somename: Adobe puts down real money in developing their software, and while it can be debated how much they're actually spending... if you did not update to the previous version, then you did not support the development of the next version... and hence, you're rather freeloading your way with the reduced upgrade price.
To try and simplify it further:You buy CS3 when it is released, and this helps pay for the development costs for CS4 and recover costs from CS3's development.Adobe goes and makes 3 more iterations of the software, during which time you do not offer any financial support to Adobe.
Now WHAT do they owe you?Adobe is doing nothing wrong... the reduced update costs are a REWARD, not a right. For supporting adobe by updating before, they reduce the price to update again.
Try "Upgrading at a reduced price" your DSLR next time, say that you bought a P&S 5 years ago so you deserve a reduced price. If this sounds absurd, why doesn't Adobe's practices sound sane?
That is not a fair comparison at all!! They already have all the ground work laid out and they add a few sprinkles of innovation each year. Camera makers Physically change the designes and layouts of cameras each year. They also offer higher pixel counts, faster iso's, improved response times, etc. So as far as development goes, I would agree with you if they redesigned it each year....But they dont. They add a new feature and want to charge you full price. Why not go modular and let people pay for the new features they want. Instead of forced upgrades. On a different note....It will be a cold day in hell that I give adobe $50/month to use there program...Hmmm Pay $600 once and use it for a few years or pay $600 per year for a subscription?!?! If Adobe does not watch it's strategy they may end up in the same boat as Netflix!!