(CS)Three is a Magic Number

With strains of Schoolhouse Rock in my head, I’m delighted that the big day has arrived: Photoshop CS3 and the entire CS3 product line have been announced

13 full new applications… six new Suites… a fistful of new technologies (Device Central for mobile authoring, Acrobat Connect for conferencing, and more)… It’s all a bit overwhelming, I know.  There’s so much news coverage this morning that I don’t yet know where to point you.  So, a couple of suggestions:

I’ll of course be posting plenty more in the hours, days, and weeks ahead (when the actual job doesn’t intrude, you know ;-)).

0 thoughts on “(CS)Three is a Magic Number

  1. thanks for all good work! congrats! photoshop looks the best from all the improvements in cs3 bundle..
    however shame on adobe- cross platform licensing still not solved, european pricing is double rip off american prices (20% VAT max in some EU countries, however flash upgrade costs almost twice for EU), bundles while quite clever – aren’t flexible enough in product selection for enduser and generally approaches micros~1 way of business- spending half an hour understanding and combining upgrade abilities and options is way too cumbersome.
    [Hence the decision not to offer Photoshop as a ton of little pieces, as was suggested when Photoshop Extended was announced earlier this month. –J.]
    and still wondering- what your creative team is smoking: one day you create ultra-minimalistic flat icons for all your products, another day- every-possible color screaming packaging for the same product.. eeeemmm.. :s

  2. Didn’t see anything in the press release about a Student edition. Any hope for one?
    [Yep–student pricing is available, just as always. I don’t know the details offhand. Your school reseller should have them shortly if they don’t already. –J.]

  3. I just spent about an hour watching all the feature tours and drooling all over them with a friend. You guys have done an amazing job, especially in terms of integration with all the ex-Macromedia stuff. What really did it for us, though, was the After Effects 3D & Photoshop Vanishing Point combination, that’s just too sweet. It’s also fun watching all the little puzzle pieces that you guys have been scattering around the web being put into place, like the integration of Spry and the CSS Advisor in Dreamweaver. It all makes sense now.
    I think Adobe is one of the few companies that manage to provide real, compelling reasons for upgrades… work becomes easier as the version numbers increase, especially with CS3. Now go take a few days off and party. 😉 I’m really looking forward to Adobe Live 2007 here in Cologne, Germany.
    [Killer–thanks, Jerome! I’m really looking forward to sharing more of these details. –J.]

  4. I’m totally with wee.
    I have been an addicted photoshop user since version 2, and while photoshop is getting bigger and better, it’s obvious it’s getting more expensive too.
    I don’t mind paying a high price for quality software (which photoshop definatly is)
    What I do mind is that European customers are charged way more than US customers.
    I currently have CS 2 Standard, and would love to upgrade to CS3 Premium.
    The US price is $599 (ex vat and shipping), but the Euro price converted to dollar is $1133 (ex VAT and shipping).
    Since I have my own bussiness, I don’t pay VAT, and there are no import duties on software…So why on earth am I expected to pay double the price than what someone in the US should pay ?
    Isn’t this just a little discrimination ???
    I know this is blowing in the wind, Adobe won’t change their mind, but I feel ripped off and sadly will not be upgrading..I just whish the pricing was more fair.
    A small markup is ok due to extra handling for countries abroad (if such a thing exists, the boxes are prepared in a plant, and maybe only shipping overseas costs a fraction more, but double the price ????)
    [Yeah–I’m afraid I don’t have much useful commentary to add here. I have to pass the hot potato to the folks who make these decisions. I’ll see whether I can get info from them that I can share here. –J.]

  5. How surprising that I’m not surprised to witness Adobe bungle the (up to this point 1430cst) vapid CS3 launch event. Does revolutionizing how the world engages with ideas and information include wasting an audiences time with unwieldy crashes? It seems that Adobe’s blatant practice of Windows pandering is finally seeping into Adobe product quality. Watching the webdev presentation taking place on a Windows box has become Adobe’s par for the course. When it comes to web development, Adobe is nothing short of an a**hole when it comes to providing the Mac base with their toolsets. Increasing product overextension and feature creep are becoming Adobe hallmarks, reminding us all of that which you place your attention on will grow (meanwhile that which is ignored, shall diminish). Adobe’s win-base catering released the spores of mold that now infest and eat away at their product lines caliber. Meanwhile solutions like Final Cut Pro, Motion, Shake, Aperture, Soundtrack, Logic and iLife are platinum standard. Fare thee well Adobe. May the luster of your pretty little CS3 box shimmer amidst the echelons of chincy starburst callouts stamped on the boxed fleets of CompUSA and Best Buy shelves. Adieu.
    [Glitchy AV at the launch event is what drives your assessment of product quality…? –J.]

  6. I’ve been using Adobe products for quite a while, mainly Photoshop (from v5), InDesign (from v1) and GoLive (from v6). Testing the beta versions I’m really impressed with the new features in Bridge and Photoshop. So I’m seriously considering upgrading to Photoshop and InDesign CS3, even with the REDICULOUS European pricing policy.
    But what happened to GoLive CS3?!
    [Dick, the only thing I’ve seen publicly is what’s on the GoLive page, stating that there will be a GoLive 9, shipping sometime later in the spring/summer. That’s about all I know. –J.]
    I can understand Adobe’s strategic choise for one or the other web application. I would even consider switching to Dreamweaver CS3 but I’m stunned to see that upgrading from GoLive is not an option! Is Adobe leaving GoLive-users shivering in the cold? Or will the Adobe ‘policy makers for higher profit’ change their minds and offer this upgrade option still? I’m afraid I can guess the answer.
    Please John, pass the word to these folks and remind them that the world outside the US of A is very big AND growing!
    Cheers, Dick.
    [Sure, I will do that. And I will pass along more info when I see it. –J.]

