Adobe’s Creative Cloud: Perception vs Reality

Let me start out by saying that I intentionally waited a few days before writing this post. There’s an awful lot of people typing with emotion instead of thought and I didn’t want to get too caught up in that. I’ve done a lot of reading and admittedly a little head scratching because of it. Frankly I think it’s much ado about very little. Before you scroll down to comment, please read the entire post to see why.

Adobe has gone all in with Creative Cloud. Do you really understand what that means?

Adobe has gone all in with Creative Cloud. Do you really understand what that means?

When Creative Suite 6 was released about a year ago Adobe customers were given a choice to buy the same software packages and applications they were used to buying (Production Premium, Design and Web Premium, etc) or to move to the subscription model, Creative Cloud. I was all for this. Creative Cloud would add some services unavailable to perpetual license holders such as unlimited DPS Single Edition Apps, a TypeKit subscription, 20 gigabytes of cloud storage and even the occasional new feature such as the very badly needed Illustrator packaging feature. It included the entire Master Collection and allowed for a very inexpensive entry into the use of the software. But to me, the most important factor was that new versions of the applications would be made available immediately upon release.

However, even with everything packed into Creative Cloud there were those that preferred the upgrade path to Creative Suite 6; whether to individual applications such as Photoshop or InDesign or to the various suites. A while back, with the writing clearly on the wall, I asked what it would take to move all users to Creative Cloud. In that post I guessed that we were two to three years away from this move. Given that my blog was only a month old at the time I was rather surprised at the number of comments that it got. Even more surprising were the number of what I felt were valid concerns over a subscription-only plan.

I think at this point I’ll define “valid” by telling you what I think is NOT a valid concern and that’s that the cost will skyrocket and the fear that once Adobe has us all hooked they’ll stop innovating. That is simply not the culture at Adobe.

So, what’s a valid concern? Managing multiple seats; security for education and government agencies; photographers who travel extensively with little or no internet availability; those with cyclical businesses, etc. If you are among those with those concerns, Adobe has addressed many of them in their Creative Cloud FAQ.

The Perception

We’re all used to paying monthly for cell phones, internet and cable tv. Not so much for our software. So, I’m seeing this more of a problem with perception than reality. Change is hard for many people but eventually we settle into it. You can’t find too many cell phone plans with unlimited data but we continue to use our cell phones. When was the last time you checked a bag for free at an airport or got a free meal on board? We’re not happy, we grumble and we move on. That’s simply what we, as consumers do.

So, what can you do if you’re unhappy about this? Well, you can go ahead and sign the petition at change.org but that petition is, in my opinion, inherently incorrect in this statement:

You should support this petition because Adobe is making their already expensive products even more expensive in the long run. Adobe is robbing small business, freelancers, and the average consumer. They do not seem to understand that every company is a not multi-national, multi-billion dollar corporation that has an infinite amount of resources.

The Reality

While Adobe software is certainly not cheap, when you consider the revenue producing potential in using it, it’s not all that expensive, either. There’s no such thing as a business that can be run for free and let’s not forget that Adobe eliminated upgrade pricing for all but the most current version. This makes comparisons in price between Creative Cloud and Creative Suite invalid unless you upgrade every version. Only with lower end suites (Design Standard) would the pricing come out favorable for upgrades. For those that want to use a perpetual license and not upgrade every version, CS6 will remain available and you can worry about it when the time comes. If you’re waiting every three-five years to upgrade now, what’s the problem?

What it comes down to is that Adobe produces the best software for creative professionals and developers and charges accordingly for it. I suspect one of the reasons so many are up in arms is because this is the one thing we can all agree on. Why else would people be upset?

I get it. You feel like your trust has been violated but what have you really trusted Adobe to do? For me, I’ve trusted them to produce tools that allow me to make a living and pay my bills. That hasn’t changed even though those tools will now be paid for on a subscription basis. I chose Creative Cloud over Master Collection and even if a CS7 perpetual license were available, I’d do the same.

I truly believe Adobe will continue to provide full value for their products. We’ll just pay for it differently. Or, you’ll choose to sit it out and watch what happens. But when you start getting inquiries from clients that need work done and you don’t have the necessary tools, you’ll lose the job. That’s not Adobe robbing you; that’s you making a poor business decision not to have the proper tools to serve your clients.

The closing statement makes the least sense of all. Even at the full price of $50/month any business should be able to afford Creative Cloud. Go ahead and flame me in the comments but if you can’t afford $50/month to stay in business, you’re in the wrong business.There are plenty of things you’re paying the same amount or even more for. Things like the aforementioned cell phone and internet. In some cities $50 won’t even buy you a lousy meal, never mind a good one. I know many people who spend more than that at Starbucks.

In reality, Creative Cloud offers an easy and affordable way for anyone to get the tools they need to get into and stay in business and it offers a wealth of extras you’d never get it with a perpetual license. Some of them, to recap, are:

  • Mac and Windows versions of Master Collection apps with all new versions automatically available on release (perpetual licenses are one or the other)
  • A Behance ProSite ($100/year)
  • 20 gigabytes of cloud storage
  • TypeKit subscription with desktop fonts coming soon ($50/year for the web fonts only)
  • Unlimited Digital Publishing Suite Single Edition apps ($395 each without a Creative Cloud subscription)
  • Edge tools
  • Muse
  • Five Business Catalyst websites
  • InCopy
  • Lightroom

Is everyone going to use all of that? No, but until Creative Cloud a freelancer looking to start out in business with only the Master Collection would be looking at at least a $2,500 outlay. That’s more than four years of Creative Cloud and includes every update along the way.  Even a photographer only interested in Photoshop would have to pay $1,000 for Photoshop Extended. A single Creative Cloud application is only $20/month. Again, more than four years to cover that and it doesn’t include upgrades. Creative Cloud is actually a great solution for just those this petition claims to be defending.

Is it Perfect? No!

Nothing is. There are things Adobe might have done and things I think they can still do to make this situation a bit more palatable. Let’s start with what they might have done and that’s given users a bit of an alert. Much like their notice of the end of upgrade pricing for anything other than current versions perhaps they could have released CS7 as the final perpetual license and given everyone a year to get used to the idea.

Because upgrade pricing would have only been available to CS6 license holders many CS5 and earlier owners might have voluntarily moved to Creative Cloud rather than spend up to $2,500 for a new perpetual license. More Creative Cloud subscribers and maybe less angry customers. In fairness, though, I have no idea what kind of work that would have been from an engineering standpoint and I’m quite confident that those yelling the loudest would still be yelling.

Hindsight as they say is 20/20 and the band-aid has been pulled off, so now what?

What can Adobe do now?

I think things are going to get tweaked as Adobe moves forward. They’ve already said they will offer an annual plan that will only “phone home” every 99 days. This should alleviate the very legitimate concern of those that travel a lot or have very limited internet access. Additional steps I think they could take are:

  • Change their minds and backtrack: They’ve done it before with their upgrade policies so it is worth throwing in here. That said, you can safely file it under “don’t hold your breath.”
  • Long term plans with incentives: Sign up for a year and pay for only 11 months. Two years and pay for only 21 months.
  • Some kind of out. Honestly, I don’t know the full engineering aspect but it would probably ease some concerns if Adobe could offer a three year plan that would provide a perpetual CS6 license to fall back on.
  • The right to temporarily suspend a subscription: The best analogy I have here is with cable or satellite tv. If you go on vacation for a month you can turn off your service and resume it when you get back. DirecTV will allow a service to be suspended for six months at a time. This would be a great idea for Creative Cloud.
  • Referrals: As hokey as it may sound, everyone loves to be thanked for a referral. Refer a friend and you both get a free month, an Amazon gift card or an extra 10 gigabytes of Cloud storage (get me up to 100 gigs and I can save $100/year on Dropbox). Why not?

Conclusion

Creative Cloud has been an unexpected success with more than half a million paid subscribers and 2 million more with free and trial subscriptions. I’ve always felt that while Adobe had planned an all subscription policy at some point, the high adoption rate convinced management to make that move now and save the work involved in maintaining two licensing methods. When I asked what it would take to move everyone to Creative Cloud some of you said they’d actually have to eliminate perpetual licenses completely.

Now that that day has come, will you move to Creative Cloud or will you sit it out with what you have? If you’re using CS5.5 or earlier, will you move to CS6? Assuming Adobe is not going to change this policy, and I don’t see that happening, will you explore alternatives? If so, what will you be looking at?

152 Comments

  1. Hi Bob.

    I was among the earlier commentators on your previous post (referenced above) who voiced a complaint, but not about the price — I complained about a bug in the service…. and you know what? They fixed it, and I did not have to wait until the next version came out.

    I think that we are going to see more and more software providers eventually doing the same as cloud computing becomes the standard. I chose to subscribe to the online version of Microsoft Office because of my experience with Creative Cloud, and am very pleased with my choice.

    As far as alternatives are concerned, as long as Adobe continues to integrate their software with itself and makes good on the original promise on which I joined (that their goal was to include ALL of their software in the Creative Cloud subscription), then I have no reason to discontinue the subscription.

    The 20GB online storage, however, is not a good deal. It’s a nice feature and it is functional if you can afford the time to use it (it takes an unrealistically LONG time to delete files from the archive), but it is extremely overpriced compared to Microsoft SkyDrive and Amazon Cloud.

    If I am going to upgrade my Creative Cloud storage to 100GB, I need to pay Adobe an additional $20 per month. That amounts to Adobe charging an additional $240 per year for 100GB of cloud storage for a total of approximately $840 per year . Amazon Cloud and Microsoft SkyDrive, however, charge a very realistic $50 per year for the same 100GB of online storage.

    If I keep my Creative Cloud subscription at the minimum rate, currently $49.99 per month, then that basically amounts to $600 per year. Adding an additional 100GB through SkyDrive and 100GB through Amazon increases my total annual amount to $700.

    I am agreement with you that $50 per month isn’t much, and that if a person can’t afford to pay that, then they are in the wrong business. However, I would personally prefer a monthly rate of $30 per month rather than $50 per month.

    I strongly feel that Creative Cloud is a step in the right direction. Like any first steps, there will be a few sways here and there, but eventually balance will be gained.

    Buck

    • I’m in total agreement on the storage. I think I even pointed that out in my earlier post. 100GB is where I’d like to see this. I have a Dropbox account I pay $100/year for and it would be great if I could kill that.

  2. Bob,

    One thing you haven’t looked at is the single edition membership in Creative Cloud. This has been a real benefit for me.

    I will be writing my book in InDesign CC. But Peachpit, my publisher, hires a freelancer to do the production of the book. She’s going to need ID CC.

    Peachpit doesn’t want to upgrade to CC yet. So she can’t get a copy from them.

    Fortunately, I can easily afford $20/month for the two months it will take her to do the production. I would never have been able to afford $700+ for a point product. Plus, if I had her deactivate the product after she was done with it, I’m stuck with software I don’t need.

      • Yes, I completely agree that InCopy should be included with the Creative Cloud subscription.

    • I think Sandee’s points about freelancer troubles are getting close to my own concerns.

