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Adobe gets it wrong with the cloud!?

June 01, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

The new Adobe Cloud Pain

I have always been very loyal to Adobe and their great software. I mainly use Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop for my editing and photography workflow and I think they are outstanding software with no close competitors for the professional photographer. Unfortunately Adobe is letting me down this time and I'm angry at their move to exclusively move Photoshop CS to the "Adobe Creative Cloud" (aka "Adobe CC").

The two main problems for me as a professional photographer in using the new cloud based Adobe Photoshop are the following:

1. It's only going to be available as a subsription service and you need to connect to the Adobe Creative Cloud

If you want to edit a photo where you have no internet connection you are out of luck and that's completely absurd. I can't believe that they aren't going to sell a stand-alone version. I'm dumbfounded about this business decision. They are limiting where and when I can use their software to complete my editing work.

2. They have substantially increased the price for photographers that only use Photoshop and don't need constant updates.

They are different monthly subscription plans that are billed monthly with annual commitment. Whole Creative Cloud subscriptions are $30/month for for teachers and students, and $50/month for all other subscribers, that's $600/year. For photographers that only use Photoshop there are options to license just Photoshop, the current rate is $20/ month for the first year, with prices subject to change after the first year.

For Adobe power users that use several Adobe software products the monthly price plans are great and will result in significant savings compare to buying the former Adobe Creative Suite. However photographers who only need Photoshop and don't need every update are not as happy as they are used to buying the software for approximately $150 as an upgrade every other upgrade cycle. Doing the math, I spent about $150 to keep Photoshop CS updated every three years, or I can spend $240 every year, so the total cost of owning Photoshop CC for 3 years is now about $720, an effective price increase of 400% !

Adobe is greedy about how to increase their revenue in a monopoly situation, they don't have any real competitors! I can understand a resonable yearly price increase, I think 400% is way to much, but worst is to limit the usefulness of the software by only making it available in the cloud with a subscription plan. I see a lot of photographers looking for alternative software solutions in the near future, especially hobby photographers that don't depend on the software for their work, but professional photographers will probably eat the bill.

For hobby photographers check out this link If you want to build your own "Creative Software Suite" with free and cheap software!,

For professional photographers I only know one good alternative to Adobe Lightroom and partly also for some Photoshop users since you can use layers and that's Phase One Capture one Pro 7, they have a 30 day trail, so you can try it for Free!

Some relief for the new "Adobe Cloud Pain" for photographers is that for now, Photoshop Elements and Lightroom are not going to be only cloud based.

Leave me a comment about what you think!

UPDATE, I just found out that you appently don't need to be connected online to use Photoshop CC in the new Creative Cloud!

You will need to be online when you install and license your software.With an annual membership, you’ll be asked to connect to the web to validate your software licenses every 30 days. However, you’ll be able to use products for 99 days even if you’re offline, but it will pester you with constant vrification reminders to go online.

3. I have one additional mayor problem with the new Adobe Creative Cloud, that's easily overlooked. If you buy an upgrade like you do with Photoshop CS, you have access to that new version forever. If you pay for the cloud version and choose to end your subscription, you have access to nothing. You lease the software, you don't buy it!


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