Winston Hendrickson—a legitimately big cheese to my Kraft Single—talks about why Lightroom isn’t going subscription-only while Photoshop is, acknowledges that Creative Cloud doesn’t (yet) offer a lot of interesting photography-specific services, and more in a short interview with DP Review.
60 thoughts on “Adobe brass address photographers' concerns about CC”
Nothing said about the punitive prices in the UK and Europe, then. I guess Adobe is concerned about what customers think, but not what they pay
“[Bryan O’Neil Hughes] Lightroom is for photographers. And the Lightroom team is very aware of the reaction by photographers to Photoshop CC. We don’t have plans to make Lightroom a subscription-only option but we do envision added functionality for CC members using Lightroom.”
Hmmm. Maybe the Lightroom team should share their users reactions with the rest of the Adobe team. I have yet to see many heartwarming fanboy comments about the wonderful news of *required* subscriptions from users of other Adobe products. Hate to be a cynic here John, but I think the reason Lightroom isn’t going subscription-only is because there is too much competition in that space for a locked-in subscription model to succeed. Having the option of a subscription was fine. Adobe knows subscription-only is not fine for most users–and I think Lightroom proves it.
Excellent analysis, you hit the nail on the head. I was thinking this morning that Lightroom is one of the few high profile Adobe apps that still faced credible competition in the marketplace.
[Note that PS Elements & Premiere Elements aren’t going subscription-only. It’s a matter of targeting different markets (pro vs. consumer/hobbyist). It’s tricky because both PS and Lightroom sell to both groups. –J.]
That really makes the reality of the subscription push very clear.
John Nack, I have to vote against you this time. Jerry Cooley made a very good point, and you try to divert attention from the real problem by peddling Elements.
[I’m not trying to peddle Elements. I’m trying to explain the rationale for the difference in the subscription options. –J.]
Nobody wants that. People want CC (Chickenshit Cloud) to go away, or at least to return to optional status. I understand that, as an Adobe employee, you must hum the company tune, but notice that nobody is harmonizing with you.
“The last 12 months of development was [sic] brutal. And there were results we were not happy with.”
Well, guess what. Now there are results WE are not happy with!
Hendrickson and his cronies need to have their collective asses kicked for this debacle. They created their own “brutal” task by creating Chickenshit Cloud, arguably Adobe’s biggest blunder to date.
Oh, and if the “big cheeses” were so proud of forcing Chickenshit Cloud on everyone, why didn’t they announce it at Photoshop World just a couple of weeks ago? C’mon, they had already realized by then what a stupid plan they had hatched, but the momentum of the marketing machine was already too great to be halted.
Judging by Hendrickson’s guileful refusal to address questions forthrightly, and appearing to use Bryan O’Neil Hughes as a human shield, it seems clear that he and his peers don’t know how to save face now. Heads need to roll to get Adobe back on track and worthy of public trust.
[I’m not trying to peddle Elements. I’m trying to explain the rationale for the difference in the subscription options. –J.]
John, of course there could be no rationale for renting $60-$65 products like Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements. Even ignoring competing products that would eat Adobe alive in such a case, how much rent could Adobe charge? Maybe $1.39/month?
Nobody cares what you do with the two Elements products. The justifiable outrage is about forcing users to engage in something akin to “Rent to Own,” but minus the “Own” part. That is grossly irresponsible for a company that has a virtual monopoly on the serious graphics editing market.
We don’t want this crap, and Adobe should correct the problem now, before it damages the company irreparably (we don’t want that, either!)
Here, I am attacking the big cheeses, those at VP level and higher, not those of you who actually provide a good service to the customers. I think we all understand that you have limited freedom to speak your mind here. But if you choose to write what appears to be company rhetoric, you become fair game and some of us will choose to challenge you.
[I don’t feel attacked at all, Mel. You’re right that I’m just trying to relay Adobe’s policies as clearly as possible. I’m giving some thought to how I can add my personal take on the situation, but I do have to tread carefully lest I muddy the waters. –J.]
“[John] Note that PS Elements & Premiere Elements aren’t going subscription-only. It’s a matter of targeting different markets (pro vs. consumer/hobbyist). It’s tricky because both PS and Lightroom sell to both groups.”
