Matthew Guay on Mac.AppStorm goes into some great detail in comparing the subscription services from Microsoft and Adobe against their previous one-off costs. Matthew highlights one key fact:
If you run the math from starting from scratch with Master Collection and Creative Cloud, Creative Cloud will continue to work out cheaper for over 25 years if you’d have purchased upgrades anyhow. If you’d have purchased one of the cheaper suites such as Design Standard, though, Creative Cloud will start costing more per year after 4-5 years. Throw in the extras like Typekit, though, and you might find it makes more sense.
Matthew hits the nail on the head when he writes that, due to the previoudly astronomical cost of Adobe Creative Suite, many people and businesses would buy it once and expect it to work for years. This leads to many clinging on to discontinued versions far longer than they should be. Only last week I was troubleshooting a problem for a client with Mountain Lion and CS3, a version of Creative Suite that was released in 2006.
I’ve previously written about the benefits of Adobe’s new subscription service and Matthew goes one further by explaining in greater detail the cost comparisons.
If there’s one key aspect I’d like to reiterate, it’s that you’re always getting the latest version. All updates, whether bug fixes or new features, are yours to use. This removes Adobe’s restrictions on holding back new features to make up a new version, they can just add them once they’re ready.