However, this totally kills my hobbyist usage at home about three to five years from now. I only ever use Photoshop, Illustrator, and occasionally After Effects for my independent design projects, and was finally able to justify upgrading from CS4 to CS6 a few months ago. A few hundred dollars every few years is worth it to pursue my own experimental work.
But I'm not going to justify $50 per month for that, and I have a hard time imagining others justifying it. I think Adobe just priced themselves solidly out of the prosumer market.
(Just to add a little math to this: A $700 upgrade every three years comes to $20/month. If Adobe can offer an a-la-carte Creative Cloud where I can get three or so apps when CS6 finally no longer cuts it, I suppose this will ultimately be a non-issue.)
Now I'm a nearly-40 year old software engineer with enough disposable income to flatter myself by upgrading Creative Suite on the trailing edge, but hell will freeze over before I pay for Creative Cloud at those prices.
Adobe have also screwed over Audition in the later versions to the point where I'll just use Cubase in preference; so much for the fast, elegant, simple workflow they inherited from CoolEdit.
Photoshop has always been way too expensive for hobbyists or people just dipping their toes in the water. The people who pirated it and got serious about it eventually bought a copy, but the people who said "that's nice" and uninstalled it never would have paid for a copy anyway.
This will make their numbers look good in the near future, but I'd stake cash money that it's going to screw with their long-term user base.
Except the entire industry claims that the number of people that would have bought it if they could not have pirated it is GREATER than the number of people that pirated it, used it as some kind of month or year long trial-ware, and eventually paid for it.
My own experience - the day a warez copy came out on Google's front page results for my software, was the day sales got cut in half, and stayed cut.
People pirate because it's easy to do, and fewer people will buy it if it's being given away for free by some site that generates its revenue from stealing other peoples work and showing you ads in the process.
For students they have heavily discounted licenses and I know a few low-quality(I don't know anyone worth their salt who pirates it), professional graphic designers who use pirated copies. It is lost revenue and if they wanted to provide demos that should be up to them not the pirates.
As Marc Andreessen has noted:
"The behavior of any big company is largely inexplicable when viewed from the outside. I always laugh when someone says, "Microsoft is going to do X", or "Google is going to do Y", or "Yahoo is going to do Z". Odds are, nobody inside Microsoft, Google, or Yahoo knows what Microsoft, Google, or Yahoo is going to do in any given circumstance on any given issue.
"The inside of any big company is a very, very complex system consisting of many thousands of people, of whom at least hundreds and probably thousands are executives who think they have some level of decision-making authority. On any given issue, many people inside the company are going to get some kind of vote on what happens -- maybe 8 people, maybe 10, 15, 20, sometimes many more.
"You can count on there being a whole host of impinging forces that will affect the dynamic of decision-making on any issue at a big company.
"You can't possibly even identify all the factors that will come to bear on a big company's decision, much less try to understand them, much less try to influence them very much at all."
My point still stands that it is their product and it should be their choice even if they piss it away.
I've been using Illustrator for about ten years. It's my main artistic medium; I'm currently engaged in drawing a comic book entirely in it. I'm at the point where I can pretty confidently say I've mastered it.
I've been paying for Illustrator for about five or six years. When I started using it, I was not a student, and there was no way I could afford a full-price legal copy.
If I hadn't pirated it, I would have not learnt it to the point where I could make enough money using it to buy it and keep it up to date. I would have used some other program, or gone with physical media. And I would not have been buying the thing for the past several years.
I suppose it depends on your definition of 'professional' but I know a few. Maybe not in the AE realm but among web designers and graphic artists, and especially freelancers and small business owners...
I welcome the day I don't have to use photoshop just because that's what the designer used.
You'd be surprised.
As I said, what is good is that the lower end of the market may have been opened up.
For my benefit, please explain what is wrong with his rationale.
Every kid who had some desire to edit images pirated Photoshop, and thus they get used to using that particular tool.
If they actually end up working in a real business doing this for a job then they will demand the use of Photoshop because it's what they already know and few businesses pirate their software.
I don't see how this accomplishes that. The programs still get downloaded to people's desktops where they'll be able to be cracked in a way that allows for unauthorized installations. The whole "cloud" terminology with their Creative Suite doesn't require any sort of always-connected status to use their apps. You literally just download and install like any other application.
If anyone thinks that when whatever CS7 equivalent comes out that there won't be cracks in the usual places just like CS6, they're sorely mistaken.
“upgrading from CS4 to CS6 [...] A few hundred dollars every few years”
As you use Photoshop, Illustrator, and AfterEffects, that means you probably have the Production Premium or Master Collection bundle. Upgrades for those bundles did not come cheap.
Adobe releases a new major version of CS every year, and has done so since CS3. CS4 is 5 years old. If Adobe kept its perpetual upgrade plans, you would have to first upgrade to CS6 to be able to upgrade to this year’s version (‘CS7’) – having to buy two upgrades would’ve cost way more than $700. Instead, Adobe gives users of CS3 or newer a discount to Creative Cloud, all Adobe apps for $30 a month.
If GP were to upgrade now from CS4 to CS6, he would also have to upgrade to CS8 next year (if Adobe still offered perpetual upgrades). That would be more expensive than Creative Cloud, he would get less apps, and fewer updates.
I started using Photoshop at version 2.5 and Illustrator at version 5, but I had forgotten that the upgrade policy used to be more liberal and that Adobe’s installers weren’t atrocious. It’s all coming back to me now. On the flipside: stupid ATM and screen fonts, buggy QuarkXpress, monitors with thousands of colors, and having to do preflight – ugh.
Some things really have improved. The Creative Cloud application installer is a delight. Updates are released often and the updating process is painless. No more hassle dealing with DVDs and serial numbers. Also, international pricing used to be way out of whack with US prices, the difference is a lot smaller now.
For folks like me, who bought the Master Collection once, and then upgraded every year, the Creative Cloud is way, way cheaper.
At $600/year, it's roughly competitive with upgrading to a new version of one of the Premium collections every 18 months. It's more expensive than upgrading to the latest Design Standard has been on that timeframe.
I'm a professional animated filmmaker, and I've spent most of my career using versions of Adobe products that were two or three versions behind the cutting edge. Aside from the DeBlur tool, for example, I don't even know what's in CS6.
Comparing 10 hours use of Photoshop per month vs hiring somebody for minimum wage for a month?
That's not even Apple's to Oranges, it's Apples to Universes.
Is the market big enough for people who aren't willing to spill $50 for the full suite? Will those of us who just drop using the apps because of price balance out to those who have now picked it up for the exact same reason?
There are many casual Adobe CS users within companies, and it's cheap and effective to virtualize the app and provide it to employees for limited periods.
Creative Cloud basically delivers this functionality to everyone, with a licensing model that makes it more challenging to cheat.