Adobe's Latest Move

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by WoodWorks, May 10, 2013.

  1. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    I'm a little surprised that there hasn't been any discussion of this here, as the rest of the digital photography world seems to be aflame with the news. So I thought I'd post my thoughts about Adobe's new payment scheme, and see what, if any, thoughts you other fine folks have about it.

    In case you haven't heard, Adobe announced this week that from now on all of their Creative Suite software will only be available by subscription, with a monthly fee of US$50 for the entire suite, or US$20/app/mo. This scheme is called the "Creative Cloud," and henceforth there will be no more updates of existing apps available via boxed packaging nor download. Everybody is going to have to pay the US$50/mo. and your computer will check in online every 30 days to see if you've paid your bill. If you haven't, "your" software will no longer run, and you will not be able to open the files you created using that software unless you had the foresight to back save them to a previous version of CS6 or lower, or in some other "open" format.

    And before anyone jumps in here, yes, I do understand that I've never really "owned" the software that I use. I've "licensed" it. But I have "owned" the documents, files, images, etc. that I've created with that software.

    I use 3 of the suite's 9 apps every day while I'm working: Illustrator, Photoshop, and Acrobat. They are vital to my making a living. Without them, I truly don't have a job.

    Acrobat is not (yet) part of this scheme, and there are some decent alternatives to Photoshop. But none of the available alternatives come even remotely close to providing the tools that I need for my work in Illustrator. Adobe has a monopoly on professional software tools for the graphic artist. No one with any knowledge of the industry will contest that.

    So fine, I use their products because I have no choice. And until now I have saved money by skipping upgrade cycles (CS6 is the current iteration of the suite, but I'm still on CS5), and by looking for special deals on the rare occasions that they been offered. I got Lightroom (which, along with Photoshop Elements, is still available as a stand-alone app) for free when I bought my NEX-6, for instance.

    But those days are over. Now, it's going to cost me US$600/yr. for the whole suite, which includes six applications that I never use. And given that Adobe has a monopoly, there's little question but that the price will go up over time.

    So now it's going to cost me more to run my business, and any work that I create exists at the whim of a company that has a long history of ruthlessly killing off their competitors, and treating their customers like an inconvenience. I've gone along for the ride when they bought Pagemaker from Aldus and killed it off, then Freehand from Macromedia got the same treatment. Each time I was forced to learn a new piece of software and change my work flow.

    So it goes. It's capitalism, Jake.

    But I will not start down this road. Where it ends is abundantly clear.

    So I've signed the online petitions, ranted on Adobe's user forums, spewed bile at their director of digital marketing, and written to the developers of iDraw and Pixelmator, Illustrator and Photoshop's nearest competitors—and I use the word "competitor" here in the same sense that I am a competitor of Usain Bolt—to please, please, please leap at the opportunity that's been laid at their feet.

    But I don't have high hopes. I'll continue to use CS5 as long as it works. And I'll be looking around for anything that will allow me to jump off of this bus. But I will not submit to this extortion. Adobe will not get another penny from me.
  2. bmg123

    bmg123 TalkEmount Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 15, 2013
    England, UK
    It's a shame. Adobe's software is great, the fact that they have a monopoly is pretty much because their software is the best and they're simply ruining all of the good faith they've built up over the years. I don't and won't ever pay for what is practically DRM on my own work. If Apple weren't screwing around with Final Cut I'd happily cut all ties with Adobe when needed a few years into the future. After effects and Photoshop are the only programs I can't see a clear competitor for yet, but as soon as emerging companies jump at this opportunity I'm sure there will be.
    This move does nothing besides harm their loyal customers, pirates will always find a way to hack their software, so there's no excuse, simply greed.
  3. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    As bad as your situation is it's as bad for those of us who only use Photoshop. I got PS in 2002 when I switched to a iBook form my PC. I was happily chugging along with PaintShop Pro on the PC. PSP was not then (and still isn't) available for the Mac so I had to bite the bullet and fork over $600 for PS.

    Lo these many years and upgrades later (toward the end I skipped upgrades when I could) I now find myself in the situation where if I upgrade to a new camera I'll have to find an alternative RAW converter because there's no way I'm paying $240/yr for PS when the upgrade price was $199 and I could go at least 2 years and sometimes 3 without upgrading.