  7. I’ve just finished reading th announcement details and looking at the new products on the Adobe website. Looks pretty good, some of the new features sound very useful.
    The Web Premium package might be for me; I saw that it can be upgraded from Macromedia Studio 8, which I have, although it is the upgrade version. Can the upgrade version of Studio 8 be used to further upgrade to Web Premium CS3?
    [As far as I know, yes, but you should consult the product pages instead of me (I don’t want to misstate any details). –J.]

  8. I spent time on the site this afternoon. I saw Studio 8 listed as eligible for the upgrade, but it made no mention (that I saw anyway) of whether it needed to be a full version, or if the previous version could itself be an upgrade. That’s why I asked 🙂
    [Ah–you’re all set, then: once you’ve got a legit version, it doesn’t matter whether you got it by upgrading or by buying it outright. –J.]

  9. > It seems that Adobe’s blatant practice of Windows pandering is finally seeping into Adobe product quality.
    Adobe is doing anything but pander to Windows Vista users, especially when Adobe’s CEO goes on record as saying the following (from a CNET interview):
    Let’s talk about Creative Suite 3 and Vista: Will CS3 take advantage of some of Vista’s new graphics capability or other new aspects?
    Chizen: No. One reason was the timing on when Vista would really ship and our own time frame. We didn’t really know. Also, another reason is how many customers are really on Vista in the installed base and is it worth the work, especially in the creative customers? And we have no desire to really showcase Microsoft’s technology. But we will be compatible with Vista. Whereas, with Mactel, we’re really taking advantage of that fully. We had to recompile the apps to be Mactel compatible.

    Chizen sounds rather pleased with the new Intel Macs, and rather ho-hum about Vista. As a Vista user I do not in any way feel that Adobe is pandering to my OS of choice.

  10. [As a Vista user I do not in any way feel that Adobe is pandering to my OS of choice.]
    Thanks for your input Rob. And while Chizen’s words may sound heartening towards Mac-based shops, the reality of the experience is anything but.
    The truth of the matter is, Rob, that due to the fact that you are a Windows user, you couldn’t possibly appreciate the gaps Adobe litters their spread of Mac offerings with. Think of taking the SAT’s and being handed a blunt pencil without a sharpener in sight. Given enough dull pencils, even the most patient of monks would grow frustrated. Whether these trends are over-compensation for their earlier lapse in recognizing the Win-based DTP market or not I don’t know. As a Large-cap company with a market-cap currently around $22 billion, I have a hard time believing it’s a matter of resources. What I do know is that the behavior has achieved a level of uncomfortable consistency.
    The issue is much less about the ability of Adobe’s tools to tap into any specific OS and ultimately about nonexistent contrivances for Mac. And when an implement isn’t missing entirely for Mac, there’s a good chance it’s a year behind the Redmond Carpeted version (and this is all an aside from the Intel-switch related delays which are completely understandable and tolerable). And then there are the technologies that Adobe is now famous for hornswaggling the Mac base into adopting prior to rescinding such availability; followed by another change of heart offering; then again revoked.
    [I’m not sure what you’re referring to. And, of course, God forbid you mention that Lightroom debuted on the Mac six months before it appeared on Windows, or that Premiere is back on the Mac, or that Encore and Soundbooth are coming to the Mac for the first time, or that Adobe is building Apollo so that developers can make great cross-platform apps, or… sorry, I’m deviating from the script, aren’t I? By all means accentuate the negative. –J.]
    As a full blown user and avid supporter of Adobe technology since 1986, It hasn’t been easy to go from participating in the user-developer feedback process of Adobe products during the Mac-roots years, to recent years of having to manage the largest headache of a relationship between software vendor and production shop I’ve ever known. While our artists continue to find more elegant alternatives for production, when clients want to investigate Adobe web solutions our developers cringe as they are constantly behind thanks to lagging or nonexistent Mac-based tools. It’s been made very clear to me (with generous evidence) that it would take a lot more than Adobe’s wincentric allegiance to force our binary-savants to even reluctantly adopt even a momentary Win session. I’m sure Mike Chambers has heard his fair share from them. I know they have his blog scrolling across their Cinema Display rss tickers 24/7, marking every small re-inclusion of the Mac with a hoot. I’ve witnessed significant resentment in recent years over the disclusion of Mac-based developers in the entire process of evolving Adobe tools. Of course I see Adobe’s choice to eschew alpha and beta testing feedback from our developers (and probably numerous other prescient Apple power gurus) is by far more Adobe’s loss (as well as their product’s diminution) for not embracing the melting pot.
    It’s also hard to believe that Photoshop is still ultimately more Flash retardant than not.
    [What are you talking about? After taking considerable time just now to write up all the ways Photoshop and Flash are better integrated than ever, I’m totally baffled. But, again, I guess that doesn’t square with the whole Chicken Little routine. –J.]
    At best one has to believe that this major release was more of a victory for the company than the users. It’s admirable to see the nice job they’ve done orchestrating the Suite’s production through such a sizeable acquisition. Hats off and applauses all around for pulling it off. Hopefully now that the baseline has been set, customers can look forward to some more impressive advancements from the next round.
    … and no John, I’m not basing my quality assessment on the presentation. There is an A-Z bad experience that’s been growing out of Adobe for some time. Aside from that, you have to admit to the entertainment value in the irony. Watching the proof fall right out from underneath the pudding was somewhat comical. The company touting their rich experience delivery tools; via the actual technological tools; is forced to ask their audience to disengage for a bit while they troubleshoot their “industry standard” solutions. It’s kind of funny 🙂
    [Sounds like you’re short on laughs. Glad you got one, however mirthless. –J.]

  11. Uh, wow. It’s software. Is it really worth so worked up over it? I like my Mac a whole lot but it’s just a thing. Perhaps one should focus outrage on something that’s actually, you know, outrageous.
    [Well said! Of course, it’s an extension of that *awesome* 90’s game show, “Who Wants To Be A Victim?” –J.]
    (OK, It’s actually quite nice software. Congratulations on the CS3 launch John!)
    [Many thanks, Dan. –J.]

