Cloud subscription services: good or bad?

I was reading a Delimiter column which discussed the Adobe Cloud service and the flat out refusal of their chief executive to discuss the absurd and seemingly extortionist prices that have plagued Australians on software, Adobe being one of them. He however, stated that Adobe Cloud pricing has been harmonised with the US market, which sounded like a good thing. Now I will not dwell on the injustice of software pricing here, but let us take a look on the wonderful concept known as cloud subscription services.

On the surface, cloud services look to be a real steal: accessible anywhere, better reliability (and uptime), instant upgrades, no hardware compatibility issues to worry about, yada yada yada. The real hook comes in the subscription model though. Instead of paying a once-off fee for software, you end up paying every month to use a service that you do not really own.

Does this make sense? Welcome to the world of paid cloud services.

I don’t know about how you perceive the cloud, but there are things that I do not mind paying every month for, and cloud services are not one of them. The future lies in the cloud and SaaS undoubtedly, but there are things should remain as native software, period.

Subscription is a really good model for software companies to sustain themselves after all, and I do not fault them. Make one sale, reel the customer in and keep rolling the updates to keep the customer base happy. No need for another marketing campaign, another lead to sale conversion, sounds good. Of course, there is an equivalent cost invested in infrastructure for the customers, but I believe the pros outweigh the cons on this idea.

Can you imagine a time when you cannot do anything at all without Internet access? This is the vision of the future, and from the way I look at it, we are going to be so, so, screwed if everything is on the cloud. I was offline for a few times since moving to the new place, and it’s frightening how different my daily routine was, when I was denied access to my usual distractions like email and social media. Can you imagine being totally rendered helpless without internet access? Not so fun, I’d say.

The internet is a good thing, and yet at times, such a two-edged sword.

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