Microsoft not racing Adobe to the cloud

Pledges to keep Office 2013 as packaged and subscription services

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Microsoft is suggesting it is in no hurry to follow Adobe's move to push users towards using a cloud-based rather than on-premise software package.

This follows Adobe's decision to drop any further development of its Creative Suite products in favour of Creative Cloud.

Writing in a company blogpost, Microsoft Communications Officer Clint Patterson says that, while the software giant agrees that cloud-based subscription models are the future, users shouldn't be hurried into making the switch

"Unlike Adobe, we thing people's shift from packaged software to subscription services will take time," Patterson writes in the blog. "Within a decade, we think everyone will choose to subscribe because the benefits are undeniable."

He adds: "Subscribers are always up-to-date. They get the latest and most complete applications. They can use subscriptions across the multitude of devices people use today.

"Web services like SkyDrive and applications like Skype are also more easily integrated with subscription services, like the new Office 365 Home Premium."

But Patterson also points out that more than a quarter of consumers have bought Microsoft Office using the subscription offering since the launch of Office 365 Home Premium and Office 365 University in January, exceeding the company's expectations.

He adds: "Perhaps the shift is happening faster than we originally thought, and Adobe is helping blaze the trail."

Adobe has said the decision to move to a subscription-based service accelerates its shift to the cloud. It will continue to sell and provide support for Creative Suite 6 despite planning no further updates.