Actually that reinforces my point John. With the exception of Lightroom those cited are in the very contested hobby space. Premiere elements has to deal with with everything from Apple (iMovie) and MS Windows built-in movie editors to other 3rd-party solutions. Same goes with PS Elements and the many consumer-level pixel pushers out there. You can’t lock them in because they have a lot of choice and you can’t have much leverage on them.
As for Lightroom–it straddles both hobby and professional spaces–and has to compete in both. Unlike the other Pro-used apps there are lots of professional solutions Lightroom has to compete with. So photographers have lots of choices, and Adobe little leverage. People won’t put up with forced subscriptions because they don’t have to.
Hats off to you for strapping on the asbestos suit to comment on this stuff. But, it’s still a bad thing for quite a lot of your users.
@landon Yep, I think that you nailed it. The only reason why Adobe go to cloud only for CS is because there are no really viable alternatives.
Lightroom really prove that the whole argument of “CS being cloud only is better for users” is fallacious.
Ironically, now, Apple with its Mac AppStore looks like the good guy.
I have no problem with the MacApp store. I think there, the policies have been favorable to customers (and yes, maybe less so for developers – I agree Apple should address upgrades). I especially like not having to keep track of serial numbers and I can install on all of MY Macs associated with my personal account. I have three Macs and Adobe only allows me to install on two…
John, I actually think you are very genuin and honest in your responses, but I think you are giving too much credits into the explanations of your executives.
The truth is that, Adobe needs growth, as any company, but the problem is that they are already the king of their hill, and so, the only way to grow is to get more from their current customers, and Adobe CC is about that, getting more money from same customer base.
And please, do not take all of these negative comments as basic anti Adobe comments, or trolling. Everybody reading your blog love Photoshop and love your and your team passion and dedication for it.
I actually think, and always thought when I was working at Adobe, that Adobe’s employees is really the talent of the company and are often the victims of their weak executive decisions. Unfortunately, this is another case, where a genuin product guy has to defend its corporation decision on changing the price structure of a products that has been for over two decades.
Again, I love Photoshop, and CS, and I will pay for CC because I do not have a choice, but I definitely buy the fact that this is good for Adobe’s users or even a good precedence for software in general.
BTW, just got Pixelmator for $14.99 (it’s on sale) and it is a really cool app! When I was playing around with it this morning, it felt like a fresh new world! The effects and the way they are previewed live on your actual image at full size is amazing. Just WOW, what a breath of fresh air.
Pretty looking program. Worth a look I suppose. Search for “adobe” in their website’s support section by the way.
I’ve been looking over my old copies of Adobe apps and seeing just what I use the most and why. It’s a bit of naval gazing on my part I suppose, but it’s surprising to see how few tools I actually use daily given the size of the toolset. In Illustrator, while most of those tools I use commonly exist in AI 8, I don’t get the rest until about AI 9 (transparency was cool). AI 10 was a rock solid release for me, but I don’t feel comfortable without the later CS type improvements and better integration so CS2 seems pretty good there (prefer CS4).
InDesign is great in the PC version at CS2 (1.5 lacked a few goodies I really like) and I did a lot of magazine work with that. The Mac version I don’t like much until CS4–which is odd.
Photoshop has what I like at CS5, though my camera’s RAW files can’t be read by it (CS6 will) — though you could always convert to DNG first.
Fireworks, Dreamweaver, liked fine at CS4. Soundbooth at CS4 (though a tad glitchy). Audition at version 1.5. Director I don’t use anymore. Flash…that just has to be the newest. Premiere Pro at 5.5. Bridge I never found a use for. Contribute is just a mess to me in general. Encore no earlier than 5.1. After Effects at ver 5 would be roughing it a bit and most of my plugins won’t work there so… CS5.5 is the earliest I’d go there.
Anyway… while I’d prefer the latest and greatest, its an interesting experiment to really look at your workflow and see what is essential. Looking at it that way, stuck at CS6 might not be that bad for a while.
You mentioned “plug-ins” and that brings up another point that’s been barely touched on. How are developers of font managers and other plugins for Premiere, InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop going to manage with a constantly evolving, moving target of code from Adobe? I guess it’s not Adobe’s problem, but it is their customer’s…
Love #6, excellent dodge there.