      My company basically acts as a “freelancer” for all kinds of publishers, large and small. We do content development, design, production…whatever our clients don’t have the bandwidth or skills to do internally. When it comes to project specifics, we are at their mercy and they sure as heck don’t care what software versions WE prefer. If they are still in CS3 because they don’t want to buy a couple dozen upgrades for one tiny department, then I’m also stuck using CS3 when I work on their projects. If they’ve got their content locked in some awful CMS that only works in CS5 build x.y.z, then that’s what I’m using.

      So far, my biggest nightmare has been trying to buy OLD software. I had to ramp up for a monster rush job in CS5 recently. I busted out the checkbook some new hardware but when it came to the hardware I found that Adobe had no interest in selling me the licenses I needed for my new hires.

      I just can’t figure out how this CC stuff is going to impact ME. I’ve read through the discussions and a few people have gotten close to addressing my feelings, but I’m still not quite sure what to make of the situation. It seems to me that the little guys that can make the jump will do it immediately but those big, lumbering, old school publishers that are my bread and butter are going to drag their feet as always, and likely much worse now than ever before. Some miniscule amount of storage and a bunch of fonts that aren’t part of their corporate identity package certainly aren’t worthy of an upgrade.

      As always seems to be the case, I’m just going to have to sit here on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what my clients do. A few possibilities:

      A) Adobe will target the big publishers directly and make them offers they can’t refuse. They will all fall in line, all upgrade immediately, and my days of having to dredge up licenses and machines to run old software will be over.
      B) Nothing will change, I’ll never see a CC job because none of my clients will be able to justify the cost of upgrading past CS6, Adobe will cave, and we will go back to the normal old licensing model.
      C) Adobe will be unable to win over the big commercial clients, some “other” company will make them an offer they can’t refuse, and I’ll be forced to buy even MORE software. Just please god don’t be Quark. Ugh.

      Each of those seems ridiculous to me, yet none of them seems impossible. C is just plain terrifying.

      I’m going to stop worrying about it. For now, there’s nothing I can do about it.

      • Don,
        Great comments. Few of my clients will subscribe to the Creative Cloud and I have all the storage I need with the free version of Dropbox. I have all the Indesign versions including CS6 but I just designed a project for a great client who only has CS4. I remember when everyone thought it was great that Quark was knocked out of the game but the monopoly thing doesn’t work out well for the consumer.

      • Leslie, there’s no monopoly here. That said, if you have no need for anything past CS6, then don’t subscribe. But the subscription numbers are picking up and at last count there were more than 700,000 paying subscriber. Keep in mind that you have until the end of July to get the first year at $19.99/month with a CS6 license.

  3. My only real concerns are what happens to the casual user market and the new users market?

    Sure, a business ought to be able to afford an ongoing subscription, but there are a lot of users, like me, who are getting to the point in their careers where it’s time to cut back. If I want to stay current for the next couple of years I’m going to lose the ability to do the occasional odd freebie (especially a file update) when I finally quit the rat-race unless I continue to pay for a subscription I’ll use only occasionally or I fork over the fee for a single month jut to be able to reopen a file. (and I don’t pay for cell phones or have fancy TV plans because I don’t need them, and I don’t hang out at Starbucks). The alternative is to freeze at CS6 and forget any new features that may come along.

    And what of the new crop of designers that’s about to graduate? If they don’t shell out for a CS6 perpetual license (that they don’t need) will they be stuck forever? Can we really count on Adobe maintaining backward compatibility to CS6 in ten or twenty years or more (and Adobe continuing to sell the CS6 perpetual license forever)?

    Bob, I’m a little curious how you would feel if you were a carpenter or a plumber and suddenly were told you’d have to pay rent for your hammer or pipe wrench? I consider the Adobe applications to be the tools of my trade, and I’ve made a habit of purchasing those, not renting, them, and I think many businesses would agree.

    • Fair points, Peter.

      If I were carpenter (I’ll never get that out my head now) and I paid monthly but got every single new tool as well as free repairs, I think I’d be good with it. That’s the problem with trying to compare this to something that you can hold in your hand or see.

      Someone else said it was like Honda forcing you to rent a car. That’s fine if I got a new car every year, got to keep the old ones and was supplied with free gasoline and maintenance. It’s really about knowing exactly what you’re going to be spending every month.

      As for the person just starting out, I disagree with you. For that person, to get into this and buy all of this stuff as a perpetual license (if it were available) would be looking at somewhere between $2,000 and $2,500. As I said in the post, it would take 4 years of paying for Creative Cloud and that doesn’t include the extras or the upgrades.

      • Bob, let’s look at this a little differently, but still in the vein of my carpenter’s tools (which to me are a pretty good comparison — I used them to build a finished product, just as I do with Adobe’s tools). Some tools, like my hammers, don’t change a lot over time, so I don’t need to upgrade, though I’m sure I own a lot more of them than you do. My routers, on the other hand, are pretty basic. I could buy models with fancier speed controls if I need that for a project, and I can buy different cutting tools to do special tasks, but I’m not forced to pay a subscription to to have access to the one or two improvements I might actually use out of hundreds that are brought to market each year. I get to pick and choose.

        And if I think something is worth the cost I’ll spend whatever the price happens to be — once.

        Sandee, many of us started out on reduced price Adobe software (my first scanner came with a bundled Photoshop 5 and I bought my first copy of Pagemaker as a student for peanuts). There is still reduced pricing for students. My concern is that, in fact, in short order CS6, even if it becomes free, will not be adequate to do the work someone might want to do after using CC. It’s not just me I’m thinking about, but my former students who are a long way from quitting.

        Yes, the cloud is an EXCELLENT value for anyone making their living using the tools who would keep up to date anyway, but there is no exit strategy, and I think that’s a major mistake. I’d be a WHOLE LOT happier if one could convert a subscription to a permanent license, frozen in time if necessary, for a reasonable additional fee after some number of paid months so that Aunt Tillie can edit her book in three years when the first edition has become a cult classic and she wants to fix the typos.

    • Peter,

      If all you want to do is

      , you really don’t need anything more than CS6. And that you can buy with a perpetual license.

      And what do you care if you’re missing some new features such as the “make coffee in the morning” command that make show up in InDesign CC several years from now? You’re only doing the occasional odd freebie and you’ve quit the rat race.

      The only thing that would worry me, if I were in your shoes, would be for how long Adobe will continue to sell CS6 perpetual licenses.

      • Hi Peter,

        You may be interested to know that Adobe is looking at solutions for not losing access to your work if you end your membership… and is welcoming suggestions.

        Also, a brief comment on international pricing. Most folks looking at the high level forget about taxes. Taxes are never included in quoted prices in the US, and are 7-10% additional — whereas VAT is always included in quoted prices in Europe, and typically runs 20% and higher. That doesn’t account for all of the price difference, but at least makes the comparison more balanced.

    • I agree with Peter’s comments about cutting back and wanting to be able to make minor changes to prior projects. I also work part-time for a print distributor that needs to be able to deal with customer files, and also with vendors that are slow to adopt to new technology. The Adobe rep. that I talked to couldn’t tell me if I’d be able to save backward for some vendors, and if some clients would be able to save backward for us. Add to that the fact that we chose, as a matter of business fiscal planning, to buy the upgrade 6 months ago rather than move to the subscription model. Now they are informing us (read: strong-arming) into moving to the subscription model. After having bought the upgrade, they now want us to pay (essentially) double to move to the subscription. Frankly, I’m pissed about their change of plans with the move to the subscription model. They keep trying to tell me that I’d save money, but that’s when you overlook the fact that we’ve already paid for the upgrade. It’s like being forced to rent the car after having already bought it. And no, it’s not like paying for the oil changes and gasoline.

      • Hi Steve, Nobody is forcing you into Creative Cloud. If CS6 fits your needs then stick with it. This nonsense about being strong armed into anything is laughable.

  4. I own a very successful graphics, web, and illustration business and we won’t be supporting the new Adobe cloud monthly model without having the option of the perpetual license. There are plenty of other good software alternatives out there.

    We don’t rely on just one software company to provide us with the tools to get the job done. That would be bad business.

    Forcing people to sign up to the cloud monthly payments is not good business and I would not trust a company with that much power to control people’s pockets and businesses without giving them the option of a perpetual license if they want to go that route. Using only Adobe products puts you in a position to only depend on them. Their pricing, their document formats, their policies, even their existence. Not that Adobe will, but what if they were to go out of business, what would you do? Its good to have options and use other software.

    It’s not all about the money. Its about taking away our CHOICES. That’s what Adobe did. They took away a very important choice. The perpetual license.

    • Thanks for chiming in Willie. Even though we disagree you’re certainly entitled to run your business any way you see fit. Just so you’re clear, CS6 will still be available as a perpetual license indefinitely.

      Now, to answer your question. I try not to worry about things like Adobe going out of business. I strongly suspect that should that day ever come, I will be long gone.

      I am genuinely curious though about these alternatives you alluded to.

      • My pleasure to be here Bob. I won’t get offended if you don’t agree with my views. Some people will and some people won’t. We all have our opinions and that’s OK. I respect that.

        Just to clarify, I did not say that Adobe will be going out of business. I used that analogy as an example. I could have said any other business name on my example. The important point about my comment is not to be slave to just one software company. It’s a big mistake in my opinion. Especially if you are not just a hobbyist and you are a pro designer.

        Yes, and we will continue to use our CS6 master suite as needed for now, but using our other software exclusively as the main workflow. So far so good! 🙂 We want to gradually stop using Adobe software due to the recent announcement of discontinuing the perpetual licenses on future products.

        I can sit here and write down list after list of good software available, but I don’t have the time right now. If you don’t know what else is out there, you need to do your homework. It can only open your eyes and do you good, even if you only use Adobe software. I did my homework and I am happy I did.

        Best Wishes and keep creating! 🙂

    • For this interested in Photoshop alternatives, take a look at a cross platform app called PhotoLine.
      You download a demo on their website.
      You can also run the same 3rd party plug-ins that you use with photoshop within PhotoLine. You can pick it up for a fraction of the cost of Photoshop.

  5. Hi Bob,
    thanks for taking the time to respond and the patience you have regarding these emotional reactions.
    From a business standpoint I understand Adobe’s decision very well, and I do see advantages in this system, alas there are also some issues that need considering.
    I am not completely comfortable with the comparison between cell-phone subscription plans and the use of the Adobe package, mainly because there are many carriers we, as customers, can choose from. This, unfortunately, is not the case with the software from Adobe, there are too few competitors who can really offer us any real alternatives. This has been the case for many years, and is actually not a good thing. This is of course not really Adobe’s problem, but it gives us not really an idea of fairness; if you say, you can always choose another program, this is simply not so, if only we already have many thousands of Indesign files for instance.
    The graphic design market is pretty saturated and with current economic times the motivation to upgrade, current investment climate is practically sub-zero, and although we certainly could afford 400 dollars (for 5 seats) a month, we absolutely will not, there is no way to tell our customers we raise our prices, certainly not for software. Our VAT has risen here in the Netherlands, but raising our prices would be suicide.
    Another thing that bothers me, a lot, is that we, as graphic production centre, are only interested in the Design Standard apps (Indesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat), going for the subscription model is not in our advantage, as our production currently is in CS5.5, we have 2 CS6 licenses for opening and editing of client files. We have no need for the whole CC package, and this ‘all or nothing, or only one’ is not a good deal. How many people really bought the Master Collection?
    And 20Gb space, Behance (whatever that is) and such… not very appealing, we already have 5Tb, we just want to do our work and keep doing it…
    And last, but certainly not least, why do we have to pay 60% more than US customers? We in Europe are already being punished for using Adobe software, but now, with centralized systems, and English-Language software (which we use) we still have to pay much more?
    We as a business have used Adobe software since 1991, and are, and have been, very satisfied with it, for now we don’t see any need for going the CC road.

