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22 June 2013 Posted by 

Adobe moves creative to the cloud

ADOBE, the leading software company targeting creative professionals, is exiting the shrink-wrap software business in favour of subscription-based software and online "cloud" services.

While perhaps painful at first, the business model change will be ultimately beneficial for consumers and Adobe alike, and other software companies are likely to follow, say experts.

On May 6, Adobe said it would stop developing its flagship Creative Suite, which includes applications such as Photoshop, in favor of Creative Cloud, a subscription-based service for software and updates.

The company had been transitioning from a traditional software business model, which revolves around one-time product licensing, to subscription-based services, but decided to take a big plunge by removing the option for traditional licensing for new versions of the its popular creative tools.

The move is an acknowledgement that software is rapidly transitioning toward collaboration, subscriptions and use on multiple platforms such as Apple's iOS, Google's Android, Mac OS and Microsoft's Windows.

Wharton marketing professor Pinar Yildirim says that Adobe's move is a positive one for consumers, who are increasingly mobile and don't want to be tethered to a single desktop application. Customers also will benefit from regular updates and gain access to more features, she says.

"With a cloud suite, product updates can be easily controlled and executed by the firm and for all consumers at once. This has cost-cutting benefits, such as not having to deal with customer service calls about a software version from five years ago, and operating with more efficient technology as it becomes available to improve consumers' experience," says Yildirim.

Reaction to Adobe's move was mixed on Twitter. Many customers who bought the firm's most recent Creative Suite 6 didn't like the idea of paying a subscription for additional services and new features. Others cheered Adobe for making a big move.



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