The days of packaged software are drawing to a close, declares Adobe

We're in the midst of watching the software industry change for the better. Adobe points the way.

Disruption is easy to do to someone else. It's hard to do to oneself.

Yet this is precisely what Adobe appears to be contemplating, as Adobe's CEO Bruce Chizen noted at the Web 2.0 Summit today, reports Reuters:

Adobe Systems is working to deliver all of its software via the Web as a service rather than a packaged product, but the transition to earn money from subscriptions or advertising could take a decade....

Adobe makes most of its money from desktop software, yet it's apparently considering a move to web-based delivery for its products. If Adobe can disrupt itself in this way, surely Microsoft could move at least some of its products to open source? And maybe there is hope for SAP's efforts to introduce a SaaS-based ERP offering?

Perhaps the flesh is weak in these cases. But the spirit does seem to be willing.

Regardless, it's fascinating to be watching SaaS and open source massively disrupt the software industry. The result will be service subscriptions, not software licenses, that tune software vendors to customer needs, remove inefficiencies in delivery, and massively expand the market.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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