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The Subscription Model needs to be adjusted.


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#21 Luckless   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1729

Posted 06 April 2014 - 08:26 PM

What will keep Adobe working on improving and updating their software are things like Corel PaintShop Pro.

 

Adobe has been standing head and shoulders above any serious competition, and that in turn has put them in a near monopoly. However why would anyone assume that they're even dreaming of just sitting back and giving their competitors time to copy all their features and try and take the lead. 

 

I've installed a dozen major updates across all the titles I've been playing with from CC in the few months I've had it, which have added some neat features that in the previous model I would have waited a year or two before the next 'major release' rolled out.

 

Subscription gives a stable, constant income that can be reasonably relied on. This means that they don't have to bank up as much money as they can from each major release cycle and hope that it holds them over for the development of the next. It makes business management so much easier, and companies more willing to take 'risks'. 


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#22 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 1501

Posted 06 April 2014 - 10:50 PM


It makes business management so much easier, and companies more willing to take 'risks'. 

 

Indeed, but sometimes those risks end up being Windows 8. haha. 

 

Good point though. I am seeing another angle on the subscription model, but only time will tell. 


Edited by Tutorial Doctor, 06 April 2014 - 10:50 PM.

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#23 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 28405

Posted 06 April 2014 - 11:09 PM

I once rented a car, but after I paid for it, the bastards said I had to give the damn car back...



#24 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 1501

Posted 06 April 2014 - 11:20 PM


I once rented a car, but after I paid for it, the bastards said I had to give the damn car back...

hahahaha! I laughed hard at that one. 


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#25 TechnoGoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2621

Posted 07 April 2014 - 08:36 AM

The move to more subscription based services has a variety of advantages the most obvious is that it allows a company to make more money on a regular basis rather then trying to convince the their customers that their current software is obsolete and to upgrade when they release a new version.

 

But its also part of a movement I've been hearing bantered around for the last five years and that's "Software as a Service" The idea the software is about providing customers a service they can use rather then software being a packaged product.  And part of that is regular improvements and new content, and also about not having to support legacy products anymore.  


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#26 Olof Hedman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2682

Posted 07 April 2014 - 10:08 AM


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

 

Thats your "problem" right there. Software is not, and has never been "a product you buy"

It's an immaterial service that you buy a license to use.

You never own any of the software you have licensed, even if it was just a one time license fee.

 

You might get a nice box, some medium and a manual included in your license fee, but you still did not buy the software.

Just a license to use it.



#27 Nathan2222_old   Members   -  Reputation: -400

Posted 07 April 2014 - 11:16 AM

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

 
Thats your "problem" right there. Software is not, and has never been "a product you buy"
It's an immaterial service that you buy a license to use.
You never own any of the software you have licensed, even if it was just a one time license fee.
 
You might get a nice box, some medium and a manual included in your license fee, but you still did not buy the software.
Just a license to use it.
That makes sense because if i bought it and the price was $2,500, it would be a blessing. Autodesk bought Maya from its original creators, right?

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#28 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 1501

Posted 07 April 2014 - 02:17 PM

I do know software can be bought, because Trimble bought Sketchup as Google bought it from its original creators. But in the sense we are talking, yeah I understand.

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#29 Bacterius   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 8264

Posted 08 April 2014 - 07:20 AM

I do know software can be bought, because Trimble bought Sketchup as Google bought it from its original creators. But in the sense we are talking, yeah I understand.

 

There's a difference between buying a license to use the software (which is what you get when you buy software as a user, you may not like it but that's what you agreed tp when you rushed through the EULA screen and clicked "install") and, on the other hand, acquiring the copyright and intellectual property associated with a given piece of software. The two are on completely different levels.


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#30 mdwh   Members   -  Reputation: 836

Posted 08 April 2014 - 10:37 AM

 

I do know software can be bought, because Trimble bought Sketchup as Google bought it from its original creators. But in the sense we are talking, yeah I understand.

 

There's a difference between buying a license to use the software (which is what you get when you buy software as a user, you may not like it but that's what you agreed tp when you rushed through the EULA screen and clicked "install") and, on the other hand, acquiring the copyright and intellectual property associated with a given piece of software. The two are on completely different levels.

 

Generally I've already bought the software, by the time it tries to thrust a EUL onto me. So I don't think in any sense I can be said to have agreed to something when I bought it. I might as well say "If you reply to this post, it means yesterday you agreed to send me some money". :)


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#31 Ravyne   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6872

Posted 08 April 2014 - 12:58 PM

Any kind of intangible good isn't really owned in the same sense that physical goods are owned -- rather than the thing itself, you own instead its means of conveyance (whether a physical disc, a file, or a stack of papers bound in leather or cheap cardboard), and in that means of conveyance is some kind of agreement or license (either implied or implicit) to use that content.

 

The terms of that agreement differs from content to content or owner to owner, and is sometimes overruled by regional laws. For example, in the US, courts typically hold that you have a right to use the content as-is, but not to modify it -- e.g. you can use or copy a digital file, but you can't change the bits without being in violation of the agreement (which isn't considered illegal in and of itself, but releases the other party to the agreement from having to continue giving you the things they promised). In the EU, courts there typically have held that you own your own copy of the content and can modify for your own use as you like.