    • I chuckled at w.m.’s joke about “Behance (whatever that is) . . .” because that was exactly my thought a couple of days ago when I saw it mentioned as a benefit. TypeKit is something I haven’t heard of either.

      I will go to the site to learn a bit more, but I don’t have a whole lot of need to upload things I am working on to get the opinion of others as I go, which is my base understanding of at least one of the benefits to Behance. My clients do that and their opinion is what matters.

      So I guess my initial problem is I AM one of those with CS6 Design Standard. Most of my work is covered with those applications. I do wonder what will happen down the line with files that are made as part of InDesign CC and will they be compatible with CS6 ID. Or will it be what happens now, with the ID CC user need to make some IDML type file to hand to me with CS6? As we all know ID is very version sensitive. Try handing your CS6 file to someone (admittedly a person behind the times) with just CS3.

      It has made me go to Quark’s website for the first time since leaving it and going to CC when it started. A lot of choices we all have to make.

      Storage in the cloud, BTW on this point, the 100Gb. First is it r-e-a-l-l-y cloud storage that takes that 100Gb out of my harddrive or is it like Dropbox that does allow cloud transfer, but essentially still keeps the 100Gb on my MAC the whole time? It really is pretty cheap to buy external hard drives . . .

      Tom

      • I have to use Quark from time to time, and also have to convert files (that is why we also have CS4 with Markzware’s Q2ID, another pricey upgrade, so open the Quark 6 file in CS4, save it and then open it in 5.5), if you are used to InDesign, you will not like Quark.. and I certainly don’t want to.
        What I notice a lot, is this issue of sharing and cooperating that gets built in software, I am wondering if this is something many people want or need? We are a printing company, that create a lot of publications, receive client PDF, and print this on our presses and such, but we only ever send pdf’s as proof to our clients, or certified PDF to third-party firms.
        Many of the things that get named, like Behance, Typekit and such are totally uninteresting for us, but others can probably see the benefits. There are moment I wished that we could get a kind of Indesign with separate modules, that you can choose which items you need, and which you don’t. I do feel a lot of stuff in Indesign, Photoshop and Illustrator never gets used. That is perhaps a kind of complaint too with CC, we get all those pretty bells and whistles, like ‘it is just like buying the Master Collection’, but there was a reason we never bought the Master Collection, we never wanted it.

      • Why chuckle when you don’t know what it is? There is a lot of work out there that is going to require more than you get with Design Standard. One DPS Single Edition app will pay for the year of Creative Cloud all by itself.

        What if you need to bang out a quick website? Muse can do a real good job with that very quickly. Just something to think about.

  6. Thanks for the comments, W.M.

    Pricing outside of North America has been an issue for as long as I remember. I don’t find it all that fair, either. As for whether to move to CC, that’s a decision that only you can make, but the good news is that you can keep using what you have for as long as works for you and see what happens when the need arises.

  7. Bob,
    I am an early adopter of CC, and I agree with all your “pro” points. My first reason to join the Cloud was unlimited Single Edition DPS and extra apps.
    For all those who are concerned with loosing access to their archived work after quitting subscription one thing could be offered: new Super Acro, available free from the cloud, which could allow opening, printing, and some basic manipulationo of ID, PS and Ai files, including layers and layer comps.

  8. From a pure pricing standpoint this will be a disaster for my office. At $70/user/month for CC and then 50 licenses of InCopy at $20/user/month we are looking at an annual cost of over $20,000/year. In January we paid $4,700 for maintenance packages for all of our Adobe software. So this is a huge cost increase for us, plus we didn’t get any upgrades from our investment earlier this year.

    An Adobe salesperson explained the difference between CC and CC Team to me and made it clear that buying regular CC would be an administrative nightmare for us. So I am happy that Adobe is thinking of enterprise users (we are actually SMB) but an extra $20/user/month over the regular plan? A positive spin is that Adobe is providing a price advantage to its smallest customers.

    I believe some people will benefit from the CC pricing. We won’t. We cannot upgrade InDesign or InCopy right now beyond CS6 because our K4 workflow solution will not work with it. I figure that I have until at least January to see how this situation settles down.

    And as to the space in the cloud? I’m not sure we even want it, we want our staff working on our internal resources, we have VPN for remote users. I do think we could use the cloud storage for photographers on site and possibly for non-staff photographers and illustrators, but that is not a selling point forus.

    • Interesting point about the storage. I really think that the individual freelancer or very small group would benefit more from the larger storage amounts than firms such as yours would.

      Thanks for commenting.

  9. Well… I am not happy about this. But, as a freelance graphic designer, what choice do I have? Going back to school and become an accountant???? And what about clients who own CS3 and don’t need to upgrade? What will I do to deliver files they can open?

    Yes of course I am making money with those softwares. But that’s not the case of every Adobe software users… Would have been nice to have a choice, at least.

    Any way I think of it, I have no choice… This is where it hurts the most.

    • Your choice is to stick with CS6. Even with that trying to go back to CS3 is going to be a crapshoot depending up which app your talking about.

      Intro pricing is very attractive so as the old commercial said “try it, you’ll like it.”

  10. Let me tell you what happen in my country about CC.
    We just have access to Creative Cloud for Teams right now, and the people who complains here are the people who NEVER pays for their software (Can’t you believe it?)…
    But one of my big clients adopt the solution immediately after seeing the dashboard to control the users in the Team Edition, the choice to install the “new features and tools” after Adobe releases and the 100 Gb of storage per user.
    They now explores new possibilities of creation with tools like Muse and Edge Animate.
    And for the money… well… they saves like $10k per year in software licenses.
    As the first CC user in Central America I’m so happy with the system.
    P.S. Adobe pays attention to Bob about InCopy in the CC. JAJAJA Good job!

    • Carlos,
      The idea that the people that don’t like the new Adobe forced cc model don’t pay for software is not true. A lot of us do and have for many years. Lets get that straight.
      It’s OK for people not to like the cloud forced model. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
      Besides, what we really don’t like is that Adobe took away CHOICE, leaving a lot of unhappy customers mad. Is that simple.

      • The idea that the people that don’t like the new Adobe forced cc model don’t pay for software is not true. A lot of us do and have for many years. Lets get that straight.
        Agree, but I’m talking just about my country (is a particular case).
        I know some comercial (or strategic) decisions are not popular. Sometimes happens 🙁

  11. Hi, Bob!
    I wonder how the CC will be a problem for 3rd party plug-in developers or scripters, if every now and then new features will come out. Especially enhancements for existing features. Will they break the plug-in or the script?
    How will that scenario work out for version control?

    I guess we will have to wait and see.

    Uwe

    • Some plug-in developers, like Topaz and OnOne software, have develop their own app to run the plug-ins without the need of photoshop. We use these. They work great! We can do advanced image retouching and masking without the need for Photoshop.

    • Uwe,
      as a freelance dev of PS scripts/extensions (not plugins, out of my reach, and not my first job but just a nice way to get some extra incomes) there are pros and cons.
      On one hand, to stabilize supporting (CS6 + CC) * (Mac + PC) = 4 versions, is way way better than:
      (CS6 + CS7 + CS8 + CS9) * (Mac + PC) = P.I.T.A.
      On the other hand, nothing excludes that a supported feature can get into troubles with one .x version, so each time a new CC update is released (how frequently I can’t say), we’ve to keep on guard and test.

      Hopefully (and recent MAX conference did shed some light on that) the extensibility layer could get a fair share of resources in the future, and evolve. Time will tell.

      Personally, I’m not excited by the subscription as the only option, nor by the Creative Cloud offer as a whole. Yet as a service provider and PS-centric professional (post-production, pre-press) I’ve to embrace it.
      I will decline the Creative Cloud offer, and I’m going to get the single product subscription for Photoshop only.

      • Hi Davide and welcome back to the conversation. I must admit, that I don’t envy the developers or scripters but OTOH this a big opportunity for those that can and do keep up.

        I hope you’ll be among that group.

        Good luck!

  12. I am happy with the transition to the CC, but have trouble defending it to colleagues who present this argument: “I’m a photographer and all I use is Photoshop. A single-edition CC costs $240/yr, but upgrades typically cost only $200. I’m already losing. Add to that the fact that we don’t upgrade annually, but about every 18 mo as new editions come out, and that lowers our annual upgrade price to about $130. Now we’re forced to pay 2x the price. And that’s assuming we upgrade every edition, and not every other edition as many photographers do…”
    Another concern is that if you try CC and then abandon it later, how do you know that you’ll be able to open files created in a newer version of the software with your older perpetual version?

    • They obviously have every right to their opinion, just like you or I do. But there are a couple of things that they are probably over looking. First, the new upgrade policy that was in effect (up until CC only anyways). It essentially took away all incentive to skip versions to save money. They may not have been affected by this yet if they were still using CS4 or earlier, but that doesn’t mean they can just pretend like that policy wasn’t in affect, they would have been hit with it next time they upgraded. Second, Adobe moved to an annual release schedule.

      Those two things move the prices much closer together- $240 vs $200. That said it is still more expensive, just not quite as bad as they are telling you, and possibly easier for them to stomach.

      • Thanks for adding your voice, NK.

        And that policy was put in place along with a 12 month cycle, not 18 months.

  13. One of the reasons we still work on CS5.5 is the need for the HP Smartstream plugin for Indesign. Upgrading to CS6 costs us 750 euro per seat! Ridiculous!
    There will probably be more plugin issues (font-management for instance) in the coming months.

    • w.m.,

      Stay with CS5.5. There’s nothing wrong with it. And it obviously is working well for you.

      There will come a time when you have new equipment or operating systems that will require a newer version of the software.

      If Adobe is still sellingthe perpetual license for CS6, you will need to buy it at the expensive price.

      If Adobe is not selling CS6, you will be forced to go to the CC. Or you can’t upgrade your hardware/operating system.

      You’re not without options.

      You’re just stuck in time.

  14. Hi Bob
    I joined the Creative Cloud in January because of the unlimited Single Edition DPS and because I wanted to use Muse for my website instead of Dreamweaver. Although there have been some really valid points made above, I’ve no problem with CC and guess it’s just the way things are going.

  15. I have been using CC since Jan. I am a student and the cost for CS6, even at student pricing, was more than I had available to spend. Having the option of CC was a good choice for me.

