The decision to rent/lease or buy presents itself at every turn. You'll face this decision when shopping a new car, relocating to a new home or apartment, and even when it comes to picking out movies. But what about software? Part of the reason why open-source programs like GIMP exist is because the average user is either unable or unwilling for fork over several hundred dollars for a legitimate copy of Photoshop. What if you could rent a license instead? That's the question Adobe hopes to answer with the release of its new Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 product line.
"This launch marks a major change to Adobe’s product release strategy for Creative Suite, the industry-leading design and development software for virtually every creative workflow across print, video, mobile and online media," Adobe said. "Adobe now plans to have milestone Creative Suite product introductions at 24-month intervals and – starting with Creative Suite 5.5 – significant mid-cycle releases designed to keep the worldwide creative community ahead of the latest advances in content authoring."
Coinciding with this new release schedule is the introduction of an "affordable and flexible subscription-based pricing plan." The upshot is that the new subscription engine ensures users are armed with the most up-to-date versions of software, and without taking a major upfront hit to their Paypal accounts.
"With subscription pricing customers can use flagship products, such as Adobe Photoshop for as little as US$35 per month, Adobe Design Premium CS5.5 for US$95 per month, Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection for US$129 per month," Adobe points out.
The alternative is to buy the programs outright. The full version of Photoshop runs $999 ($349 upgrade), Adobe Design Premium costs $1,899 ($599 upgrade), and Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection runs $2,599 ($899 upgrade).
So what's the verdict, are you down with a subscription model for Adobe software, or is the pricing still too high?