Stop the Monopoly. Don’t Join Adobe’s Creative Cloud

53 Comments

Stop the Creative Cloud

I’ve been using Adobe software since the very first versions, and I’ve bought just about every single upgrade they’ve released over the life of the company. Throughout my entire working career, some 25 years, I’ve paid Adobe tens of thousands of dollars to use, in essence, three programs: Illustrator, Photoshop and inDesign.

But that’s not enough to satisfy the greed of this company. Now that they have virtually complete control over the graphics software market, Adobe wants to abuse that monopoly by getting access to my wallet every month. And if I continue in my profession and want to continue using their software, they want money from me every month for the rest of my life.

Adobe is stopping development on their Creative Suite and making their ‘Creative Cloud’ the only option for users of their software. No longer will I be able to buy the software, I’ll have to rent it. And as soon as the money tap turns off, I won’t be able to use it anymore, because the software checks in every month to see that I’m still paying.

This has got to stop!

I remember when Adobe stopped providing a manual with their product; replacing it first with PDF documents, and finally with an online mish-mash of user videos and badly designed Help pages. I remember being amazed that I was till paying the same amount to upgrade, but the physical manual had been taken away, and what a huge amount of money the company had just made for itself by doing so. But imagine the cash Adobe will be raking in now—no more physical product, no physical distribution, no local support, reduced piracy (piracy, I might add, that often leads to later purchasing)—just lots and lots of lovely regular cash from everyone’s Visa cards, in return for a lot of useless twiddling and bloated ‘features’ that you use in real-world situations about 0.2% of the time.

Because every design professional knows that Adobe upgrades—even the more regular ones we’ll supposedly be getting now version numbers will be done away with—are 90% useless bloat. I’ve been here since version one, and I know how fundamentally different the programs are now from the initlal releases. Strip out all the bells and whistles and you’re pretty much left with multiple redo, the history palette, and layers as the only game-changing improvements over all those years. These programs still quit and freeze, and the interfaces are a primitive, outdated mess.

But the bottom line is, we cannot live in a world where companies have a hotline to our wallets. If this business model continues we’ll all be paying out huge sums of money every month, locked in to vendors churning out mindless marketing spin as they increase their monthly kickback in return for nothing.

Adobe don’t want to give us quality software at a reasonable price; they want to be the next Facebook. It’s essential that we let Adobe know now that this forced subscription model is completely unnacceptable. Don’t sign up to the Creative Cloud. Let CS6 become the last version we use if necessary, and hope that some company has the foresight to take on Adobe and beat it at its own game. As soon as that alterative is available, it will have a ready-made audience of millions of disaffected and exploited Adobe users eager to switch.

Don’t sign up to the ‘Creative Cloud’. Let Adobe know we won’t put up with this abuse.

Update: Make your voice be heard—sign the petition!

53 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. anaglyph
    May 07, 2013 @ 10:36:33

    Not only that, without competition, there is exactly zero reason for companies to strive to get better. So what if the latest version sucks – where’s the competition!?

    Reply

  2. Smottz
    May 07, 2013 @ 11:02:56

    Would this also lead to forced upgrades? There are software programs that have actually gotten worse with the later versions, forcing many advanced users to reinstall their beloved older versions. What happens when the cloud version of your software is upgraded and you don’t like it?

    Reply

  3. universalhead
    May 07, 2013 @ 11:12:48

    Adobe, of course, prefer to not even acknowledge that this ever happens. If there’s a critical bug, you’ll probably be stuck with it until it’s eventually fixed – probably hidden amongst the spin on some minor useless feature improvement.

    Reply

  4. queenwilly
    May 07, 2013 @ 11:17:17

    AGREE. Solidarity. Don’t sign up to the Cloud.

    Reply

  5. hcdr
    May 07, 2013 @ 13:54:01

    This sounds like the rant of an old crank who is unable to accept inevitable change. There are no logical points made here. Many companies are moving to subscription based models. It makes sense, supports rapid feature delivery, can work out cheaper, it’s often easier and more transparent to account for costs. I can subscribe for only two months if that’s all I need. It’s leaner and more flexible.

    I’m sure Adobe are extremely greatful for long-time loyal customers like yourself. The ‘greed’ of the company? Companies make money, that’s how they work. I’m greatful Adobe has managed to navigate the technical landscape for so long without failing like so many other companies. Flash and PDF technology is becoming obsolete, for instance. Adobe is the market leader for a reason, but they also face their fair share of challenges. Are Adobe greedier than Microsoft or Apple?

    If the software is 90% useless bloat, then either you should stop wasting your money purchasing software you don’t actually need, or it’s cost effective for you to pay for the features you require. My computer does a whole lot of things I never use, I bet yours does too. Whatever. They need to build new features to stay ahead, and that people are willing to buy. Why don’t you stick with version 1 if that’s all you need? A subscription based model supports paying for only the services you require. Their offerings may evolve to more tiers/options in future (other subscription services out there have matured in this way). You “have to rent it”? No, you don’t. Here is some alternatives for you:

    http://www.creativebloq.com/illustrator/alternative-to-illustrator-1131664
    http://www.creativebloq.com/photoshop/best-alternatives-1131641
    http://lifehacker.com/5976725/build-your-own-adobe-creative-suite-with-free-and-cheap-software

    There’s your competition. I notice numerous anti-Adobe information posted here, why are you using them again?

    Replacing manuals – many people welcomed the cessation of wasted paper matter. I sure did. Just because you didn’t recieve dead vegetable matter to hold in your hands doesn’t mean there is no product. People’s time and effort still goes into the production of software and training materials etc (many, many people in fact ~ 10k!)

    Your piracy argument doesn’t make any sense in this context. I can now legitimately try out Creative Cloud for 30 days. Win-win. And like Adobe will be the first company that has a ‘hotline to your wallet’.

    “This has got to stop!” Well, I do wish you luck with your campaign to stop progress and innovation!