  12. About the negativity, I think it is a normal reaction if you see something you love go to waste. Be it in features, quality or in my case the pricing.
    You could also take it as a compliment, there wouldn’t be an emotional reaction if someone didn’t care at all.
    I will also be contacting Adobe benelux to see what they have to say about the double-euro pricing, but again, this is just a shot in the dark. Pricing has been layed out in your office, so they can only give me some kind of standard speech.
    I’m noiticing that people around me in the design bussiness here are also objecting to the pricing to the point they state they will skip this upgrade and see if CS4 will be more fair.
    Even with the fantastic feature set built into the new applications, I’m also skipping this version on the basis of price…which is a damn shame.
    All the hard work you guys have put into these products all these months has been a waste for those who wont upgrade because they don’t feel treated right.
    Just don’t forget that Photoshop was once a small application, and it is where it is now because the end-users adopted it, loved it and kept by it, not because the money department guided you here…
    I understand Adobe needs to make money on products to survive, it’s the essence of your bussiness, but doubling prices is a little too much for me.
    Most companies I know use equal pricing as in 1 dollar = 1 euro, even than you profit 33%, but 1 dollar(US) = 2dollar(euro) is rediculous.
    At least now we Europeans know how Adobe thinks of us…

  13. > As a full blown user and avid supporter of Adobe technology since 1986…
    Hmmm, back when the Macintosh was king and Windows was a third-class citizen. Do you recall the many years that Windows users were stuck with Illustrator 4.1 while the Mac kept getting fresh versions every few years?
    John has already pointed out that Adobe had released Lightroom as a Mac-only beta at first.
    When Photoshop CS3 was released as a beta Adobe played up the compatibility with Intel Macs quite a bit, with usually only a passing reference to Vista.
    Also, Adobe has created a Kuler widget for Mac users. Nothing for us Windows users at the moment.
    I also seem to recall some tie-ins between CS3 and Apple retail stores.
    I certainly see no enthusiasm from Adobe towards Vista (Adobe seems a bit peeved at Microsoft’s entry into some of its territory), but I can find many articles about how excited Adobe is about the Intel-based Macs.

  14. John, please – get some official comment from responsible persons at adobe, once you can because-
    you’re really abusing your customers. EUROPEAN PRICING HAS TO BE CLARIFIED since adobe is playing very unfair game here – charging more or less double amount for SAME product is too much. it’s not EU taxes nor specific legal issues. why it’s not allowed to buy creative suite from usa store and pay taxes once shipped to EU? still it’d much cheaper that buying locally. either from dealer or directly from adobe. most other software companies doesn’t restrict this way..
    it’s not that hard to push a request for European Commission to investigate your pricing model. microsoft already had some issues with antitrust agency in EU…

  15. Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium
    in the US: §1799
    in Germany: $2933
    Upgrade from:
    in the US: $440
    in Germany: $1080

  16. John,
    Just echoing the above user comments on pricing. The Production suite is 1699USD in the USA. Buying it in the UK will cost me 2768USD (I’ve left out VAT which is the UK sales tax which takes the price to 3240USD).
    Who would I need to direct these comments to at Adobe about the pricing?
    I would like to give Adobe a chance to answer before I ask my MEP and MP to take these matters to the European and UK courts.
    Would anything stop me buying the software on one of my many business trips to the USA and using it in the UK?
    Hell for that price difference I could buy 100 copies (split the difference in price and pay for business to first upgrade)
    [Phil, I’ve let the right people know. They’re monitoring this thread. –J.]

  17. Is PS CS3 going to have a cross platform licence like Lightroom does? If the deal is that one customer can have the software installed on two computers, it’s no business of Adobe what brand those computers happen to be. So will PS follow LR’s lead?
    [No. I’ve discussed this a number of times now on the blog. –J.]

  18. It seems like only six types of humans are accounted for in these “suites”.
    As a web AND print designer, I use Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, InDesign, Fireworks, iView, and Text regularly. (Dreamweaver is only useful for opening legacy files with too many nested tables to sort out in text.)
    So am I a Designer or a print guy or a web guy or what? If I could pick and choose, I’d gladly dump DreamWeaver for SoundBooth. Sometimes one needs UI sounds for Flash.
    Yet soundbooth is only avaiable to “Production Premium” types. Sometimes it seems like Adobe is just making this “suites” stuff up.
    [We’ll never please everyone. And the more suite configurations we offer, the more people will complain about complexity… –J.]

  19. Hi John,
    I too can’t understand Adobes pricing for Europe. It’s crazy and if it stays like this I will not be upgrading my CS2 Premium. Why try rip your European customers off? Please Adobe, be fair, I would love to upgrade to CS3

  20. It’s not just Adobe doing this price disparity thing – check out Quark’s pricing. 749 USD for v7 in the US, 749 GBP for v7 in the UK.
    It’s been happening for as long as I can remember – and I’ve been in this industry a long time. Swapping the dollar sign for a pound (or now Euro too) is common practice and should end. It should have ended a long, long time ago.
    Frankly the only way it will ever stop though is to ‘vote with your feet’ – in other words don’t buy the stuff, at least not locally. If you can get away with buying a US copy, do so. But refuse to pay Europe’s over inflated prices.
    I am, however, under no misconception that will ever happen. We’ll just complain, and pay, and they (Adobe et al) will get richer.

  21. Hi John!
    Adobe CS3 looks amazing and I can’t wait to use it… but I live in Europe and there is NO WAY I’m paying 2.5x the price the upgrade is sold in the US.
    I’ve personnally started a petition that I will be submitting to Adobe and to the European / Swiss competition commissions, unless of course Adobe reviews it’s prices in the mean time of course.
    The address to my petition is here: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/fair-pricing-for-european-software.html
    Just so that the “right people” know they are “wrong” and that we Europeans don’t accept being milked!
    I’ve always strongly opposed piracy and software copying, and bought all my software, but I don’t accept being robbed either!
    Danielle Libine

  22. I’m disapointed that Imageready has been removed from Photoshop with no replacement. I know I can buy Fireworks. But the point is I’m a Premium Design suite User since the Creative Suite was released I do both print and web work I personally don’t think much of the policy of removing one of my tools without replacing it with something similar. I am not even given a discount for being a loyal Adobe customer since 1994. Adobe really needs to add Fireworks to the Premium Design bundle.
    [For all intents and purposes, ImageReady is still in the Suite. It just lives inside Photoshop now. –J.]

