Is there such a thing as affordable Flex Builder?

If there is one thing you’re going to battle to find fault in, its an Adobe Product, its true, and the pricing says it all.

I’ve had no motivation to buy an Adobe product mainly because Adobe Products are available via free channels and the main problem I have as a freelance developer is that even if I wanted to buy an Adobe Product, they’re expensive, and Adobe don’t have a “donation system” on their web site. Up until now I’ve been talking about my own personal budget, but even small design companies simply can’t afford Adobe Products, this is not to say they aren’t using them.

Recently I found a technology that I’m really interested in developing around. Yup you guessed it – Adobe Flex. While Flex might be free (the engine) the Flex Builder Application (The car) is not free at all, and what good is an engine without a car.

I’m not saying Adobe should give their product away, All I am saying is – think about the maths. While Adobe are trying to maximize pricing, Silverlight is getting better, and at least its priced realistically.Is Adobe heading in the same direction as JD Edwards?

For every 1 corporate that has to by law actually pay for licensing, there are about (thumb suck!) 1000 designers/ developers out there who are not paying for the Adobe Product, but still using it. Obviously its hard to tell, exactly how many users are actually out there illegally pirating PhotoShop or Flex, but its a sizable number, considering that Adobe Photoshop remains one of the most in demand P2P Applications.

So someone at Adobe might want to rethink the pricing. Someone at Microsoft did exactly that , releasing Express (free) versions of their products into the market place. Adobe remain vigilant with their $800 dollar price tags.

Would it be so bad if Adobe started offering software like Flex Builder out at $35-40 dollars. That’s suddenly looking affordable.

Why is the solution so easy to spot, yet the outrageous pricing continues?

1x$800 x 35 (Average Developers in a Large Corporate) = $28000

$35 x 1000 (Users on the street who would actually buy an Adobe Product if it was reasonably priced)  = $35000

Will I start developing around Flex, unfortunately not,  it’s overpriced, and the way I see it for something to catch like wildfire it has to be in the grasp of the average man. In the meantime I will stick to using plain old HTML / Ajax / JS front ends, until something changes in the market place.

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