Subscription versus License


A subscription has a yearly fee and customers can access the software as long as they pay the yearly fee. The benefit of subscriptions is that customers always have the most recent version and Adobe has more flexibility to make quicker improvements.

Subscriptions come in one of two formats; device subscriptions, that are meant to be used by multiple users on one computer, such as a lab computer; or, name-user subscriptions, that can only be used by one user but include cloud storage and can be installed on a second computer. Below is a comparison of the two options:

All UW subscriptions will be renewed in June every year. Prices are prorated every month so customers are only paying for the portion of the year that remains before renewal. Current prorated prices are available on the IT Software Ordering website. Prices are subject to change so please contact for current estimates of renewal pricing.


Licenses, also known as perpetual licenses, are purchased once, no yearly fee like subscriptions, and are version specific. For example, when a new version of Adobe Acrobat is available, a customer would need to purchase a whole new license. Adobe now only sells licenses to a very limited number of products, including Acrobat. Please see Adobe CLP Program Products and Pricing on the IT Software Ordering website for a complete list of software titles and prices.

Upgrade Plans

UPGRADE PLANS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR EVERY ADOBE PRODUCT AND ARE ONLY APPLICABLE FOR LICENSES. For products that do have an Upgrade Plan available, the benefits will expire in February 2016 or earlier. IT is unsure how long Upgrade Plans will be available for any product, and users should be aware that if Adobe discontinues Upgrade Plans for any product, no refunds will be made to the departments. Purchase of an upgrade plan is at the department’s risk.

An Upgrade Plan is an optional additional up-front fixed cost that users can pay to receive future versions of their software without having to purchase a new license. Upgrade Plans must be purchased at the time that the license is purchased.

NOTE: This offering is subject to change without notice.


Media is the physical disc that is used to install the software on a computer. Many of the common Adobe products do not require media to be purchased because IT has media available to check out to departments. There are some products that we do not have on hand since they are not purchased often. For those products media must be purchased. Media can be purchased, even if it is not required, if a department would like to have the discs on hand. Media takes between 2-3 weeks to arrive once it has been ordered.


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Article ID: 8697
Tue 9/8/15 9:12 AM
Wed 2/24/16 11:06 AM