back to article Adobe CEO admits need to 'tweak' Creative Suite's cloud-only policy

Adobe dropped the D-bomb during a Q2 conference call with analysts after admitting some customers are "disappointed" it decided to murder future copies of its boxed Creative Suite. Clearly top brass at the company were living in er…cloud cuckoo land when they revealed last month that future Creative Suite versions would only …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Another photo editing business needs to step up with a disc, what a fantastic opportunity if they can offer a polished product. Adobe would hemorrhagic customers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another

      The problem is there is a genuine and compelling reason for Adobe to switch to a subscription model. As of last year, due to UsedSoft v Oracle, non-tangible software (i.e. downloaded) purchases can be re-sold like any other in the EU. Subscriptions are not similarly effective.

      So, yeah, Adobe might haemorrhage customers who don't want to switch to subs over purchases, but they're going to struggle to develop and support software of even remotely similar quality when their profit margins and sales volumes are being annihilated by a healthy 2nd hand market for their product.

      1. tonysmith

        Re: Another

        What is it with the software world that they seem to have a need to access the 2nd hard market for their products. You don't see car manufactures trying to get a cut when you sell your car (yet) do you?

        Seems quite greedy and prevents people getting on and using their software via the "cheap" way by buying a product that is a few years old...

        imo it will just mean less newbies will end up using it and most probably mean more customers for disc based competitors in the long run...which could be a good thing I guess.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Another

          "What is it with the software world that they seem to have a need to access the 2nd hard market for their products. You don't see car manufactures trying to get a cut when you sell your car (yet) do you?"

          The key difference is software stands uniquely amongst consumer products that there is no depreciation. A two year old car is a car two years closer to uselessness and unreliability. A two year old copy of Photoshop is exactly as it was two years ago and will continue to be exactly like that until the universe implodes.

          That should not, however, be taken as a reason to restrict the principle of exhaustion in software (digitally distributed or otherwise). A strong secondary market improves the efficiency of all stakeholders. It allows all purchasers to recoup the still-useful value of their property after it stops meeting their business needs, it adds downward price pressure to the product, improving accessibility and it forces the primary producers to genuinely innovate version-to-version, whether in features or service, to keep people coming back to them. That is unequivocally a Good Thing.

          I think software vendors defaulting to the "it's a rented license not a sold product" model just to avoid these pressures is something of a cop out. If Photoshop were less dominant in the market, if it weren't just such a damned good product, other service providers would crop up to force them to compete, but they've just got such a massive advantage. I don't think many others could get away with it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Another

            That's not strictly true. A car can outlast a disc. Discs can rot but more importantly for the vast majority of potential Adobe customers old versions are useless.

            Sure Photoshop 1.0 can still run if you have a copy but why would you?

            It's only a concern if there is no real difference between versions and you expect people to pay out every year for no good reason because your business model is broken.

            Books too can easily outlast physical digital goods. I have a fair amount of books that are 40+ years old and many are certainly in sellable condition if not nearly new. What software is out there that is 40 years old that people want?

            1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

              Re: Another

              Another point is that if you upgrade, like we do, you "trade-in " the d version anyway. You cannot legally "sell" the old version, and that is what the OP referred to. Adobe has always allowed this trade-in, so tbey kind of control the 2nd-hand market.

              Also please take into account that 90% of the "new version" is actually still the old version anyway, so the vast majority of what they "sell you" you already "own".

              It's nothing like the car analogy.

  2. Bucky 2

    That's just it

    That's just it, isn't it? Photoshop doesn't REALLY have a competitor.

    There are image-editing products that suffice if you don't need everything that Photoshop does, but even Corel is a very distant #2.

    My guess is that Adobe has managed to hire all the mathematicians (both of them) who actually LIKE doing linear algebra all day.

  3. Chad H.

    Do you really want to be schlepping large media files to the cloud and back all day? Okay in the most civilised parts of big cities in the civilised world where 100Mbps+ is no problem, but not everyone lives there....

    1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

      @Chad, the use of the word "cloud" here is marketing-blaffle: you don't actually send your files to "the could" where a pool of crack CPU's render the image.

      What Adobe is talking about is nothing more than regular license checks to their "cloud based authentication server" (i.e. an IP address somewhere), together with more frequent updates.

      Difference between this and the boxed version: if you stop paying, after 30 days the software stops working.

      1. Tom 35 Silver badge

        together with more frequent updates.

        I would not count on that...

        Once they have everyone they can switched over to rent by the month, they don't need to sell upgrades. If they don't need to sell upgrades*, they don't need upgrades. If they don't need upgrades... fire most of the developers and give the execs a bonus. More value for the stake holders.

        *To some extent that is good, they no longer have a need to add crap like Flash support in a PDF just so they have something to put on the list of new features to sell an upgrade.

        The flip side is, why develop an amazing new feature if your not going to get any more money for it?

  4. Psycho Flump

    "While we will still continue to offer CS6 on a perpetual basis, the feedback from our community is important, and we are evaluating additional options that will help them with the transition,"

    See that there is the problem for me; I don't want to "transition" to their cloudy crap. I've been an Adobe user for 17 years but CS6 is where I get off. It's not so bad, I've been moving away anyway, there are better options than Dreamweaver for front-end dev work and Photoshop is no longer my immediate starting point when designing site layouts.

