She can say what she likes, as long as she says it to me over a glass of wine....
Larger companies do like monthly fees. Easier accounting, no investment cost, easy upgrades. But is this the whole story? Not for software.
SAAS licensing has been touted by software companies for over a decade, but in the end the infrastructure implications (firewalls, control over software distribution and workstation build control) make it impossible for larger enterprises. It is simply unacceptable to have external parties controlling the version level of PC builds, especially via the internet, or losing control over company data security. It's a CIO nightmare.
For individuals and non-business users, SAAS makes very little sense. They like to have permanent ownership, control over upgrades, and portability.
So who does it work for? A handful of small independent design shops running Macs and nothing but CC, and no-one else.
Even MS have massively overstated takeup of 365 in large enterprises:
Klindar: Adobe's decision may very well provide competitors with the business they need to develop their products into complete/superior alternatives. For many years I used JASC (now Corel) Paintshop and switched to CS a few years ago only because I needed support for 48 bit images. Corel then announced support for 48/16 bit and I was happy being able to go back to Paintshop a couple of years ago. For me, it is the technically superior product with a similar (but better) interface to Photoshop, accepts the same plugins and is 10% the cost. The scripting is more flexible and easier to do than Photoshop "Actions". A single license lets you install to 3 machines ... my main unit, backup and portable. I'd have to buy 2 licenses from Adobe to use Photoshop that way. I realize you can transfer a Photoshop license but it's a nuisance. Unfortunately, no Paintshop Apple version but the way Corel has ramped up support and been promoting Paintshop suggests that may come.
I also started out on the Jasc product and it was very user friendly. Only issue I have with it is that the RAW engine is nothing like as good for some cameras as ACR or LR, and it takes longer to get new cameras on board. It's also not as responsive as the newer versions of PS which matters if you have a D800!
This may of course change if their sales take off and they can get more staff. In the meantime you can use it as an editor with LR.
But I agree it's an excellent product and with all the free plug ins its a great deal.
Having been a fairly vociferous critic of Adobe over the last weeks I see this as a lesson learned and good news. This is as near a climb down as you are likely to get.
There IS a big difference between corporate media shops and small photo businesses and consumers. Separate the operations and have a different (but only one) support model for each and the problem is solved.
LR works well. It provides RAW support well before the competition. All it needs is a good editor. An upgrade to Elements with extended 16 bit support, advanced masking, plugins and layers, etc. (but no catalogue) would make financial sense as both a stand-alone tool or an LR plug in.
In combination there is nothing much that would compete, but both would be fine on their own for many people. After all, you can always use Elements with Picasa or Aperture. Instead of competing with your own products, give more people a reason to buy Adobe. Simple. (Invoice in the post)
Choosing Velvia over Provia, choosing black and white film, choosing different saturation in camera, framing, using a polariser, changing the aperture, using a slow shutter, under or overexposing, using or not using flash, using a different focal length to change perspective.....
All of these change the "look" of the result, even before you hit the darkroom (and press darkrooms did a lot of work to enhance images).
The "default" RAW image is simply chosen by the RAW converter. It does not represent reality, any more than Provia did. Or Ektachrome. The eye and brain together can not only see more tonal range, but they also see the drama of the contrast...a camera has trouble doing both. Trying to recreate what the eye sees and the brain felt at the time is not wrong - any more than choosing the "right" phrasing for the accompanying article.
The whole concept of "truth" seems to have people confused. Tell your story well, just don't lie. That's all there is to it.
MarcLee: At the end of the first quarter this year, Adobe reported a 64.8% drop in quarterly earnings on higher expenses and lower product revenue. However, even THAT was above Wall Street expectations.
Earnings for the first quarter were $65.12 million or $0.13 per share, compared to $185.21 million or $0.37 per share last year. Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) declined to $0.35 from $0.57.
Revenue decreased 3.6% to $1.008 billion, due to lower products revenue offsetting increase subscription, and services and support revenues.