 

The distinction between material and immaterial goods is necessary, but I would prefer we had a more EU-like understanding of this in the states combined with a consumer's right of sale (which we generally have in the US, but has come somewhat under attack lately).



#32 TheSasquatch   Members   -  Reputation: 452

Posted 08 April 2014 - 06:20 PM

Software is not, and has never been "a product you buy"

It's an immaterial service that you buy a license to use.

You never own any of the software you have licensed, even if it was just a one time license fee.

 

I'll never accept that as an ethical business practice. It's an awful concept that takes far too much power away from the individual. Worse, it keeps lawyers and MBA's employed. That thought alone should be enough to drive us all to open source alternatives.

 

Besides, I can't think of any software I'd use that's actually a service. Photoshop certainly isn't a service--they're not shopping my photos for me. It's a tool, one with which I may shop my own photos as I see fit. Let's see the hardware store try to get away with attaching EULAs and annual subscription fees to -every- hammer. That'd go over well, right? For a big, expensive, specialized tool you only need to use once? Sure, a brief rental's reasonable. But -every- tool? Tools you intend to use often, and for many years? No option to buy, and hence no ability to own property? We let that slide, we're on the road to serfdom. We don't want to go there.



#33 Mouser9169   Members   -  Reputation: 401

Posted 08 April 2014 - 06:36 PM

 

Software is not, and has never been "a product you buy"

It's an immaterial service that you buy a license to use.

You never own any of the software you have licensed, even if it was just a one time license fee.

 

I'll never accept that as an ethical business practice. It's an awful concept that takes far too much power away from the individual. Worse, it keeps lawyers and MBA's employed. That thought alone should be enough to drive us all to open source alternatives.

 

When "open source" and "free software" proponents can come up with a way for programmers/developers to write software and still put food on the table (especially in the gaming segment) I'll start 'driving there'. Other than a relatively few people employed by corporations to work on open source projects like Apache and the Linux kernel, there's no way to make any money writing the stuff.

 

Oh, and as for lawyers and MBA's, 'open source' has got plenty of them: ever hear of the ESF?


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#34 JohnnyCode   Members   -  Reputation: 230

Posted 08 April 2014 - 07:15 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.

 

This is true to prevent corupted deeds of members of a company. While on the other hand, it is true that making something extremly cheap does not corrupt a company, but actualy , very often, gives a too extreme benefit to company. It is illegal for companies to perform this in order to compete with other companies. I believe it is called "dumping prices" (maybe -in english?).

 

Also, a creator, author, owner or producer of something, can decide themself how much they will earn, unless they have duties to shareholders, or has any shareholders that do not agree upon what company does. And what company does is decided by halfcrossing majority, and if the majority or executives screw up company by will, they have commited a serious crime.



#35 ChaosEngine   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2218

Posted 08 April 2014 - 08:54 PM


I'll never accept that as an ethical business practice. It's an awful concept that takes far too much power away from the individual. Worse, it keeps lawyers and MBA's employed. That thought alone should be enough to drive us all to open source alternatives.

 

Whether you accept it or not is irrelevant. It is the reality of the situation. 

 

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#36 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 1501

Posted 08 April 2014 - 10:31 PM

Engine, i think it is less about you being compensated for your work, as we all want compensation for our work, but good business practice should be practiced.

I am not saying it is bad business practice (or maybe I am) but such a practice makes me wonder if it is justifyable (and when I wonder, I try to consider every angle.) I like a fair price myself, (all things considered).

Here is a case I consider. Are Apple products over priced? To me it seemed that after all of the people who worked on the iPod touch, which was no cost to me, were paid, Apple is only making an extra 30$ on the iPod touch which retailed at $329, but is now $300.

So, when the kindle fire came out it was about $200 and the larger iPad was $500. I believe the iPad two was on the market then.

The quality of the camera in the iPad2 was the quality of a point and shoot camera, which averaged about $90 minimum.

So now the value is down to $450. I don't care about the size of the screen, I care about the speed. How much would I pay for a faster computer? About $100 if it was significantly faster. So now the price is down to $350.

Most of the other value was from it's convenience. I have actually saved tripple the amount of money I spent on an iPad, using the iPad to do things faster for me (and I am sure it is much more than that).

Also, I think how much it costs to buy a desktop and laptop computer today, and depending what a persons needs are, a tablet might be more suitable, and a better buy.

I personally don't want something for nothing, but I would like a fair price. And if someone rented an iPad to me in this day and age, I would be highly upset at the arrogance of it.

I understand that usually it is people with no money that complain about high prices, but that doesn't mean that the high prices are fair prices all the time.

And by the way, I don't have a lot of money, but I bought an iPad because it would save me more money than I spent on it. And in some cases, it has helped me make more money. It's a tool.

I also see photoshp as a tool, because as was noted, Adobe isn't making stuff for you. But I understand that people are working to give updates, but what if I don't need an update? Why am I paying residual? If they gave me a progress report every year about what features they are working on, and promised a useful update, then perhaps I migh pay residual, but as a lot of people are doing, they will stick with the latest version of Photoshop that wasn't subscription and use that.

