I'm a little surprised that there hasn't been any discussion of this here, as the rest of the digital photography world seems to be aflame with the news. So I thought I'd post my thoughts about Adobe's new payment scheme, and see what, if any, thoughts you other fine folks have about it. In case you haven't heard, Adobe announced this week that from now on all of their Creative Suite software will only be available by subscription, with a monthly fee of US$50 for the entire suite, or US$20/app/mo. This scheme is called the "Creative Cloud," and henceforth there will be no more updates of existing apps available via boxed packaging nor download. Everybody is going to have to pay the US$50/mo. and your computer will check in online every 30 days to see if you've paid your bill. If you haven't, "your" software will no longer run, and you will not be able to open the files you created using that software unless you had the foresight to back save them to a previous version of CS6 or lower, or in some other "open" format. And before anyone jumps in here, yes, I do understand that I've never really "owned" the software that I use. I've "licensed" it. But I have "owned" the documents, files, images, etc. that I've created with that software. I use 3 of the suite's 9 apps every day while I'm working: Illustrator, Photoshop, and Acrobat. They are vital to my making a living. Without them, I truly don't have a job. Acrobat is not (yet) part of this scheme, and there are some decent alternatives to Photoshop. But none of the available alternatives come even remotely close to providing the tools that I need for my work in Illustrator. Adobe has a monopoly on professional software tools for the graphic artist. No one with any knowledge of the industry will contest that. So fine, I use their products because I have no choice. And until now I have saved money by skipping upgrade cycles (CS6 is the current iteration of the suite, but I'm still on CS5), and by looking for special deals on the rare occasions that they been offered. I got Lightroom (which, along with Photoshop Elements, is still available as a stand-alone app) for free when I bought my NEX-6, for instance. But those days are over. Now, it's going to cost me US$600/yr. for the whole suite, which includes six applications that I never use. And given that Adobe has a monopoly, there's little question but that the price will go up over time. So now it's going to cost me more to run my business, and any work that I create exists at the whim of a company that has a long history of ruthlessly killing off their competitors, and treating their customers like an inconvenience. I've gone along for the ride when they bought Pagemaker from Aldus and killed it off, then Freehand from Macromedia got the same treatment. Each time I was forced to learn a new piece of software and change my work flow. So it goes. It's capitalism, Jake. But I will not start down this road. Where it ends is abundantly clear. So I've signed the online petitions, ranted on Adobe's user forums, spewed bile at their director of digital marketing, and written to the developers of iDraw and Pixelmator, Illustrator and Photoshop's nearest competitors—and I use the word "competitor" here in the same sense that I am a competitor of Usain Bolt—to please, please, please leap at the opportunity that's been laid at their feet. But I don't have high hopes. I'll continue to use CS5 as long as it works. And I'll be looking around for anything that will allow me to jump off of this bus. But I will not submit to this extortion. Adobe will not get another penny from me.