“…but the files you’ve created and saved on your hard drive are left intact.”
And completely unusable if they are in a proprietary Adobe file format.
While he’s not addressing designers specifically, that’s the position we’re in with InDesign, Illustrator, etc. Hey, let me open that old After Effects project… Wait, I can’t, I haven’t paid my protection money this month. Good thing I have those files!
(Yes, there are other programs that can open PSDs and a few other Adobe formats, but I’m not sure how extensive the support is for all the features.)
Another great feature of CC.
And the thing is, all they need to do is tweak the file formats ever so slightly so that CS6 can’t open CC files. They do that with every release of InDesign, so look for that as a way to never let you go back (unless of course you cripple your own files by always saving them down to CS6).
To be fair, PSD is an excellent example for backwards compatibility. I hope they don’t plan on breaking that.
[We never plan on breaking it, and the team works hard to make sure that you can open at least a flattened version of a file. (Sometimes changes—e.g. adding 32-bit layers—make it impossible to make docs more compatible than that.) –J.]
And #7, that’s a great one too.
“That’s the trade-off for the benefits of a continuously updated application. ”
Wait, who asked to make that trade-off? I know I didn’t. Plus, we won’t be getting many updates anyway, now that Adobe gets paid monthly whether they deliver them or not.
The real result of this is that Adobe will lose any incentive to update it’s apps beyond the bare minimum, and they will fire all the engineers and product teams beyond what’s needed to accomplish that. Users be paying for the same Photoshop, monthly, for the rest of our professional lives.
Everyone loses. Except the executives.
Do you know how long PSCS6 will be available for perpetual license purchase? Can’t seem to get an answer from anyone else.
[The Creative Cloud FAQ says “We plan to sell Creative Suite 6 for use on supported platforms indefinitely.” The bit about supported platforms may be significant: it doesn’t promise that CS6 will be revved if, say, a new major version of OS X or Windows comes out and breaks it. –J.]
“What can you say to users concerned that a subscription model removes their option to at least stick with an older version of software if they no longer want to continue paying for it?
That’s the trade-off for the benefits of a continuously updated application. At the time you decide to stop paying for it, yes you lose access, but after, say 12 months, you’ve ended up with a different product than the one you subscribed to, because of the new features that have been added. And for existing perpetual users, Photoshop CS can co-exist alongside and independently from Photoshop CC.”
— Yes they can co-exist, but what’s to keep Adobe from making the file formats incompatible?
I think it’s a given that the file formats will change over time. I don’t think any software company would–or should–stop improving their products. Unfortunately that leaves us out unless we take the subscription-only handcuffs. Adobe is only promising that your CS6 software will stay useable as-is (with the exception of camera raw I think.) through the next OS. They aren’t going to promise you compatibility going forward.
Adobe VP of Creative Solutions, Winston Hendrickson said “Barring something unforeseen from Apple and Microsoft, we plan to update Photoshop CS6 for the next Mac and Windows operating system releases.”
For those keeping score, the next Windows release (codename “Blue”) is rumored due out in December. Apple’s OS 10.9 is speculated to be out in July. Consider the bar fairly low for keeping Adobe CS6 apps OS-compatible until the next OS.
[I think he’s just trying to be cautious & not over-promise. It’s hard to know the scope of changes (and thus possible incompatibilities) that each release may bring. –J.]
winston hendrickson of adobe
Forgot to add – i think Winston Hendrickson could use some of this:
This CC stuff is disheartening. Sure i understand that it is cheaper for someone who upgrades several products every 18 months. But the extortion aspect of it only serves to cement the negative vibe Adobe’s been giving off more and more over the last several years.
>”We do not delete any files or software from your computer. You will not be able to use the software but the files you’ve created and saved on your hard drive are left intact. And you don’t need a valid license or Internet connection to uninstall the software.”
Stupid, condescending, straw-man arguments do nothing to improve your image or build trust. It’s a hostage situation. “We’ve got your files and you’d better pay if you ever want to see your content again.”
I want to like Adobe, i really do. But this relationship is so dysfunctional. Why not allow us to keep using the current version of software on our systems when we cancel? It’d go a long way to charge us a reasonable per-product, subscription-to-perpetual license conversion fee ($25 or $50 per product, say, after a year of being a subscriber).