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#37 ChaosEngine   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2218

Posted 08 April 2014 - 11:10 PM


Engine, i think it is less about you being compensated for your work, as we all want compensation for our work, but good business practice should be practiced.

I am not saying it is bad business practice (or maybe I am) but such a practice makes me wonder if it is justifyable (and when I wonder, I try to consider every angle.) I like a fair price myself, (all things considered).

 

Of course "good business practice should be practiced". The debate is about what constitutes good practice, both ethically and financially.

TheSasquatch claimed that software as a licence vs ownership is unethical, which is nonsense. It's neither unethical nor bad business practice. As Ravyne pointed out, "any kind of intangible good isn't really owned in the same sense that physical goods are owned".

 

I absolutely agree that the user should have certain rights with regard to software protected by law, and there is an ongoing debate as to how far these rights should extend, but to make a blanket statement like TheSasquatch made is absurd.

 

As for the the price, it's irrelevant. That is set by what the market will bear. If Adobe want to charge $50k a seat or start charging per gb of ram the user has installed, that's up to them. If their product still has value, people will pay it. If not a competitor will undercut them. Unless we're talking about monopolistic practices, which I agree are unfair.


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#38 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 1501

Posted 08 April 2014 - 11:33 PM


Unless we're talking about monopolistic practices, which I agree are unfair

 

I think that is the part people are afraid of. Main reason I keep one foot in open-source. Because, as far as I know, there isn't much around to compete with Adobe, and for such a large and used company to just go subscription like that, it would seem that they knew they would have sign-ups because of the foothold they have in that market. 

 

Truly, the only way I would be able to judge if it is unethical or not, or even unfair or not is if I had more education on business and the financial side of what it takes to be a company as large as Adobe. 

 

My post wasn't really about the moral side of it, I just assume that in most businesses, the higher up you get, the more unethical you become anyhow (as far as businesses for profit go). It is hard for a business all about making money to not be unethical. But one thing that gets me is when businesses play hardball. When they use strong-arm tactics which are more like indirect strong-arm tactics to control others. 

 

I believe a business can be unethical and fair at the same time. Perhaps unethical in other parts of the business, but fair in their pricing. 

 

The old "false balances and divers weights", which still happens today, is the issue. 


Edited by Tutorial Doctor, 08 April 2014 - 11:35 PM.

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#39 Mouser9169   Members   -  Reputation: 401

Posted 11 April 2014 - 12:35 PM


Engine, i think it is less about you being compensated for your work, as we all want compensation for our work, but good business practice should be practiced.

I am not saying it is bad business practice (or maybe I am) but such a practice makes me wonder if it is justifyable (and when I wonder, I try to consider every angle.) I like a fair price myself, (all things considered).

Here is a case I consider. Are Apple products over priced? To me it seemed that after all of the people who worked on the iPod touch, which was no cost to me, were paid, Apple is only making an extra 30$ on the iPod touch which retailed at $329, but is now $300.

 

Snipped the last part as it followed the same line:

 

You're making a case for 'open source', but then using hardware as an example of developers being compensated. Of course hardware makers are compensated - you can't just duplicate an iPad and give one to all your friends like you can with software. That's where open source breaks down as a business model for the most part (there are exceptions).

 

"Free" software is worse, as there's a total disconnect between the 'freedoms' that the FSF espouses and what users actually give a rat's behind about. "Freedom to inspect and modify the code." Sounds good on the surface. If there's a feature missing in Gimp, you could add one - except you can't. Gimp users are graphics artists, not computer scientists or software developers. If there's a feature missing, the software is "broken", so they move to Photoshop, since it "works". Providing 90% of a user's needs is worthless if some other product meets 100% of their needs.

 

Back to the question of compensation: if you put in some time improving Gimp - making your own fork and adding all the features Photoshop has. Your version is user-friendly, powerful, it could even do everything Photoshop does plus more new features that you thought up after talking with a bunch of Photoshop users and asking what they wished the software could do. How would you make sure you're compensated for all that time, while keeping your fork 'open source' (which you'd have to under the Gimp license)?


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#40 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 1501

Posted 11 April 2014 - 04:45 PM

Great question. I am an artist who is learning to program so that I can make my own tools to make making art faster and more efficient. In this case I would be profiting from my art which the software helps me to perform. I'd be selling the art I made with the software, not the software itself. I stand to profit from the art.

This model can keep the software open sourced, while I still take profit off of my own individual art made with the software. My brother just told me of a gig where I could make 3d models for these two games and sell them for use in the game. People have been making thousands of dollars doing this. Profiting from their artwork, where the programming skill of another provided an easy and straightforward way to do such a thing.

I could give you a hammer or I could build you a house. I'd profit if you didn't know how to build a house, but the hammer I could give to you for free. It is a tool. But the work to do something with the tool is another thing.

There is a profit to be gained in giving information on how to do a task, but for some reason there is even more profit to be gained in doing something for someone. Some people just don't have the skills to do it, or the patience, or the money perhaps.

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