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back to article Creative Suite cloud lurch crushes beret-wearers' cost-slash bid

Adobe's decision to murder boxed software and punt the Creative Suite exclusively into the cloud didn't catch channel partners unaware - but it may just unsettle their arty clients. So say folk in Adobe's UK partner base who are digesting the "bold" move confirmed earlier this week that will see the Creative Suite apps available …

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Photoshoppers....

Why? It's awful...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Photoshoppers....

Eadon, your (lack of) knowledge of reality know no bounds.

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Re: Photoshoppers....

The GIMP works differently from Photoshop, but can achieve many of the same results. Not ALL the same results with the same level of efficiency of course, but many nontheless. Pretty much all the daily bread-and-butter work doesn't need those bells and whistles and advanced tools though.

There is an element of intertia/not wanting to retrain, there is an element of snobbery, there is an element of wanting a supported product. I do agree though, SOME Photoshop users could certainly jump ship to The GIMP and with day or so of learning the differences could carry on working.

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Re: Photoshoppers....

"Not ALL the same results with the same level of efficiency of course"

This is key. Whilst GIMP can be used as a substitute for PS in some core areas, it will quite often involve a much greater number of steps to achieve the same result. The GIMP's UI has clearly not been designed by someone who works it in the industry. It might be acceptable for amateurs to be able to replicate PS's functionality in 10 steps rather than 3 but when you're using that function dozens (if not hundreds,) of times per day, then it slows your work-flow enormously. This just isn't acceptable for a commercial operation.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Photoshoppers....

"The GIMP works differently from Photoshop, but can achieve many of the same results. "

Sure, if you like stripy skies. It fails hard at anything over eight bits per channel, and thus has a hard bottleneck on quality. There was a Google Summer Of Code attempt to write elements for a new GEGL core to bring it kicking and screaming into the stone age, but I don't think that's quite finished yet.

Photoshop beats Gimp in a lot of areas in not cutting corners, and doing things properly. "There is an element" of muppetry in asserting that it's a valid replacement for a lot of folks.

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Re: Photoshoppers....

I use the GIMP almost daily in work (I'm not a "proper designer" so my employers won't stump up for a Photoshop license for me), and Photoshop almost nightly at home (let's call it a reduced cost version).

I consider myself well versed in both programs, and there is no comparison. So many issues that make the same job take three times as long (if it can be done at all)...

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Really...

"This is an easier way of helping us manage customers' licensing".

You mean

"This is an easier way of helping us to lock customers into perpetual licensing".

There you go. Fixed if for you.

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Pirate

Re: Really...

and of course next year it could jump to £100 a month (or $100 if you're in the US, this is Adobe after all).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Really...

"I grew up in poor communities that were preyed-upon by the "Rent to Own" scam. Congrats to @adobe for besting it with "Rent to Never Own"...

That's a pretty powerful sentiment that hit home to me. I wonder if this push to the Cloud, will lead to more creativity using the existing suites with users merely extending the existing lifespans, rather than dealing with the hassles and unknowns that go with the new cloudy model?

For instance how can the user have any assurance about future DRM? Especially if users net connections are down or Adobe turns off a key feature or ups the pricing on another and holds the user to ransom? As users, we sure are about to cede a lot of control here. That's what the above statement says to me. That loss of control can mean the product could be disabled at short notice, meaning illustrators or editors etc, may not be able to do their work, and at short notice that could lead to catastrophic results for some...

I also predict the product updater will fail from time to time and disavow a small but still significant number of users. After all, this happens all the time with updaters in general, but its not sexy news and so isn't widely reported...

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Childcatcher

Re: Really...

I can somewhat understand why some products cost different amounts in different countries, but where in the world does the greater than 50% mark up come from in the price of a piece of software that is downloaded and not shipped? Wait... let me guess: the UK gets the "virtual hardcover" edition while we in the US have to make do with the paperback version.

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Four sprung duck technique

I remember reading a story about apple updating a video editor. They nerfed a lot of the advanced functionality and there was a big fuss made about that. If Adobe did something similar you could hold on to your old version and wait them out. Once it all goes to the cloud though, you're entirely at their mercy. Plus if they go belly up you need something new pronto or if god forbid you're having problems with the internet, you can't do any work.

