Adobe says its recently announced rental program for Creative Suite 3 will allow customers to buy the full package later at a discount.
The scheme, announced earlier this month, allows both PC and Mac users to rent the expensive design package at a cost of $199 per month, or $129 per month if you commit to a minimum term of 12 months.
The package will be available from May 2008 onwards, and Adobe says if CS4 is released during your subscription term, they will automatically post a boxed copy out to you and your subscription will keep working as normal.
The deal includes full-versions of InDesign CS3, Photoshop CS3 Extended, Illustrator CS3, Flash CS3 Professional, Dreamweaver CS3 and Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional software.
The main adopters of this new purchasing method are expected to come from the corporate sector. If a large design or web contract comes along, print, design and web development companies now have the ability to add extra workspaces to their arsenal without having to buy the full license of the Adobe product range. They can instead choose to buy the license on a month-by-month basis to cover the extra workflow that may come with a new contract or to allow freelance workers to be hired in order to get by during the busier times of the year. (It also allows the cost of the software to be more easily apportioned back to individual clients as part of a per-job cost.)
As noted at the top of the story, Adobe says it will also offer anyone who uses the subscription method for at least three months to purchase the full license at a reduced price if they so choose, though it does not yet know how much discount it will offer on the boxed copy. It stands to reason that Adobe would rebate the full $600 rental fee off the cost of the full licence, but it remains to be seen whether Adobe will do that.
The offer is only available in Australia initially, and Adobe will study its success before extending it to the rest of the world. In the 90s, Microsoft trialled a similar scheme with Microsoft Office, but it later withdrew it and exchanged customers’ rental copies for full licenced product at no extra cost, after widespread customer confusion about what they were buying. Many people who bought the Office subscription edition cheaply at retailers didn’t understand that they were only buying access to the product for a period of time – even though the packaging had large, bright stickers explaining this. Hopefully, Adobe won’t face the same problem with Creative Suite subscriptions.
For more information go to Adobe’s Creative Suite subscription site