JavaJones is right on. While I agree, I hate a lot of things about "cloud computing" the reasons you point to don't really hold water. First of all, they don't *only* work to the advantage of the developer/provider's pocketbook. Indeed, in many cases, they don't help the developer revenue at all and may be a minor detriment. Where their real advantage is lies in the always on instant infrastructure available to any who want to buy the time. The subscription model is the only one that makes sense in this case, because you are paying for time, not for a product per se. Your argument seems to be more along the lines of "The software I want is only available in the cloud" which is a different issue.
For the developer, the cloud initiative offers many attractive benefits. For example, patch 1 machine and they are all patched - no more supporting multiple levels of multiple versions of one application. It also provides always on access on a server (usually clustered virtual servers) that you don't need to configure, maintain, or secure. This infrastructure is already provided. It also provides a single platform to target. "Do you want it to run on a Mac or Windows? How about Linux? Mobile phone? What about changing resolutions and varying aspect ratios? Oh, the cloud resolves that in the browser? Cool." Okay, you pointed out that doesn't always happen, sometimes you need to download the client connector, but it is much easier than dealing with 1.5 million different configurations. And of course as you already pointed out, a continuing revenue stream to help keep food on the table consistently. No more feast and famine cycles, or at least not nearly as severe.
What about the end user? Well, beyond the continued ranting of anywhere access, there is the fact that you always have an updated, secured, and supported version of the software. Moreover, you don't have to worry about paying $500 for that package each time it is updated (think office for example). It is a $10 monthly fee for a permanently current package. Put another way, you need to go 50 months before you break even and 51 months before you start making out on the $500 package. In 50 months, if the developer didn't produce a new version (at the same or similar pricing), it would be a miracle if he was still in business. Look at how many times you shied away from software just because it didn't appear actively developed. If it has been over 4 years, you consider it dead and question if you even want it, yet if you paid that much for a package each time, you would be loosing money, not making money by doing so.
Okay, maybe the Office $500 retail package is unreasonable - but a common one of a $50 software isn't. If it went online for even 5%, it would take 10 months to break even, and many of these companies put out updates every year or two, so you really aren't loosing much, it just is every month instead of up front (which if invested means you are really paying less in lost opportunities). In games, this is even more favorable to the consumer, because the $50 game is often left for the dust heap within 3 months. If you bought it for even as much as $10/month online, you get to play it for 5 months before you start "losing" money on it. Yet most people get bored well before then.
My reasons for hating many forms of cloud computing is that 1) I loose control on how secure it is or isn't. If I want to run it looser so I can use it in a share, for example, too bad. If I want to be able to shut it down until it is patched (a more common occurance), I have to stop the services as well as shuting down the application itself just because I have an internet connection! :thumbsdown: Another issue (and probably my biggest issue) is I don't want any company to be able to hijack my data inadvertently or on purpose. I also want access to it anytime I want, and not just when I can connect to their site. This is already an issue with my Yahoo email account - arguably the first real successful cloud offering (certainly long before cloud computing was ever coined!). In a similar vein, I hate the idea of a company going under and taking it's software with it when my data is in it's own proprietary format. This hasn't happened yet, of course, but I can see it coming and messing up A LOT of people through no fault of their own. I am sure these bother you as well, from what I know of you, but your additional rants seem misdirected to me.