    It's a shame really, some of their new apps for web dev (Reflow) looked interesting but I'm not prepared to open the can of worms that is paying Adobe every month till I retire by even bothering to play with the betas anymore.

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      "While we will still continue to offer CS6 on a perpetual basis..."
      Could the honerable gentleman please point me in the right direction. We belatedly decided to upgrade CS5.5 to CS6, but couldn't find it. We checked with Adobe themselves who just repointed us to creativeRent. We asked various resellers who said no longer available. Heck at this point we'd even consider download (but with 1GB/ month cap would have to drive to the city & find an internet cafe). I want to buy a box of CS6 as an upgrade to our CS5.5. Adobe are you listening?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sorry, but this is what happens when you live in Cloud Cuckoo land....

    "Adobe dropped the D-bomb during a Q2 conference call with analysts after admitting some customers are "disappointed" it decided to murder future copies of its boxed Creative Suite."

    If ever strategists at the big tech giants shared the same water cooler its now.... Sorry, but is there something in the water? What is it with vendors being so duped up on the Cloud and hype that they automatically default to no discussion of what might go wrong, and zero recognition of any inconvenience to users ... M$ and its AdBox1 with their obsession with always been connected in the next best example I can think of... I hate to quote Rummy but when it comes to the Cloud it seems appropriate to draw from another time where blanket assumptions were made.....

    Rumsfled: "because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know."

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Users are right to be sceptical & ask thorny questions about the details & the future...

    If the vast majority migrate over to this new model there were will be consequences. Last time this story came around I made the following point. At the risk of being obvious I note the 30-day window is the state-of-play today and by no means guaranteed for the future. Adobe needs people to accept the move and are playing friendly now. But if they decide to tackle piracy head-on as someone else mentioned, they could feasibly increase the phone home frequency to something considerably less accommodating ....

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Users are right to be sceptical & ask thorny questions about the details & the future...

      Even 30 days is a pain for some people. A number of wildlife and documentary makers have raised the concern that they can spend months in remote parts of the world with a bare minimum of internet connectivity.

      When they do have some kind of net access, they have other things to worry about rather than remembering to plug in the edit laptop so Adobe's software can phone home.

      1. Kunari

        Re: Users are right to be sceptical & ask thorny questions about the details & the future...

        Agreed, Microsoft just tried to pull a 24hour check-in on the XBone console. That's the problem with subscription "cloud" based apps. There is no way to know what will be removed from us consumers next month

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Users are right to be sceptical & ask thorny questions about the details & the future...

          Agreed, Microsoft just tried to pull a 24hour check-in on the XBone console. That's the problem with subscription "cloud" based apps. There is no way to know what will be removed from us consumers next month

          Super point! M$ only U-Turned because of two huge simultaneous events. 1. A massive worldwide public outcry and 2. its nearest competitor Sony offered substantially better terms for the consumer. That's not likely to happen again. Certainly not regarding this Adobe case. In another thread someone nicknamed the new M$ box the 'Xbox 180'- hilarious!

  7. Anonymous Coward

    What frightens users

    What frightens users is the lock in. Once you are locked in you have to keep on paying and Adobe can increase the price and drop components at any time. They have past form on moving the goal posts and price hikes.

    Even with this release they have dropped the DVD authoring software Encore because "online" is the future. Tell that to the thousands of editors who produce retail DVD's or have clients demand videos that work in a standard DVD player. Adobe demonstrate time and again that they are out of touch.

    The big worry is if you stop paying you suddenly lose access to all your files. This means that even if you moved to other software at somepoint in order to access your old projects you need to keep on paying Adobe. I occasionally need to access projects from 5 or 6 years ago. In fact I still have a XP box with Premiere 1.5 on it to access really old stuff. See the problem?

    It's all very one sided and I'm not foolish enough to enter into an agreement that is one sided

    1. Amorous Cowherder

      Re: What frightens users

      "The big worry is if you stop paying you suddenly lose access to all your files."

      Why would that happen? Talking about PS primarily, you save PSD in maximise compatibility, you have to if you wish to use Lightroom anyway which means the format is backward compatible for other apps. Alright you can't edit with PS if you have't paid the subs but doesn't mean your files are locked.

      I don't like all this cloud-land bollocks either but lets keep a cogent argument together and not pour in unneccessary FUD.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: What frightens users

        Yes PSD's can be opened by other packages but you try opening an After Effects project file in any other package. You can't. Well apart from Premiere which can kind of use the files but you won't have one without the other/

  8. Stevie Silver badge


    I see this as an issue of over-convergence in a way.

    Adobe used to have a suite of separately priced software products that did various jobs, some of them so well there were no alternatives for serious users. There was some overlap in the products they made of course, and they kept acquiring new stuff and developing new capabilities in their old stuff and eventually it made sense to offer the whole kit c/w caboodle in one box (for about half the cost of a down payment on a car).

