It Can Always Be Better

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

More Smoke for Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Repent!
Credit: Art Explosion
It's been a few months since my article highlighting the announcement that Adobe Systems Incorporated would only rent their Creative Suite software (Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc.) beyond version CS6.

The outrage has not ceased. From this online petition to countless negative comments on the Adobe Photoshop Facebook Page, professionals and hobbyists alike are thoroughly dissatisfied and looking for blood. Adobe has tried to cover up the resentment toward their rental scheme by offering extended deals and teaming up with Scott Kelby's Photoshop World. It's not working.

I have been following the conversation on the prestigious Color Theory email list and found some great bits of commentary. For those not familiar with the photo retouching industry, the list was founded by living legend photographic reproduction expert Dan Margulis. This man has been a straight shooter since I first read his articles in the ancient 1990's. For folks like me that see color "by the numbers" of cyan, magenta, yellow and black, Mr. Margulis is our guru.

After listening to the Adobe presentation at Photoshop World, Mr. Margulis suggested that Adobe is on the verge of conceding to the outrage based on these points:

  1. The attempt to coerce us into renting software had failed miserably.
  2. The atmosphere online was so poisonous that it threatened the company's future.
  3. If nothing was done it was clear that serious Photoshop competitors would start to appear.
  4. Adobe's ability to communicate its views publicly, which is vital to future development, was basically squelched because any statement, public or online, by a spokesman was going to be disrupted by attacks from irate users.
After elaborating on his points, some folks responded:

"Hallelujah! In remembrance of this event I have framed my copy of the recent brilliant article on the Adobe strategy which appeared in Barrons. But I do wonder if the CEO can find the door." —Bob

"…Being allowed to take advantage of something I don't care for in the first place is at least insulting…I hope I missed something, something like - we're offering both CC and box (non-Creative Cloud) versions." —Henry

In my opinion, Adobe will most likely continue in their errant ways. Whether this is "the trend" or not, Adobe is wrong on principle. Forcing them to rent with no choice for purchasing a license to use indefinitely is wrong. A good company offers good service for their loyal customers. A bad company like Adobe makes enemies and—stronger Photoshop competitors such as PhotoLine.

Do I wish things would go back to the way they were? No. The universe is beautiful. However, the unseen reality is that beauty is often generated by the unpleasant and destructive side of reality. This mess will inspire innovative competitors and artists to forge a path free of need for Adobe products—a company that values high profits over high quality service.

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