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Rob
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Go

Re: Four sprung duck technique

From what I've read the internet connection will only be required to 'phone home' to check licensing, even though they are saying it's moving to the cloud in reality, from what I can tell so far, is that you still download and install the software to your machine it's just managed and licensed through a cloud system. It's a bid to up revenues, create more lock-in and add more barriers to defeat piracy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Four sprung duck technique

Yes, I don't quite understand the deal. Surely 'The Cloud' is just Adobe trying to avoid the the term DRM?

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Unhappy

Re: Four sprung duck technique

The amusing thing about the Final Cut Pro debacle is that Adobe jumped in and offered a 50% discount on CS suite to all Final Cut users. I was one of the poor sods who took them up on the deal!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Four sprung duck technique

"From what I've read the internet connection will only be required to 'phone home' to check licensing, even though they are saying it's moving to the cloud in reality"...

...OK so it will be similar to DRM and single-player gaming then? What happens on a morning when the net connection is down, but an inescapable deadline is looming? If the suite is already running from yesterday, maybe there's no issue. But if you have to launch the suite anew or a reboot happened, what then?

There's a ton of building work and new utility wiring going on in my area in recent months. The net is going down every other morning. I can see this being a PITA if Adobe don't account for downtime.... I have many friends who are independent editors, illustrators, animators etc who would could lose some serious business. This isn't a single-player gaming and needs to be well thought out with all contingencies put in place!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Four sprung duck technique

The question that needs answering is how often does it need to 'phone home' ? I spend up to a week at a time on location taking photos and editing in the field ready to deliver to clients when I return to an internet connection. It looks like I'm stuck with what I presently have - CS5 as I can't risk being left unable to work because of a lack of an internet connection.

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Angel

Re: Four sprung duck technique

Actually the way CS handles this isn't too bad. It phones home once a month, if it can't get through it'll tell you on launch but gives you another month to sort it out.

I'm not in favour of this, as like most users me and the places I work for tend to skip, but it's not the worst implementation of DRM about.

Wierd thing, Photoshop must be the most pirated peice of software on the planet, and it's been phoning home for yonks so DRM hasn't worked. Must be about charging us more then.

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Re: Four sprung duck technique

"...OK so it will be similar to DRM and single-player gaming then? What happens on a morning when the net connection is down, but an inescapable deadline is looming? If the suite is already running from yesterday, maybe there's no issue. But if you have to launch the suite anew or a reboot happened, what then?"

CC software will run normally for 30 days in between check-ins with Adobe's licensing server and will run for another 30 in 'Trial' mode after that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Four sprung duck technique

"CC software will run normally for 30 days in between check-ins with Adobe's licensing server and will run for another 30 in 'Trial' mode after that."

Thanks for clarifying. At the risk of being obvious I note the 30-day window is the state-of-play today and by no means guaranteed for the future. Adobe needs people to accept the move and are playing friendly now. But if they decide to tackle piracy head-on as someone else mentioned, they could feasibly increase the phone home frequency to something considerably less accommodating ....

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Childcatcher

Re: Four sprung duck technique

...the internet connection will only be required to 'phone home' to check licensing...

Their previous products did this on install and when, I think, pulling updates. Did this approach up revenues to the extent that doing it a lot more is going to improve them? More likely it they drive away their less profitable users - not those that were pirating the software, but those who would skip versions. The likely outcome is going to be a shrinking user base with very little change in profits in the short term. I would guess that those "lower-value" customers will eventually be picked up by a competitor who will surpass Adobe's product line. Just give it a few years.

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Rob
Bronze badge

Re: Four sprung duck technique

DRM indeed, this really all boils down to a marketing exercise so that Adobe can change it's pricing/licensing model. I even expect as others have mentioned that the 'phone home' task will still be performed every 30 days with another 30 days grace if no net connection is available as it is now. The marketing surrounding this though is setting the expectations for the customer, smaller more manageable reoccurring cost to use but you must make sure you connect to the net a bare minimum of every 60 days seems to be the general gist of their campaign.

