Cash-strapped freelance designers and video producers have been thrown a bone by Adobe in the form of a 'rental' plan for the company's industry-standard design tools.
With the cheapest version of the company's Master Collection weighing in at a wallet-worrying £2,763 - feasibly more than some one-man-bands spend on a computer to run the software on - the new scheme will be welcomed by many and may even make a small dent in the levels of piracy involved in Adobe products.
The scheme works by installing a full copy of the software required and signing you up to a credit card-based subscription service. The monthly payments are cheaper if you sign up to a rolling annual contract, but you can also opt to pay on a month-by-month basis, which you can cancel at any time.
UK prices for the scheme haven't been announced at the time of writing, but US punters will be able to get Photoshop for a very reasonable $35 a month rather than having to shell out $700 for a one-off purchase.
The full Creative Suite Master Edition, which includes a dizzying array of design tools for print, web and smartphone design production, can be had for $129 a month on a rolling subscription or $195 on a month-by-month basis.
Anyone using Adobe's 30 day trial versions of the software can simply pay for a monthly subscription to the bits they want to continue to use and carry on without further fuss or downloads.
The scheme will be a massive boon for freelance designers and video professionals, some of whom may only use the tools available for a few months of the year, and will undoubtedly increase the company's loyal user base and decrease the number of users forced to use cheaper alternatives, or even pirated copies of Adobe software, because of the prohibitive price of purchase.
For more information check out Adobe's comprehensive FAQ.
You won't hear us saying this often, but... smart move Adobe.