back to article Adobe all smiles as beret bods spaff cash on non-cloud Creative Suite

A late rally from Adobe customers wanting to buy software on a perpetual license before that option closed this month, coupled with a swelling base of cloudy converts, helped boost the developer's coffers in its fiscal second quarter. Adobe turned over $1.07bn in revenues in the three-month period ended 30 May, up from $1.01bn …


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  1. hammarbtyp Silver badge

    Rather than paying adobe in perpetuity

    I'll think I'll stick with CS2 thanks all the same and put all the dosh I saved into buying some better glass.

    Truth is I haven't actually seen any great innovation features that would make me think I'm missing out on much apart from some user interface improvements.

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: Rather than paying adobe in perpetuity

      Ditto, lightroom does all I need and more. I have ps cs1 but can't remember the last time I needed it. Money better spent on scrumpy and pies!

      Get it right in camera and post is a doddle, no needed for expensive software.

      1. BongoJoe

        Re: Rather than paying adobe in perpetuity

        I have Lightroom and for those very few occasions when I need something extra there's Elements.

  2. TRT Silver badge

    It's a mistake...

    Our researchers were happy to spaff a few hundred every three or four years on a concurrent copy of CS to be shared amongst their lab for the ~1% of the time they needed to tweak an image or two before publication. Now, I guess they'll switch to NIH or ImageJ or something.

  3. Major Ebaneezer Wanktrollop

    Most people will get by just fine with - now they've changed to an unstable cloudy platform my PS spaffing days are over.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where is the competition

    Prime time for a existing or new competitor to step in and give customers what they want. Non-Cloud based software that isn't a rental.

    I will hold my breath.

    Do they, Adobe, have that tight of a monopoly on the creative community?

    1. M Gale

      Re: Where is the competition

      I have heard good things about Paint Tool SAI. How well it performs next to say, Paint Shop Pro or The GIMP, I am unsure.

      1. SisterClamp

        Re: Where is the competition

        I'm sure there are lots of very good products out there, but I can copy my .xcf files from Gimp Linux to Gimp Windoze and back again. The ultimate in versatility for the way I work. I'm sticking with Gimp.

        1. Tony Paulazzo

          Re: Where is the competition

          I'm forcing myself to learn Gimp, and after getting thru the inertia of not wanting to learn something new, it actually doesn't take long to find your way around, they've implemented layers in a weird way, but that's balanced by the pure speed increase in, well, everything - this program should be in every school by law.

          The only problem is that there's still no good replacement for Dreamweaver - still using version 8 on my Ubuntu box (the Macromedia version before Adobe bought it out) - just to stay on this side of legal, but Adobe did make some good improvements along the way, much as I hate to say it.

    2. Herr Peeperkorn

      Re: Where is the competition

      Corel makes decent commercial software. I have not used either it or Adobe in a while, though, so cannot really comment on how the current versions compare.

      1. Indolent Wretch

        Re: Where is the competition

        Leaving aside the photo editing (which isn't my bag) and although the software is targeted at a particular niche I've heard a lot of good things about Manga Studio for producing original artwork. It's apparently not manga only despite its name and the comments on Amazon are very positive. It's cheap and you can get it bundled with a Wacom tablet if you so desire.

    3. Roo

      Re: Where is the competition

      "Prime time for a existing or new competitor to step in and give customers what they want. Non-Cloud based software that isn't a rental."

      When presented with an alternative to a hugely expensive product, users of said product will often tell you that the alternative is not same thing and therefore it is not a valid alternative. They will then assert that there are no alternatives, essentially because they are unwilling to change their habits. Vendors recognise this circular logic and make some effort to nurture it by awarding loud mouths branded tat.

      You will see that pattern repeated in many threads here at the Reg.

  5. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Next Quarter

    will find a 500% rise in Pirated copies flying around the internet.

    Sorry Adobe, I'm not buying Photoshop anymore. You have lost my dosh forever on that product.

    Lightroom does everything I need these days and is a lot cheaper.

    If you go subscription for it then I'll ditch your software altogther

    You might be milking it now but for how long then eh?

  6. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge

    The market provides?

    I've always thought that Adobe's pricing and licencing policy makes their niche an open goal for competing software. But where is it?

  7. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Cloud went down 15th of May, results up to 30th of May include perpetual licence windfall

    Now why would that be?

  8. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

    Why would the stock price go up?

    The increased income is only showing how much they'll lose from now on.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: Why would the stock price go up?

      There are two types of investors. Smart ones is one type.

  9. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


    A pox on their house.