    I see it as another monthly subscription that I will continue. Grumble as much as you want. I try to fly Southwest exclusively because I am not afforded the privilege of having to pay for my bags.

    I was a Virgin America fan, until they decided the baggage fees was another source for profit. The baggage fees, might I remind you were, to help cover the cost of higher fuel costs. And as we all know the cost of fuel has decreased but the baggage fee has stayed with us.

    I will continue on with Adobe CC and fly Southwest, too. What I don’t spend on my bags flying will cover the cost of my Adobe subscription.

  16. Bob, Thank you for the well written article that showcases both the pros and cons. I signed up on day 1 a year ago and am still happy I did. Like you said, it isn’t perfect and there are things that can be done to improve it, but I am happy with the product. Top of my list is an exit strategy of some sort. Beyond that, my list doesn’t have anything to do with CC or even the apps. I would like to see Adobe acting a bit more responsible in how they handle their customer service, technical support, and general transparency in answering questions when they are asked.

  17. Thanks for the kind words, NK. I’m impressed by the overall tone of the comments here even from those that are opposed to Adobe’s decision. I’ve seen some pretty heated arguments on other blogs and forums.

    Sadly, customer service is just not all that great anywhere. It’s not just Adobe.

    • Let me say again, thank you for the effort you put in your reactions (also from John Nack by the way).
      Although for now we will not go forward, we will be watching with interest and following all the debate.

    • I don’t agree. There are some companies that give great customer service. Even still, who cares? The focus here is on Adobe. We are talking about a large group of creative people who earn their living using this software and Adobe has decided to change the rules. Change is good, but having a choice is part of good customer service. I don’t think this is a smart business decision for Adobe. Allowing people to choose to move to the subscription model would have been a more strategic and elegant move. Forcing this creates the perception of control, greed, and the illusion that their products are not replaceable. Never a good presumption. Everything is replaceable. Everything.

      • Hi Maria,

        You’re right…this about Adobe. They’ve made a business decision just as you will have to make a business decision. But Adobe has, as you’ve put it, changed the rules before. They’ve changed upgrade policies, suite packages, and product cycles. This is just another change in the way they choose to conduct their business. As I’ve pointed out already, I don’t know if it’s the right one or not. Only time will tell.

        Thanks for reading and joining in the conversation.

  18. Nicely stated Bob, and good to see some sensible comments rather than the hype everywhere else. I thought we were a couple of years away from it too. I’m still hoping for customer-friendly tweaks. Photographers have certainly been hit hard by this, as many are enthusiastic hobbyists and even the pros have been used to skipping versions.

  19. What concerns me most:

    1. A reliable exit strategy
    2. Version mismatch between me and my clients over the time
    3. Forseeable problems with 3rd party plug-ins and/or scripts over the time

    Let me focus on InDesign CC only:

    Item 1:
    Ok, we have IDML as export format, which is not perfect (nothing is):
    Adobe should make it better. That means that InDesign CS6 should be updated on the IDML import constantly to deal intelligently with new features introduced with InDesign CC. At this time, I cannot see a comitment by Adobe to do so. They promised bug fix version of CS6 in the future, but this is not the same thing.

    Just an example, what can go wrong with IDML:
    Import a table from Excel with more than 200 columns to InDesign (InDesign’s limit for creating table columns right now) is possible. Export that to IDML, open it in the same version of InDesign and your table is completly gone. The IDML import function cannot deal with that.

    A better IDML import would do something about that: warn the user for instance. That is not the case right now. Or it would convert that table to two tables…

    I will not expand on that further (however, I could do that with other examples).

    Item 2:
    If I get that right, a user of CC can decide not to have the latest and greatest version of InDesign CC and stay with an older feature set.
    How will that work out for collaboration? (Also see me concerns with IDML at Item 1)
    How will plug-ins behave, how can I as a scripter make sure, I have have a fallback strategy on features that are not present in a snapshot version of CC? These issues aren’t adressed by Adobe right now. If they are, please point me to them.

    If a new feature set will come out, do I always have the possibility to test it and revert to an older snapshot? At any given time? To any snapshot version previously released? That would be very important for me, because my customer or colleague could use a plug-in that is not suited for the current snapshot and refuses to update immediately until a newer version of his plug-in is released. Will we still rely in IDML to exchange files?

    Item 3:
    Steady new snapshots of InDesign CC will make it harder (or impossible) for plug-in developers to develop. Maintaining the software could develop into a nightmare. The same applies for scripts.

    Uwe

    • Honestly, Uwe, I don’t see anything in all of that from a user standpoint that’s any different than it is now. Anyone on a collaborative workflow using InDesign has to be on the same version to avoid headaches. That’s simply the way it is and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

      As for the developers, you’d have to ask them about their feelings on all of this, because it’s way out of my area of expertise.

      • Bob, I just got the uneasy feeling that if I have to deal with various customers and colleagues and switching files back and forth, I’m not able to get the exact same version of InDesign CC they have. Otherwise I will break the workflow…

        Is the following an unlikely scenario?
        Surprise! My customer got an older snapshot and cannot update due to a specific plug-in that is not ready for the new features and we have to exchange IDML instead of Indd files. Ok, I am sending an e-mail or have a chat: “I’m on InDesign CC v9.0.3 build 666, you are on InDesign CC v9.0.2 build 333. What to do now? Ok. I switch over to your build, but wait a few minutes, I have to see if this one is still available!”.

        And that is just one customer out of several ones with more different versions…

        Uwe

  20. I live in Uruguay. Creative Cloud cost here not U$S 50 per month. Here cost U$S 100 per month. Why? Because wr`re in the last world. This is not a Cloud is an umbrella over some countries.

  21. I’m going to confess. Before I had my cc subscription, I was one of those people who either scammed copies of Ai/Ps/Id or bought a computer with it already on. This I know is really illegal and I know by confessing this, I will be very open to flack, but I just could not afford to buy the perpetual licences for Adobe software. Now with my CC I am a bone fide Adobe customer and I really love the fact I’m not scamming anyone anymore. My subscription rate in the UK is around the equivalent of $75 per month but because I’m UK vat registered, it works out to about $50. The world of Adobe really has opened everything up to me. Lots of clients ask for digital publishing, I can do that. They can ask for websites, even though I’m not a code monkey, I can provide this service. CC has come at a great time, but I wish it came sooner. Great article Bob, but In my case, you’re preaching to the converted! X

    • I’ve read many comments about this being all about piracy. From a technical standpoint that is incorrect. You have to download the installer anyway and once that’s available nothing changes.

      What does change is the price. It’s so cheap now that to risk running a malware infected version makes no sense and that holds especially for students who now have an entry point of $19.99/month.

  22. I know this blog and many others are very US-centric, but sometimes it would be nice to acknowledge that the majority of people don’t live in the US 😉
    Wish we could pay the US prices…
    Still hoping for the day that Fahrenheit and Inches belong to the past 😉

    • I think I did mention it in an earlier comment. While I can certainly see different pricing, some countries just seem unfairly high. I don’t have an answer for you, unfortunately.

      As for the metric thing, all of the wine I buy comes in 750ml bottles…so there’s that. 🙂

  23. @Uwe, I think you’re way overthinking this now. Worrying about things down to the build level is bit too much,IMO. There are plenty of people who don’t know to patch InDesign when bug fixes are released and workflows don’t get broken there. I suspect the same will happen here.

    Remember, if it comes down to it, anyone can subscribe on a month to month basis so if several people need the same version, they can all sign up for a month or two and get the job done.

    • I think that perhaps the best solution will be to give customers the chance to buy a ‘perpetual’ licence after a given time, say for instance at least two years. In that case you are certain that whatever happens you can always open your saved files.
      Personally I don’t think the new builds will be suddenly very different, every 12 months there will be a new ‘build’, I agree that at this point too much overthinking is counterproductive. A lot can change, thanks to this blog and many others, our questions are heard 😉

    • Why should be have to subscribe on a month to month basis just to please Adobe’s way of doing business. This is ridiculous. Who is the customer her Adobe or us? Adobe should be the one pleasing us.

      • All I was saying, Willie, is that it is possible, for very little investment to make sure several people all have the same software for only a limited time. Think of the agency that gets a big job and needs to hire two freelancers for two months. For $300 (75/month for each) they can provide them with all the tools then need instead of spending $5000 for two perpetual licenses to Master Collection.

        It’s a business and that youtube video has done nothing to change my mind any more than any other conspiracy theory video has. And you NEVER OWN software. You license it.

        This software belongs to Adobe. If you want to license it for use, then do so. If you don’t want to, nobody is holding a gun to your head.

      • Bob,
        The video was not to make you change your mind. You obviously won’t and that’s ok.
        The video was to help other people wake up to the nonsense of the Adobe forced cloud model.
        It think the video has a lot if good points and many others will also agree.

    • @Bob – It’s very likely that I really overthinking that too much.

      But the real reason for this is the lack of information by Adobe. I wish there would be more transparency of the politics implied with the CC business model. And that is leading to (maybe too) much speculation everywhere around. Just the EULA and some FAQs are not enough.

      There should be something like a roadmap for every product when and where we can expect what. An open dialog with the users. I saw something like that with the Heidelberg User Group more than 15 years ago: every year Heidelberg was inviting its organized users to meetings where the developers reported and discussed new features, the implementation schedule and took notice for the demand of the attendees. A very encouraging attitude. The results were brilliant.

      For the point product issues I foresee or like to anticipate, there should be an offical statement, not only comments by Adobe staff whirling around in some forums and blogs. That would reestablish confidence in Adobe that the Creative Cloud would be a success. With success I mean not only for Adobe, but a real benefit for every user or most of the current users of perpetual licences.

      • @Uwe Laubender
        Very eloquent comments. Thanks for your input.
        The lack of information from Adobe is a clear example on how Adobe doesn’t really care about the customers. They must be busy figuring out how to keep brainwashing us into believing that the forced cloud subscriptions is the way to go. All they care is about themselves and what they can get out of us. This is very clear by now.
        Little did they know that the customers are actually very smart and the we are not going to put up with their forced subscription nonsense and that we have plenty of good options to use other software. A good company with the interest of the customers in mind would have reached out to us by now.

      • Uwe, I think the one of the ideas behind Creative Cloud is to not have a carved in stone road map. With CC, Adobe is free to add a feature or upgrade one at any time it’s needed. The days of the 18 month upgrade cycle are gone.

        That said, yeah, they could be doing a better job of communication, but I think there are a lot of users out there that simply refusing to listen. It’s a “ready, fire, aim” mentality from users that think they have some God-given right to perpetual upgrades for their software.

        Things change. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not, but they do change. How this will work out, only time will tell.

  24. Bob, the issue for me is not cost, it’s an ethic. When my work is saved in an Adobe proprietary format (.psd for Photoshop as an example) and the subscription has expired, that file becomes inaccessible because the program needed to open the file can no longer be opened. It’s a way of holding my own work and my own files “hostage” on my own machine! The only way to prevent this is to maintain a subscription – forever. That’s not only unethical, but may even be legally questionable. It’s downright arrogant of Adobe to do this to us long standing, loyal customers. I don’t have a problem with the cost – it works out about the same either way. I have a problem with Adobe’s attitude of entitlement.