    Reply

  6. universalhead
    May 07, 2013 @ 14:38:13

    Let’s have a look at some of the points you raise:

    old crank
    Guilty as charged. However I just might know what I’m talking about as well. I’ve probably got a few years on you when it comes to adapting to change – and changes more drastic than Facebook getting an interface overhaul. I love change – for the better.

    I can subscribe for only two months if that’s all I need.
    Sure, convenient for the student who needs it for one project. What about the graphic design professional like myself who needs it all year round? I’m locked into a monthly payment that ends up costing more than what I used to pay on upgrades, without the benefit of choice.

    Companies make money, that’s how they work.
    Indeed, but there is a big difference between making money and exploiting a monopoly. Forcing consumers into a pay by the month service that ends up costing them more and giving them less control over their purchase equals obsession with share price, not good business.

    If the software is bloat, stop buying it.
    The whole point here is that if I continue to be a professional in the graphic design industry, I don’t have that option yet. Printers won’t accept v1 files. PDF is an industry standard. No one has come up with a viable suite of programs that have presentd a clear challenge to Adobe’s monopoly. But it happens. Everyone thought Quark XPress was the industry standard at one stage, and the program wasn’t that different from inDesign – the company just pissed their users off, and look what happened.

    Once the software works really well and has a modern, consistent interface, then add features all you want. The fact is, the more bloat that’s added, the more unstable the programs are. Even the recent inDesign CS 5 crashed regularly, for example – hardly something you’d expect from software over a decade in its development cycle.

    A subscription based model supports paying for only the services you require.
    Not this one. After the first year’s cheaper period, this will end up costing me more to get the programs I require than it did in the past – and I have to keep paying OR NOTHING WORKS. I have no choice to skip a product cycle because I decided, as an informed consumer, that they haven’t provided me with enough value to warrant the expense.

    Here are some alternatives for you.
    Thanks for that information. The whole point of my post is that after 25 years as a loyal customer, Adobe is finally forcing me to look at these alternatives. Not a good way for a company to ‘work’.

    Replacing manuals etc
    Don’t try to turn this into some environmental issue – my point is, Adobe saved themselves a fortune no longer printing manuals, a change that was slipped in with no cost benefit to the consumer and therefore great profit to Adobe. But that was nothing compared to the cash injection this model will mean for Adobe.

    I find it amusing that you equate ‘change’ with ‘progress and innovation’. The two are not necessarily in harmony, as any number of examples from history will tell you. My rant is merely an attempt to make clear the obvious – that we are being forced into a vendor locked-in pricing model that results in huge advantage to the producer and very little advantage, despite the spin, to the consumer. It’s also a model ripe for abuse in the future, as companies increase their prices and slow innovation without the usual balancing market forces of competition and choice.

    Good luck with your perpetually open wallet – and thanks for writing!

    Reply

  7. Smottz
    May 07, 2013 @ 14:51:07

    @hcdr
    Steady as she goes. If you have a counter-argument, feel free to make it, but no reason to go ballistic on someone’s post, particularly as a guest on his site. A calm, informed response works best. The reasons you offer as benefits of this new model include “it makes sense,” which is yet to be determined; it supports rapid feature delivery, which could also be achieved with digital downloads and updates; it can work out cheaper, though you later acknowledge that the product is designed for advanced users who obviously won’t be finished with it “in two months”; and it’s more transparent to account for costs—how so?

    I am unsure how arguing against a subscription business model is being interpreted as an anti-progress or anti-innovation campaign.

    What I do agree with is the idea that Adobe is free to do as they wish in order to balance supply and demand—to adjust business plans to make more money. I believe the market will provide evidence for the success or failure of the plan.

    Reply

  8. Sean
    May 08, 2013 @ 01:49:23

    Both the article itself and the comments have been very interesting. As a non design professional I have always wondered why the professionals always accepted the high prices of adobe products. I use GIMP almost exclusively and have used Inkscape and Scribus a little. For me the learning curve was steep, but it seems that someone well versed in Adobe products would be able to pick them up rather quickly.

    I guess that is the question, are these open source programs so inferior to adobe that the fact that they are free isn’t even worth it? Since I’ve never really used Photoshop et al I can’t really say, but I have seen some pretty comparable results by people how seem to know what they are doing. If I had access to both I would do a side by side comparison.

    I personally like having the disks in hand but was okay with the digital download. This service subscription model sounds dubious to me. I think there are plenty of examples of “new and improved” being utter shit. Can anyone say Windows Vista?

    Well anyway, I wish I really had a solution but all I can suggest is to try those open source products and really see if they are viable.

    Reply

  9. Doug Bailey
    May 08, 2013 @ 04:35:48

    I’ve no interest in the Cloud, so I guess CS 6.5 will be the last release for me. Time to go start investigating those alternatives…

    Reply

  10. universalhead
    May 08, 2013 @ 07:08:06

    I think we can say that a lot more attention will be directed to competitors as a result of Adobe treating their customers this way, and I really hope some company gets serious about providing a professional alternative. At the moment no one has stepped up to the plate however – I can’t edit a file in CMYK mode in GIMP apparently, and that’s essential for a print professional.

    I have no doubt at all that Adobe have factored in the amount of bad press they will get and the users they will lose, and intent to hunker down and weather the storm, getting their employees to shill forums and pouring out spin all the way. Look around the internet and see how people really feel about this move – in the vast majority of cases they know they are being taken for a ride. But Adobe have made the committment now and they know a big, regular pot of gold is at the end of this rollercoaster ride.

    I don’t need my professional programs to be open source; I’m happy paying a reasonable amount to upgrade them if I get improvements in return, and for the most part the expense has been acceptable for the last 25 years. I do find it a bit frustrating that I’m treated no better than someone who bought their first copy a year ago, but I can live with that. It’s this contempt for customer choice on the part of Adobe that has made me so annoyed. It was only a few months ago, when they introduced the CC, that Adobe was quietening the complaints of users by saying “you don’t have to sign up, you can still buy the Creative Suite”. Well, not any more. Open your wallet every month, or the program doesn’t work. Choice has been taken away, even though you’re still paying them the same amount of money in the end. You pay for it – but you don’t own a thing.

