I highly doubt that a majority of people are that math-challenged.
I have to disagree with you, not only
a lot of people are
math challenged, but when it comes to certain types of software most users
are "feature challenged". (or at least have been till now)
I have been working in the building field for many (maybe too many) years, but - seriously - I know maybe two or three people capable of using AutoCAD "properly" (in the sense of being capable of using the features that it offers),
As you might well know AutoDesk outputs a new version of Autocad every year or two.
I guess I have seen them all, the only "revolution" I can remember was the R14/2000 version (in practice the first versions running nicely under Windows).
Sure each year some new features were introduced, but the point is that noone
(exception made for very high end users, which actually - often
- use Bentley Microstation instead
) uses them (not only because they dont' even know how to use those features, but mainly because they have NO use for them).
Still, on the PC's of each and every engineer, architect, surveyor, draftsman and what not there is a copy of the latest (or near to latest) Autocad (whether "original/licensed" or "pirated" is another matter
Same goes more or less for Photoshop.
Noone - if not a handful of high end graphic designers/illustrators/photographers - actually know how to use it if not "fully", well enough and actually *need* it's features.
Sure these people *need* it but they are a little number when compared to the common sillogism "graphic tool" = "Photoshop" or "drawing app" = "Autocad".
The photos you (or anyone else "average", no offence whatever intended ) took of a cousin's friend last year at the seaside have nothing to do with the work of (say) David Hamilton, besides the uglier model and the much worse photographer
you had also a bad camera, a terrible lighting, a senseless composition of the scene.
Sure you can use Photoshop to remove the red eyes and the other friend pulling faces behind her, but the result will suck big anyway (and you could have used any much cheaper soft to get the same result).
On Amazon, Photoshop CS6 (new, not "used") is (casually) a little over 600 bucks:http://www.amazon.co...6/dp/B007R0RKV8
So it is easy to compare.
It's not "thousands of dollars now" vs. 50 US$/month (600 US$/years), it 600 US$ now (and maybe another 600 bucks not earlier than two or three or four years) vs. 50 US$/month for the rest of your life.
Evidently even the most math challenged users maybe started to realize that it was foolish to buy a new version of the software with added features they wouldn't use.
Most probably a large number of them (possibly with the world crisis as additional reason) stopped buying a new version of the software every year, and the good Adobe guys "invented" a way to force them to start again (BTW in the meantime saving the costs for the CD/DVD's, the box, etc.).
Just like it is the issue with the MS guys, Adobe is of course perfectly free to choose the business model and licensing terms they prefer, whatever it is, and also to provide no alternatives, the real issue is AGAIN attempting to attribute this marketing move to preferences of their customers' base.