  23. I’d further add, if I may, that I’d love to be wrong. My last paragraph I mean.
    It’d be great if Adobe (and Quark etc.,) changed their ways and priced products in Europe with more care to the exchange rate than their profits. However I doubt it will happen.
    And lastly (forgive me for rattling on, I’ll go in a moment) the reason given by Quark in particular for the pricing is one of increased market costs in Europe. I can accept that as a point and find it reasonable (though unfortunate) that European pricing is unlikely to ever be exactly the current exchange rate version of US pricing. However for the numbers to be exactly the same – the 749 thing with Quark for instance – there must be some amazing coincidence going on! Nope, I don’t buy that reason at all.

  24. >[For all intents and purposes, ImageReady is still in the Suite. It just lives inside Photoshop now. –J.]
    OK then please point me to the Web content palette so that I can make my rollovers just like IR.
    -Thanx Buko
    [How many rollovers of that sort have you seen today? Or this week? I honestly can’t tell you the last time I saw one.
    So, put it another way: what should we not have done in CS3 in order to re-implement image-based rollovers, given A) the prevalence of CSS rollover techniques, and B) the other ways you can make image-based rollovers using Photoshop & Suite apps (e.g. exporting layer comps, assembling pieces in Dreamweaver)? Oh, and C: that you can keep using ImageReady CS2 in perpetuity?
    I’m not trying to be difficult or dismissive. It just honestly seemed like a heck of a lot of work for something that can be done a lot of other ways. –J.]

  25. Some good things to see in the new CS3 upgrades: the HDR capabilitles in PSEx, and at last Illustrator gets bezier handles that you can actually see. Woohoo, after all this time.
    But the European pricing, as others have said, is simply outrageous. If I sit this one out and wait for CS4, I can get one European upgrade for the price of two in the US.
    It’s not an exhaustive review, but it gives an indication: http://www.amanwithapencil.com/adobe.html

  26. JN:We’ll never please everyone. And the more suite configurations we offer, the more people will complain about complexity… –J.
    Well, I was thinking no suite confugurations because who really knows? Kinda ala carte — the more you buy, the better the discount.
    For years I bought the Adobe suite plus the Macromedia Studio suite. I guess in order to pick-and-choose needed apps, that kind of buying will simply continue.

  27. I would actually like to applaud Adobe for doing what looks like an amazing job with the new Creative Suite. I watched all the feature tour videos and there were features I found so impressive I smiled my head off while watching (almost as much as when I saw the iPhone keynote).
    The moment I realised the UK version was twice as expensive, I ordered two copies of the Design premium upgrade from America. I’m lucky enough to do a lot of work out there so getting the software isn’t a problem.
    I currently use CS 1 (I never upgraded our company to CS 2 as I knew the Intel version would be coming in the future) so the new versions are all even more of a step forward for me, but I would still consider them worth the money we have to pay in the UK. I just object to having the US get the software so much cheaper. I understand that there are always going to be differences in cost, it’s to be expected in a global market with different (volatile) exchange rates but having to pay twice the price is ridiculous.
    On a different topic, I think the argument that Adobe are somehow treating Mac users as second hand citizens has been fully rectified with CS3 and has no grounding in reality at all.
    I’m actually surprised Premiere is back for the Mac as I thought Final Cut had the Mac semi-professional video editing market pretty much sewn up, so hats-off to Adobe for getting back on the horse!
    Thanks for all your comments, John – great blog.
    [My pleasure, Andy–thanks. –J.]

  28. Quote: So, put it another way: what should we not have done in CS3 in order to re-implement image-based rollovers, given A) the prevalence of CSS rollover techniques, and B) the other ways you can make image-based rollovers using Photoshop & Suite apps (e.g. exporting layer comps, assembling pieces in Dreamweaver)? Oh, and C: that you can keep using ImageReady CS2 in perpetuity?
    Don’t get me wrong I just love Photoshop CS3 and I’m impressed as hell with the improvements and additions but being mainly a print guy who is just learning all this new fangled web stuff I would be good for Adobe to publish some tutorials on how best use our new tools like our old tools. I believe there are many in my shoes who have grown to depend on IR. Yeah I understand I can use IRCS2 forever.
    thanks for your time.
    Thanx Buko
    [Buko: good point about the need to put up a tutorial and/or other resources. I’ll suggest that to our documentation folks, and I’ll try to post something here when I get a chance. –J.]

  29. The only thing I use IR for is animated SWFs, and occasionally GIFs. I understand that PS CS3 won’t export Flash, and if it’s not as integrated with IR CS2 as PS CS2 is, then that puts a bit of a spanner in the workflow.
    I guess Adobe will tell us, now that it owns Flash, that Flash is the way to go for animated SWFs. But that’s a sledgehammer to crack a nut when you consider that this was all rolled into the pS/IR workflow without the need to buy Flash.
    [For what it’s worth, Adobe’s intention in having IR export SWFs was never that the capability would substitute for Flash itself–and that was true years before we even heard of the Adobe-MM deal. Rather, the idea was to get PSDs into the Flash authoring tool more easily. The fact that Flash CS3 now offers a radically better method (PSD import) made SWF export obsolete. –J.]
    I have no problem with Adobe removing IR, as long as the functionality is rolled into the upgrade path of the current application.
    [We end up between a rock and a hard place: People complain about Photoshop being “bloated,” about it being hard to use because it contains so many capabilities, and yet we can almost never remove or substantially change anything without pissing off some set of users & running the risk of looking like we’re trying to twist your arm. It makes progress very difficult. In the future, we’ll simply have to be bolder about cutting ties with the past, as long as we are sure the new system offers a truly better capability. –J.]