    Reply

    • Aongus
      May 11, 2013 @ 04:40:41

      Yes, CMYK is one of the sticking points when looking for an alternative to Photoshop. Have you tried PhotoLine, a German shareware image editor that has ICC & CMYK support? The UI is ugly, and there is a learning curve, but it does most of what I need.
      http://www.pl32.com/

      Reply

  11. Will Belford
    May 08, 2013 @ 17:08:13

    This Software as a Service (SaaS – oh awful acronym) model is set to become the only model around. Once you assume that everyone is “always on”, anything physical like discs or manuals becomes redundant. As a technical communicator, I can barely recall the last time anything but a marketing brochure was actually printed on paper, and as for buying CDs with data on them, the music industry has demonstrated that this approach is on its last legs.

    Whether we like it or not, this is how all digital information will be distributed from now on. By the time my 7-year old daughter is old enough to be joining the workforce, the idea of any other method will be ridiculous, as archaic as a 5-inch floppy disk is now.

    As long as the supplier doesn’t gouge on price and maintains a stable product, it should, in theory, not really be an issue; plus removing the costs of distribution in theory should make it easier for competitors to enter the market and keep them honest.

    You’ve already been, in effect, monopolised for the last 20 years, only now the shape of the board has changed!

    Question: does the monthly fee over say, three years, amount to more than you would have paid for an upgrade issued during the same period? If so, it’s reasonable to complain.

    Question: do you actually need to own the product if you own the right to use it and the right to complain bitterly if it isn’t available? Adobe are assuming, probably fairly, that all their customers are permanently connected to the internet and will have permanent access.

    I’d certainly be looking at the competition, what there is of it!

    Reply

    • anaglyph
      May 08, 2013 @ 18:15:07

      Will, I don’t think it’s the ‘cloud’ model that is inherently flawed – it’s the subscription model that stinks. Particularly if you combine subscription with a monopoly. There is no way that Adobe could have even run this up the flagpole without first having an iron-clad hold over the industry. It would have been trounced in an instant if there were other competing alternatives to pdf, for instance. And that’s not to say pdf is necessarily ‘better’ than a potential alternative – it’s just that it’s almost ubiquitous. Even if a better alternative to pdf came along, it would have a hell of a time getting any leverage – and Adobe knows that.

      There are ways that you can run a cloud model without subscription – all the apps on my iPhone already do that. The coders write upgrades and next time I sync to iTunes, the apps are updated. I don’t see anything wrong with that model. It changes with system requirements and indeed, you mostly feel like you’re getting value for money every time you get a ‘free’ upgrade.

      Adobe has stuffed up bigtime here, and they need to be shafted for it. Trolling shills notwithstanding.

      Reply

  12. anaglyph
    May 08, 2013 @ 18:06:39

    UH: hcdr is peddling the Company Line. If you look around the forums you hear almost exactly the same watery rhetoric from a host of ‘anonymous’ users. And so fast to appear on your blog, having never been here before, eh? Interesting to say the least.

    Reply

  13. universalhead
    May 08, 2013 @ 20:32:53

    Will, I’ve got nothing against digital content being made available via the net. I don’t want CDs and physical copies. Hell, I’m very happy to download a copy of my software (note that Adobe was charging Australians a considerable more than the US amount to download their products while trying to justify that difference by citing distribution costs). But what I do want is choice as a consumer, and giving a company monthly access to my bank account or the product doesn’t work is zero choice.

    Yes, it would be great if we lived in a world where the supplier wouldn’t gouge on price and maintains a stable product – but we don’t, and a quick look at history tells you that. You have far more faith in big corporate companies than I do. And lest you say ‘the market will control them’, well there are too responses to that; one, they have a monopoly on the industry so at the moment there is no viable professional alternative, and two, this is exactly what I’m doing with this post, attempting to exercise my small amount of influence as a member of their market and expressing my displeasure by looking for alternatives.

    Yes, the subscription price does add up to the same price as buying, but here’s the rub, and I feel like I’m repeating myself here – if the company issues a poor value upgrade that I normally wouldn’t have purchased, *I still continue to pay*. If I decide that my cash flow is such that I can’t afford to upgrade this year, too bad, *I still have to pay*. If the company issues a series of useless upgrades that consist of functionality that isn’t useful to me that I normally wouldn’t have paid for, *I still have to pay*. Get it? No choice, just a perpetually open wallet or the software *no longer works* and I’m stuck with work files that only open if I have saved them all into a format compatible with my last non-cloud version (CS6).

    Finally, we are not all connected to the internet, all of the time. There could be any number of reasons why I won’t be connected at the time that my programs have to check in with Big Brother once a month. Again, it limits my choice.

    Why the hell are we defending a huge corporate company that is trying to get regular cash out of us in return for empty assurances because ‘it’s the way of the future?’ Almost everyone who comments in every post about this subject is pissed off about it and doesn’t want it, apart from the obvious shills. As analglyph says, Adobe deserve to shafted for their arrogance. Innovate, change, go with the future – absolutely. But don’t rip off loyal consumers and treat them like idiot cash cows while you’re doing it.

    Reply

  14. anonymous
    May 14, 2013 @ 05:32:47

    More analysis on the Register web site.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/13/adobe_cloud_pricing/

    Reply

  15. universalhead
    May 14, 2013 @ 06:13:08

    Incredible how every move can be justified by saying that a company will increase its share price so it must be good. Well, that kind of approach to business might just see customers drop off and competition reap a rich harvest.

    Let’s remember folks—this is a frakin’ computer program, not food, heat or light. We simply shouldn’t have to rent it, it’s ridiculous. Adobe and design professionals both know that practically speaking there’s really very little they can add to the core functionality of these programs, so Adobe’s only option is to establish a locked in revenue stream and then try to assuage us with fiddly, unnecessary, cosmetic bullshit upgrades for years to come to justify their $600 a year.