    Perhaps more troubling is the fact that if I did go with the Adobe Cloud vision and continued to save my files in PSD format and then decided to stop paying the monthly fee I could, at some future point in time, find myself with working files that I could no longer open with my now non-functional software or my older copy of PS because the file format is just enough different that the files aren't compatible.

    Unfortunately I see no good alternative to using PS unless I want to give up features I use very frequently. AFAIK there is no other software package with the capabilities PS has. Many come close, but none duplicate all the features I want/need. Pixelmator seems closest at the moment, maybe they'll step up to the plate and hit one out.

    CS6 will have to last me a long, long time I suspect. How I get newer RAW files into it remains to be seen.
  4. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Ad Dieleman
    Wow, that one escaped me. I use Lightroom all the time, so I'm glad it's not part of the creative cloud so far. I also bought Photoshop CS6, but I won't start paying whatever amount per year to upgrade to any newer version. I'll have to convert my PSD-files to TIFFs at some point in time, I guess, and find something else for the relatively rare occasions I need Photoshop-like functionality.

    Fortunately I don't make my living off anything that is related to Adobe software, otherwise I'd feel completely screwed over. Let's hope Adobe loses enough customers over this to force them to leave this money-squeezing scheme.
  5. Rich

    Rich TalkEmount Veteran

    Nov 20, 2012
    Salisbury UK
    This subject has been pretty hot around the internet and quite a few forums that I frequent.

    Let me say upfront that I do not like it one bit, in common with most people it would seem. I have been using Photoshop since it first appeared. I upgraded my old CS2 to CS5 about 18 months ago and I reckon thats where it ends. As well as PS I use Lightroom and have used other Adobe products along the way from time to time. I take this move to be a real slap in the face personally.

    I feel desperately sorry for those like WoodWorks who rely on a number of Adobes applications to make a living, I feel this move to be very unfair on them. Unfortunately, there probably is no real alternative as yet and so they will be forced, eventually, to take up Adobes offer.

    I suppose I could take up the $20/m Photoshop app when my CS5 stops working for whatever reason, upgraded OS etc. But I'm not sure that I could really justify it.

    Upon reflection I find myself using PS less and less as time goes by and do most of my processing in LR, which, as I understand it, is to be maintained as a stand alone downloadable application licensed as it is now. I am currently testing the LR5 Beta, which I will happily upgrade to when it is finally released in its finished form.

    I am conducting an experiment at the moment to see if I can do all of my processing in LR without transferring to PS, and so far this week, all of my stock pictures have been processed in LR only. I admit that I am lazy and haven't exploited LR to its full potential just because I have habitually transferred to PS for certain adjustments because that is what I have always done!

    So, from my point of view, I can probably survive on LR alone. That said, I would very much like to have PS available if I need it, which I do with CS5, for the foreseeable future at least.

    One thing is for sure. There are a lot of software companies out there, and sooner or later, probably sooner I suspect, one or maybe more of them will come up with a viable alternative to Adobes products.

    History has shown again and again that the mighty will eventually be brought to their knees one way or another!
  6. Jazzer

    Jazzer TalkEmount Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 6, 2012
    New York
    A little off topic, but unfortunately this seems to be the new business model for so many businesses. They want to lock the consumer into subscriptions to ensure a more level and guaranteed income stream.

    I am not close to a professional and personally don't use the products falling under the subscription, but was seriously considering buying Lightroom prior to the Adobe news. Now I'm not so sure. I'm not thrilled with what Apple has been doing (or not doing, as the case may be) with Aperture, but as I was on the fence about which product I wanted to use for photo management and basic editing, the concern over Adobe possibly wrapping Lightroom into their subscription model down the road may be the push I needed to put me back toward Apple.

    I am certainly sympathetic to those who must use these products for their livelihood. Sure, it's easy to say there are competitors out there, but the truth is people have a lot of time and resources committed to the Adobe products and for many this must seem like the rug has been pulled out from under them.
  7. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    For me, it's more like being told to my face that I'm a crack whore, and to lie down and enjoy it.

    If you'll pardon my intemperate language. :blush:
  8. Selten

    Selten TalkEmount Regular

    Oct 22, 2012
    Rhineland, Germany
    I remember reading that how long Lightroom will remain independent of the subscription system is not stated beyond next year... I have read the news on a blog last week and have started looking around alternatives slowly, as PS had so far been my main editorial software. I am definitely not going to invest in their greed scheme, which is what I see it as.