  30. I can’t help but notice all the EU price complaining. The UK exchange rate is almost 2-to-1. You people come to USA and have great vacations, ones that many Americans can’t even afford. WHY? Your pound is worth more than our dollar.
    I didn’t seem to bother anyone on my last trip to England that my $1.000 dollars was worth little more than $500.00!

  31. John, I recogise that IR’s capabilities could not substitue for Flash itself, but it was enough for those of us who just need a little photo image animation. The reasons behind Adobe introducing the functionality is irrelevant, it’s how the functionaility gets used in the user base that matters (cf. stacks for noise reduction in photos, as you recently posted).
    [Be that as it may, I can’t remember previously meeting a customer who’s said, “I’m using ImageReady to send SWF files right to the Web and I’m happy doing so.” People like the idea of lightweight SWF creation, but IR isn’t a great solution for that (and, as I’ve mentioned, its SWF export wasn’t conceived as such). –J.]
    On the other hand, I am sympathetic to your concerns that people complain about bloat … but that’s tempered by the fact that you introduced bloat anyway! 🙂
    [Please be specific about that. No one uses all of what’s in Photoshop, yet all of what’s in Photoshop is used by someone. What’s hard is when people simultaneously criticize the app for offering too much, for not moving forward radically enough, and yet also for changing some familiar old behavior. –J.]
    In other words, in real terms Adobe reduced some functionality, but then banged in a whole lot more. And came up with two editions. Perhaps it’s time that Adobe really decided what PS is and where it’s going?
    [Fine: It’s not going into the stand-along SWF-authoring business. –J.]
    To JimUSA: Firstly, prices are higher (in $ terms) here in Switzerland, even though the Swiss franc is weaker than the dollar. Secondly, Apple’s pricing, although higher than the US, is less extortionate than Adobe’s.
    There is a genuine case to be answered, whether you like it or not.

  32. >I can’t remember previously meeting a customer who’s said, “I’m using ImageReady to send SWF files right to the Web and I’m happy doing so.”
    From now on, you’ll be able to say that you’ve only met one person using IR who’s happy to send SWF created in IR direct to web 🙂
    [Cool. That feature was one of my babies, so I’m glad it’s proven useful to you. Many people were excited at the prospect but disappointed that IR gave them so much rope to hang themselves in terms of bitmap effects that couldn’t be reproduced natively in SWF. –J.]
    >Please be specific about that.
    OK. Say a photographer’s jaw drops at the thought of stacks. They will buy PS SC3, but it also comes along with a whole boatload of stuff (3D/video editing) that’s irrelevant to them. I recognise that PS went past simple photo editing long ago, but 3D painting is taking it into areas long trodden by other applications. I reserve judgement (actually, I’m never likely to make a judgement) as to whether PS does a reasonable job compared to, say, BodyPaint 3D or whatever.

  33. Ach! I should also say that I recognise that there are other ways to skin this particular cat, but the PS/IR workflow was particularly convenient. It’s not the end of the world, and we all move on, right? 🙂
    [Indeed. 🙂 –J.]

  34. Just how much of the decision to cripple IR in CS3 was based on the needs and convenience of Adobe’s CUSTOMERS?
    [All of it. We’ve been hearing, unambiguously, for years that people want ImageReady functionality in Photoshop, and we’ve been diligently adding it: slicing, optimization, variables, multi-layer selection, smart guides, animation, video import, etc. The only significant thing we didn’t bring over was image-based rollovers, for reasons already mentioned at length. It simply wasn’t worth *not doing something else for customers* so that we could keep around that capability. –J.]
    And how much of it was based on ex-Macromedia people trying to guard their turf — and protect their jobs?
    [None. We made the decision to kill IR at the start of the CS2 cycle–i.e. late 2003. IRCS2 was kept on life support but received no feature updates. By CS3 we were ready to pull the plug. This is a decision we made years before having Fireworks in house was even a notion. –J.]
    I think that the answer is more than obvious.
    [And I doubt that what I say will convince you otherwise. –J.]

  35. Hello John,
    CS3 really seems great piece of work! Thanks a lot and keep up the work. I’ve been using Adobe sofware for years and been highly supportive to anti-piracy campaings. Sending e-mails to bsa to track down piracy etc.
    As a European customer I feel that Adobe is doing piracy at my wallet with their current pricing. This is really, really disgusting! It is not only rip off it is rape off! For me it is clear that how ever great is the product I will not allow myself to be used in that dirty way. Hence no CS3 for me. Sorry.

  36. I posted this in the Photoshop forum:
    The height of Adobe incompetency (or idiocy?). Don’t even the bean counters care?
    Ramón G Castañeda – 09:09pm Apr 2, 2007 Pacific
    This is a direct quote and paste from the Adobe downloads page:
    We expect trial versions of each of the Adobe Creative Suite 3 editions and component products to be available within six to eights weeks of the product’s shipping.
    So, the trial version of Photoshop CS3 might not be available for eight weeks after the product ships. We’re talking end of June by then.
    [If that turns out to be really conservative, will you come back here and be happy? And for reference, would you rather the products shipped later so that the shipping and the posting of tryout versions could be more synched up? –J.]
    Figure on another 30 days for me to test the final release version, and Adobe won’t be seeing my money until sometime in August.
    Isn’t there anyone at Adobe that cares what happens to the company any more?
    [Thanks for the pointless hostility. –J.]

  37. In the Netherlands the US version Standard upgrade costs 631 Euro, in the USA it is 399 Dollar, this amounts to 374 Euro. I understand a difference, but this is out of proportion. Will we a customers get a chance to change this pricing policy? Or do we have to stay with CS2?