    Reply

  16. Stephan
    Jun 05, 2013 @ 21:08:46

    I’m a bit torn on the subject. On the one hand…creative cloud. Brilliant Idea, with loads of room to work in. On the other hand, monopoly. I think I’ll point out that Adobe isn’t actually the only game in town, and it’s product is just widely used because designers have liked working in it. Much of the design field is actually developing material based on what other people are doing, and branching off from there. This reminds me a bit of an artists colony, bringing together creative types to work in a broad array of mediums. I in no way believe that Adobe is the only way to do this, or even the best way. $50 a month is a good investment for the products I’ve used. It’s also less intimidating than $2000-$5000. You could do the same thing with opensource programs like Gimp, which are already crowd sourced…and modular. Then attach it to deviant art, add in some painting programs (Tablet use), Kickstarter, and Linkdl (or something like. I honestly find Linkdl annoying) and you’d easily bring creatives into a productive working environment with more ease. Also increases relevant competition, and drives down prices/rates on creative development like graphic design and illustration work. Ooh. Add in Skype or livestream. Here’s to the next Open Creative Cloud.

    Reply

  17. universalhead
    Jun 05, 2013 @ 21:24:38

    I’m not sure if you’re a design professional, but at the moment there is no other option for design professionals working in the print industry and the CMYK space, which is why this Creative Cloud is abuse of a monopoly and why an alternative is so desperately needed. I wonder if you’ll stil think it’s a good investment when you’ve paid the cost of the software off but still don’t own it.

    Sorry, but your suggestions sound fun in theory, but also completely ‘pie in the sky’. There’s nothing brilliant about a subscirption model; we already have downloadable updates, all Adobe are offering is a locked in subscription model and a few megabytes of online storage space. Deviant Art, Kickstarter, Linked In, Skype – this is just throwing around online social media and communication solution names for the hell of it. Adobe don’t want an Open Creative Cloud. They want $50 a month from every customer forever – and that’s just the start once everyone is locked in.

    If there’s one thing that bugs me as a design professional who has worked at my craft for 20+ years, it’s this ‘everyone can be a designer’ mentality. Why the frak would you want to drive down price on graphic design and illustration work – professionals in those fields can hardly make a living as it is, with the industry swamped with hacks that don’t know the difference between 72dpi and 300dpi and churn out poor quality dreck. Professionals are continually undervalued, the skill and craftsmanship required to create quality design is ignored, and clients think that a corporate logo is only worth $20 and takes an hour or two to toss off.

    Want a future filled to the brim with shitty, derivative, amateurish design? Here’s to the next Open Creative Cloud.

    Reply

  18. Tim
    Jun 22, 2013 @ 08:15:20

    The hilarious thing is this:
    I have been working in digital media since the 80s.
    Don’t get me wrong, Photoshop rules. BUT…

    Many people (Myself included) warned about a monopoly when Adobe took over Macromedia. We were called “dinosaurs” and “conspiracy theorists”. OMG

    Freehand, a far superior tool to Illustrator was killed.
    Flash became a bloated piece of crap.
    InDesign – don’t get me started – however Quark killed themselves.

    At least Adobe tried to do web design justice with Dreamweaver, but Dreamweaver has also become bloated – and thereby killed GoLive in the process, a very fast and able product .

    Well you Adobe worshipers – what do you think now?
    Feel free to arrange deck chairs on the titanic…

    Reply

  19. universalhead
    Jun 22, 2013 @ 11:13:23

    I agree with you completely – the Flash interface was so bad it gave me RSI every time I had to use it for a project, and a programmer friend who used it all day every day for years would keep me appraised of how some new versions were actually worse than new versions. It took Apple to finally have the guts to stand up to Adobe and refuse to use its insecure, bloated plugin. And look how fast it disappeared off the internet. Good riddance to it at last.

    I also used GoLive before it was bought out; a program that actually had some original UI concepts and worked really well. And Freehand is missed as well. Quark—not so much! ;)

    I see that the Creative Cloud suite was cracked within 24 hours of launch. I have never advocated piracy in my life, but this is further proof of the falseness of some of Adobe’s claims about the superiority of the Cloud model.

    There is so much room for improvement in this industry. I only hope that some smart company somewhere is working hard to take advantage of this whole situation and will create the software that finally puts down the dinosaur that is Adobe.

    Reply

  20. Tim
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 02:41:59

    Lol @ RSI
    I got RHI from it – Repetive Head Injury – I’m sure you can figure out why ;-)
    I loved Flash though – was onboard with it when it was still called “FutureSplash” – I believe that was the mid 90s if I’m not mistaken.
    Don’t touch it now unless I’m forced by a client.

    In any case, my compliments on your Website!
    Landed here for the first time by coincindence – great editorial style you have; thanks for that, it’s refreshing in this Internet-World-Of-Flames.

    I loved this one:
    “swamped with hacks that don’t know the difference between 72dpi and 300dpi and churn out poor quality dreck”

    Greetz!

    Reply

  21. universalhead
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 09:53:08

    Thanks, glad you’re enjoying the site Tim. Updates are infrequent but it’s been around for some time now…

    Reply

  22. Pedro
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 10:49:10

    Good sir, you are a designer. So am I. I like the Creative Cloud subscription model and have been using it for a year as an early adopter. I lost my full time job over a year ago and needed to have the latest software to work freelance. I did not want to shell out $2000+ for Creative Suite. I was glad to hear that Adobe had gone in this direction, because for only $50 a month I now get access to ALL the Adobe software. I am now able to pick and choose what applications to download and learn new software that I have never used before. It’s opened up opportunities to upgrade my skill set.

    I have a very simple way to look at this. If you’re freelance rate is $60/hour you have paid for the software for one month use (on a 1 year commitment). So hopefully you are working for more than 1 hour a month. It’s really not that hard to cover the cost. You can and should also write this off as a business expense.

    So look at it that way. This new Creative Cloud model will also ensure that you are always up to date with the latest software. I have worked at various companies who were always slow to upgrade and some fell years behind the times! My old company is still using Quark and CS4!