    I think their system will be cracked by someone at some point anyway, same as Win 8 and MS Office have been. Games running on the 'connect to internet often/ always' system did not remain safe from piracy either I think...

    It is terrible for those who depend on it, and that is probably what Adobe is counting on - lose some, but gain long term subscription clients, so maybe they see it as a win. Or maybe they will 'listen' to the petitions and rants and modify the scheme a little to mollify people a bit, but still get a lot of their money - like maybe buy the newer updates to apps as you need them, or sth like that. (See schemes of many online games...)
  9. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Lightroom is going into the cloud, but Adobe claims they will maintain a non-cloud version as well. Which on its face is silly since one reason Adobe gave for going to the cloud was the PITA it was maintain two versions of the product. So, yeah LR is safe for now, but how long will that last?

    I'm not a particularly prolific shooter, nothing compared to many here, but still I dread the thought of having to convert all my pics to TIFF files at some point.

    If Adobe would give Elements 16bit file capability and the same layers the PS has it wouldn't be so bad. I've always felt Photoshop was misnamed anyway, since 90% of the stuff in there doesn't apply to photographers. Now is the time for Adobe to make the break- a beefed up Elements for pixel level editing and LR for everything else.

    I shan't hold my breath.

    Actually, as I think about it what I'd miss most would be ACR. Finding a editor that will work on layered files shouldn't be that hard, but ACR is another thing altogether.
  10. Grisu_HDH

    Grisu_HDH TalkEmount Veteran

    Dec 16, 2012
    Southern Germany
    Didn't get that news before...
    Wow, that really is a slap in the face of all customers, no matter if pro, semi-pro or amateur.
    Really glad that I only use PSE for all my photo stuff...
    And now I will use GIMP more than before!
    Hopefully as many customers as possible will switch to alternative software or freeware... but I don't think so...
  11. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    This is a business decision aimed at their biggest paying user base - the pros and studios who make living with their software and who are footing the bill for it's development. While it may not be the best decision I really don't understand all the anger.

    If you are a pro, and own a business, you are paying for the tools of the trade. In my job (engineering) $600 a year for a license is cheap. You are talking thousands and sometimes $10-15k per year for professional software. I also would expect a serious pro to replace their main camera every couple of years, and we are not talking a $800 entry level DSLR here.

    If you are an amateur, do you really need Photoshop ? There's plenty of other choices - Adobe Elements, Corel Paint Shop Pro, and the great Gimp. Oh, and Adobe Photoshop CS2 is now a freeware. And for RAW there's LR (not going to subscription model yet), Corel Aftershot, and plenty of freeware - RawTherapee (good but very resource heavy), Ufraw, and pretty much every camera manufacturer is now including a RAW editor with their cameras. I was fully satisfied with the results I was getting with Canon RAW converter and Gimp for years, and only got LR because it made editing faster. I don't need PS.

    And besides, if you are an amateur and only upgrade once in a blue moon, why would you expect the company whose products are industry standard and whose lion share of profits comes from the businesses that buy new versions as soon as they are released, to give a damn about you wanting to upgrade your version of their flagship business oriented product on your terms ? They are providing you with Elements, LR and a free if older PS CS2, as I see it they are not abandoning their amateur base.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
  12. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    The cost I can swallow, Amamba. What I can't swallow is turning over total control of all of "my" files to them.

    As it is now, if I stop paying Adobe for their software, I can still open all of the files I created using that software for as long as my hardware and operating system function. There are some people still using ancient hardware just so that they can still get access to documents they created back in computing's Jurassic period.

    But with this new scheme, the minute I stop paying protection money to Adobe, I can no longer open the files I created using their software. It's akin to ending a lease for an apartment and having the landlord confiscate all the furniture, dishware, clothing, and decorations you bought while renting the flat.

    And yes, there are some viable alternatives to Photoshop and ACR. But there are no alternatives to Illustrator. And Dreamweaver, InDesign, and After Effects have no real competition in the business world either. Anyone who depends on these apps for a living is going to have to pay Adobe in perpetuity to use them, and Adobe can change the terms of the deal whenever it decides to.