  25. Hi Kristine and thanks for commenting.

    Your files remain yours, just like your cell phone remains yours. Stop paying that bill and it’s not very useful. You can buy a one month subscription at any time and it would pay to save your files, depending upon the application, of course, as a universal format such as PDF or TIF.

    I do however disagree strongly with you as far as legalities. Adobe is not a monopoly and you are not required to use their tools. There are alternatives, they’re just not as good.

    • I disagree, there are plenty of good alternatives. Just as a quick example, a great alternative to photoshop is “PhotoLine”. Not only is it good, but its cross platform and you can even use photoshop plugins with it. Corel also has a lot of good products, etc. many great alternatives out there. You just need to do your homework.

      • That’s my point, Willie. There are plenty of alternatives and many of them are good ones. That’s why I disagreed about the legal aspect of this. You have a choice.

      • @Bob
        With all due respect Bob, and I do respect your views,
        what you said was “There are alternatives, they’re just not as good.”
        This statement cannot be further from the truth. There are very good choices and in some cases even better with a more competitive price. What may not be good for you, is excellent for other people. Everyone has different needs.
        Yes, Adobe software is good, but is not the only good somewhere available.
        It’s time to fire Adobe and seriously look at other great options.

      • Willie: Cnet does not recommend PhotoLine. Yes there are other alternatives, it depends on your needs and skill levels.

  26. As a self employed graphic and glass artist I use Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Acrobat, Fireworks and Bridge on a daily basis. I would like to learn more about the other products, but haven’t had the time. I do own CS6, but find the subscription enticing. I can have everything I’ll ever need for $600 or so a year, less than 25% of the full Master Collection, I currently have. I am intrigued by the font/type families that will be available. I want to learn more about that. I agree with everyone that more storage is better. One can never have too much storage. I also agree with the model of refer a client to them, get more space. I have that with DropBox and have about maxed out. I’m a hard sell on change. (I can be rather entrenched) But I’m warming to this whole idea. It does make cash flow a bit of an issue… my cash ebbs and flows. So paying more on months when I have it and less when I don’t would be something I’d like to look at. Good article.

  27. Willie, the point is that there are choices. As consumers we get to talk with our wallets. As for your response to Uwe, I wouldn’t agree “The lack of information from Adobe is a clear example on how Adobe doesn’t really care about the customers.”

    I would however have to say that they could be doing a better on the communication side of things.

    Finally, there is no FORCED UPGRADE to anything. You keep saying there are better alternatives and then insist you’re being forced into something. It’s one or the other but it can’t be both.

    • @Bob
      Where is the communication? Please post a link here so that we can all benefit from this communication from Adobe.

      I think you are missunderstanding my point a little.
      Let me clarify what I mean by being FORCED into the Adobe cloud subscriptions.
      If you are an Adobe software user, and you want to continue using the products but don’t like or want to do the cloud monthly subscriptions ( because Adobe took away the perpetual license ), then you ARE being FORCED into subscribing and making monthly payments whether you like it or not. This is of course, if you want to keep using Adobe products. Adobe took away CHOICES. If there are no choices for Adobe software models, then you are being FORCED to subscribe.

      If you decide NOT to use Adobe software, then YES, there are plenty of great options out there. And you are not being forced into anything. A lot of people will be going this route.

      Some people however, like “Video Professionals”, have fewer choices than Graphics, Illustration, and Web people. In this case they ARE BEING FORCED into the cloud subscriptions, because they don’t have many choices. Even if they don’t want or like the CC. After all, they have to run their businesses. Some lucky ones will find alternatives to use for there video workflow, and some may not. It all depends on their workflow and jobs that they do. I know this because I know people in the video industry with this dilemma.

      I hope this clears things out as to that I mean by FORCED Cloud Subscriptions. Adobe took away CHOICE. There is only one way to do business with Adobe if you want to. That’s CC subscriptions. One single choice.

      Cheers

      • In the same context you used to be forced to buy a perpetual license even if you only needed the software for a school course or a temporary assignment. People bitched and moaned about that, too. People like to bitch and moan…some more than others, of course. 🙂

        At this point, I think we’ll just agree to disagree and let the numbers of subscribers speak for themselves.

      • @Bob
        We were not being forced to buy perpetual license. That is a better model to sell software. It has worked for many years and it still does. This is why so many companies still do it this way. This is why there are so many great non-Adobe software alternatives. Because they are perpetual licenses.

        Customers need choices… period. It’s the only way to keep everyone happy. Is that simple.
        Adobe took away the choices.

  28. One fact people seem to have forgotten is that Adobe recently made a perpetual, no-activation license and download of CS2 available to all legit customers of that product.

    If that’s the trend, you can expect to see the same for CS3 in a few months too, I would guess, and CS4 a couple of years later.

    So I think the danger of not being able to open your legacy files is overstated.

  29. What I’m especially curious about is, how will this change affect our industry as a whole? Will we see less designers entering the field? Or more? Is $50 a month easier to justify for a novice designer who doesn’t have a ton of business yet? Will there be fewer small business owners doing their own occasional Photoshopping? Will seasoned designers be considered more of a commodity? I think you can see where I’m headed with these questions…. While I’m upset that my choices have been taken away, I’m hoping this move by Adobe benefits professional/freelance designers in the long run. I may be all wet on this, but I’m assuming it will. My hope is that only seasoned professionals will justify the commitment of a subscription. I said “commitment,” not to be confused with cost – this isn’t about the money, it’s about the commitment of maintaining an ongoing subscription, which I’m assuming the average person who doesn’t use the programs as heavily as we do will never bother with.

    • On the contrary, now anybody with a small monetary commitment can have access to the entire Master Collection and more, versus in the past having needed to come up with $2,600+ just to get in the door…

      One could argue it will democratize the playing field and open the creative industry to new talents who through no fault of their own did not have the resources to start or participate before.

      In other words, more choice and potential opportunity for people who haven’t had voices yet because the barriers to entry were too high.

      • 80% of people or more don’t need the entire Master Collection. So that’s not even an issue.
        Also, Adobe can have both, perpetual and cloud, and LET THE CUSTOMER DECIDE!
        I agree about “more choice”. That’s exactly what we need. It’s not that difficult. Its common sense. Let the customer decide.

  30. No, Bob, I don’t mean a “carved in stone road map” for 18 months. I think, and hope, Adobe has a roadmap for every product. At least on a month to month basis 😉

    They would not go on with products on a day to day basis, wouldn’t they?

    Just communicating:
    “For the next period of development you can expect feature “A” developed further; and we have another cool new feature, that’s in “Project Phase” and is waiting for implementation. What do you think about it working this way or that way? How about the projected UI? Oh, and we care about the users in area “C”, but we did not decide on implementation. Just a secret project. But you should expect something from us in the near future. Feature “D” is near to perfection. Feature “E” is at a temporarily halt: unforseen problems at bug fixing state. You hear from us next month. Oh! And a bug fix is under way for the old feature “G” expecting to hit the road in two weeks…”

    I know, it’s a bit much I want. But that would give more users the confidence that they can be heard, can be involved to an extend and can be understood. Take the initial development of “Muse” as a positive example. There was a lot of user input. I’m missing that e.g. in InDesign development at the moment. Today, it’s more like: “Surprise, surprise! NOW it’s time for updates!”

    Maybe I’m a hopeless optimist and dreaming just a little bit too much…

  31. Bob,

    It is May 17, 2013 and the Creative Cloud Connection for Files has been out for three days!

    See the following thread:

    http://forums.adobe.com/message/5283967

    I know you, Bob, tell people to use DropBox. But that answer is not a solution.

    Imagine if DropBox, or FaceBook, or Twitter, or Amazon, or Shutterfly, or your online banking was out for three days.

    Imagine if the servers that validate the desktop software were out for three days.

    Image if the installation of new software from the CC was out for three days.

    Only ten days after Shantanu declared that Adobe will no longer support CS software, this happens.

    This does not engage trust of Adobe CC services.

    • Hi Sandee, Let’s just be clear. Your files are fully accessible. You can still upload and download files and share them. The only thing not working right now, AFAIK, is Creative Cloud Connection PREVIEW. Given that name, it’s still in beta.

      When it’s a fully baked solution (which it most certainly isn’t) I’ll revisit it. But right now I’ll stick with Dropbox. My only beef about this thing is not stressing that it’s a preview application.

      • Bob,

        The download link for the software does say Preview.

        However, many people were and some still are totally unable to get to their files anywhere. Either through the desktop or through the browser. Read the whole thread.

        But it’s not that this specific feature is down, it’s the way Adobe has handled it.

        At first there was no message, no information that sync was down. This is when I uninstalled, reinstalled, uninstalled, reinstalled, deleted preferences, uninstalled, reinstalled, forced quit, uninstalled, and reinstalled the CCC software.

        Because people like you told me it was probably that I hadn’t upgraded the CCC software. (You said it on Twitter.)

        Then there was a quick yellow alert on the CC applications page that sync was out for some people. You showed it when doing the Max report at the IDUG meeting.

        But even that disappeared as Adobe thought the problem was solved.

        Now, three days later, Adobe has posted that Sync is out.

        But the trust that I have for Adobe CC is eroding.

  32. I find your article full of some true and some just plain wrong, engulfed in a patronizing blanket to placate the non-believers, with nary an passionate syllable: “We are Adobe! Just sit back, because we know what’s best for you, you will get used to us because you will have to, like it or not. We aren’t taking anything away from you that you really need, like independence. We know, even if you object, that you need our cloud storage, even though you can find it everywhere else for less than $50/month. We know what’s good for you, little freelancer, little designer, little one. We care about you. You got used to cell phones, so you will get used to us, too.”

    The folks who have commented on the CreativePro list don’t work for Adobe, they aren’t all “Adobe-certified” loyalists AND YET they do know about their job, their career, their skills and their software. http://www.creativepro.com/article/adobe-ends-creative-suite-era-and-embraces-cloud#comment-107317 . I like this one: “Sounds like Adobe has figured out that they will make more money if they get people to pay $6,000 to use Creative Suite for ten years. But hey, they throw in some cloud storage ─ like you can’t get oodles of cloud storage for peanuts all over the web. Instead of pay-once-use-forever, it has become if you ever stop paying, even for a one month, you can’t use it. Ado-bad sucks.”

  33. Jeremy, I don’t work for Adobe, either. The point of this post was simply to clear up some confusion and let people know what exactly you do and don’t get with Creative Cloud as well as what choices you have.

    You and many others have already made up your minds that the whole thing is a giant scam and nothing I say is going to change your mind(s). I’m all for choice and if you think you can get Adobe management to change their minds, more power to you.

    Thanks for commenting.

    • Bob, I appreciate your intention, but I think the problem starts here: “Is everyone going to use all of that? No, but until Creative Cloud a freelancer looking to start out in business with only the Master Collection would be looking at at least a $2,500 outlay.”

