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As Adobe abandons boxes, Microsoft keeps the faith

10 May 13

Microsoft Office will continue to sell as both packaged and subscription software, days after Adobe announced a shift to the cloud.

Following news that Adobe has decided to bet the company on its subscription-based ‘cloud’ offering, Creative Cloud (CC), moving all its R&D to focus on CC and away from Creative Suite, Microsoft refused to budge, believing the move will take time.

"Like Adobe, we think subscription software-as-a-service is the future," said Clint Patterson, spokesman, Microsoft Office.

"However, unlike Adobe, we think people's shift from packaged software to subscription services will take time.

"Within a decade, we think everyone will choose to subscribe because the benefits are undeniable.

"In the meantime, we are committed to offering choice--premier software sold as a package and powerful services sold as a subscription."

As reported in Techday, Adobe announced its ‘bold’ plan to move away from perpetual licensing and boxed offerings – and, effectively, Creative Suite 6 – at the Adobe MAX Creativity Conference in Los Angeles earlier this week.

"The benefits to consumers are huge," agrees Patterson. "Subscribers are always up-to-date.

"They get the latest and most complete applications. They can use subscriptions across the multitude of devices people use today.

"Web services like SkyDrive and applications like Skype are also more easily integrated with subscription services, like the new Office 365 Home Premium."

Patterson did however acknowledge that since the launch of Office 365 Home Premium and Office 365 University in January, more than a quarter of consumers buying Office have chosen the subscription.

"This exceeded our expectations, given that software subscriptions are relatively new to most consumers," he said.

"So, perhaps the shift is happening faster than we originally thought, and Adobe is helping blaze the trail."

In the words of Patterson, are software subscriptions progressive or premature? Tell us your thoughts below