Is Adobe the New Microsoft? BUY vs RENT

Is Adobe the New Microsoft? BUY vs RENT

How long before Adobe introduces a new “client-required” feature that only works in the Creative Cloud?

Remember back in the day, when Microsoft would routinely buy up little innovative companies only to kill their competing products? And then remember how Office Upgrades became more of a tax than a thing of beauty? I mean, do I need voice annotation and scientific notation and indexing in my daily writing toolbox?

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Welcome to the wonderful world of the new Adobe. Need Photoshop? Pay a little-bit-a-month, forever. If you are an individual working in design you are going to need Photoshop. Ah, but here’s the kicker…

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What’s 39.99 per month cost, when you multiply it out by infinity? (Answer: more than you can afford.) And that’s the Black Friday special, god bless them. Let’s ferret out the details of this amazing offer, shall we?

*Offer starts on Nov. 17, 2014 and expires on Nov. 28, 2014. Offer available to first-time subscribers.  Purchase Adobe Creative Cloud Complete subscription for $479.88/year ($39.99/month) (plus applicable taxes/VAT/GST) from the Adobe Store or by calling a regional Adobe Call Center.  Regular price for Creative Cloud Complete is $599.88/year ($49.99/month) (plus applicable taxes/VAT/GST).  Limit: 1 per customer. 12-mo commitment required, advanced payment required. At the end of your offer term, your subscription will be automatically billed at the standard subscription rate, unless you elect to change or cancel your subscription. Offer not available to Education, OEM, or volume licensing customers. — http://www.adobe.com/offer-terms/cc_full_special_offer.html

So they are asking for a $479.88 commitment for the first year of your tax. And considering we used to pay $1,200 for a full version of the Creative Suite, that’s not all that shocking, until year two, when we’re going to catch up to that old price pretty easily. See, that pricing doesn’t include tax.

Hmm, so what are the alternatives? There used to be a whole range of products from MacroMedia, but… Well, Adobe bought them. Have we seen real innovation in Illustrator since they bought Freehand?

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And of course you could go the Open Source, or Free route. (Do the SEARCH live.)

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But when you are starting out and a new client sends you this file: New_Logo_2014.PSD, you are going to need the real thing. You either pony up for the $100 a-year version. Or run one of their 30-day free trials until you can figure out what do to. Or you turn to the dark web and look for “alternative” sources. [Disclaimer: This post and this site does not encourage or endorse pirated software. The following information is for demonstration purposes only. No affiliate links or other monetary compensation is included in this article of any kind.]

A quick search reveals that Adobe has become one of the most hated companies on the net.

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And software crackers are flaunting their technical piracy and ability to stay one step of ahead of the Adobe Software Police.

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It’s not getting better with the new “pay forever” Creative Cloud strategy.

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But what are the alternatives?

I’d be hard-pressed to say I feel sorry for Adobe. I’d also have to be tortured to endorse Microsoft Office (the other business software tax). But this is the landscape Adobe has created for itself by eliminating the BUY NOW option and only providing us a START TAX PAYMENTS NOW button.

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Personally, I bought Adobe Creative Suite 5 a long time ago. I upgraded to 5.5 when it came out because Photoshop actually added some very important features. Since then, I’ve seen and worked with more modern versions of Photoshop, as clients have asked me to use their systems, but I’ve never seen any feature that I needed to complete my task.

I’m not about to sign a RENTAL AGREEMENT with Adobe for a Creative Cloud account. EVER.

It’s not easy being a software vendor. With a company like Adobe they can’t think of a terminal sale of a software product, because once I purchased back in the early 2000’s I’ve no longer been a potential revenue stream for them. They’d have to come up with a new kind of software, that did something I needed to do, before I’d be interested in paying them any more money. I love my PS 5.5. I’ve seen the advantages of 6.0 in some of my client’s offices. But really, I can’t afford the new upgrade to Adobe’s Creative Cloud, and I never saw the need to upgrade my personal copy of the Creative Suite.

As Adobe welcomes a new generation of Photoshop (and all other Adobe products) users, they are signing them up to pay for the “always improved and improving” software. Sure, a 20-gig cloud storage locker is a nice to have, but Dropbox gives me a lot of space for free.

I’m looking forward to an agile startup that could build the simple Photoshop-Killer app and SELL it to me for $300. I’d buy it today. But I’m not about to sign a RENTAL AGREEMENT with Adobe for a Creative Cloud account. EVER.

If you’re in the creative design business, you’ve come to depend on Adobe products. And when they bought MacroMedia they essentially killed the competition. It’s nice if you work for a company who pays your software rent, but many of us, who work for ourselves, are facing real issues when Adobe introduces a new “must have” or more likely “client used” feature that will require the CS versions of their software. They can’t do it today, because the install base of traditional users is to large. But they won’t wait much longer, their shareholders are hungry for growth and profits.

Where’s the 37 Signals of design software?

John McElhenney
@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

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