SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Adobe Systems Inc. is working to deliver all of its software via the Web as a service rather than a packaged product, but the transition to earn money from subscriptions or advertising could take a decade.
Adobe, a leading maker of graphic and Web design software, earns most of its money through the sales of packaged software that runs locally on a computer's hard drive but it has started offering some of its applications online as service.
Speaking at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Adobe Chief Executive Bruce Chizen said running software on the desktop is still optimal for most of its customers, but that will change over time.
"The desktop is a powerful, powerful machine in which to run applications. Broadband, as quick as it gets, is still going to have some limitations in the short term," said Chizen in a question-and-answer session on stage at the conference.
Chizen answered a question about whether a complete shift to Web delivery would take five or 10 years and he indicated it would be closer to a decade.
Like many traditional software makers including Microsoft Corp., Adobe must fend off rivals delivering competing applications over the Web and it also needs to adopt a new business model after years of selling software in boxes.
Chizen expects professional customers of products like Acrobat document-sharing or Photoshop for editing images would opt to pay for subscriptions versus facing a steady stream of advertising to use tools critical to their jobs.
Adobe has started introducing bare-bones versions of its design tools for free including Photoshop Express, which lets users edit photos online. It also has a free video editing tool called Premiere Express.
These products are designed to appeal to a younger generation of Internet users for whom paying $400 for a packaged software product is a thing of the past, Adobe officials have said.
Reporting by Daisuke Wakabayashi in San Francisco