Subscription-only? 'Adobe is a pioneer, but not for Office... yet,' says Microsoft

Microsoft has spoken out about Adobe's move to ditch box copies of Creative Suite 7 and concentrate solely on its subscription service Creative Cloud.

Calling its industry peer a "pioneer", Microsoft thinks that moving away from selling packaged software product is inevitable, and that subscription software-as-a-service is the future. Unlike Adobe, it has no plans to do so with Office yet.

Office 365 Premium is a subscription service run by Microsoft which allows access to major Office suite packages, via the web and using desktop applications depending on the monthly fee paid. However, the company also offers Office 2013 to buy outright.

Microsoft thinks that convincing all customers to switch to subscription-only services will take time. "Within a decade, we think everyone will choose to subscribe because the benefits are undeniable," said Clint Patterson, Microsoft's communications director for Office. "In the meantime, we are committed to offering choice - premier software sold as a package and powerful services sold as a subscription."

But the company is open to a faster change in public opinion. "Perhaps the shift is happening faster than we originally thought, and Adobe is helping blaze the trail," he said.



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