So I think what you are saying here Bart, is that if people are tempted to dip their toes into the CC waters for free for the first year, or try it out due to the lower introductory offer price, even though they may have no intention of continuing with their CC subscriptions after that, that they will in fact be boosting Adobe's apparent subscriber numbers in the first year sufficiently, to ensure that the subscription/rental model continues to be the only option that is ever available in the future?
Yes, that's how I see things.
So if you are against the idea of subscribing/renting Photoshop or any other Adobe product going forward, then you shouldn't even try it out for free, as you will then be actively contributing towards making the subscription/rental option the only option that is ever going to be available.
That's one consideration. Another would be that Adobe will come up with a sort of solution to the lock-out when payments stop, i.e. a purchase of a license for the product as it was at the time of contract termination (perhaps with a discount based on the length of the prior subscription period). But they won't do that unless forced by the circumstances.
As it looks currently, one could subscribe for just a single month, do a lot of work, and terminate the use of the software for a while, till a number of months later. That will save the user money, and he/she will be fully up to date with the latest features when subscribing for another odd month. I'm sure Adobe will try to prevent that scenario from unfolding, e.g. by significantly raising the price for single month subscriptions (they will sell that as a 'discount' for annual commitment, but that is of course the normal price level).
A bit of a catch 22 for a lot of people who don't want to subscribe, but also want to keep up to date with their software?
Sure, but are we talking about wants or needs? In the case of wants, one should act strategically and wait till next year. Not a problem for those who already purchased a perpetual licence for CS6. In case of needs, well, encouraging Adobe in their behavior is the price to pay.
But do we really think that the people running Adobe have thought so deeply and fiendishly about this and come up with such a plot, that allows them to so easily grasp all their customers by the family jewels and make them their profit puppets?
I don't know about what others think, but that's not a strange scenario for big business, IMHO of course. Some customers may stay on board, and others will leave (empty handed).