I really hope you all rethink just this one aspect of the arrangement. Please don’t be jerks; we want to like you.
A great letter to Russell Brady [Adobe Communications Director]. firstname.lastname@example.org, by John Lehet as found on Macintouch, May 8th, 2013. I agree with it and couldn’t say it better myself:
Greetings Mr. Brady,
I am a photographer, web designer, print designer, and iOS application developer. Needless to say, I have used Adobe products for a long time. A long long time. I’ve upgraded Photoshop for every upgrade cycle since version 2 — was that over 15 years ago?
I used to feel a great loyalty and enthusiasm for Adobe. I was an early switcher from Quark and evangelist for InDesign, Lightroom (since the first beta), and of course Photoshop all along.
Over recent years, my sense of loyalty and enthusiasm has somehow shifted. What had been a gradual shift is now sudden, and past a tipping point. I no longer feel like Adobe is working for me, but rather I suspect it is for its shareholders. We customers are merely a way to deliver value to the shareholders (this is the model for a publicly traded company, right?) Maybe the shareholders are happy, but many customers are not. Or maybe the shareholders also have a sense that customers are scared — so nobody is happy.
My big problem is that I have to trust you, and I no longer do. You can raise the price of the Creative Cloud subscription however you want, and I have no choice. If I don’t go along I lose access to all the work I have done. You can raise the monthly cost to $300. You would lose many of us, but some will have to go along. Even they may not be happy about it. The price now is reasonable-ish, along the lines of my current upgrade cycle — and I did upgrade regularly. But this shift represents a kind of lock on my work that leaves me less choice in the future: I keep paying whatever you want, or I lose my work.
I am going to go through my photography portfolios and rework all my images to be less dependent on Adobe proprietary workflows. It’s too bad, because features like “Smart Objects” are very useful. But without some kind of future-proofing and some basis of trust, some way to trust I won’t be exploited to your maximum benefit, that you won’t bleed me as much as you possibly can, it would be crazy to lock my life’s work into Adobe proprietary formats at this point. All PSDs are about to be saved out as flat TIF files.
This is an abrupt about-face from the direction I’ve taken over the last 15 years. I’ve become more and more dependent on Adobe for my creative process — you have something of a monopoly. I’ve embraced many Adobe technologies, which are brilliant. I’ve actually been happy to pay you to work on them, in the past.
Now I am quite scared of what had once seemed a benevolent situation. I am less inclined to trust your proprietary solutions.
I hope you can reconsider this Creative Cloud Only situation, or that you can somehow ease the minds of so many of us who feel great unease at this point. How can we trust you? Marketing alone won’t do it.
I think what we’ve seen from Adobe can be summed up by what Steve Jobs once said “I have my own theory about why the decline happens at companies like IBM or Microsoft. The company does a great job, innovates and becomes a monopoly or close to it in some field, and then the quality of the product becomes less important. The product starts valuing the great salesmen, because they’re the ones who can move the needle on revenues, not the product engineers and designers. So the salespeople end up running the company.”
As a very long time PS user (every version from PS2 to CS6) and one that uses PS everyday and on every image I shoot, I can honestly say I am less than pleased to look at the possibility that I may have to pay Adobe at minimum $20 per month for the rest of my life to be able to access my intellectual property unless I convert thousands of images into non-Adobe formats. It also seems that almost everyone I have seen on the web who has posted his/her opinion shares that opinion. Makes me wonder if the marketing folks and the bean counters at Adobe can read or understand. Only silver lining I see is that it will probably accelerate other software developers to come up with something to replace Photoshop with sooner. Remember Quark?
You’ve mentioned before on this blog that Adobe may need to do a better job of earning our business, and asked what would make us happy.
As a long time Photoshop Standard customer, these are my problems with the CC:
You’re trying to sell me a service I don’t want;
Based on features I don’t need;
And you want me to pay twice what I’m paying now.
But I’ve been thinking. Adobe is still selling the perpetual version of CS6, and has said it will update ACR, etc.
Adobe has said it has no plans to develop further perpetual versions. But, every couple of years or so, why can’t you take a snapshot of the current state of CC, lock in the feature set, and offer it as an upgrade to perpetual customers? Hasn’t it already been “developed”? Treat it the same way you’re treating CS6 now, with the same type of updates — ACR, etc.