      Most freelancers starting out do not need the Master Collection. In fact, most freelancers or even others do not need the Master Collection. Most need the Creative Suite Standard OR Premium edition, or one of the other collections. Most don’t need to upgrade every time there is a new version. We are seriously looking at Adobe making much, much, much more money over a 1-year, 3-year, 5-year or 10-year period and giving us access to a lot of stuff we don’t need in return. I would be paying Adobe several thousand dollars more than I pay them now if I had to go to the Cloud.

      This program may work for large advertising and design firms. This program will NOT WORK FOR MOST FREELANCERS.

      COREL really has a chance to make a comeback, as they have a great product and they don’t have an enormous Adobe ego. Adobe has never been a particularly pleasant company to work with. They have had a good product.

      But I will not pay them that much money. Ever. There are alternatives, and their competitors have a huge chance to come back now.

      Thanks,

      Jeremy

      PS By the way, you may not work for Adobe outright, but your tendency over the years, in online discussion groups, to support them and applaud them, even when others were complaining. Don’t you also get lots of free software and access, since you are an Adobe-certified Beta-tester for them?

      • Corel doesn’t need to make a comeback, Jeremy. They make a very good product already. The problem here is that they have no product for Mac users and you can’t simply snap your fingers and come up with one. That doesn’t bother me since my primary computer is a Windows desktop and I do fire up CorelDRAW now and again. For those willing to make the switch or already on Windows, a combination of Corel and Quark might just keep you in business for a while. But what happens if CC turns out to be a smashing success?

        Do you really think Quark and Corel won’t jump on the subscription-only bandwagon. Read the blogs over at Corel. They’re making no promises for how long they’ll offer perpetual licenses using terms like “the foreseeable future.” I don’t know about you but I can’t see far enough to guarantee this won’t start happening all over and very soon.

        I do disagree with your points about freelancers. Having a $50/month entry point with access to every tool is very enticing. No, they won’t use it all but even a CS6 Design and Web Premium license is somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,800 with upgrades EVERY YEAR of say $600 (familiar number, no?). Edit: upgrade policy for Adobe software is one version back with a 12-month development cycle.

        Yes, I got the first year of CC free and it was just renewed because Adobe gave all MAX attendees a free year. Next year? I have no idea but I’m looking forward to more updates, more often and prepared to deal with occasional potholes in the road. That’s the price of progress.

        But as I said, I had a choice between Master Collection and CC and took CC. I’m not going to apologize for having an opinion. If you want to call me an Adobe apologist, a shill or anything else, have at it but I’m making a very nice living using tools produced by Adobe and it’s in my best interest for them to continue to innovate and succeed.

        We don’t all have to agree on everything but the point lost on many is that this is real and Adobe is apparently in it for the long haul. History will look back and decide if it was bold pioneering move or one of the biggest mistakes in industry history. I’m betting on the former while many are HOPING for the latter.

        I would like to thank you and the other for commenting here in a rational manner. I’ve seen some hate filled dialogs on other sites that have left me dumbfounded.

      • “Most freelancers starting out do not need the Master Collection.”

        Jeremy, I’m a freelancer: a single-practitioner designer who works out of a home office. Your statement might have been true five or ten years ago, but I can tell you from practical experience that if you’re a freelance print designer in today’s market and you can’t turn out a DPS-type app, a website, an epub version of a book design, cross-media versions of an identity program or the occasional motion graphic to flank a web and print campaign, you’re going to lose far more in income in one year than you’d shell out in a decade of subscription to Creative Cloud.

        You would be crazy to be a “print-only” designer if you’re starting out today. Clients need websites and mobile apps and multiple media. Nor can you feel secure doing web only. Over the next few years, mobile apps will swallow up much of what used to be exclusive to the web, no matter how hard Mozilla tries. Consumers and app developers will see to that.

        My point isn’t that everyone needs the entire Master Collection all the time. Far from it. I don’t either, but I could not have predicted the client requests that pushed me into web, interactive, motion graphics, epub and other areas. They came at random times, but come they did, and my choices were to turn the work away or to buckle down and learn new tools and the skills they require. I chose the latter. (So much for not teaching old dogs new tricks. For this old dog who came of age in the 60s, these are all new tricks. Heck, the personal computer was a new trick.)

        I’ve expanded my toolkit enormously because I had to be able to deliver what customers needed. From my perspective, CC wasn’t just a “good deal” — it was a steal, even before Typekit or Behance, and even if I never used a byte of cloud storage. I wish it had come sooner.

        Subscriptions are a great, predictable way to even out cash flow and they help at tax time. I have a lynda.com subscription. It pays for itself over and over again every year. My security software has been on a subscription model for at least a decade. Recently, I hopped on the Microsoft Office subscription bandwagon. I had a clear choice: I could buy the box, or I could subscribe. As with CC, being able to install and synchronize across multiple machines and cross-platform made it a no-brainer, even though I usually skip two versions of Office before I upgrade.

        A young, beginning designer can get into the market now, using the latest tools, for a tiny outlay. I know several who have done just that at my suggestion and are delighted with it. If they aren’t good enough to make a living at it, they’ll drop out. If they are, the subscription won’t bother them.

        I don’t know any field where professional tools aren’t considerably more expensive than homeowner or prosumer ones. Engineers have to be paid. The best engineers have to be paid well, especially now, or they’ll be headhunted right out of your company. I’ve never understood how Adobe apps could be so inexpensive when comparable companies (I’m looking at you, Autodesk, but you’re definitely not alone) charge more for an upgrade to one product than Adobe charged for a brand new full suite license.

        Adobe long ago could have doubled the price of everything, given their market leadership. They didn’t, so I’m not trepidating about being “held to ransom,” as one person put it. To stay on the cutting edge costs a boatload of money, and Adobe took a huge risk (and it must have been an expensive one, if only to put the infrastructure there) with the cloud. I recall conversations at MAX 2011 with Adobe staff, their general state of nervous excitement; nobody knew then whether it was going to succeed or bomb out. Turns out, it’s a big winner.

        Adobe’s customers, in the vast majority, are professionals. Professionals are not consumers: they don’t just have demands, they have very specific demands in an industry where everyone is scrambling to keep up with changes in technology (or is embracing obsolescence as a way of life). If Adobe were a consumer-product company, the current noisy rumbles might have some merit. They aren’t. The wrinkles — what happens to legacy files, what if you’re photographing in the Himalayas for 6 months, all that — will get sorted out. Adobe’s management is far too smart, and the people I talk to in the company are far too sincere, not to address genuine problems and fix them.

        I don’t know how things will ultimately shake out. Nobody does. I do know, from the years I’ve used their products and interacted with them as individuals, that the people at Adobe listen (attentively, I might add), and that they care, personally and collectively, that they do well by their customers, even if they’re solo freelancers who only own a single license or a single subscription.

      • Thanks for adding your voice to this conversation, Alan. I think what many of those opposed this and declaring CC a failure are forgetting that even with a choice more than 500,000 people signed up for it. There will be likely be more now…some begrudgingly, but they will sign up.

        And those that haven’t will probably be left in the dust.

      • @bob,
        By saying that “And those that haven’t will be probably be left in the dust.” You are implying that creative professionals depend on Adobe software. That we are nothing without Adobe software. That even if we hav experienced, creative, and hardworking, we will fail without Adobe software.
        This can’t be further from the truth! A great creative professional can produce high quality work with other good non-Adobe software and still get the job done. I have done it, and many people I know have done it. The only dust we will be left in, is the dust that the Adobe software will be collecting, when a lot of people start taking their business elsewhere and start using other non-Adobe software.

      • I agree that a great artist can produce great work with any tool, but this isn’t just about art, it’s about production as well. So, I’m going to ask you one more time and then I’ll let this rest. Give us a list of all those great programs that will allow a professional to compete with those who do decide to move to CC. This a serious question. Give us the list of applications that will allow a professional to produce web content, iPad apps, Epub, interactive PDF, video, html animations, have thousands of fonts at their fingertips and at the same time, collaborate with others when needed.

        Let me clarify my point one last time and then I’m done going round and round in circles. I don’t care one way or the other if you subscribe to CC. I don’t care one way or the other if anyone does. Really. The reason for that is that it has no affect on me. But you seem to care if I do. You seem to care if anyone does. While I suppose half million people could be wrong, I’m having a hard time finding any of them complaining. The purpose of this blog post was to clarify what CC is and just as importantly what it isn’t and to dispel all of the FUD floating around.

        You’re entitled to your opinion and to run your business any way you see fit but you continually point to all of these wonderful alternatives without so much as hint as what they are. I’ve spent the time to clarify what I know about the situation and try to help the community of creative professionals out there. It’s your turn now. Give us that list. There are many users in your camp and I’m sure they’d be grateful.

        We’ve already got Quark and Corel, but don’t forget to recommend a good place to buy Windows machines because it will be a cold day in hell before Corel goes back to the Mac market and risks everything in the process. Even if that day were to come, it would take 1-2 years to develop a viable native Mac application to compete with Photoshop and Illustrator. By then there’s no telling what Adobe will have developed and my guess is that somewhere between 1.5 and 2 million people will be subscribing to CC.

        BTW, be aware that this blog will mark any post with more than one URL in it for moderation. So when you post it, it won’t be live right away.

      • It seems like you are afraid of what people are going to post. Why? Does the truth bother you that much? If you are not gong to let people express themselves freely and really say what they think, then why have this forum at all? What is the point? If it doesn’t get post here, we will post it in many other forums with similar conversations going on. Don’t think that this is the only place this dialog is going on.
        I am taking the high road here and not going to say anything else to you anymore, because is not going to be too pretty. There is no point in talking to you any more, so I am not going to waste my time or your time. It’s obvious, we will never get anywhere.
        Time will tell what will happen to Adobe. Stay tooned. It’s going to be a bumpy road.

  34. Adobe has had enough of a chance to make this right.
    Lets think about this for a second.

    Adobe has been following all the comments on this forum and others. They know what the problems are with their new forced creative cloud monthly payment model. At lot of us have made it very clear. It’s not just one or two people against it. It’s a lot of people!
    That being said, Adobe has been very resistant to listen to our concerns. They are sticking to their guns on what THEY want to do, not WHAT WE NEED as consumers.
    So, what makes us think that they will listen to us in the future?
    Adobe is going to do what is best for them and their shareholders. They will ALWAYS do that.

    I don’t know about you, but WHY would I want to continue to do business with a company that doesn’t listen to their customers?
    Why would we want to put ourselves in a situation where Adobe controls our career and businesses, if we stay addicted or dependent on their software?

    It’s time to fire Adobe and move on to other software!
    Now is the perfect time to do it. It’s very clear that they don’t want our business. They just want to do what they want to do.

    Lets give the business to other good software companies with good products that care and listen to their customers. These companies do exist, with great products, right now and they have the tools for us to get the job done and take care of our customers.

    It’s time to take control of our careers and businesses. It’s time to send Adobe a message. “We don’t need you, if you don’t care!”

  35. Hi Bob,

    Great post, and it seems you got some of the cooler heads on your blog :).