    Then the decision was taken to offer *only* the box-o-wonder and that is when the wheels started to wobble. From the inevitable years of incomprehensibly-labelled versions that made buying what you needed a nightmare a-la Windows ("I don't care what title you write on the box front, but I need to understand what comes IN the box you morons") to the point where you could only buy the super-deluxe ultra-galactic topnotch version, the lug-nuts were falling out one by one.

    And now Adobe has all-but told every loyal customer "look, some of you are using old versions of our stuff and that is taking the bread and butter out of our children's mouths. So what we are going to do is link the license to operability over time instead of over versions and you can suck our collective snoof organs if you don't like it".

    At a time when corporations are looking hard at cost of ownership this lease model is bound to raise eyebrows and make those who have an option seriously think about taking it. There *are* options for the various sub-components Adobe has rolled into their Behemoth.

    And (never thought I''d say this) the GIMP is looking shinier every time I look at it.

    1. MysteryGuy

      Cash Grab

      It seems to me this was obviously a cash-grab attempt.

      Let's say that they have a dominant market position, and depend on getting customers to keep buying upgrades. And let's say that they are running low on ideas for good upgrade features to entice more upgrades.

      What a "great" plan to

      A) Lock in your customers so that if they stop paying, they lose all access to the software. Since you are dominant in your market you feel customers will have no choice but to go along.

      B) Make then pay continuously so they don't get to decide for themselves if an update is worth the cost. They just effectively have to buy all upgrades all the time. Once they have enough customers, Adobe can get paid for doing almost nothing more.

      C) Arrange the cost so that if you want more than 1 or 2 programs it's cheaper to buy them all. "Up-sell" city.

      Voila! A cash minting machine. That is, if you get enough people to go along...

      I'm not going to get suckered in to that...

      1. Tom 35 Silver badge

        Re: Cash Grab

        C) Arrange the cost so that if you want more than 1 or 2 programs it's cheaper to buy them all.

        Or wait a year and say Photoshop is now only available in a bundle.

    2. Test Man

      Re: Bah!

      What the hell are you FUDding about? Only a few months ago, via where I work, IT installed a single user single copy of Dreamweaver CS6. Adobe have never stopped offering single applications for a single price.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I predict a herd of pixel-slingers stampeding toward


  10. Dan 55 Silver badge

    "overwhelming" majority that bought via Adobe website had chosen Creative Cloud

    Other news today, resellers have even been known to discount.

  11. jason 7

    The next step?

    Adobe launch the .psdx format for those using the subscription version.

    "Oh you cant open the are on CS5?!"

  12. Amiga

    Wildly optimistic plan

    Subscription, especially by the month, wasn't bad option but the only option…yeah that left me spitting blood.

    The deepest cut is the end of life of Fireworks. I love that program like a brother - a deformed half-bitmap, half-vector brother.

  13. Chika

    Again and again

    Yet again we see a company pushing a "cloud" system. Yet again it proves to be just another way of "monetising" the users. The greed of companies like Adobe, Microsoft et al knows no bounds, hence their insistance on you using their server farms (let's finally face it, folk; "cloud" is just a euphemism, made to make their mountains of internet connected servers sound cute).

    When will we learn?

  14. James Rome

    The government cannot lock into payments

    The problem is that many of us work for organizations that cannot commit to monthly payments given the budget situation. And for a consultant with occasional work, this is an incredible burden.

    Adobe has their heads in the sand.

  15. Tristan Young

    No love for Adobe

    Adobe has more problems than designing, and defending a cloud-based creative suite.

    Adobe's software is terribly buggy at the best of times. I'm not focusing on Photoshop specifically, but all of their software. On a daily basis, I get errors like "Error copying to clipboard" only with Adobe's software. I've never had clipboard copying errors with any other program.

    I refuse to pay for Adobe's software. I'd rather use the free alternatives, heck no, I would rather pay for the free alternatives, such as GIMP, than use Adobe's software - even if Photoshop was free.

    Terrible coding. Lots of bugs. And they want to send us to the cloud for what... so we can get new bugs sooner?

  16. Allonymous Coward

    Hit them where it hurts

    Right in the bottom line.

    Does the new version really do anything that important? Don't buy into the "cloud" fubar upgrade treadmill. Instead, donate a fraction of the money you save to GIMP or Paint.NET. At least they sometimes have their users' best interests at heart.

  17. Loneagle

    Speaking of bugs

    Here's an example of how CC can break my business and why we'll stick with packaged software thank you:

    Adobe introduced a show-stopper bug in InDesign CS6 that breaks certain hyperlinks (by rewriting them with hex notation that the target site no longer recognizes). It took them until just a few weeks ago to fix the bug. In the mean time, we were able to revert to CS5 when handling documents that trigger this bug.

    Now imagine that we're a decade into CC and a new bug appears that breaks our documents. With the continuous release train that seems to characterize CC, I don't see that we'll have any recourse to use a "previous" version to work around bugs that will inevitably get introduced. And I don't imagine that in a decade we'll still have a "save to CS6 feature" or if we do, that it will save a document that looks anything like the original.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "...some Customers" = 34,000+

    Try 34,000+, Mr. Narayen. ---->

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