To a certain extent, the whole "cloud" part of the announcement is a red herring. And about as substantial as a cloud - so it's an apt term in this context.
However, as CWuestefeld so neatly pointed out in an earlier post, it's a minor change in the delivery
method and authorization mechanism for CS. But it's a seismic shift in the sales/pricing model. And that is what is really significant here.
What Adobe is saying is that their CS lineup is now only available as a monthly or annual rental.
Adobe can split hairs over definitions and terminology ("no, it's not a rental
- it's software as a service") but what it basically comes down to is that the Creative Suite has now been put behind a paywall.
And what makes this newsworthy is that Adobe is the first major vendor to do this with a de facto
industry standard, non-enterprise, software title.
And if this move is accepted by Adobe's customer base, you'll see more and more software publishers follow in their footsteps.
Right now, Adobe has implemented this is a benign fashion. But down the road , who can guess what they might decide to do in the name of anti-piracy or whatever.
At the very least, Adobe now has complete
control of all
CS sales. And the only price available is now list price
. There will be no more hunting for bargains on E-Bay or sales outside of Adobe's absolute control. And more importantly, there will be no more used software titles sold - something software publishers have been looking to stop for many years - even though the US courts have generally not
been receptive to non-transferable license clauses attached to packaged
products. So perhaps price control and eliminating the used software market was also part of the strategy behind this move.
Ready for a nightmare scenario? Far fetched though it may sound, consider what might happen if a patent dispute breaks out, and someone like Adobe gets a court order to partially or fully disable certain features
- or possibly an entire product
? This could become a whole new opportunity for patent trolls to have a field day with. And one more thing for software customers to worry about.
The more I think about the possibilities this move by Adobe opens up, the less I like what I'm thinking.