    I am going to quote a commenter from another site because he really summed up my thoughts well:

    For me the issue is not solely about money. We, even as a non-profit, routinely keep our software up to the current version. The real issue is about continued use of the files we produce. Adobe products can use open standard formats, but their core file formats are proprietary eg. you mostly need an Adobe product to open them. This is a minor problem as long as you continue to use Adobe products, but what happens if you don’t? In the past, when a software transition arose, the solution was to keep a copy of the old program (in our case Quark Xpress 7) around and whenever we needed to access a legacy document, either to harvest the content or to tweak it for reuse, it is a simple enough matter to fire up the legacy application and open the documents. With a subscription based model, that is not possible. If the next big page layout program comes along and you want to make the jump as many of us did with Quark Xpress, keeping a legacy version of InDesign isn’t going to be an option. We are being asked not only to “rent” the application, but also our documents. Until Adobe products routinely produce open standard file formats we will be stuck with paying the man to keep our legacy files easily accessible. To think that Adobe is concerned to help us out with this would be foolish. I keep three versions of InDesign up and running because I need to distribute .idml and .inx versions at times to users running older versions of InDesign. You can’t export back to CS4. Loyal Adobistas as you salivate at having access to a cloud of shiny new Adobe products all for that slightly reasonable price—remember Quark Xpress and how much you loved version 4.

    I personally so a lot of programming for companies that are converting files from older programs and quite often they ask me, “but is InDesign something I won’t have to worry about having to convert in the future?”. I have been comfortable saying that this nothing to worry about. But now, I have my doubts. What happens if/when the next “InDesign killer” comes and you are stuck with paying a monthly subscription just to correct/print legacy files? I realize this is not Adobe’s intention, but this is a big side effect of the current implementation of the CC. I think Adobe could really ease people’s nerves by allowing them to hold on to the latest major version after paying x dollars in subscription costs. No one wants to have a lifetime mortgage to any company.
    I think Microsoft would actually have an easier time with this because there are a ton of programs on the market now that can open Office files.

    • Hi Fred.

      You can pay for single month at any time so that really should alleviate that concern but that user is obviously misinformed. Even InDesign CC will export back to CS4 via IDML. I think you’ll also be hardpressed to find anyone who “loved” QuarkXpress 4. Tolerated would be a better word.

      I’m not going to pretend to be an engineer but I really believe part of this decision was based on the burden in labor, time and of course, cost of maintaining two models (subscription and perpetual).

      I’ll say it again, it’s not perfect, but if they could only support one model I believe they chose the right one. Being able to add features when they’re done as opposed to some arbitrary date set by a “suit” in the marketing department is not going to work anymore.

      Thanks for joining the fray! 🙂

      • Having the option for a single month is a good argument. For some it might be perfect. But there are some small publishers where correcting/printing a legacy books once a month is not unheard of and for them they would really have to keep subscribing to access those files (exporting to idml is only possible if you can open it, besides the other problems that can introduce).
        From the limited experience I have with QuarkXpress I would say the word tolerated and QuarkXpress go hand in hand so I will take your word for it. I really just meant to bring out the lifetime mortgage point.
        I think Adobe could’ve really gone a long ways conveying how much they are saving by moving to CC only by passing on some of those savings to the customer. By leaving the pricing the same and forcing only CC route was bound to cause backlash. It’s probably too late to change the pricing now, but I still think they could ease a lot of fears by allowing people to hold on to licenses after paying a certain amount in superscription fees.

      • Well Fred, if they’re opening files constantly they’re looking at $50/month with access to every version. That’s also known as the cost of doing business. Sorry, but as I said, there are legitimate concerns about this but I can’t accept $50/month as one of them.

      • No disagreement from me. I think $50 is a bargain. It’s when/if the company moves to a new system and has to continue paying that fee just to access legacy files that it becoms a burdain. For example, a lot of these companies have a lot of old Quark files that they keep an old machine with Quark on it around to print these files. With CC this wouldn’t be possible without paying a monthly fee. That’s why I think Adobe could really go a long way towards easing customer’s worries by allowing them to hold on to a license after paying a certain amount in subscription fees.

  36. Bob,
    I’ve read all kind of comments these days too – some of them expressing what you’ve identified as “valid” concerns, some of them showing more… gut feelings.

    My opinion is that – and I possibly decode the views of just a niche of users – now they might feel more like “consumers” than “users”. Consumers can either buy (i.e. express agreement) or not buy (i.e. express dissent), end of the story. In some businesses (where being up to date isn’t mandatory), users bought when they felt the upgrade in term of features was worth the price; didn’t, when in their opinion the new version was unsatisfactory. Fair.

    It’s not just a matter of money in my opinion as well, I agree with you on this. It has also been a way to express users/consumers appreciation – or, especially, criticism towards the company – see the PS CS4 failure for instance.

    The new “binary” paradigm (you keep up to date with software and scheduled payments or just stop having the whole thing altogether) gets rid of this – the freedom to disagree with Adobe’s guidance and decisions, by means of the only effective instrument available to consumers (not to give the company your money, this round). Call it a form of… “version boycott” if you will – I’d rather say “a very compelling kind of feedback”.

    When I asked what it would take to move everyone to Creative Cloud some of you said they’d actually have to eliminate perpetual licenses completely.

    I can’t believe they’ve taken my word for it, Bob! 😀
    Anyway, as a matter of fact for me (as for many others I believe) nothing will practically change – I’ll keep paying for PS updates (CC doesn’t fit my needs) one way as a perpetual product or the other as a subscription as I did before. Yet I can’t deny that sometimes… I feel like being… a degree of freedom short.

    • Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Brent.

      We’ll have to agree to disagree especially on the legal aspect of things. There is no way this qualifies as anti-trust. There’s nothing anti-competitive about Creative Cloud. In fact, I would argue just the opposite. Check out Corel and Quark for example. They’re using this as a way to lure Adobe’s customers away.

      Finally, Adobe does not qualify as a monopoly. If any of that were true, lawyers would lining up to take the case.

  37. Bob: I have left you my opinions on some of your other posts and just wish to reiterate a little. I am a Freelance Web and Print Designer and find the ability to use all of Creative Design not only intriguing, but definitely ups my own skill levels. I started with Aldus for print in the last millennium and continued when they merged with Adobe in 1994 (I think), I have had clients that needed help with their Quark and it was helpful at the time that I could open files with InDesign (Now discontinued), that is probably the only thing that I miss in later iterations. The costs of the subscriptions is a simple cost of doing business and actually the monthly costs help during the Freelance Collection syndrome. I will never use InCopy as I do all of my work, almost always send artwork to my printers and newpaper/magazines using Adobe Acrobat XI PDF’s. I use almost all of the products from the old Web and Design Premium, but am now trying Muse, Edge Animate and the Webfonts (all included with CC). I am now setting up a new Portfolio website on Business Catalyst, and continue to use Dreamweaver to update my current websites and to design new ones. I have friends in New Zealand and they constantly rue the costs associated with just about everything they purchase not just from the US, but elsewhere, such as Cell Phones, Tablets and other’s Software. So far and it has been a year, I am completely satisfied and recommend CC to all. A reminder with those that are Students and Teachers, Adobe has always had reduced rates for Students and Teachers, just as Microsoft has their Academic versions, all at Greatly Reduced Prices, the same goes for the CC Subscriptions. Anyway – just my opinion.

      • I’ll check out Marksware’s Q2ID, thanks (depending upon price). I don’t know anyone using Quark Express that old, the ones I deal with (only 2) use 9.x.

  38. the bottom line is that cloud is not and cannot be the perfect solution and that Adobe should not have made it a all or nothing solution. Each business and type of business run differently and if adobe want to be fair it should keep both solution. when you look at it they don’t lose either way. all i see when i look at the cloud as another way to maximize there revue as you will be paying for your software forever and it will cost them in the long run to keep backwards compatibility with there CS 6 and lower Software that some will have to stay with which mean sooner or later you will have to use Cloud. Also when i look at this solution i see that it can easily become more expensive for some people and business that have multiple people on one project. most of the pro cloud users as i see it are getting a backhanded help now but what happens if that should change there is no going back. and there is no need to have to if have to go back if adobe keep both options open but seeing they way they closed one side so quickly make me see storm cloud for creative cloud in the future. as more and more price option are added to the package to get the same usage you had before the cloud. and for those people that have build item with the product will be forced to buy in to the cloud to change those Item in the future like i had Microsoft Photo Draw and now there is no way to get any of those project back because MS Photo draw was discontinued after win 98 and the only way to get those project back is to install win 98 on a computer and then install MS Photo draw and who want to go thought that. What i think you small business user that are try to save a buck need to worry about is the future of the cloud and how bad it could get. Adobe need not rush into doing this my way or no way choice. that worries me because when thing are done that way there is a game plan you may not see coming and what is good for you now may not be good for you late but you now have no chioce because they closed that door so its sink or swim time.

    • As I pointed out, John, it’s not perfect and I fully expect Adobe to make changes, but I will be utterly shocked if they go back to two licensing models. You talk about what works for various businesses and how they should be able to choose, but what Adobe’s right to choose how they do business? Check your EULA on any software. Nowhere does it guarantee you the right to cheap upgrades and the continued availability of perpetual licenses.

      You have every right to not buy into CC. You can stick with what you have now or you can find non-Adobe alternatives. Finally, I’ll repeat what I’ve said countless times already. Anyone that brings cost into this as the* primary* factor has no standing IMO.

      It cost money to run a business and $20-$50 is a dirt cheap cost to do that. Compare the entry point of CC vs the entry point of buying a perpetual license. CC is a no-brainer. Hell, compare the $20-$50/month to the cost of going to Starbucks.

      • I see your point, but $20-$50 may seem dirt cheap right now, but there are no guarantees. This can change anytime. Adobe has the power to do what they want under the current CC rules.
        But, I agree that it’s not mainly about the money. I think what most people don’t like is the lack of choice. With a choices, everyone buys into what they want.
        But for Adobe to say, this is the way is going to be, and we won’t give you a choice is not dirt cheap. It will cost us in the long run.

      • Life comes with no guarantees, Willie. People complained because they used to be able to upgraded from any version. Then Adobe changed that to three versions with tiered pricing. The complaints started again when that changed to one version with a 12-month cycle and now we have the Creative Cloud complaints.

        The funniest part is those doing all this fancy math are using the original “upgrade any time I want” policy to Creative Cloud. Well, that doesn’t work. Figuring the costs on an annual basis gives the cost benefit to Creative Cloud so stop going there because even the perpetual licenses were subject to change.

        Finally, for the umpteenth time, you have choices. You just don’t like any of them. Adobe, and for that matter any company you do business with, owes you nothing. They’re as entitled to do business as they see fit, just as you are. Would more choices be better? Of course it would, but right now, that’s a moot point.

        Nobody’s got a gun to your head. If you think you can run your business without Creative Cloud software well, that’s great. You’ve just saved enough money to go to Starbucks.