  38. I know its another addendum to the pricing argument, however. Apple just came unstuck. So thats Microsfot taken care of. Apple about to get hit. Adobe next?
    See link off BBC News
    As to my other question is there anything stopping me buying 10 copies in the USA and selling them back here to other people? Bearing in mind they will be unopened, unregistered products?

  39. I made comment that Lightroom was unfairly priced in Europe, when compared with the US pricings. Now a couple of months later we get the same treatment with CS3. I’ve been a Photoshop user since version 6.0 and have upgraded with each release, but there is no way I am paying the European upgrade cost. Photoshop CS 3 is good, but at the current European pricing its just not value to money – I’ll stick with CS2. If I can track down a resonably priced copy when I visit the States later in the year I migh grab it then, but only if I can get it at the US pricing.

  40. Adobe stop ripping off non US customers. I won’t upgrade from CS2 until this matter was sorted out.
    My business wont take a nose dive in quality if I stick with CS2, ACR3 , Phase One C1 Pro, Photo Mechanic Pro and IView multi Media Pro.
    Remember what happened to Quark Inc when they became arrogant and angered cutomers through poorer customer service standards? – Adobe bought them out – Adobe take great care as you won’t always be unchallenged in the future and people will remeber that you shafted them outisde of the US.
    The petiton http://www.gopetition.com/signatures.php?petid=11698

  41. At Adobe.com:
    Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium, English, FULL:
    1799,- USD excl. VAT
    At Adobe.de:
    Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium, English, FULL:
    1999,- EUR excl. VAT
    (= 2,683.50 USD )
    Thats plus 149% !!!!
    It’s not the translation costs!
    Both are English versions!

  42. I just realized that 1.49 doesn’t mean 149% so I have to correct my comment above: it’s actually 49% more for the very same product (excluding VAT).
    [I saw that, but I didn’t want to come off as jerky or pedantic, so I’m glad you followed up. 🙂 –J.]

  43. There is no real reason for many non US customers to pay more for Adobe products purchased on line, as the product is exactly the same…right down to the American spelling.
    We are not fooled by the rhetoric coming from the Adobe bosses as they attempt to “duck and dive” in their foolish and embarrassing attempts to justify the unjustifiable.
    So it all comes down to Adobe thinking they can get away with charging us more. This is totally unacceptable.
    Whilst they can attempt this greedy “rip-off”, they cannot force us to buy their upgrades. We certainly will not be buying until the UK prices are the same as those charged to their US customers, and we will encourage as many Adobe customers as possible to follow suit.
    Adobe’s corporate greed has lost them many friends and trust and respect built up over years, which will take a long time to put right.

  44. I think that a real reason needs to be given as to why CS3 costs SO much more in Europe. I mean, we’re all used to things being cheaper in the States but this situation seems extreme for NO reason.
    Its a shame to clog this blog with this issue but there are no REAL answers coming from Adobe. I can’t believe they are just greedy, I think they have just made a mistake which they can easily fix.
    I am based in the US so I’m OK, but all the web Forums (Fora?) I read are just talking about this 1 issue and I need to move on….

  45. Once upon a time there was a company called Quark. They had a virtual monopoly on professional DTP software. Quark annoyed a lot of their European customers by charging much more for their software than in the USA. They also annoyed their customers by lying about the UK version being different than the USA version even though they didn’t get the spelling of ‘colour’ correct.
    Then a newcomer to DTP software took their business away. The newcomer was Adobe. The software is Indesign.
    But guess what? The same thing that happened to Quark could happen to Adobe.
    Adobe also lie about the UK version being different. Adobe also cannot spell colour. Adobe sell Spanish and French versions from their USA online store at the same low US prices as their English language version. I assume this is for their Spanish-American and French-Canadian customers.
    Adobe say the cost of doing business is higher in the UK than the USA. The reality is that nearly all creatives, from photographers to web-designers earn far less in the UK than their counterparts in the USA.
    If small software companies can sell online to the UK at a price only pennies different from that day’s exchange rate we have to wonder why a big company like Adobe cannot do it.
    Bob Croxford

  46. This is a fantastic opportunity for the Adobe PR guys.
    They should not underestimate the strength of feeling about the US/Europe price differential.
    Address this now and win over all the professionals you stand to alienate let them see you are a “listening” company and they will be your best ambassadors.
    Duncan Davis

  47. Historically, American goods cost more in the UK than where they originated, as physically shipping a product such as a mountain bike, a car or a fridge cost money.
    Now these extra costs have vanished, the extra charges haven’t, nor has the recent big fall in the value of the dollar against sterling made any difference, in fact we pay even more, despite the costs going down. Not a good way to please your potential customers.
    If one can fly to the States, have a nice holiday, buy a copy of CS3 Suite, pay import taxes and still save money, you may find an awful lot of Creative Europeans visiting America.
    I suspect Adobe have been given a back hander by the American Tourist Board to increase foreign visitors! 😉

  48. John…another pricing comment. Adobe REALLY need to sort this one out and soon. If you have any awareness of various professional user groups (photographic mainly) on the internet, you will know how much this issue is being discussed and how badly your customer base outside the US feels they have been treated by the pricing disparities between the US and everywhere else. If you want Adobe to secure the customers it currently has, and to be seen as a company that is proactive, approachable and fair, then please use any influence you have to sort out this pricing disparity. I have had the ‘official’ line from Adobe Customer Services as to why the differences exist…and d’you know what?…it is absolute nonsense! You may not loose a huge amount of income from lost upgrade/purchase opportunities, but you ARE losing a lot of face and people are losing trust in Adobe. This will potentially open the door for another product to perhaps start to gain a foothold. Yes, I know Photoshop (that is the product I use most) is considered to be almost industry-standard, but so was Quark at one time…and look what happened to them.
    [Nick, I’ve passed along your comments to the right folks. –J.]