Adobe have LOST more in product purchases than they have gained in subscriptions. And that was when they still offered a choice. Products revenue fell to $675.79 million from $808.52 million (133 million loss), while subscription revenue grew to $224.27 million from $146.23 million (78 million profit).
If it's so much cheaper to run a subscription model, then they could offer some positive incentives - like lowering the price....
Another solution for Adobe.
As well as allowing more flexibility on the lease (including right to continued use without upgrade after a certain amount is paid) Adobe have another option to boost growth.
Create a new company, and sell Google a 49% stake in return for a cross licensing, support and marketing agreement. Transfer LR and elements to the new co. and create an integrated offering that has two products, a Picasa based consumer tool with a better editor and RAW converter, and an LR based enthusiast/pro tool with a more complete, 16 bit editor with colour management (hybrid of Elements and essential goodies from PS).
Drop Elements altogether.
Google could develop the consumer product and take over marketing, distribution and support for both.
49% would be a huge investment kick, and would enable them to develop a world beating photographer oriented solution. They would still benefit from an increased revenue stream, despite only owning 51%.
tdptdp: Adobe has started a very valuable conversation here, among the pitchforks and torches.
Why is anyone storing their art in a proprietary file format that is not guaranteed to be around in 50 years? What plans are in place for accessing these valuable works in 50 years?
A friend of mine recently printed a project that combined her contemporary photographs with prints from some very old medium format film she discovered. She was still able to print, even though the camera manufacturer and the film manufacturer have both gone bankrupt and none of the components are available any more.
This is a major unresolved issue with digital photography. The technology is wonderful, but we are being very short-sighted in our approach to it.
@tdptdp you can't own copyright on a format, and patents expire in 25 years. You can already use Corel PhotoPaint to open PDSs as well.
kymarto: I've read Adobe's arguments for the cloud move, and they do not wash. I do understand the advantages, for instance, of continuous incremental upgrades, but the argument about the difficulty of maintaining two separate versions (CC and CS) is hogwash. There is an easily implemented model that could work to everyone's advantage: "rent to own" instead of straight rental.
Let's say that someone subscribes for three years at a cost of $20 a month. They have invested $720. Now assume, for the sake of argument, that Adobe valuates the core app at $800, and the upgrades delivered to that subscriber for those three years at $200. The software that that user has on their computer is worth $1000. What is the big problem to give that user the option of paying the balance ($280) and granting them a perpetual license for what they have? And if they choose not to do so, then they lose access.
Clearly Adobe wants to keep people on the hook and then give them nothing for their money. Shame on them.
Yes, once you have paid over a certain amount (equiv to a license or upgrade fee) you should be entitled to continue to use the software without upgrades. Furthermore, if you wish to "rejoin" then you should be able to do so simply by resubscribing (though the clock will start again from the beginning).
This would cost no more to support than the rental model does now.
But the other issue is that there is NO NEED for Adobe to access your machine in the meantime. If you are paying by credit card, debit card or bank order, they can check you made your last payment. Why do they have to bother you? After all you can't download it onto another machine because you'd have to register.
You should only need to connect to get updates. That's it. They can check your status then.
What appals me more than the sheer arrogance of this response is the complete lack of creative imagination involved. Instead of letting the techies propose a solution that would keep photographers in the game without the downsides expressed (easily possible with some imagination) they just thought "these jerks don't matter so stuff them".
It's the lack of intelligence and unwillingness to keep customers onside that really makes me angry. The executives at Adobe are an insult to the geniuses that design and develop the products.
rhlpetrus: Please clarify this statement:
"Monthly subscribers can go for as long as 30 days without connecting to the Internet for license validation. Users with an annual commitment can go for as long as 99 days."
One thing is license validation, another is if you can actually work offline for 30 days. Is the latter also true?
So if something goes wrong with their license checker, your company stops working. Nice. Hope they enjoy lawsuits.