      • I do get your point, but you it seems to me that you are missing the big issue or just refuse to understand it.
        If the choices that Adobe is providing now are the the choices many people want, then Adobe is clearly not providing enough choices. They clearly took away one of the most important choices, otherwise we (and many others here and other forums) would not be having this conversation right now.
        I get it that the current CC model works for you and you like it, but you need to be a little more open minded to understand where everyone else is oming from. You don’t have to agree, just understand and respect that. I understand why and respect that the current CC model is OK with you. Everyone else needs and want something different if Adobe wants to keep them as customers. Is that simple. Not to mention the people that I have talked to that initially committed for a year of the CC subscription and wish they never did it after the big Adobe announcement. I guess they just wanted to take the CC for a spin to see how it went.
        And yes, a lot of people already are and will be able to run their businesses without Adobe products. I personally know a bunch of them, so that’s not even an issue. We already have a system in place to phase out Adobe products in our company, and we are very happy with the results so far. But that’s not the issue here.
        A few months from now, lets talk again, and we will see how good the current CC model does for Adobe. Only time will tell.

      • I am open minded but I’m dealing with reality and you’re dealing with what you want. I’ve already said that more choice would be better. I don’t know how much clearer you want me to state that. Yes, it would better if Adobe offered perpetual licenses in addition to CC, but they don’t (besides CS6).

        So you and I and all other users have different choices to make now. We agree strongly on the last point you made. Time will tell. I honestly have no idea how things will shake out here, but neither do you. So why don’t we just put this to rest for now and revisit it a few months?

  39. what i said is the cost at the moment is good but there is no promise that the cost effectiveness will stay this way with the quick changes abode is making without any real polling or beta testing of the issues and i will stay on one board lol

  40. I disagree with your cell phone analogy. Cell phones REQUIRE some sort of subscription to actually function. So far as I can tell, my old Dreamweaver 3 on ye olde Mac Mini ran just fine for a whopping eight years without any ongoing link to Adobe headquarters, and without their fist perpetually in my pocket. It was thanks to that flexibility and CHOICE of purchased and paid for software (purchased for me as a gift by one of my own clients) that I was able to develop my clientele, and purchase a house at the same time from the income. Let’s compare this to the subscription model:

    Dreamweaver 3 (circa 1990s), used for eight years – $199-299?
    Dreamweaver (CC, 2013), for eight years of use – $1824 (@$19.99/mo)

    Also, does Adobe offer a “year-in-advance” payment plan? Do they accept money orders? Believe it or not, some of us are trying to rid ourselves of using banks and credit cards (and yes, we pay for our cell phone plans using cash as well).

    • Thanks for your comments, Cliff.

      The analogy is perfect to Creative Cloud. Pay and it works, don’t pay and it doesn’t just like a cell phone. As I’ve explained to everyone else. You have a choice, you just don’t like those choices.

      I’d also go out on a limb and say if most of Adobe’s customers were like you, they’d be out of business. In fact, if your customers were like you, you’d be out of business. Nobody can stay in business selling something every eight years. You have a choice, move to CC or stop at CS6 if you want to use Adobe products or find alternatives.

      There will be a prepaid one year offering. I don’t know if it’s available yet nor do I know about payment options.

      • You are correct Bob and I agree.
        Since Adobe is not giving a lot of us the choice that we want and we could only move to CC or stop at CS6, we should definitely stop using Adobe products and move to the many of the other good alternatives out there. We don’t need to participate in Adobe’s new business model.
        We did, many others will, and thes rest of the people here with that dilemma should proceed to moving away from Adobe products and incorporating alternatives. The people that want to buy into the cloud, they can do that. It’s actually pretty clear. We should all know what to do by now.
        That said, I still don’t think that a company can improve their cash flow by losing customers.

        Regards

  41. I still find the Cell phone analogy wrong, as you can choose providers, not with Adobe software, you can not choose another company and use your CC created files with their software. That said I understand the subscription model, and if people like it, fine. Adobe had probably calculated losing a percentage of customers, and gaining a steady revenue of subscribers. We’ll see how it turns out, there is a risk that more companies will move to a subscription model, with a massive monthly raise in expenses. Just think about plug-in companies, with separate subscriptions..
    Still, main issue is still; if you stop the subscription, you can’t edit your files, or you have to get another subscription period.
    Pricewise it is still cheaper to use the ‘physical’ software, considering we use the Design Standard package, and it remains a mystery why non-US customers have to pay more for exactly the same service.

    • I agree with w.m. bravenboer. The cell phone analogy does not make sense and it doesn’t apply here. There may be some good things about the CC, but still too many things wrong with what Adobe is doing now to get a lot of people on board with the current CC model.
      Lots of work to be done if Adobe wants to keep more customers.

      • The cell phone analogy works fine. You need a subscription. Yes, you can choose another provider, but you can get software from other vendors. By your argument I could say the same about Verizon Wireless. If I want Verizon have to pay them monthly.

        Both of you are continuing to insist on comparing CC with upgrade policies that existed years ago. You need to look at the final upgrade policy which was ONE version back only with a 12 month cycle.

        There is no doubt Adobe will lose some customers. There’s also no doubt they will gain some. How that works out for their bottom line is what will determine the future of Creative Cloud. That’s why it has to be a value to the subscriber. There’s that word again…VALUE. Way more important to many people than cost.

      • There is one more word that would add to VALUE, and that is CHOICE.
        Yes there is some form of choice, but not enough choices to take care of all of the Adobe customers that want nothing to do with cloud subscriptions.
        Again, time will tell how Adobe will do with this.

  42. Pingback: Rookie Designer 141 - Adobe's Move to CC

  43. I think we need to think long term, how it effects us an how it effect how adobe updates and does business.

    As far as costs go, Creative Cloud will cost me more, probably 150 to 200 a year more. I do not upgrade every version. Adobe does not do enough to warrant the upgrade. It does not effect my workflow enough to pay the money every year. I tend to upgrade every other version. CC forces me to pay for these upgrades.

    With CC I have to pay each month to use their software, over time this worries me, right now I have a few older versions of CS that I could fall back on, but what happens in 2 years? With licensing I have the purchased the rights to use that software (and not for a limited amount of time). So I will always have that software to open the projects and files I have been working on over the years. But with CC I will pay more over that time, but once I stop paying, I dont have the tool anymore. And I would have to pay even more for the short time use of it if I need it down the road.

    I am going to use the example of renting or owning your home. When you rent, you are only paying a small % of the value of the house to use it for a short period of time ( lets say ending up being $1000 a year). Of course you can pay the much larger sum to own one outright (lets say $150,000). But CC is different. You are basically paying the same price for renting as you used to pay for “owning” (yes I understand that a license is not the same as owning it, but you do have the rights to use that the software). Who would choose to do this?

    What happens if the CC software upgrades are to much much for your computer to handle? I was told you dont have to download the updates, but there is a point why are you continuing to pay over time for the updates then? I have CS 3 running on my laptop. It wont run CS5.5. Will there be a point you will be force to pay for updates you cant use or be forced to upgrade a machine?

    I really think Adobe has lost touch with the creatives that use their software. I am not just using one or 2 programs I use 5 or 6. I am a graphic/web designer. When I use photoshop my files can contain anywhere between 10 and 75 layers, these files will not open in other applications. I create projects of all kinds of sizes using InDesign, from business cards to large catalogs. These are files that will only be opened in these adobe applications. The subscription based setup forces me to continue to pay Adobe to be able to access these files. Even if down the road I switch to a new application for all my future work, I am forced to pay adobe again to update older files (if I had a license it wouldnt be an issue) . I dont mind when a company makes money, its great. When a company uses their dominate position in the industry to take advantage of their customers, and this is it, its about greed, pure and simple.

    Creative Cloud should be an option.

  44. Welcome, Dave.

    While in a perfect world, everyone would be happy, we live in a world that is far from it. You say “Creative Cloud should be an option” as though Adobe owes you something. It’s been said over and over, “I want to buy my software. I don’t want to owe Adobe anything.” So here we are with you and many others claiming that somehow after you HAVE paid for the software as a perpetual license Adobe owes you something extra.

    Personally, I disagree. On the other hand, Adobe owes its Creative Cloud subscribers big time. They need to continue to deliver on the promise of new features and improved workflows. You paid for your software. Adobe kept it’s end of the bargain. It owes you nothing else.

    Thanks for commenting.

    • That’s one way to look at it, but I think you’ve read the “owe” point into the wrong part of Dave’s comment.

      When talking material value, the “owe” is clear. Company makes a good product, Customer pays money for that product, transaction complete. Unfortunately, in this case we’ve got the old product fresh in our minds for comparison to the new product. There is absolutely no way to argue that CC model is a better deal for the consumer than the old business model. Adobe is the winner in the CC model, hands down. Good for them. Profits keep a company going. Is their product worth the price they’re demanding? Of course! I’ve been watching the progression for the last dozen years and I absolutely respect Adobe for building the amazing product they’ve created.

      What I feel they “owe” ME is a little respect in return.

      Adobe has built a huge, loyal user base (hell, for many of us you might as well call it a fanbase) and now they’ve put their users second to profits and turned the screws on the people that actually made their products successful.

      At three different companies, I’ve promoted, convinced and supported transitions to Adobe products. I’ve convinced at least a dozen clients to give up on Quark and let me move their files/workflows to InDesign, helping them with their own internal transitions to Adobe software as well. I’ve trained countless interns how to use Adobe products and those interns went on to be Adobe customers, too. I’ve helped them make sense of the different versions, upgrades and what they really need. I’ve convinced soon-to-be graduates to keep clean and NOT buy the edu versions since paid work would be breaking their EULAs.

      When those people ask me for advice on what to do about CC, I can only tell them to wait. I’m still waiting to see if any of my clients are going to switch. No takers yet.

      Maybe when I’ve had some time to forget the old product, try different options from other companies that turn out to be inferior, and realize that I can still make plenty of profit paying for CC every month, it won’t seem like such a bad deal. But right now it just feels like a blatant screwjob from a company I used to adore.

      • Thanks for commenting, but I don’t think I’ve misread anything, Don. As I pointed out very early on, this seems to be a very emotional issue for many people and apparently you are one of them. That’s certainly your right.

        Also among your rights is the right to not buy into this business model but I stand by what I’ve already said. It would be nice if everyone could get what they want. Adobe made a decision that they felt would best serve the majority of their customers while, yes, protecting their bottom line.

        The fact is that the true loyal customers, those that upgraded every single version will be getting more and paying less. There is simply no math you can show me that will disprove that based on the 12 month upgrade cycle with upgrade pricing available only to the most current version licenses. Any other math is based on old business models and is irrelevant.

        Will it be successful? We’ll have a better idea next week when Adobe’s earnings are released and I would expect updated subscriber numbers.

  45. It’s all well and good getting the upgrades with Cloud but what if you’re using Plug-ins like XMPie or Smartstream Designer which are not cheap – going from Indesign 5 to 6 we had to get a new Smartstream.. now it does not work in Indesign CC – if Adobe could guarantee that Plug-ins etc will work when you run the next update all well and good.. but what’s the point having CC if you have to fork out a few grand for new versions of Plug-Ins that stop working and their updates are not free…

What do you think?