Adobe Acrobat DC is offered as perpetual license (one time fee) as well as subscription license (monthly/annual fee). Adobe did not dare to force the Acrobat users (often big enterprises or government customers) into a subscription only license like Adobe has done with the creative users.
However there are some important differences between the two license models. The subscription license contains some features which are not available with a perpetual license:
- Paid services of Document Cloud
- Edit and Merge on the iPad (only Pro version)
- Regular updates with new features
Especially the last point is important. Users with perpetual license will get updates with bug fixes and security updates but no new features (e.g. 64bit version on Windows). They will only get them when they buy an upgrade to the next release (in about two years)!
However the subscription variant is more expensive. The cost for the Pro version is EUR 14.99 (excl. VAT) per month (requires annual commitment). This sums up to almost EUR 360.00 in two years. An upgrade for users of Acrobat X or XI Pro can be bought for EUR 235.00. (Unfortunately Adobe does not offer an upgrade for Acrobat 9 .) For new customers and users of an older Acrobat version the subscription is cheaper than buying the full version (EUR 559.00). The swiss prices are again much higher despite the new exchange rates since January. A subscription is CHF 20.00 (excl. VAT) per month, an upgrade CHF 315.00 and a full version costs CHF 739.00.
In other words there will soon be two variants of “Acrobat DC 2015 Release” with different features. In the Release-Notes Continous Track and Classic Track are listed.
You can distinguish the two variants by the folder name of the application:
- MAC: /Applications/Adobe Acrobat 2015/
- WIN: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 2015\
- MAC: /Applications/Adobe Acrobat DC/
- WIN: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat DC\
I am curious how Adobe will call the next version of the perpetual license…