  10. dan1980

    Cloud-based subscriptions are not horrendous in and of themselves, though my preference is always for perpetually-licensed software and I truly believe that they can and should co-exist.

    The real problem comes in how the licensing, updating, activation and compatibility of such software is managed and CC is a mixed bag here.

    First, Adobe has been relatively sensible regarding updates as you have a full year to update to the newest version, once it has been released. Personally, I think you should never have to update if you don't want to but 1 year is not as bad as it could have been. Unknown is how frequent and/or avoidable minor updates are. One can easily see a forced update breaking a workflow.

    To activation, however, it is a mess. The FAQs and all the gushing 'this-dog-food-is-soooo-tasty' blog posts unhelpfully tell you that the software needs to check in at least once every 30 days. What it DOESN'T tell you, however is that it needs to check in on a SPECIFIC day - the 23rd day of your monthly license period. It will then keep trying for 7 days (bringing it to the end of the 30-day cycle) and, if it hasn't been able to contact the internet, you get 5 days of grace and then BAM - no more Photoshop for you. If you know you will be away and possibly without Internet access during that period, there is no way to force a check-in before you leave. There is also no way to stop the annoying pop-ups that occur during that period if you don't have Internet access.

    The number of situations where this would be inconvenient - at best - are far more numerous than Adobe may wish to accept.

    The only reason one can see for such ridiculous behaviour is that Adobe would rather fuck its customers over than risk them possibly getting a free ~30 days of use and lose that $50*. That type of priority assignment comes from being in such a strong position as CS is pretty much the standard these days. While I would love to see them toppled, it is unlikely to happen any time soon.

    * - In an unheard-of move for Adobe, pricing in AU is actually the same as the US. To get an idea of how unlike Adobe this is, the boxed copy of CS6 cost $1500 more in Australia than the US - taking into account exchange rates.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      You what!??

      What it DOESN'T tell you, however is that it needs to check in on a SPECIFIC day - the 23rd day of your monthly license period. It will then keep trying for 7 days (bringing it to the end of the 30-day cycle) and, if it hasn't been able to contact the internet, you get 5 days of grace and then BAM - no more Photoshop for you.

      Adobe, you morons! That turns the Creative Cloud from an annoyance into something that many of your customers simply cannot use at all!

      1. Richard Jones 1

        Re: You what!??

        I doubted that it was a good idea for me but now I know I would never be able to work with it. For a range of reasons I do have periods when I do not do any photo-process work for periods of time. If the darned thing laid down and died while I was still PAYING to have the use of it would be totally unacceptable. To say I would be under-joyed would be an understatement, they really must have done that using a fully paid up suicide jockey

      2. M Gale

        Re: You what!??

        Dear Richards,

        Deal with it.

        Yours sincerely,


  11. John Sanders

    The opensource stuff keeps getting better and better




    At some point they will be good enough for larger and larger portions of potential Adobe's customers.

    True Adobe may have the upper hand when it comes to high-end features, but that is not the point.

    Also most big companies are moving to work-flow tools where they need very few Adobe licenses, thanks in part because of stupid limitations Adobe imposes on automation tools.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: The opensource stuff keeps getting better and better

      Inkscape is excellent. Scribus I have used successfully but don't have enough commercial comparisons to comment. Seemed okay though. But GIMP really need to learn that some people just want a toolbar that bloody well docks.

  12. detritus

    Oh if only it were practical for me to go fully open source for my job, sadly I need Illustrator on a daily basis (waaay better than CorelDraw for creative working with paths for laser and CNC output...).

    I don't mind paying for that so much (although I do philosophically loathe that this cloud subscription mechanic essentially locks me in to an annual upgrade, whereas beforehand I could get away with upgrading every two/three versions).

    What really pisses me off though is that I intermittently use PS and FW, but with the tiering system deployed by Adobe, I'd then be locked into a ~£50 per month subscription, wherein I get a load of software I would literally never use nor care about.

    What's more, having just checked the prices again, there's a 6p — £0.06 — difference between an annual commitment, monthly-billed, and paying 12 month up front.

    I like Illustrator, and have used Photoshop since version 3, but I'll be veering away from Adobe for raster editing in future, as I'm sure as heck not paying through the nose for upgrades there.

    As soon as any competition comes up for Illy, I'll be looking there too.

    Now if only I could possibly convince my clientbase to send me files in another format... :(



    Oh, and just to point out to our American cousins - we pay almost twice what you do in the states in an almost $ = £ conversion, so I'm not just being a cheap-ass here.

    I'd probably not care if it were ~$50 a month either.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > What really pisses me off though is that I intermittently use PS and FW, but with the tiering system deployed by Adobe, I'd then be locked into a ~£50 per month subscription, wherein I get a load of software I would literally never use nor care about.