  49. John,
    You and I both know that Adobe are abusing their customers outwith the US by pricing Adobe’s products way above the US price. It is a scam.
    I have spoken to Kevin Conner who said he is listening to our protest at Adobe’s pricing policy, then he says he is not going to do anything about it any time soon. Now what kind of a response is that? It’s nothing. It seems he doesn’t care.
    Kevin tried to justify the price differential. I defeated all his arguments and all he was left with was that letting everybody buy from the US website would give him big problems with the channel.
    So, because Adobe have entered into deals with distributors all customers outwith the US have to pay much more than their US counterparts. Clearly this is completely wrong. In my business I sell my products worldwide via my website, and it makes no difference in the world where my customers are, they all pay the same.
    I will not be upgrading. I await Adobe rethinking how they do business. If we hear nothing, people will just bypass local distribution arrangements and buy direct from the US. Methods of doing this are being discussed on the forums right now.
    Please keep pushing our arguments within Adobe and that they must rethink.
    Gordon C Harrison
    Landscapes For Every Mood Ltd

  50. I understand that there is not only a Petition (now with nearly 4000 names attached to it) but that an actual complaint has been lodged with the EU authorities in addition.
    Adobe are being very short-sighted if they ignore this problem and think that it will just “go-away”. It won’t.
    And the damage to Adobe’s long-standing reputation is going to be enormous as well.
    There is a perfectly easy way for Adobe to resolve this matter (and save face too!):
    If you choose to buy an on-line Download (the US English version) directly from the Adobe USA web site, you pay the same price wherever you are;
    If you want a boxed “Localized” set, you pay the local price — wherever you are.
    Implementing a strategy like that should really be a “no brainer”!

  51. Something else I thought of. In the Photoshop upgrade options discussion some time back, it was pointed out that there are different versions for upgrading Photoshop, if you are upgrading JUST Photoshop, or upgrading Photoshop to the suite.
    Is there going to be a similar situation with the CS3 upgrades, where you need a very specific version of the upgrade based on what you are upgrading from?

  52. If you choose to buy an on-line Download (the US English version) directly from the Adobe USA web site, you pay the same price wherever you are;


    If you want a boxed “Localized” set, you pay the local price — wherever you are.

    Not so sure about that though. A US customer can get a boxed version at X, a RoW customer should be able to get a boxed version at X (or close to). Localisation adds cost, I agree, but the numbers I’ve looked at have all been for English versions, and the mark-up is still outrageous.

  53. I have no respect for Adobe as a result of their dirty pricing strategies.
    I take great offense to being ripped off for no other reason than being a resident of the UK.
    We should ‘all’ pay one on line price, regardless of the language selected to celebrate the use of other languages; what a dull world this would be if all of its inhabitants only spoke English.
    PS The petition is now at 5,150 and counting.

  54. My issue is minor in comparison with the others – there is a bug on the UK Store website that stops me buying my upgrade to CS3!
    The specific combination of “upgrade” + “download” + “English” only offers a Mac version! (As far as I can tell, if any of these is varied, a Windows version is available).
    Have the English done something to upset Adobe? Did Adobe say “if you think you are paying too much, we’ll solve the problem by not letting you buy it”?
    There may be a work-around: if you request “UPG von Photoshop…” instead of “UPG from Photoshop…”, you are offered (only) an English Windows version (pre-order) – so that is OK then!
    Thank goodness Adobe are not involved in web products, or people might question their competence!
    (I’ve reported it in as many ways as I can find. But those ways are not convincing. The attitude appears to be “thank you for telling us about this bug, we may fix it in the next release”. Er ….)

  55. Ann, whilst I applaud your idea, and agree it would be a start I have to say it’s not enough.
    Many software companies, not just Adobe, have long been over-charging non-US markets like this. The whole ‘swap the dollar sign for a pound sign’ (or worse) thing has been going on for as long as I can remember and I’ve been using Macs professionally for 20 years.
    Previously I’ve had letters published regarding this matter in several UK based Mac publications but, of course, to no avail as I was just one voice. Now, because of the internet, one voice can easily become many. Danielle’s petition proves it – over 5,600 signatures now. I wonder how many of those have asked the EU to investigate too, again the power of both people and the internet.
    The time is surely now to stop this. For consumers to exercise the power they have and push the greedy to price more fairly. The excuses given for this over-pricing simply don’t hold up, it’s nothing more than greed I feel. But then it’s also business – it’s only logical you charge what the market will bear. So we, the software buyers and users, are partially responsible for this rip-off. And I say no more. Don’t pay the bloated prices, give the publishers the strongest reason to bring their pricing back to parity with the States. And that reason is lost revenue.
    Ultimately, if we succeed, we all win. Users will pay less, and therefore be able to charge less to their clients (should they choose, a whole different story) and companies like Adobe who are, to be fair, producing superb stuff, will shine all the more. It’ll just take them to have the ****s to say ‘sorry, we’ve over-charged a bit, but now we’re matching our non-US prices much more closely to our US ones’. And to go back to your point, Ann, that should be for the local, boxed version, not just US versions by download.
    Though I would concede that the ability to download a local version at a more reasonable price would suffice given that the box hardly contains anything worth having now, since manuals went the way of the dodo (thus saving more money, making more profit of course – never did see a ‘with manual’ version at x price and a ‘without printed manual’ at a lower fee did we?)
    Good luck all.
    Adobe et al, wake up, 5,000+ unhappy folk out there and then some.

  56. Final Cut Studio comes with enough manuals to give Arnold Schwarzenegger a hernia. Interestingly enough, in Switzerland the French, German and English versions all cost the same, and only 10% more than in the uS for the upgrade to version 2.
    I know who’s getting my money.

  57. if it’s in the stores in the US, we’ll be buying the entire studio’s packages from there…and if we need support we will fall back on a couple of legacy UK versions we have around.
    adobe might find they have broken EC regulations over the differing pricing and restrictions of sale within the EC.