It might be in part due to the fact that PS is quite widely pirated that Adobe have thought that by increasing revenue they can offset the cost of the Piracy whilst still sticking with the same DRM model. And as every SMB will state the original suite licensing cost was largely prohibitive as it was an upfront cost which also put people off the upgrade cycle even with the previous suite discounts available (understandably so).

By the way I'm not trying to defend Adobe's move as I will more than likely stick with my licensed copy of CS6 for a number of years to come, I think it's got enough for my needs that even when they withdraw support it will still be useful to me but then this is the sort of attitude Adobe is trying to defeat.

This area of software definitely needs some serious competition and no GIMP isn't serious competition.

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Anonymous Coward

Skipping a version

Quote

"Most clients buy Creative Suite and skip a generation to save costs. Now that they can't do that it may well turn off some people," said one source at an accredited Adobe reseller

Wrong. It will turn off a whole raft of customers. There has been a virtual deluge of condemnation on a number of the Amateur Photographer forums. These are the 'cheapskates' who typically skip a version. Why?

Possibly because they have to fund this out of their own pockets and not offset it against business costs.

I'm one of them.

Well Adobe, UP YOURS.

I will never spend another ££££ on your products. Who cares if the latest Raw software does not support my new camera or lens. There are a good few other tools I can use.

Photoshop CS is history as far as I'm concerned.

Ok, so Lightroom and Elements are currently not going into a subscription model and I really hope they don't if you value what is left of your customer base at all but for me,

I am an ex Adobe Customer.

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Stop

Re: Skipping a version

so you were happy to pay about £660 upfront and £350 for each upgrade of photoshop for a total of about £1350 over 5 years but think paying £1050 (5x12x£17) over the same period is too expensive? You might want to work on your math. There are plenty of other reasons to baulk against the cloud route, but in this case price isn't one of them. As a small business it is a damn site easier to budget for £17 / £48 a month than find large chunks yearly or biannually.

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Meh

Re: Skipping a version

A lot of people didn't/don't work that way with CS or Adobe products.

If you paid in full for CS2 you wouldn't think of moving till at least CS4 or some major issue hit home like 64bit compatibility etc. Since CS2/3 Photoshop hasn't really had any major must have features other than UI refreshes. It's like MS Office, you can get by in most cases with any version from the past 8 years (further with Office).

My other half went from CS2 to CS5. The only thing she upgraded inbetween was Dreamweaver (CS4 with no updates and flakey 64bit support, thanks for that Adobe).

She bought Photoshop CS6 only recently due to Adobe's cutting back on the number of versions you can skip to just two before you lose upgrade rights.

Though it may have been a waste of money....

She is looking for long term alternatives now though. But Gimp isn't one of them.

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Re: Skipping a version

Hmm. Way back, I paid $625 for Photoshop, and subsequent upgrades have been $199. Since I usually skip versions, that's $824 for about four to five years (one original + one upgrade), or $1023 for about six years (one original + two upgrades). At $20/month, the subscription gets me less than 3.5 years for $824 and just over four years for $1023. So no, it's definitely not a better deal.

And to make it worse, I have to keep renting the software indefinitely into the future just to open my own files, even if I stop using Photoshop in the future. With the perpetual license model I can just keep my lady version of the software around of I need to go back and open an old file.

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Unhappy

Re: Skipping a version

No, initial purchase price was sunk cost years ago (which we don't get back after changing to a subscription). After that it is approx £160 for each upgrade of the basic Photoshop, which when skipping a version is £160/36 = £4.44/month - a lot less than £17.58 on subscription!

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FAIL

@Peter 48 Re: Skipping a version

The difference is that once I buy the new version I STOP sending them money AND I still get to use the software. With a subscription model I'm left with nothing at the end of it.

And suppose I'm NOT one of those people who upgrade to every new version? A copy of CS5 will still work in another year and costs me exactly nothing beyond the amount I already paid. What benefit does a subscription give me here?

Why not sell the latest version normally and then offer a maintenance agreement/plan and provide me with the latest/greatest and what-not so long as I pay the maintenance fee? That way when I stop paying I get to keep whatever version I currently have rather than it evaporating into the æther.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Skipping a version

"Ok, so Lightroom and Elements are currently not going into a subscription model and I really hope they don't if you value what is left of your customer base at all but for me,"

Good. I am a lightroom user, out of my own pocket too, because I thought Photoshop/CS was too bloody pricey even when you could skip a generation. I felt that I probably shouldn't pirate it either, though now I am regretting that decision. I really hope that CS gets pirated like crazy after this.. this.. lamentable dickmove.

