Lets face it you need Creative Suite if you are doing any sort of serious design work. While there is a lot of good open-source stand-alone products none live up to the complete package of CS.
However CS4 is damn expensive! Probably why a lot of people pirate the software for private use. When you run a business you cannot afford to run this risk and it is a bit rich stealing to make a buck.
Because of the cost I was excited when I went to buy CS4 to find out that there was a subscription edition. The details about? Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium Subscription Edition are on the Adobe website.
Here is the bonus in the deal, the upgrades are free!
This got me thinking about the cost-case (I have a business degree). This is where it get really good value for money:
- Upgrades are free
- Upgrades to CS has so far occurred approximately every 18 months (even less)
- Last upgrade was September 2008 so I except March 2010 for CS5
- Normally upfront cost is $3635 and upgrades are $1215
- Subscription is $129 p/month (I heard a rumor this will decrease)
- To get to the initial upfront cost it takes 28 months or just over two years
- In that 28 months if upgrades remain consistent there will be two upgrades
- Upfront + 2 upgrades is $6065
- By the time you get to $6065 (47 Months almost 4 years) there has been another upgrade taking the amount you would of paid normally to $7280 (57 months or 4.75 years)
- At month 57 the $129 p/month exceeds the cost of upfront and upgrades, if you hang in another 4 months there is the next upgrade
- At month 66 or 5.5 years on the subscription model is surpassed in value by the traditional model
- Hang in there another 12 months and there is another upgrade and you have only paid $258 more then the traditional model and have CS9 in all that time you have the ability to spend to the money on shares
So if you have CS for longer than 5.5 years the model is no longer economical. That said in the time you did have to save for the upfront cost, the upgrades are mailed to you, you turned expensive Capital Expenditure into affordable Operating Expenditure, if after a year you decide to scrap CS you only paid $1548 compared to $4850 (if you got the upgrade) and you can have CS immediately rather than having to save up.