Perpetual customers will remain a generation behind, but reasonably up to date — CC will still be the star of the show.
Adobe could also offer this version at the upgrade price for CC customers who don’t wish to re-subscribe at the end of their contract. It might even draw more customers to CC because it would eliminate a lot of the angst about losing everything if it wasn’t possible to continue subscribing.
Something like this would make ME happy. I want a solid, stable image editor that I can spend time with, not a moving target that’s constantly changing.
The way things stand now, I won’t spend a dime on CC.
Hear, hear! Sign me up for this plan right now. I don’t care if I’ve got the absolute newest, latest, whiz-bang rounded rectangles. I just want a software package that I can update on *my* timeframe. I don’t mind paying you guys for great products – just let *me* decide when to pay you.
That sounds very fair to me – kind of how things are now and also having the exit policy of buying the upgrade package if desired would alleviate alot of fears towards the CC.
Better a second class citizen than shackled I supposed. I’d reluctantly go along with that.
well I rarely feel that the new features are worth jumping into an update right away. so I’m fine being alittle behind – I find stability is more important in professional workflows – what if a CC update breaks something?
Adobe already removed the upgrade pricing before this so there wouldn’t be a way to skip an update even if they sold a perpetual license. But from what I’ve seen of PS CC – there is little that there that feels like an update to me.
You know, this is just undignified. Adobe made their decision. This subscription requirement is just wrong, plain and simple. I know it, you know it, everyone else knows it. Shouldn’t have to beg someone to take my money for a product I can keep, and not going to.
If Lightroom ever wipes out the competition it’ll be next for mandatory subscription. Understand that, they’re quite open in the press about turning it subscription-only if the time is right.
I may never be able to move completely away from Adobe products like the Adobe Execs are counting on. But for whatever its worth and for whoever at Adobe might actually care, be sure of the following:
1. I will resist moving to CC as long as I can and keep Lightroom out of my workflow entirely because it might be sucked into CC. My existing Master Collection may only run a few years, but that will give me some time to look around. Given the terabytes of Adobe proprietary-format files I have on hand, this SAS scheme feels like extortion. You’re taking access to my work away if I stop paying. It feels like Adobe is attacking me and my work personally.
2. Like we had to during the aborted MS Office forced maintenance contract scheme (remember Licensing 6.0?) in the early 2000s, I’ll be seriously looking for alternatives wherever and whenever I can now. It took a few years, but I moved to Open Office, Thunderbird, and Firefox. I never forgot what MS was willing to do and how it was going to affect my company, so I switched to Mac after using PC from Photoshop 4 through Master Collection CS2. I switched from Quark 4 to a pre-ordered InDesign 1.0 (painful transition until 1.5) because I hated Quark’s attitude toward their customers and ID1 could open Quark 4 files. I couldn’t trust Microsoft or Quark, and now apparently, I can’t trust Adobe. This hurts a lot more because I’ve liked the engineers I’ve talked to and actually felt connected in the smallest bit to the development.
3. I can’t be defending Adobe anymore in social media. Their position is indefensible to me. Adobe took a nuclear option here. It’s beyond awful. You have lost by trust and admiration, and here’s my fanboy badge back.
This is like the start of a messy divorce. And it didn’t have to be like this. I doubt Adobe can or will change their mind, but damn it didn’t have to go down at all. I’m as sad as I am angry.
This would work for me as well – I doubt they would do it.
It’s ALL about revenue stream to them, not what’s good for their customers. Sorry, John, maybe middle management feels it is, but this is clearly a money grab from the top.
The up-side is that this might be the big break some of the other developers have been waiting for. Ironically, forced CC might actually be the catalyst for more competition in this space. That is something I’ve been waiting for since PS4.
Hmmm. There’s 1379 comments over at the DPR article so far and from what I can tell, they are about 99.5% negative. Imagine that.
Saw where someone likened this whole CC thing to a perpetual tax on your images.
