I always thought Microsoft would be the first major software company to shift a majority of their sales to software subscriptions. It’s not from lack of trying. Turns out™ that Adobe is the one diving head first into the Creative Cloud, abandoning traditional software sales completely. Bold move.
Computing has become a main stream business, no longer made up of hard core nerds that will stand in line to buy an operating system in a box (they line up for iPhones and iPads instead). Computers are applianecs, and just like people don’t update the software on their toaster or refrigerator (though that may be changing), most normal people keep the software their home computer appliance came with and rarely update it (apart from incremental nag-screen updates). This creates a revenue problem for software makers that they hope to fix by switching to a subscription model.
Overall, I think this will be a win for Adobe and consumers. Adobe will shift its effors towards developing software (and hardware) that is more connected and users won’t get sticker shock every few years when a new CS product is announced.