    I think most people are angry about this because it’s harder to pirate. I have matured and am done with pirating. Adobe has a lot of people that work hard to bring us this software that we make a living with. Fair is fair, and I really don’t see a huge problem with this model.

    Cheers.

    Reply

  23. Pedro
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 10:56:58

    To clarify, 1 hours work per mont @ $60 an hour and you’ve covered the cost.

    Or if you don’t want to commit to a contract 1.5 hours work @60 an hour will pay the $75 pay-as-you-go montly cost.

    Remember the bulk of Adobe software is meant for a professional market that uses it to make lots of money, and this same market often has clients on retainer paying a flat monthly fee, a similar concept that works for ad and design firms.

    Reply

    • Leslie
      Jul 23, 2013 @ 10:31:31

      When you purchase the software outright, instead of rent, you can amortize the cost of it over time. After that the software is a profit center since you are still billing your regular hourly rate with the cost of upgrading factored into it. Yes, free enterprise is great and controlling your tools is part of being in business–not getting hooked into a system that you cannot extricate yourself from. How long before InDesign will not load fonts that were not created by Adobe? The nature of a monopoly is that they strangle the competition.

      Reply

  24. universalhead
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 11:03:57

    Pedro, I appreciate your comment but you don’t seem to have read the whole article and the discussion following. I’ve spent tens of thousands on Adobe software over the years. The problem is not having to buy the software from scratch, it is being forced to pay every month whether I want to or not to rent, not own what I’ve paid for. You’re also ignoring my main concern – I am being locked into a business model that removes my power of choice as a consumer and leaves me dependent on any price increases or lack of real value that Adobe choose to implement.

    Saying most people are angry about this because it’s harder to pirate is just absolutely ridiculous and insulting to all the design professionals with legitimate concerns about this abuse of monopoly; not to mention naive, since the cloud version has already been pirated, I believe.

    I really hope you look beyond the spin you’ve bought into. If this model is supported by consumers we are going to end up with many, many more companies regularly taking their cut out of our wallets, then cutting off the supply when we can’t pay any more, leaving us with nothing.

    It’s a very popular commercial model, drug pushers have been using it for years.

    Reply

  25. Erik Bauhaus
    Jul 23, 2013 @ 08:53:14

    I wish Adobe failed with they new subscription crap.
    Premiere Pro CC – does not come with Encore anymore.
    Adobe Bridge CC – the export function are disabled
    Dreamweaver CC – various functions removed
    Fonts and Sample files – not usable for the moment cause the sync functionality is not working…
    The list is much longer.

    Today Adobe is a bunch of greedy assholes in the management, stupid support agents in India and bad paid Romanian and Indian programmers who code as good as they are paid.

    All this is made to keep share holders…
    Soon Adobe will do exactly three things to keep the share holders: remove features to keep the development even cheaper, reduce the support costs or rise the prices.

    Why not do all those 3 things at the same time?
    In 2020 the monthly subscription fee will be around $100 – and you will pay. :)
    There is no workaround. With the totally sensible licensing mechanisms, Adobe build in a software obsolescence that avoids you to run your CS6 on next generation Windows. Windows 8 or 9 will be the last supported version then for CS6.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obsolescence

    Reply

  26. universalhead
    Jul 23, 2013 @ 09:11:46

    Interesting to hear how the CC software falls short. It’s not about helping the customer and hasn’t been for a long, long time; it’s about maximising shareholder revenue by every cent possible.

    And yes, I totally expect that something will be arranged to make CS6 not work on MacOS, and I’m forced into the CC model whether I like it or not.

    I hope some smart company is busily creating our next industry standard …

    Reply

  27. Jerad Walters
    Aug 15, 2013 @ 13:58:12

    One other thing to think about is that a new version of the software could conceivably force you to upgrade all of your hardware as well. There is more at stake than just having to purchase the new versions of the programs every time they come out. If they need the newer chip architecture, then you might have to purchase a new machine with a new operating system. That could conceivably leave you open to further expenses if your scanners, printers, and other peripherals do not work in the new system. This is going to sound incredibly stupid on my part, but I used Macintosh OS 9 from 2000 to 2011, and only just recently upgraded to new machines. That was a gap that I was comfortable with in my field. I would hate for the freedom to choose when to upgrade to be taken away from me.

    Reply

    • Brian G
      Sep 19, 2013 @ 05:45:45

      I’m a Windows user, and usually purchase a retail O/S disk when I build my computers. I’ve already made the decision to buy in extra parts so I can run Windows 7 for the foreseeable future, which in turn will let me run my CS5 software.

      Reply

  28. universalhead
    Aug 15, 2013 @ 15:24:00

    Damn good point. Again, it’s all removing consumer choice.

    Reply

  29. Emily
    Sep 13, 2013 @ 16:43:35

    I think the worst part is student pricing. How am I, a college student, suppose to find 20 dollars a month just so I can do my homework? I am not making any money off of it!

    Reply

  30. Brian G
    Sep 19, 2013 @ 05:29:40

    I’ve used Photoshop for about 10 years. I also use Illustrator, and between the two programs my update would run about $400. I only update every other version, so my actual cost was running about $200 a year. Now adobe would charge me $40 a month for the two programs, and I’d be foolish not to just pay $50 for everything, but then my cost jumps from $200 a year to $600 a year. It’s just not right. I’ll for sure not upgrade and wait and hope that Adobe changes their minds…

    Reply

    • Alan E
      Feb 05, 2014 @ 07:39:04

      Like Emily and Brian G, Adobe seems to have forgotten COMPLETELY that there are people out there who are not using Photoshop professionally and making money from it.

      I use it for my hobby photography. And I use it frequently. But up until now, I only upgraded every other version because the additional features did NOT usually justify the $200 upgrade price to me. Yes, I spoke with my money. How can I do that now? There is no choice but to fork over $600 a year to use something that I only paid $200 every three or so years. No thanks assholes! It is most definitely NOT worth it unless you are making money off it.