I have never felt so betrayed by a vendor. After purchasing multiple upgrades to Photoshop (and Lightroom), and reluctantly accepting various software related features that made it more difficult to to take my photographs (15K and counting) to a different vendor, I now find that my misgivings fell far short of the new reality — and expensive “gotcha” by Adobe to extract multiples of their already monopolistic prices. I will not rest until Adobe is crushed by the antitrust authorities, and until I have rescued my photographs from this cruel, greedy company. Shame on you John Nacke, I’d rather drink wine in the gutter than be a mouthpiece for Adobe.
I don’t know about you, but my CS5.5 files are not in any need of rescue. They keep working just fine?
Photoshop does a great job of having its format backward-compatible with older versions of Photoshop (not so for most Adobe programs). Point is that PSD isn’t an open format that can be parsed by other programs with all data intact. So if he wants to use his PSD files, he has to use Photoshop to open them. And since CS6 isn’t going to be OS-supported forever, that means he’ll have to be locked into the perpetual payment program if he wants to use them in the future. If he plans to move away from Adobe, he’ll have to save those files in a different format and probably with a considerable loss of data.
Another alternative I’ve had to consider is installing my perpetually-licensed Adobe software on a VM in Parallels when the OS is too old or insecure. That way I can keep everything running in say, Mountain Lion on a VM when Apple is on OSX 11.9 Feral Housecat. Of course by then Apple will decide that pro users aren’t enough market share to build computers for any more (amiright? anyone?), so we’ll be working on the rectally controlled (its a hands-free revolution!) ultra-thin iWatch with foldable 12″ screen and 1mb of storage space–but don’t worry, we’ll have the convenience of a mandatory 1TB cloud storage at $50 a month. It’s convenient because we won’t have to muddle with things like free-will or the gall-dern hard to figure out memory cards. Silly consumers with their not good smarty-type-brains. Ah, I’m excited about the future!
Yes, I’m joking. Even if it feels true.
Think there’s a prior art on rectal pointing devices? I smell patent! Oh wait–thats not the smell.
Not open as in “open source”, but the specs are right here:
That’s great. Open spec, open source, open standard… I should clarify since I’ve wandered into technical territory and threw out an ambiguous term. PSD is a format solely controlled by Adobe, and it is not “open” in that regard. Adobe can refuse to document, change the structure or features at their discretion. I think they’ve done a great job with PSD to this point personally, and I don’t think they’re going to be jerks and obfuscate everything–though I also didn’t think they’d go subscription-only the way they did either. But that wasn’t the point of the post since it had to do with how he can’t really use PSD in the long run if he doesn’t want the perpetual payment program. As I wrote, PSD can’t be parsed by other programs with all data intact. You can open it in say GIMP or Paint.net and lose your vectors, smart objects, layer effects, and have serious text issues. You can open in In Irfanview without layers. But you are not going to have all of it render correctly and have everything intact.
Quite simply, if you want to keep your files with all features intact and fully editable, you need Photoshop. That’s just the way it is. If I’m wrong about that, and there is a program out there that can correctly open and edit all contents in a Photoshop file please let me know.
Please listen to your customers. You know, the ones that actually pay you money so you all can have a job. Yes, that’s right. Those people.
I and from I’ve read, thousands and most likely millions of other paying customers DO NOT WANT TO PAY FOR A SUBSCRIPTION. Period. Can you hear me now?
I want to buy a stand alone application and pay for updates as they are released as I have done for years. Years, Adobe. Why do you think it’s in your best interest to take away our choice to obtaining a fully supported standalone app or the cloud app?
I used to love everything about Photoshop and by extension, Adobe. Now I think you are greedy pigs. That’s right, I said it. Someone had to.
Please know that if you take back your decision to alienate your customers with your unadulterated greed, I mean, subscription as the only choice, I will take back my remark about Adobe being a bunch of greedy pigs. I’m sure this will weigh heavily in your decision of whether or not to stop screwing your customers.
Adobe competitors must be laughing their heads off.
The problem for me with CC is that I will never own the product, I’m just renting.
If I stop subscribing I lose all access. Previously I had a choice, I’d paid for something and I owned it, I could use it for as long as I liked.
I find Creative Cloud works much better for me. It’s easier to manage the monthly payments and previously i could only afford 1 product in the suite, now I can have the lot. And it’s good getting frequent updates to Adobe Edge as HTMl5 is moving far too fast compared to the previously glacial release cycle.