Grr.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Skipping a version

@Peter 48

Not very bright are you. Who says we skip just one version. A lot of small businesses skip 2 or 3. The savings is huge. Not to mention people used to sell old Adobe licenses out to recoupe some of the massive cost of this so called 'industry standard'of all things digital imagery.

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FAIL

Re: Skipping a version

@anonymous coward

In Peter48's defence he was replying to someone who had specifically mentioned skipping every other version.

Something I personally would have checked for before racing to call him not very bright, because y'know, now you don't look very bright.

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Anonymous Coward

Another way cloud computing can **** a business up ..

My organisation recently had experience of a department which managed to "go rogue" and sign up to a SaaS application for a specific business need. No one in IT knew about it, until I got in on the project (because they had questions they couldn't answer.

Now they are lumbered with an app with the data hosted outside the company (so no ownership), plus being committed to whatever upgrades, improvements and bugs get pushed out with no notice whatsoever. These clowns don't even have a test environment.

My first IT job was in 1986, for a big (20,000 + employees) company. Officially they had a lockdown on IT purchases, as they wanted to develop a standard approach. However too many managers saw the shiny of Lotus, and before you knew it every department was *renting* a PC from their stationary budget to avoid it hitting the CapEx ban.

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Creative Suite has been on 'cloud' for ages

I've never bought 'boxed' Adobe software. They've offered the ability to download and pay for software online for a very long time, and that's what I've done on quite a few occasions.

By slipping in the word 'cloud' they're really just offering a different way to pay, and removing the option for their customers to purchase new versions of the software outright.

There's no reason at all why they couldn't continue to offer outright purchases for new software, but they think they're in such a strong position that sheeple will put up with paying in perpetuity.

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Re: Creative Suite has been on 'cloud' for ages

"There's no reason at all why they couldn't continue to offer outright purchases for new software"

I thought that's exactly what the announcement was about.

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Re: Creative Suite has been on 'cloud' for ages

@Piro

...There's no reason at all why they couldn't continue to offer outright purchases for new software.

"I thought that's exactly what the announcement was about."

Did I miss something? Adobe's announcement was exactly not about that. The announcement was that customers would not, in future, be able to purchase new versions of their software outright - rental is to be the only option. And if you buy it now while you can, you won't be getting any newer version or features that way. Just bug fixes.

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Unhappy

Boxed software

Adobe have had a download model in place for ages. All this "doing away with boxed software" and "offering faster updates" is pure BS.

It's all about customer lock in and not tieing themselves to an update schedule. At the moment they have to pull something out of the hat every 18 months to cause people to want to upgrade. Tie people in via rental and they no longer have to worry about this.

They also don't have to worry about the people who refuse to upgrade. They'll now be tied in.

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Anonymous Coward

Why aren't these partners/resellers against this?

Surely they've just lost a revenue stream as everyone who wants CC would be going direct to Adobe?

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Re: Why aren't these partners/resellers against this?

Many resellers will lose out, but some provide a fulll management service for their customers, so they will privide servers, PCs, warranty support and software licencing etc

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Meh

Over a barrel

We usually skip a generation of one of the smaller packages, so yeah it isn't what we would choose to do, but now there isn't a choice - what is the alternative?

Win for adobe + less than chuffed customers.

Definitely need a decent competitor in this space.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Over a barrel

There's always Corel...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Over a barrel

A good question - what are the alternatives, not in terms of what they are now, but given enough support.

I guess there would be thousands of pissed-off ex-Adobe customers willing to pay £100+ for something that is 3/4 of Photoshop. That could pay a decent programmer or two's wages for a year to fix a top ten list of issues with an alternative package, say GIMP.

Oh and before there are down-votes due to GIMP's user interface being crap, remember Photoshop is a pretty non-intuitive packages as well, its just you have already learned that.

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Unhappy

Re: Over a barrel

The problem with GIMP is that it doesn't have a usable user interface :-)

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Thumb Down

Re: Over a barrel

And a stupid name.

