Unhappy Customers Want to Parachute From Adobe’s Creative Cloud

Adobe logo on wall

Adobe logo on wallFrom Wired/Enterprise.com:

Adobe’s move to the Creative Cloud isn’t sitting well with all of its customers. Over 5,000 of them have now signed a Change.org petition calling on the company to keep selling packaged software.

The blowback started on Monday when Adobe said that it will no longer sell new versions of its Creative Suite products — including Photoshop, Illustrator and other iconic applications — for a one-time fee. Instead, customers will need to buy an ongoing subscription to the Creative Cloud service in order to get future versions of the products.

Although pundits see it as a necessary move, many customers are worried that the change will end up costing them more money and give them less control over their applications.

“In the short term, the subscription model looks to be okay, but over time the only entity that is benefiting from this is Adobe,” says the petition, written by Derek Schoffstall of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. “The (no longer) current model: paying a one time fee for infinite access is a much better business model and is better for the consumer.”

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What Adobe Creative Suite’s Move to the Cloud Actually Means for You

Illustration of Creative Suite icons floating in ocean

Illustration of Creative Suite icons floating in oceanBy Adam Dachis from LifeHacker.com:

Adobe Photoshop, along with all other Creative Suite applications, just made a move to the cloud. Adobe decided to discontinue software you can actually buy so they can force you to rent the applications for a monthly fee. This change comes with a number of problems but also some advantages. Here’s what the change means to you.

When Adobe announced Creative Cloud one year ago, we analyzed the cost of their new service offering to see if it actually saved you money. If you’re a new user, we found you’d save a decent amount of money if you opted for cloud services. If you already owned pretty much any version of Creative Suite or an Adobe application, however, paying for an upgrade that you actually get to keep was a better prospect. But even when Creative Cloud costs less, you don’t get to keep what you pay for. The moment you discontinue your service you’re left with nothing.

While Creative Cloud forces you to rent rather than buy if you want to use Adobe applications, Adobe sweetened the pot with additional cloud services to help make this potential turd easier to swallow. You get 20GB of cloud-based storage, you can sync your work to the web, you can use collaboration tools to track changes and communicate with team members and clients, and a variety of other tools and services. If you use the vast majority of Adobe applications for all your work, Creative Cloud offers a lot of bang for your buck. If you only need a few apps, however, you’re not getting a great deal.

So, what will you have to pay? Here’s the breakdown:

  • If you own Creative Suite 3, 4, 5, or 5.5, you’ll pay $30 per month for the first year and $50 per month after that.
  • If you own Creative Suite 6, you’ll pay $20 per month for the first year and $50 per month after that.
  • If you don’t own Creative Suite or own an older version, you’ll pay $50 per month.
  • If you’re a student or educator, you’ll pay $20 per month for the first year if you sign up before June 25th. After June 25th, or after your first year, you’ll pay $30 per month.
  • If you just want access to single apps, like Photoshop, you’ll pay $20 per month per app.

Current pricing may cause confusion due to the discounts, but in the future (after July 31st, 2013) you’ll pay $50 per month as a normal person and $30 per month as a student or educator. (Adobe also offers special business pricing at $60 per seat per month, but you can learn about that on their price chart if you fall under that category.)

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Is Adobe making a mistake by moving to a subscription-only model?

Adobe Creative Cloud advertisement

Adobe Creative Cloud advertisementFrom Lifehacker.com:

Adobe announced the end of their Creative Suite software, instead choosing to focus on their Adobe Creative Cloud subscription service. CS6 is the last version you can buy and download, and if you want access to tools like Photoshop and Illustrator in the future, you’ll need a subscription to get them.

Adobe says that customers “vastly prefer” the cloud-based subscription options over the stand-alone downloadable suites, and say they’ll give users who only want access to a single tool (like Photoshop, for example), instead of an entire suite of apps the ability to subscribe to just the program they’re looking for. Plus, they’ve lowered the price of those individual app subscriptions to $10/mo from $20/mo. You can read all of their pricing plans here. Adobe says that signing up for Creative Cloud also gives them the ability to roll out updates and upgrades to their applications when they can, instead of waiting to bundle them all into a major CS uplift. We’ve done our own analysis on whether it’s better to rent versus buy, and ultimately whether the change is good for you depends on the type of user you are.

If you’ve purchased a perpetual license or have upgrade rights based on your last purchase, Adobe says they’ll smooth your transition to Creative Cloud (likely be offering a steep discount). The change also makes financial sense for Adobe, since they can get a steady stream of subscription fees instead of a major uptick in revenue with each CS release. Plus, it cuts down on piracy, since all of their apps are web-enabled and require active subscriptions to work. For more details on how the new subscription model will work, check out CNET’s report below.

Adobe kills Creative Suite, goes subscription-only | CNET

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