  58. The price difference between US and European markets are blatantly outrageous! Small shops like mine finds the price verrry hard to justify – and its not just envy. I love the products, I respect the programmers and managers, but come on… Marketing needs to get a grip. On top of the price premium, the good folks in Europe will also have to pay VAT. Where I live, thats 25%. Maybe someone forgot to tell Adobe marketing. I feel bad on adobes behalf that the CS3 launch will be dominated by ‘evil adobe’ comments. There’s a lot of loath out there – is it worth it? I actually find myself hoping this issue ends up at EU court, in spite of my respect for the good forces at adobe.
    Sorry for ranting, but I, too, have to live with a pissed off user base at the adobe forums for a long while yet. And I do not have any consolation to offer.

  59. It wasn’t too too long ago when Adobe was considered one of the “good” companies, like Patagonia or Whole Foods, but there has been a gradual shift over the last several years, and it looks like it’s finally catching up.
    [What else bugs/has bugged you? Without specifics, it’s a little like saying “The government sucks”–not super helpful.
    I dunno… I’ve been busting my hump to get things like a Photoshop public beta into Mac users’ hands, because it was the right thing to do, and other people have been making similar efforts. I update this blog around the clock, just about every day of the year. I see the company becoming more open, more communicative, not less so (like some others). It’s not a perfect place to work, to be sure, and I can’t (and don’t) defend everything a company of 5,000+ people does, but on the whole I’m not seeing some big multi-year slide into evil. –J.]

  60. John,
    Personally, I think Adobe’s products are top-notch. They are industry standards for a good reason. Sure there have been some bumps in the road in terms of funcionality, performance and stability – but they are complex applications that get pushed really hard. I think that some people just get grumpy when a company gets big and the competition thins out – they see the company as monolithic and uncaring. It doesn’t help that Bruce Chizen (public face of the company) comes off as a “sales guy” – that rubs people (myself included) the wrong way.
    On the other hand, I do think that the CS programs are priced pretty high – even in the US.
    Thanks for taking the time to post to this blog – great job.
    [Thanks for the feedback, Greg. –J.]

  61. John, you are welcome. I should add to the pricing comment that, on the other hand, prices are relative. Compare Lineform at $99. to IllustratorCS3 at $599. Lineform will do the trick for the casual or low-key Creative, but for the Pro, it just doesn’t have a whole chunk of important features, not the least of which is the ability to work with the other graphics programs so well. Is Illustrator 6x better? I am not so sure. However, Adobe is in an enviable position where what we are talking about, in the Pro market, is getting the job done and getting paid at the end of the day (or month or so…). Knowing that your tools are going to get you there is worth a lot. I think there are people who feel Adobe is abusing that position with the pricing, however amazing the tools are.

  62. THis blog has Adobe’s name and logo at the top of it. Woulkdn’t it be nice if someone in charge, like this guy Chizen had the grace to post a message about the huge swell of anti Adobe feeling in Europe?
    Wouldn’t it be nice if Adobe, instead of sending inaccuarate email responses actually took the trouble to find out the truth about UK rates of duty and tax on software?
    Wouldn’t it be nice if Adobe did what little software companies do and that is deliver to European customers at no more than the credit card handling charge for the product?
    Wouldn’t it be nice if Adobe stopped treating their European customer base with such scant disregard?

  63. Why is it – having announced that CS3 was ‘shipping’ on Monday, I’m being told by Amazon that I won’t get it for another few weeks?
    What does ‘shipping’ actually mean?!
    Any ideas?!
    [I don’t, I’m afraid. –J.]

  64. “I know, Patrick. Unfortunately I’m on the road and am awaiting guidance on how to respond. –J.”
    Do we know of any response from Adobe central regarding the EU/UK pricing? When the stock answer to a query about the high cost to a UK, English speaking customer includes the “translation costs” mantra, I find that frankly insulting. Especially when simple translations such as “color” to “colour” haven’t even happened!
    Hopefully the main EU petition (http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/fair-pricing-for-european-software.html), with over 8,500 signatories so far, will elicit a genuine response from someone in authority who actually gives a damn about the Adobe customer base in Europe, rather than a marketing or sales guy/gal!
    We all love Adobe products, that’s why we’re so upset. No-one that I know begrudges Adobe from making a (very good) profit. But an unfair pricing structure, especially when a company has a near-monopoly, is just not right!

  65. Nigel,
    Good old customer service: “avoid answering the question as long as possible and we might just get away with it…”
    I know there are a lot of people aiming to attend Adobe Live in London on the 5th & 6th June. Hopefully we’ll be able to speak to a human being about this and then see if they can look you in the eye while giving the stock answer!
    Of course, Adobe heirarchy might have got wind of this and be planning to be unavailable those days…

  66. Warren
    A new answer from Customer services was posted on the U2U forums. Similar flimflam, but with some interesting changes, such as:

    However, we always take customer feedback seriously, and we’ll be considering customer input as we explore ways to adjust our pricing in the future. Any such changes would take considerable investigation and analysis, so we do not plan to modify our pricing approach for the Creative Suite 3 products.

    Of course, you only have to look at the discrepancies in Adobe’s own pricing structures to see that “considerable investigation and analysis” is a load of cobblers. But it’s a start.
    It would be nice if Adobe could be more proactive before it comes to an EU competition investigation. But that’s up to them.
    In the meantime, Danielle Libine’s petition stands at over 9,000 signatures and it’s been going only 5 weeks. Make allowance for up to 10% duplicates, spoilers and nutters, and that’s still a considerable number of people that deserve proper answers.

  67. Dave Burkett explained that market research establishes the value that customers place on the products, and this is reflected in the cost.
    Obviously we Europeans appreciate Adobe products twice as much as Americans.
    (or is he just bananas?)

  68. This is a fantastic opportunity for the Adobe PR guys.
    They should not underestimate the strength of feeling about the US/Europe price differential.
    Address this now and win over all the professionals you stand to alienate let them see you are a “listening” company and they will be your best ambassadors.

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