    In addition, with all of their customers locked into this arrangement, Adobe has no incentive to offer new features, eliminate bugs, or offer support. We have to pay them anyway, so why should they bother?

    Adobe holds all the power in this arrangement, and has suddenly changed the rules of the game, much to the detriment of the user. I, and if you read the online forums, thousands of other software users who have contributed to Adobe's success, and depend on their software to make a living, feel betrayed. Now do you understand our anger?
  13. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 15, 2012
    Depending what you use Photoshop for and if you use Apple there is Pixelmator. I prefer this over Photoshop Elements. Also Onone Software has Perfect Layers. Of course neither of these products are as powerful as Photoshop or Gimp but they are easy to use and can do many of the basic things you might need.
  14. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    Yes, Colin. I understand that, and I already use Pixelmator, mostly because I want to get comfortable enough with its clunky interface for the coming day when I can longer use Photoshop CS5. But it has no raw support, and lacks a boat load of other features that I occasionally use. I hope that the developers are hard at work fixing those shortcomings instead of concentrating on such highly touted but useless features like the "light leak" filter they just introduced with the latest version.

    Photoshop is not the problem. The cost of this new scheme, though usurious, is not the main problem either. It's Adobe wielding its monopoly power with such reckless disregard to the needs of its customers, especially those who use apps other than Photoshop, where there are no alternatives with any merit.
  15. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 15, 2012
    No I agree with you completely David. Especially with the file hostage situation and the coming lack of motivation to upgrade the software.

    I had been trying out Lightroom 5 beta and just about a week before this announcement, I decided to switch from Aperture to Lightroom and now this has me worried about the future of Lightroom. I hate subscriptions. Being an expat it's a total pain-in-the-ass for me to have monthly bills like this as I don't qualify for a local credit card and so I have to transfer money out of the country to use my Canadian card. Exchange rates and transfer fees are annoying.
  16. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    And if Adobe didn't do this move, and all of a sudden some new company appeared out of nowhere with a better suite of software, would you stick with Adobe out of sheer loyalty, or jump the ship because you really don't owe anything to them ?

    I would be angry if a company reneged back on it's obligations or disabled software I already paid for, or didn't deliver features I paid for - like some companies selling bug fix releases as if it was a new version. Adobe wants to charge more for top of the line professional tools that people make money with. You can pay, or you can change your soft, but I don't see a reason to get angry. As to losing all of your work if you don't renew the license - you don't lose the finished product, you don't lose RAW files, and you don't lose your process files - nobody is forcing you to save them in the cloud as far as I know. What you lose is the way to open these intermediate process files without leasing the software they were created in.
  17. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    That may be true for files created in Photoshop (except for PSD files, of course), Amamba. But it's most certainly not true for the other types of files created using their software. Though they can be opened as pdfs, Illustrator files lose all of their layer information, and all sorts of other editing capabilities. And InDesign files can't be opened by anything else. I'm not sure about Dreamweaver nor After Effects, but I suspect that they're equally proprietary.

    So in effect, Adobe IS disabling software I already paid for.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but you appear to be saying that, as long as Photoshop has alternatives, it's all good, and Adobe isn't doing anything that any other business wouldn't do. I profoundly disagree. If what I've written in my posts here doesn't persuade you, then we may have to just agree to disagree.

    But yes, I am angry, because Adobe has violated our commercial agreement: it sells me software, and I get to keep (and use) the files I create using that software. It's the same one I agree to with any other software vendor, and has worked fine for all parties to the agreement. Adobe is not nearing bankruptcy, and previous to this move had a bright future. But it will not see a penny of my hard-earned money under this subscription/extortion scheme, and I hope that the loss of income from like-minded former customers forces it to reconsider this mistake.

    Not holding my breath, though.
  18. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    You're right, I was thinking of PS. If you can only open Illustrator files in the origin program, I cab see your point.
  19. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 15, 2012
  20. Nagenk

    Nagenk TalkEmount Regular

    Jan 16, 2013
    Fortunately from last March onwards I have ditched all the Adobe stuff. I now use PaintShop Pro X5 along with Plugins from NIK (now google) , Topaz Labs and OnOne Software. For Raw conversion I use RawTherapee. Being a photo hobbyist, these tools meet my needs.
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