End of support for Adobe Acrobat and Reader 2015

It used to be that when we buy something, we own it for life and use it for as long as the thing works. Think television, radio, refrigerator, hair dryer, and car.

But technology is not only changing our life but the way we own products. Adobe today announced that support for Adobe Acrobat 2015 and Adobe Reader 2015 will end on April 7, 2020.

OK, hands up, Adobe is not the first to do this. Apple has done so, Microsoft as well, but somehow this move by Adobe got me ruffled a little and set me thinking more.

Still nicely wrapped up but no longer supported.

Admittedly, I don’t own either software — I own OLDER versions, including a couple of sets with shrinkwrap intact. Guess those are also no longer supported.

According to Adobe, end of support means that Adobe no longer provides technical support, including product and/or security updates, for all derivatives of a product or product version.

While it is understandable — to a certain degree — why software companies are doing so, as a product owner, one can feel shortchanged.

Technical support adds to cost for the vendor so that makes financial sense for them. But, what about letting users pay for that support, if needed. That way, users won’t feel that all is totally lost…

…unless the intention is to force users to migrate! Adobe has adopted a subscription model, like many software vendors, so that revenue is recurring rather than a one-off earning. But many users have invested heavily on the software, which incidentally is not cheap. And this move may just push them to consider using the many other Adobe compatible software out in the market.

More important that technical support for an existing user is security updates. This is one thing they really need. The digital space is rife with viruses and malware appearing in hordes daily so having updated security is a must.

Again, if Adobe feels that it cannot continue providing security patches, how about charging a subscription fee for such updates so that users can continue using their existing Adobe products?

Adobe is not the first and certainly won’t be the last to deliver the death knell to other versions of its products. But, if software companies continue to take this approach of ending support, which in Adobe’s case, is after five years, users may well start adding a longeivity criteria when evaluating future purchases.

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