      This LOYAL customer, who has been using Photoshop for almost 20 years (since version 4.0) and have already given them about $1500 of my hard-earned money is SWITCHING TO GIMP.

      Fuck off Adobe!

      Reply

  31. Tom Coulson
    Sep 20, 2013 @ 00:53:38

    Total abuse of their monopoly. What chance of an open source design suite be developed? I want shot of Adobe and have done for years.

    Reply

  32. Martin Onassis
    Sep 26, 2013 @ 12:14:25

    You can’t help generation patsy, they love to go along with everything they’re told, including licking master’s boots. Thus the juvenile assertions that company’s make money, and you better take it.

    I agree that Adobe has sat on its duff for years, usually screwing up the software in upgrades (CS4) instead of actually improving anything, like a command for FLATTEN – HELLO!

    THe funny thing is this spring I got a job that required a ton of batch processing, and what do you know, GIMP actually destroys Pshop in this arena. I couldnt believe it. An open source program destroying Pshop in a particular area. Now I’m not used to the rest of GIMP, fact is, I havent even tried it, since I’m still running two legacy versions of Pshop for as long as I like.

    Adobe can blow me. I’m also still using legacy Freehand instead of that horrible Illustrator trash. Flash – meh….I’ve heard Premier is better than it was in its disastrous CS4 form. Fact is, I won’t know, since ADobe has cut me off of demoing Premier or Muse or other software of theirs I might use. As far as I’m concerned, they don’t exist anymore. Maybe somehow I’ll be forced under their wing once all the computers from 2007-2011 die out, but until then, I hate their guts to the core.

    I know that real trolls are running that company, and you would think karma will destroy a company that has contempt for its customers. We’ll see.

    Reply

  33. Adam
    Jan 01, 2014 @ 23:23:35

    I was planning on biting the bullet and saving up for a full version of Flash CS6, but when I checked the site the other day I found it was impossible to buy said program. I am certainly not going to rent it. I’ll end up spending even more than I was originally saving up for! I don’t think the program is even worth that!

    Didn’t want to pirate because I wanted to keep things legal and be able to sell my work without any problems.

    So much for wanting to do computer animation. Oh well, just a little life long dream of mine. Back to drinking I guess…

    Reply

    • universalhead
      Jan 01, 2014 @ 23:38:28

      Don’t let not getting Flash put you off your dream of computer animation Adam, it’s only one bloody program, and one that’s swiftly dying out anyway. I always hated using Flash; I’d end up with RSI after every project using it, the interface was so badly designed. That’s one program I’ll very happily never have to use again.

      Reply

  34. Mark Husson
    Feb 05, 2014 @ 05:31:39

    I’m in. I also paid for Adobe Suites from the beginning and being forced to pay monthly sickens me. Thank you for the post. I will Rally and Share!

    Reply

  35. instantaphex
    Mar 28, 2014 @ 01:58:55

    1.) Set up a free email account.
    2.) Register for free trial of Adobe CC
    3.) Use products free for one month.
    4.) Repeat.
    5.) Profit.

    Reply

  36. universalhead
    Mar 28, 2014 @ 08:22:00

    I’m sure Adobe has identified and put in place ways to stop that simple trick! It no doubt installs an invisible file on your computer or something similar.

    Reply

  37. Din
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 14:20:38

    Adobe takes advantage of this monopoly and asks for exorbitant fees! I pray for the rise of competitors!!!

    Reply

  38. Tom
    May 09, 2014 @ 03:18:48

    Agreed – CC sucks. Not going to sign up.

    Reply

  39. universalhead
    May 09, 2014 @ 09:27:21

    This post is almost exactly a year old now, and the comments keep coming. I’m still using CS6, but I’m sure Adobe is counting the days until a system update that gives them an excuse to make CS6 obsolete and which forces us all, against our will, to sign up to their subscription model if we want to keep using their software. I’m dreading the day, and I just hope some company out there has the balls to take them on.

    Reply

  40. WJ
    Jun 03, 2014 @ 04:25:29

    I started on CS2, and upgraded to CS3, CS4, CS5, and CS6 is the last version I have purchased…. I won’t buy another, until they return to the old format, where you BUY it, NOT rent it !

    Creative Crock is what they should call it !

    Reply

  41. Vodavi
    Jun 04, 2014 @ 03:46:06

    Why not offer both? Offer CreativeCloud to the rich folk that have more money than brains, and keep the CreativeSuite for individuals that want to just pay once and not have to worry about monthly subscriptions. For me as a self-employed web developer and graphic designer for 13 years, I see this as Adobe pulling the trigger (they put the gun in their mouth when they first introduced CC). Here are my reasons:

    Price:
    I’ve always found the price of Adobe products to be way overpriced but I payed up and it wasn’t easy, especially starting out. The CC doesn’t make any sense other than greed. For example I can go to Adobe.com right now, buy Fireworks for $299.00, and use it forever. I can drink the Kool-Aide and sign up for CC but after 15 months I have to pay more or I can’t use it?! No thanks. That’s a monopoly. Once all of the suckers buy into their little scheme, it’s only a matter of time before they slowly raise their monthly prices. If Adobe thinks that piracy is bad now, wait until they go live with CC, more people will use older versions that can be pirated to avoid the money sodomy of the CC.

    Security/Privacy:
    The so called “cloud” will eventually fail. Look around and you will see that most large companies, banks, etc., are getting hacked on a regular basis. I’m not going to go into the what-if scenarios but.. there’s a possibility that my account information could get stolen from Adobe’s databases. You all remember what happened in November right (http://www.theverge.com/2013/11/7/5078560/over-150-million-breached-records-from-adobe-hack-surface-online)?. Put yourself in the hackers shoes; Adobe will be adding hundreds of thousands of credit card numbers to their databases – they’re really just painting a huge target on their face that says “hack me”. That’s too risky…

    Availability:
    For anyone that’s ever had bad luck with cloud based services, you will know that they tend to go down sometime for maintenance. Having your main staple of business on a cloud based system just screams problems. I work on the go sometimes and not all places have internet access, then what.. no Adobe CC?