This discussion has made me think though. What happens if you do want to roll back to an older version of the software? And can Adobe guarantee a no higher than inflationary rise to CC subscription for say a 5-year period? – 5 years being the ‘useful’ period i’d previously use their software for before choosing to upgrade.
Pricing for the individual software does outrageously expensive too. This might encourage some overdue competition to the lower hanging fruit in Creative Cloud.
Adobe isn’t going to guarantee anything on future pricing past a year or so out. That would be bad business since they don’t know how its all going to shake out. It won’t be cheaper, but in my memory Adobe hasn’t generally had huge price increases going all the way back to the days before the bundles and CS. That’s been the history, but things can change of course.
CC is lock-in, but with that influx of cash Adobe also has to be very careful, because there are no more loyal buyers–just subscribers. If they get too aggressive with pricing they piss everyone off at once–and new options outside adobe will present themselves. Corel already has a long announcement from the CEO about offering users choice and inviting people over to try. Adobe also can’t afford to make mistakes like they did with Illustrator 9.0 or all of their subscribers are suddenly very screwed and angry. (prior to the AI 9.1 patch I believe it was, 9.0 had a habit of corrupting your files on save–I got majorly screwed with that one).
Point is, as much as I see this as a big money grab, Adobe Execs should be worrying too, and not just about how this shakes out over the next year. They’ll be adamant about forcing you into the payment model, but they are going to try to calm things down after the fact so the bad press will pass. That means keeping the prices equal to or only slightly higher for the next few years. They’ve smacked a lot of users in the face and gotten quite an angry response, so the make-up sex for this fight better be awesome and frequent and they know it. They’re betting their company too.
QUote from Mark:
“I find Creative Cloud works much better for me. It’s easier to manage the monthly payments and previously i could only afford 1 product in the suite, now I can have the lot”
– you are kidding right?
If before you could pay a full retail price of $650 for photoshop and go 3 years (and that’s conservative) without an upgrade – access to photoshop through CC for 3 years will cost you $1800.
Like many, i use just one app and don’t need the whole suite. No one needs ALL apps at once. Photographer is not going to be doing 3D animation and Web designer is not going to be trying to do book layout.
Instead of being able to buy what you need you are now forced to consume all the crappy stuff you don’t want.
I go 4-5 years before my major app upgrade, so for me it would cost $2350 extra and i would not even own the software and may be locked into new propitiatory file format.
“No one needs ALL apps at once. Photographer is not going to be doing 3D animation and Web designer is not going to be trying to do book layout.”
Well… like you I’m not liking the required perpetual payment thing and don’t plan to join unless forced to in order to be compatible with a client–but I actually do use all the CS products in my Master Collection except Bridge and Flash Builder. Which is why I bought the MC in the first place. I have to do video, animation, photography and web to make ends meet sometimes, even though my primary business is print/packaging (used to be in TV post production). I do it less these days since I can’t keep up with all the changes in web, but… I have the unfortunate moniker of jack of all trades. In good years I update my Master collection as soon as I can (pre-order when possible) but in bad years–like this recession–I have to lapse past the release date. Won’t be able to do that if I move to CC, or I lose all access to my using my CC-created files. That’s the trap for me, I’d have to bet everything on CC. Adobe would have to be paid now before everyone else in my expenses or I instantly lose the ability to make money…so…there it is. After all this time and expense, what did I do to be treated like this?
I’d love to pay for CC however there are a couple of things that prevent me …
1) I have no desire to commit to paying a monthly sub to access my files for the rest of my life. When I choose to stop my subscription, give we a way to buy the current release.
2) without the above you are holding me hostage and forcing me to go along with any price increase down the line.
Only a person with short term goals would subscribe as is.
Hmm, wonder if this could be a case for a law suite in the EU or US?
Completely agree. Holding my files hostage to an unknown and perpetual cost is the crux of the problem.
The “cheaper cost” of a subscription vs buying updates is an irrelevant point. if I think a feature is worth the money I don’t mind buying an update.
This new system does not give me the choice to evaluate the update – and removes Adobe’s incentive to continue to innovate.
John Nack, you are a smart man – don’t you see any of this concern? Really?
Are you serious? Quoted from a dpreview op
“Has anyone read the terms and conditions of CC. Onerous isn’t the word.
