This afternoon I was met with the news that Adobe is planning on moving Photoshop and its other suite applications, Illustrator, Indesign, etc. to a subscription based service only. This involves a monthly subscription fee and an annual commitment. While the current CS6 applications will still be supported for now, no further updates will be made. For pricing see the Adobe Pricing Page.
I've been using Photoshop now for 20 years starting with version 2.5. While there were many upgrades along the way, the basic program remains much the same one I used in the early 90's. This a very long and successful run for any software product.
Trends in personal computing and photography are changing at a rapid rate. Tablet devices are now approaching the speed and capacity to perform many of the tasks once done on the computer with Photoshop. Many photographers, including myself, are finding applications tailored for photographers such as Apple's Aperture, or Adobe's Lightroom are sufficient for most of our needs. Adobe has been slow to develop tools for mobile devices and while I own their tablet app, it is not the tool of choice on my iPad.
While I understand Adobe's rationale for this change, I suspect it will cause many or most of us to rethink the need for continuing the use of Photoshop beyond the useful life of the product we're now using. I also suspect that there will be alternative standalone applications from other software companies that may well fill the void.