Adam Filipowicz: if high schools cant afford it.. then they should switch to something else.. I dont even think highschools need adobe products.. if you want to learn it.. go to college/university and it will be paid for by your outrageous tuition fees
Yeah, I know you now, aren't you the Adobe Customer Relations Director?
OvinceZ: Lightroom is for photographers and Photoshop isn't? Both are useful for photographers but Photoshop is too expensive. Lightroom is now affordable like Nik software. Most of us spend heaps on other photography software. Topaz, Capture One, Perfect Effects, Noiseware, etc.
Adobe is going to lose thousands of long time customers with this strategy.
Worldwide I would bet there are more than 100,000 enthusiasts and solo pro photographers who use PS. Probably even 500,000. Still probably small beer as far as Adobe are concerned as it apparently costs more to support them than kick then in the nuts.
The stupid thing is they could fix the problem easily with a bit of imagination, but they seem to be oblivious. Or maybe they are just deeply cynical.
57even: It just struck me that forcing many low usage users into paying considerably more for a product simply because they are locked in is probably a breach of anti-trust law. Now, anyone know a friendly lawyer?
No, they are effectively forcing me to pay a lot more for legally licensed software, or do thousands of hours work for no value to myself simply because of their market position.
BTW if you work for Adobe, then in my opinion you are making it worse by insulting everyone. If you don't, then why the hell are you schilling for them?
Adam Filipowicz: I bet most of the people that are complaining about paying a small fee to use photoshop, dont own a license and have a pirated copy.. becasue if your complaing about $20 then whats the likelyhood you bought it for $1000
I don't upgrade every release, indeed not until the upgrade price is close to expiry. So since buying my first license, CS costs me around $100 a year. Now it will be $240 a year (more actually as the UK price is higher than the US one).
And yes, I will switch to another editor, but I will have to manage thousands of saved PSD files that I will have to flatten and won't be able to edit any more. So no, I am not happy since I gain nothing and end up with a nightmare.
It just struck me that forcing many low usage users into paying considerably more for a product simply because they are locked in is probably a breach of anti-trust law. Now, anyone know a friendly lawyer?
Octane: Let me get this straight, you expected users to be upset, but went ahead anyways.
You saw a decrease in people upgrading their software because you ran out of creative ideas for new features that people consider worth paying for. So instead of making your products better and come up with new features, you force everyone to upgrade whether they need it or not.
You increase the cost to keep software up to date, yet disowning the buyer completely and effectively holding their work hostage when they don't pay the subscription any more because the software won't even run and open your files.
Adobe, I hear the message loud and clear, you can't come up with product improvements to generate enough income so you force people into a more expensive subscription plan.
Currently, companies benefit from the massive informal usage of Photoshop and it's position as the standard. People make money from classes, tutorials, plug ins and magazines aimed specifically at enthusiasts, many of whom have become quite proficient.
This market will look for other solutions. The new revenue streams will generate investment potential for Corel, C1 and others and soon us consumers will have a stream of competitive products, only without all the tools that photographers never need.
Now heading off to download a trial version of PSP and see if I can make it work with LR. Anyone tried?
AbrasiveReducer: Maybe their marketing guru evangelist paradigm shifters were thinking about beer. You know the saying, "It's impossible to own beer, you can only rent it."
I do rent it. Every time I finish one I have to pay for another. I want a perpetual beer license, then I can pay once and drink all I like until I need to upgrade my beer.
"Dear" Mr Hendrickson.
Quite right. There are a lot of features of Photoshop I don't need. I do need 16 bit layer support, but sadly that means I must use CS in order to benefit from that feature and a pitiful handful of others.
I agree it's a waste of money. I would go further and say it's an appalling waste of money. Now you have made it an even bigger waste of money, But you still have not provided a solution.
So here is an idea. Add extended 16 bit support to Elements and ship a version without the catalogue tool as an integrated plug-in editor for LR. You are welcome to charge $50 as long as it's not a racket, er, I mean subscription.
Oh and you can strip out all the other baby stuff from Elements like simple and guided modes and those wretched fake frames since LR users are hardly likely to use use any of that.