I still am not ready to buy into the Adobe CC thing, I don't like the idea that if I have a lot of PSD files, I've done work on, I may refer back to, say as templates for my business albums, etc...that if I quit paying rent, that I can no longer open and use my files I created.
If you have a .psd or better yet a .tiff file, you can open it up in all of it's glorious layered goodness in any one of a number of programs. Of course, if you are looking at a Photoshop specific manipulation or feature, you're unlikely to be able to do it in anything other than Photoshop. However, as you point out, there are not all that many late model Photoshop effects that are to-die-for.
I bought into the CS6 Production Premium Suite of tools...and so far, I've not see anything Adobe has done or added that is so groundbreakingly compelling that I would give up my standalone as long as I want them (in VM's if need be for OS changes) and use them.
I would agree. I have CS6 happily sitting on my hard drive, but also have a current subscription (hint: if you try to cancel, they give you the old price back. At $29.00 a month for the entire suite it can be a steal, depending on what you use).
I'm actually wondering if Adobe keeping the 'deals' running for so long is and indication that not quite as many have flocked to CC as they imagined. But regardless of that, I don't wanna rent my software, who's to tell when once they have you hooked, they start raising the prices? Also, what's to keep the fire lit under them to innovate once everyone is paying monthly and there is no stand alone option any more?
Hard to say. Adobe's SEC filings look pretty good. Other companies are jumping on the subscription band wagon which suggests that either it works or they're desperate. I suspect it's a little of both. It costs very little to add a customer (it's not like Adobe spends any money on customer support....). If they can get some rate of conversion to Endless Subscription, they've made some good money. If the user drops out after a while, well, they've made some money.
Remember, CS is professional software. They don't make much off us one of hobbyist / low grade professional shops. They make money on the big guys. And subscriptions make accountants happy for some weird reason. Further, Adobe, bless it's pointed little metallic head, really has made inroads into listening to professionals. You don't have to upgrade a version. Downgrading is easy. Running every version ever made (after 6) is easy.
Customer support still sucks, but it is Adobe.