    Flexibility:
    Even for students CC sucks. At colleges and universities there are student and teacher editions available at really reasonable prices. Why aren’t those good enough? When I was a student I continued to learn to use the program (Fireworks, Dreamweaver, Illustrator) at my own pace – even after my semester ended.

    Adobe is a company and they need to make money just like the rest of us do. Whether or not they do it ethical, is up to the greedy corporate asshats to decide. As I said before, they’re just digging their own grave because their reputation will get worst, people will notice, and they will fail. Lastly, as a customer I have a choice to buy or not to buy their products. For some people (and I don’t know how), they may find the CreativeCloud beneficial, but I don’t. I guess I better start learning gimp or find another profession.

    Reply

  42. Mark
    Jun 12, 2014 @ 00:13:35

    Not to stir a hornet’s nest. But for myself the Adobe CC has been brilliant. For a person who only uses a couple apps I can see the problems. But if you use a larger portion of the the suite I find it much more affordable. And anytime i have a special requirement or interest i can just grab the right tool for the job. Could they use some more cloud options? sure… maybe a more a-la-carte solution will help those who have have different needs. Cloud computing is not going to fail or go-away. As the global network expands more and more services and applications will work that way.

    Reply

    • universalhead
      Jun 12, 2014 @ 09:44:42

      You’re certainly entitled to your opinion Mark and I’m glad to hear it. I believe you are looking at it from a short term perspective however – I’ve been using Adobe products for 25 years and unless someone finally comes up with a workable alternative in my industry, I’m forced to continue using them. When Apple release an operating system which Adobe can use as an excuse to drop CS6, I’ll be forced to join the Creative Cloud subscription if I want to continue to work. I strongly object at having to regularly pay Adobe for the privilege of using their software and, no matter how much I pay, no longer being allowed to use the software if I stop paying.

      I do find the argument ‘this is how it is and how it’s going to be’ troubling however. What will happen is what people allow to happen. We don’t have to be dictated to by the companies that exist because of our patronage. I’m not saying cloud computing is going to go away. What I’m saying is that Adobe’s Creative Cloud is extorting their monopoly to set up a system that is allows them to extort locked-in customers. No matter what they do, no matter how we agree or disagree with the value they provide, if we want to continue using the software, we keep paying an amount decided on by them. I don’t support that version of the ‘future of computing’.

      I agree with one thing however. If people roll over and put up with subscription services they won’t fail or go away. It doesn’t take much imagination to see where that will lead – a society in even more unsupportable, invisible debt than it is now. And yet it isn’t an inevitable conclusion because people can choose – for an example, witness the decline of subscription-based online gaming.

      Reply

  43. Shawn
    Aug 21, 2014 @ 05:24:58

    @Mark, I think your right about more products doing this in the future.

    @the topic,
    I find it a little bit funny, because I’m a software developer myself, although I’m working mostly in Web Development right now, but I have subscription models myself. I do agree it’s a more logical and good business model. My problem with it is that I find a lot of times when software companies go this route they make it way too expensive for what they are offering. They throw in things like 20GB of storage space for example. I don’t care about this. I got a computer, it has a hard drive. I make my own backups. I don’t need 20GB of storage. They throw in these things to make the product more appealing. To try to justify the price tag. $50 a month? That’s just insane. I’ll get more use out of spend $50 a month on a nice Virtual Server.

    I think the big problem is there isn’t enough incentive to the users that would buy the product and use it for several years before deciding they needed that upgrade. For example. Instead of charging per user. allow 3 users per subscription. Or lower the price so that it benefits the every year upgrade people even more than it does now. It will be still worth paying for the person that doesn’t want to upgrade every year, but they get it anyway. I think Adobe hasn’t really thought this out very far. If it was $25 a month I think a lot less people would be complaining. Yes I said half the price! Infact you would open the flood gates to people that don’t even really need the software. The price is so high because it’s an industry leading software. I personally think they would double or triple sales if the price was half.

    What will happen is people will keep using the older versions. Heck I’m still using CS4 and since I don’t focus on graphic design I have no reason to upgrade. CS4 does the job in 99% of cases.

    Reply

  44. howhowhow
    Oct 15, 2014 @ 12:10:48

    I’m a web designer, a programmer and ocassionally i do some graphic stuff mostly in vectors. The day Adobe tok over Macromedia i was crying, that was a sad day for creative people. Macromedia had best creative software light years ahead of anything crap Adobe was making and is still making today. I never liked Adobe, they are nubs in in every creative sense you can immagine. Money and art doesn’t fit togetner, Adobe is the proof. At the time Macromedia was bought out, they had best creative tools in the world, Freehand, X-Res, Fireworks, Flash, Director, Dreamwaver, Fontographer! Any of those was top notch – under Macromedia sky offcourse. And instead of making them even better, Adobe screwed any one of those splendid tools, one by one. Today Dreamweaver looks like piece of owerbloated crap, slow as hell, unusable. Freehand is defunct, Flash? no word for that catastrophe. Fireworks, the best tool in the world for fast screen prototyping was first screwed, than as of recently obsoleted. I will never buy anything Adobe again, i wish Macromedia comes to life again. Fck u Adobe

    Reply

  45. Jordan
    Dec 07, 2014 @ 14:59:37

    If we’re image creators who like/need Photoshop (I don’t know any decent substitute yet) let’s keep a current machine with the last OS that can run a non-subscription based copy of the software we need. If we need an updated machine for other things, then we’ll buy that one. But for creating the good, old IMAGES, which is the core of our profession…we’ll need the perfectly fine older machine until it works, and it will work for a very long time, possibly the rest of our lives. Even if they won’t, chances are newer machines will be able to run/emulate older software/OSes. Problem solved, as far as I’m concerned.

