 2014 - 12:53 PM

Exactly Sasquach. I doubt it would promote useful updates, but rather slow down useful updates in the way you describe.

The only selling point for an upgrade in the old model was the "new features," and sometimes "fixed stuff."

I have used some software that didn't have much broken, and the only things needed were more or better features.

But under the new model, what incintive does a company have to make a useful upgrade?

It is the same predicament many PC users find themselves in. Microsoft can make a flop of an OS and not even bat an eye, because they know they have that market locked in. No matter how much people hate Windows 8, it will come pre-installed on every new PC sold at your local retailer.

So yes, I know I can escape to Ubuntu 10.10(last version I would prefer to use). And I wouldn't even suggest a Mac for the same "lock in" reason.

The thing is though, there are many people who depend on Photoshop for work, so they are sort of forced into the subscrition model. It is this type of policy that is going to entrap people before they know it. (Remember that stunt Netflix tried to pull, and the backlash that followed)?

But I can do without Netflix, as there are so many other options.

They call me the Tutorial Doctor.


#17 Nathan2222_old   Members   -  Reputation: -400

Posted 06 April 2014 - 01:52 PM

Exactly Sasquach. I doubt it would promote useful updates, but rather slow down useful updates in the way you describe.
It is the same predicament many PC users find themselves in. Microsoft can make a flop of an OS and not even bat an eye, because they know they have that market locked in. No matter how much people hate Windows 8, it will come pre-installed on every new PC sold at your local retailer.

So yes, I know I can escape to Ubuntu 10.10(last version I would prefer to use).

You must be seeing things from a light year's view away from mine. 'Escape from Windows to ubuntu'?
The way i see it is that open source software isn't as regularly updated as paid software, afterall, it's mostly hobby projects.

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#18 Nathan2222_old   Members   -  Reputation: -400

Posted 06 April 2014 - 01:55 PM

Exactly Sasquach. I doubt it would promote useful updates, but rather slow down useful updates in the way you describe.
It is the same predicament many PC users find themselves in. Microsoft can make a flop of an OS and not even bat an eye, because they know they have that market locked in. No matter how much people hate Windows 8, it will come pre-installed on every new PC sold at your local retailer.

So yes, I know I can escape to Ubuntu 10.10(last version I would prefer to use).

You must be seeing things from a light year's view away from mine. 'Escape from Windows to ubuntu'?
The way i see it is that open source software isn't as regularly updated as paid software, afterall, it's mostly hobby projects.

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Logic will get you from A-Z, imagination gets you everywhere - Albert Einstein
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The problems of the world cannot be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. - John F. Kennedy


#19 JTippetts   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8648

Posted 06 April 2014 - 02:03 PM

My wife recently started working as an e-book and print-on-demand paperback formatter, offering her services to authors wishing to publish on Amazon and other e-book distributors. As part of her workflow, she routinely uses Adobe InDesign and Photoshop. It would have been quite difficult, given our current situation with kids and mortgage and car payments and insurance and other factors, to afford to purchase everything up-front. The subscription model has made all the difference in her getting started now as opposed to her getting started in some nebulous future when we could (hopefully) drop a few thousand bucks up-front on a risky business proposition.

Really, it just comes down to a question of capital. If you have the capital for an up-front seat license without causing yourself any hardship, then great. Fine. Have at it. But if you do not have the capital, then a subscription plan can help you to amortize the business costs throughout the year. It is true that at some point you cross the line over to paying more for the subscription than you would have for the up-front license plus subsequent upgrades, but if you don't have the capital then there is not much you can do about that. Additionally, if the business fails before then, you reduce your losses to only the months that you were in business, a risk mitigation that can be very attractive to small businesses just starting up and working on limited capital.

#20 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 1688

Posted 06 April 2014 - 04:22 PM


The subscription model has made all the difference in her getting started now as opposed to her getting started in some nebulous future when we could (hopefully) drop a few thousand bucks up-front on a risky business proposition.

 

Great case! Hmm. I hadn't seen it from that point of view. 

 

If the cost of a 1 year subscription was a third of the price of an up-front fee, that would make something like 3DsMax affordable for at least a year, and if that was all I needed it for, I wouldn't be contracted to 3 years, nor would I have to spend the full amount I would have had to pay. 

 

I do wonder if that was the intent of the model now. 

 

Now my idea sounds like a money making scheme if anything. Haha. 

 

Great conversation. 


Edited by Tutorial Doctor, 06 April 2014 - 04:22 PM.

They call me the Tutorial Doctor.





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