The more I think about it the more I consider the "locked in for life" issue to be the killer. Over at DPR
there's an interesting Q&A with Bryan O'Neill Hughes, Senior Product Manager for Photoshop. I'll forgive his slightly dismissive opening swipe at the "hobbyist photographic community" but when asked "What happens to Photoshop CC and my files if I cancel my subscription?" he goes on to say:
We do not delete any files or software from your computer. You will not be able to use the software but the files you've created and saved on your hard drive are left intact. And you don't need a valid license or Internet connection to uninstall the software.
How reassuring - NOT. The "files you've created and saved on your hard drive are left intact" but, unless they are flattened, you probably won't be able to access the images they contain unless you have a valid subscription.
Actually, Adobe could solve this problem incredibly simply by providing a subscription free build of Photoshop (latest cloud version) limited to reading, rendering and saving PSD files in a more universal, but flattened, format. If that ability were extended to not only flattened versions of the PSD but also image layers then I'd be comfortable. No editing would be possible but that's perfectly fair if my subscription lapses. But I retain perpetual access to my images and, with the layers visible, I can even see how most of the adjustments were made. Yes, I could achieve the same result by making sure the images, and layered component images, were saved separately as flattened TIFFs but should that really be necessary?
So, c'mon @Adobe
. Move us to the cloud and the benefits that enables by all means but provide a free "reader" which can allow us to retrieve and save our image data should a subscription lapse.