    For now I’m using Photoshop CS3 on a 2011 Mac. For a graphic designer/illustrator, this is way enough. Am I forgetting something? I think this will be enough for me to save me from the CC stupidity. Of course, each individual/organization has to find its own method. This “method” works for graphic designers and illustrators, whom shouldn’t NEED the newest version of Photoshop. For web design, a recent version of a program like Dreamweaver could be needed, but there are alternatives to that. For video stuff, updated have been needed to cover the HD transition, and maybe there’ll be more of those in the future. I’m sure I can find a replacement to After Effects as well – surely of Premiere – the first coming to my mind is Apple’s Motion.

    Someone here said that THIS IS THE FUTURE. Well, then Adobe might be making that future, because I don’t see even another greedy company like Autodesk going full stupid that quickly – you can still buy their software, if I’m correct, together witha subscription model. ADOBE SHOULD HAVE KEPT BOTH OPTIONS. Is Apple making subscriptions for their software? No. And you keep your files, you don’t have the creative cloud bullshit. “Cloud” is just a buzzword that creates way more problems than it solves – I think it’s stupid to go that direction enthusiastically. Fuck the future and let’s go back to basics, and to good sense, something that is completely being lost for the sake of greedy business. Yes, greedy business means stupid choices and stupid changes “innovations”. Not all changes are good, that’s a fact.

    Didn’t any big creative company complain to Adobe about their stupid new business model? This is what is needed. I suppose they didn’t or lost the confrontation. After all for a big organization, it’s not a big deal. Or maybe it is? They will pay more in the end, right? Chances are they should hate Adobe as well. Most companies I know care about doing their client work, and having the latest version of the software obviously isn’t the first priority. Updating is always a pain in the ass. But I don’t run a big company so maybe I’m misjudging something.

    Is Adobe’s model convenient to big design shops or advertising companies? Noone of those big guys – I don’t know, Kyle Cooper – seriously complained? Film studios, game companies – they all like teh subscription model?

    For my own needs, it’s garbage. I think for most individual freelance professional or small companies, it’s way more cost effective to buy once and thety usually don’t update fanatically. The CC bullshit forces you to update, I hate that. What if I prefer the older version….Adobe HAS to be boycotted. I know I am. But individuals are not listened…only big companies and big names can make a difference. Individuals in the creative fields will have to keep an old machine with old programs around, or change profession…personally, the only things I need are Photoshop and After Effects. I will be VERY HAPPY with old versions of those for the rest of my life, to produce my visual work. Actually, you know what, I hated Adobe since the “CS” bullshit. That’s when Adobe began to fall in quality. I would really like to use Photoshop version 5.0, the last one that made the significant change and actual workflow improvement of the history panel. I haven’t because a current OS can’t run it, and I needed to update the OS – something I don’t like doing unless the new OS offers an increase in SPEED, which they NEVER do – for things other than image production. Anyhow, CS3 running on a modern machine is tolerable.

    What REASON do I have to update my OS as well? To have the NOTIFICATION CENTER? I had to upgrade my OSX to be able to publish content on recent iOS devices, you are forced to do it and that annoys me as well. I deactivated most completely useless new functions, like the notification center. Not everyone has to like it. I don’t and I turn it off. This to prove, I am fine with keeping an old operative system as well – I use computers, aside from internet stuff, to MAKE IMAGES – and a working twenty years old machine is PERFECT for that, maybe BETTER. Having my computer infested with CLOUD and notification bullshit is to me a step BACKWARDS – period. These shopuld be made as OPTIONS, instead they are IMPOSED. Noone will impose anything on me ever, that’s the nature of the creative person. I impose my vision on others, never been the way around. The cloud and social obsessed companies will suck my cock for the rest of my life. I don’t need their services. I used computers since day one to make images that basically tell them to fuck off.

    People still use Windows XP or 7 (less Vista because it sucked) – even companies. It’s all about your individual needs – one doesn’t NEED to upgrade, that’s just business and one should boycott this upgrade insanity by not upgrading. Upgrades aren’t NEEDED. They’re just greed.

    The cloud doesn’t solve a problem. We were all fine keeping our files privately. Companies were and still are fine keeping their files in their own machines and drives, they don’t need fucking Dropbox which is more profitable to an individual or SMALL team – a big company should get its own servers.

    So, I would like to know if these new Adobe policies that only Adobe is doing in this fanatical way – all other software producers I know of SELL their products – haven’t annoyed a Kyle Cooper or big company/name in the creative industries. Is what Adobe is doing really advantageous for them?

    When Apple released the horrible Final Cut Pro X, many companies switched to, erm, Adobe Premiere or some other video editing software. I would have expected people strongly complaining to Adobe for their CC bullshit moves (since Photoshop is really unsubstitutable). I searched, and found this blog post.

    The people saying “that is the future, everyone will be doing it” should SHUT UP and not give the companies with some sense left ideas. Which fortunately seem to be the most part for now. For professional software, all other companies give you the option to buy!! Wait, in some cases it’s subscription model only, see the Unreal game engine. But for many reasons it makes way more sense there, while Adobe should really keep the buy and keep option. Else it’s really abuse and monopoly.

    Reply

  46. universalhead
    Dec 07, 2014 @ 17:13:41

    One of the problems we have as professionals Jordan, is that we don’t work in a vacuum, so soon (and I’ve already encountered this problem) we will be sent files by clients or colleagues that we can’t open.

    I think it’s safe to say that Adobe didn’t keep both options because they did the sums, and decided that they could weather the backlash until people had no choice and were forced to change, and still come out on top financially. This is one of the reasons I’m so annoyed about the situation, as it is so obviously calculated to ensure the future profits of the clunky behemoth that Adobe has become, yet their marketing department has gone into overdrive telling us how wonderful it will be for us. I’d probably respect them more if they were just honest about it: “the only way we can keep making shedloads of money is to occasionally bolt on crap you don’t need to these tottering programs in exchange for regular payments for life from our customers who have no choice but to use them, no matter how dated and clunky they get”.

    I have nothing against change, nothing against new features, nothing against evolution of software. But I do demand two things in return for my loyalty and money: quality and choice.

    Again, the time is ripe for a lean, mean, modern company to step in and make exceptional imaging software for the next generation. I’m waiting.

    Reply

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