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Adobe Jumps The Shark – Cloud or Nothing

May 6, 2013
tags: ,

Sorry folks.  Normally I wouldn’t pound out another blog entry so quickly, but I am really unhappy with Adobe and if I don’t get this out I will have a heck of a time getting to sleep.

CNet, along with many other outlets, reported Monday that Adobe has announced it will no longer sell packaged software.  You have got to be kidding me.

Many of us predicted that this was going to happen eventually.  The subscription model is the MBA’s  dream model for software.  Constant revenues instead of peaks and valleys as new versions are released.  And locked in customers–especially when it comes to designs and layout work (thankfully not as much for images).  But this comes much quicker than I expected.

But this is a loser for a lot of folks.  Much like owning a boat, owning Adobe software will officially be a hole in your computer that you will dump money into.  At $20 a month (for now) for a single application, or $50 a month for the whole shooting match (with undoubtedly price increases to come), this will price a lot of folks out of Adobe applications.

Put another way:  I just upgraded to CS6 and LR4 for around $280.  This is software that will be mine to keep until the hardware I’m using will no longer support it.  Adobe now wants $240 a year just to use their Creative Cloud version of Photoshop.  Pffft.  What a rip off.

Microsoft has been trying to push this for years.  Indirectly through their upgrade scheme back in the early 2000’s and now through their Office 365 program.  The reception has been lukewarm at best.  Unfortunately for Microsoft, free open source equivalents of office are available and frankly are quite good.

Unlike Microsoft, Adobe has enjoyed a very loyal following from design professionals and home amateurs alike.  While GIMP has gotten much better over the years, it isn’t Photoshop.  And there still is not a good program that does everything Lightroom does in terms of RAW processing and digital asset management.  Perhaps now with this incentive the Open Source world will come to the rescue.

So the losers:

  • The home user not making money from their photography.  $480 a year to rent Photoshop and Lightroom is a nasty pill to try to swallow.  The software will now be more expensive than the camera…
  • Users without access to broadband Internet.  Yes, quite a few folks still fall into this category.  Folks who have not had a need to upgrade to broadband and perhaps have been tooling around at DSL speeds are going to get killed.
  • Users who have metered Internet pricing.  Undoubtedly the initial downloads and constant updates are going to swallow a lot of bandwidth.  This is the gift that will keep on giving.
  • The likes of Scott Kelby and other folks who make a living at training us how to use the software we have purchased.  With constant updates, books will quickly be obsolete.  Live training (probably provided by Adobe for a nominal fee) will be the only way to learn how to use the software and likely Adobe will collect their tax on it as well.

I always swore that if Adobe would port their software to Linux I’d be able to divorce myself from Microsoft and their evil ways.  Who would have thought that Adobe could out-Microsoft Microsoft.

The sound you hear is that of the flogging of the goose that laid the golden eggs.  This is a mistake, Adobe.  A huge mistake.

I just bought my upgrades for Photoshop (to CS6) and Lightroom (to version 4).  Damn glad I did.  Probably the last purchase I’ll ever make from Adobe.

Ya know, Adobe pretty much owns a monopoly on image editing software.  Maybe the DOJ would be interested in an anti-trust action…

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