“Adobe may modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, the Services or Materials, or any portion thereof, with or without notice. You agree that Adobe shall not be liable to you or anyone else if we do so.”
“You agree that any claim or dispute you may have against Adobe must be resolved by a court located in Santa Clara County, California, United States of America”
“You agree that Adobe may display advertisements adjacent to Your Content, and you agree that you are not entitled to any compensation.”
“You agree to receive updates (and permit Adobe to deliver these to you with or without your knowledge) as part of your use of the Services.”
“Adobe may require you to create a unique URL, such as your_name_here.adobe.com. Adobe may permit another User to use the unique URL previously selected by you.””
I am retired now and I have upgrades from v2 to cs6. My income is limited and going from $200 for an upgrade to $600 a year is not going to work.
I’ll keep CS6 for as long as I can, and hope I can find another program to replace it and that makes me very sad.
Cracks are starting to show up in the media… http://seekingalpha.com/article/1412811-adobe-jumps-off-a-cliff-leaves-parachute-behind?source=nasdaq
Why not… three apps from CC for a good price.
Just ponder Target’s recent business & marketing debacle. That is all. Breckinridge.
Meant to say JC Penney actually. http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/print-edition/2012/08/03/jcpenney-marketing-blunder-offers-lesson.html?page=all
Some CC Photoshop only perspective here. As once pointed out by Jeff Schewe here not so long ago: “Photoshop is designed as a professional application and there are other software developers that require a 1 version back upgrade policy so it’s not like it’s unheard of. Yes, it will impact people who don’t want to upgrade to each new version…but I really don’t see it as an issue for pros. $199 for an upgrade to Photoshop every 2 years works out to $8.29 a month. Heck, a martini in a nice bar costs more than that. I realize that some people are on tight budgets…and to them this may be a hardship. But there are less expensive alternatives to Photoshop available.” http://forums.adobe.com/message/4043818
I’ve been a steady upgrader of PS since 5 (PS 5 not CS 5) and that may have to change. While I use LR for all my raw adjustments I still use PS for the final image tweaks. I’m not will rent PS. Period. And if in the future LR goes to the subscription route I’ll move to Apeture or Capture One. But then again, that is what keeps LR out of the CC model isn’t it?
By the way, Winston should go into politics. Great non answers to many of the questions.
When Adobe was about to release CS6 they forced users to upgrade to CS5 if they hadn’t already, because there would be no upgrade possible from older versions.
So I upgraded my Photoshop CS3 to CS5 and started saving for a new PC, because my “old” one would have a hard time with CS5, let alone with CS6 and later.
A lot of protest made Adobe change their mind and they said you could return CS5 and you could update to CS6. But by then I had started to like some of the new features and it wasn’t that bad on my old computer, so I kept it.
Now, I do have a new computer, but just lost my job. Since I’m looking for work in the photo and design area, I’d like to keep working with Photoshop, and the initial price (even though the European prices are higher than the US prices) I might be able to cough up. But not the regular price (let alone possible dramatic increases in price).
I hope all these negative reactions and news will make Adobe rethink its strategy, like with the upgrade to CS6.
Almost everybody is saying how much they love to use the products and how much they hate to be looking for alternatives. So please, Adobe, listen to your loyal customers and don’t force CC on us!
Apart from the CC model–which I totally reject–there are other issues which contribute to my antipathy towards Adobe. Here’s my experience:
I had thought to upgrade my PSCS5 to CS6. First I looked for the CS6 upgrade. Have you tried to find the CS page on Adobe lately? I spent about 30 minutes searching, and kept landing on one CC page after another. I finally had to google “CS6 upgrade” to find a direct link mentioned on a forum. This is just so smarmy; it left a very bad taste in my mouth.
Now, I live in Japan, and am constrained to shopping in my region. But the Japanese store is all in Japanese, and AFAIK offers s/w only in Japanese, so I am supposed to shop in the Hong Kong store. However when I logged in at HK and clicked on PS I was automatically routed back to Japan…
The best that support chat could do for me was to tell me to call sales, and provide me with a link to sales at the various stores. Clicking on the HK page brought up an error message.
That’s it. Not another penny to support such arrogant incompetence. I’ll start moving all my archive out of .psd and hope that soon the competition comes up with 16 bit support soon.