Phil.

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Anonymous Coward

Skip Several Versions

There must a huge percentage of Photoshop users that can skip upgrades for years without causing any major pain. Adobe are encouraging people to do just that. I'd be curious what % they think will stay put on current version. On the other hand I know large companies that just sign off any request for latest software version as soon as the the developer says "we need it" without any questions asked, but then I find large companies can be incredibly wasteful.

I've tried to replace Photoshop with GIMP, I found it hard work and without basics like layer groups\sets [mocked up here http://gimp-brainstorm.blogspot.co.uk/2008/07/layer-folders.html] I've always returned back to photoshop. This subscription move will only give me more incentive to try harder with GIMP.

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Facepalm

RTFFAQ

The Adobe FAQ covers a lot of this...come on people this isn't the daily mail!

[adobe.com/uk/products/creativecloud/faq.html]

Q Do I need ongoing Internet access to use my Creative Cloud desktop applications?

A No. Your Creative Cloud desktop applications (such as Photoshop and Illustrator) are installed directly on your computer, so you won't need an ongoing Internet connection to use them on a daily basis.

You will need to be online when you install and license your software. If you have an annual membership, you'll be asked to connect to the web to validate your software licenses every 30 days. However, you'll be able to use products for 180 days even if you're offline.

Q As a Creative Cloud member, am I required to install an upgrade to a desktop application when it becomes available?

A No. You are not required to install any new version of the desktop applications available in Creative Cloud. You can continue using your current version of the product as long as you have an active membership. You have flexibility on when you install a new release to take advantage of new product features, if you choose to do so.

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Thumb Up

In a way I find myself OK about it

I use all the packages in Adobe cloud. I video edit, create graphics, design websites, edit audio, produce content for video games and so on. Before they had a monthly plan I used to crap myself at the thought of the amount of money I had to outlay (It is just myself and not a company paying) for the assorted packages.

Considering how much I earn from using Adobe Cloud vs How much I spend on sandwiches each month (£2.10 x 24 = £50.40) I know that I would gladly trade a sandwich for access to all the software I need all day.

I started making my own sandwiches and stuck the remaining money into my subscription. I guess that because I use virtually all the apps in cloud everyday it just doesn't seem that bad. However if you only use 2 or 3 then I could see how the value can diminish all too quickly. Maybe there should be some kind of sliding scale so you pay for what you use?

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Trollface

Doing an Elop

Nokia did it with Windows Phone. Apple did it with iMovie Pro. Adobe is doing it with Creative Cloud. It's what all the corporate hipsters do these days.

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Devil

Software Vendors, stop lying to your customers and just sell them the product!

I am sick of lying software vendors that are selling software "rental" solutions instead of an actual product.

When I purchase a product of any kind, I then own it. Once I own it, the right to use it when, where and how I want to, is conferred to me or mine. If I choose to use it forever, no vendor should be able to say we turned you off because you did not buy another update, subscription etc etc etc.

SAAS cannot be interpreted to imply any ownership, only rental. This is just utter BS.

As a group, all El Reg readers need to revolt and vote with their feet and wallet wherever possible to stop this ridiculous trend.

Anyone who buys into the "cloud" is a fool because they have not "bought" anything. There is no product, no warranty, no physical ownership, and no responsibility from the vendor. The could is vaporware, plain and simple.

Where is the value in that?

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Stop

Re: Software Vendors, stop lying to your customers and just sell them the product!

>> When I purchase a product of any kind, I then own it.

No, you don't. Never have. Never will. This is why software companies as you to read the licensing terms before installing the software. Even the name of the document (LICENSE terms or similar) should be a clue.

When you buy the software you buy the right to use it. How, for how long and within what limitations. You never owned software. You lease it.

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Devil

Re: Software Vendors, stop lying to your customers and just sell them the product!

No, It is my contention that any contract or other document that is deliberately too obtuse, lengthy or too complicated is not valid.

Or at least it can be argued that it is not binding here in New York State where we have a plain english contract law.

On the other hand, if the place where I "purchase" the software does not call it a purchase but calls it a lease or subscription than you might have a case but they did not call it a lease so the store misled me when I "bought" the product in question.

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