      There are interesting parallels between this and cable TV here.

      Bear with me: a lot of people use CS for just a fairly small percentage and the field is becoming more and more diversified not least because of the plethora of open source and free alternatives that are getting very usable these days for a large number of people. Likewise cable, where people having to buy massive numbers of channel packages to just get the 3 or 4 they actually watch, is no longer the only option. We have the likes of Hulu and Netflix and online individual purchase options through Amazon and YouTube giving exactly what people want and no more at a reasonable price without subscription.

      Like the cable TV purveyors, Adobe are flogging an increasingly dead horse here. I get that there are some benefits from cloud offerings, but it just doesn't have the obvious fit here. Their software doesn't even actually run on the net, it is just network authenticated extortion at the end of the day.

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Totally agree. If Internet speeds (latency and throughput) and cloud storage pricing vastly improved it might make more sense if their servers are doing the processing , especially if they used al a carte pricing. As it stands their products ( for me at least) gsry less attractive as time passes.

        It seems they are given the choice of innovating or just trying to con money via restrictive licensing and opt for the latter every time.

        If they want my money then deliver a product that is worthy of it, the more effort you put into milking your cash cows the more I will resist spending my money.

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Yugguy


    Where's those two semi-clad ladies?

  15. cd

    If yer doing photos, Capture One is worth a look.

    1. Bloakey1

      "If yer doing photos, Capture One is worth a look."

      Hmmm, are you referring to the scantily clad maidens? I would willingly capture one if I could. i have searched high and low and even gone widdershins but no maidens can I find. Ahh well it is a sunny day and the pubs are open.

  16. danolds

    So I'm the only one???

    I'm not a creative professional. I run a small industry analyst firm and put up a fair amount of stuff here in El Register. You may have seen some of my videos covering the student cluster competitions and a few webcasts in my Reg HPC Blog.

    When I stated doing more audio and video work in 2010, I realized that I needed some serious tools if I wanted my stuff to look and sound better. Looking at what I was doing, I figured I needed a good video editing suite, photo editing, audio processing, and even something I could use to cobble together the odd logo or two. I tried GIMP, Audacity, and some other free tools, but wasn't wild about them. I had a hard time using them, which is mainly a function of me not having enough time to devote to getting up the learning curve.

    I then took a hard look at various Adobe offerings, but getting full versions of Premiere, Photoshop, Audition (which was called something else back then), plus Illustrator or maybe AfterEffects, was going to cost me anywhere from $2,000 -$3,000, plus a few hundred bucks every couple of years for updates.

    That was a big enough number that I just couldn't justify it. Then CC came along and gave me all of this stuff for $50 a month. Now I have full versions that are always up to date, and I can use them on my desktop, laptop, and on big server - as long as I only run one instance at a time.

    Speaking for myself, I've found CC to be one of the best purchases I've made in a long time. I haven't had any problems with the apps or with CC verification - even when I'm on extended business trips. I did have a problem once when my credit card expired, but CC gave me 30 days of use before pulling the plug. I called Adobe customer support, and it was taken care of in about 5 minutes.

    Financially, I think it's about a wash in my case. I'm a guy who typically purchases updates when they're available, and I'm really glad to see that there's so much educational material out there. If I'm stuck trying to do something, I seem to always be able to find a Youtube video or tutorial that shows me the way.

    I'm using these apps more than I thought I would, primarily Audition and Premiere, with a fair amount of AfterEffects and Photoshop, and a smidgen of Illustrator, Prelude, and Speedgrade.

    As much as I like bitching about things in general, CC has been great for me. I think they did it right, and I think this is would be a great delivery model for other ISVs to emulate.

  17. stizzleswick

    Having been in Pre-Press for a long time...

    ...I find Adobe have lost the ball with their move to subscription-only. For most purposes in Pre-Press, GIMPshop (which is based on the GIMP, but can do CMYK colours--a must-have in Pre-Press!!!), Scribus (which lacks some of Quark XPress' and InDesign's features but stacks up extremely well against anything else on the market--think PageMaker 7 meets VistaDesigner) and Inkscape do the job, with one single lack, and that is interoperability. No drag-and-drop from one to the other etc., which is the thing that made the CS dominate the market.

    Mind, for me, that is not a problem because I'm not in pre-press any longer. I use those three applications for my own purposes, plus for my photography work, Aperture, which takes more than enough care of the tasks I used to do with Photoshop.

    Half a decade back, I had to buy the CS4 for business reasons. Guess that will remain the final version of Adobe's products I'll ever buy.

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