art & design

why Adobe’s creative cloud is fucking shit

May 12, 2013
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Let’s say you own a drill. Every 2-3 years you need to replace it because you use it daily. You walk into Home Depot to upgrade your drill and they say, “oh yeah, so, you can’t buy a drill anymore, however we can lease it to you. But don’t worry! There’s an upside! We’ll give you a brand new drill every year!”

This sounds great, right?

Well, there’s an annual contract, but hey… we’ve had those since the mid-90’s when we all started toting around cell phones.

Oh, one other thing… anything you’ve built with that drill can only be used as long as you are paying Home Depot. FOREVER.

“Maybe I can just go buy a drill someplace else,”  you say?

“Oh… so sorry! Noooo. No. This is the only drill available.”

Now replace Home Depot with Adobe and the drill for CS.

This is real.

Let’s say I build a logo in Adobe’s latest version of Illustrator. I save it as an .ai file. I own this logo. Or do I? Only as long as I keep paying Adobe to be able to open the file. FOREVER. I just can’t fathom how this will work out for Adobe.

wtf adobe1

As far as a revenue stream… will Adobe really be making such vast improvements to their software that people will jump ship from CS6 to the cloud anytime soon? For anyone that recently shelled out thousands of dollars for CS6 (even within the past year or so) I can tell you it will be YEARS before that person will even think about paying for a contractual subscription. CS6 has been out for three years. I’m still using CS5 at work.

Even billion dollar companies are slow to upgrade. I work with printers still using CS3.

There are two trends that Adobe thinks they’ve got right–the idea of relinquished/shared ownership and the concept of the cloud.

Not owning a car and using Zipcar, a shared car service, is different than not owning the tools you use to create your work. One major difference is Zipcar does not require me to keep paying them after I bought the groceries I acquired while running errands in their car. When my $50 annual Zipcar fee expires I still get to sit in the shitty IKEA furniture I bought and assembled (at least for a few years… I mean, it’s IKEA furniture).

I’ve happily relinquished car ownership–I have not relinquished the things I’ve done or acquired while using the car.

I have two email addresses. One that is free (gmail) and one that I pay for through my own domain. I know I am subjected to ads and having my data aggregated when using my FREE account. The same goes for any PDF’s or text based documents or spreadsheets shared in the cloud using Google Docs.

There is no trade-off with Adobe’s “Creative Cloud”. Not only am I relinquishing ownership of the tools, but I am also paying for their cloud (that I do not want).

Unfortunately the creative community is owned by Adobe. Owned deep.

I was never a Macromedia fan, but at least there was an alternative. Now, not so much. (Worth noting that Adobe bought Macromedia.)

The open source alternative to Microsoft Office is different than the open source alternative to Adobe’s Creative Suite. Text editors and spreadsheet crunchers are a far cry from the complex and CPU intensive requirements for manipulating 16-bit raw image files.

My gut feeling is that I better upgrade to CS6 within the next month because I have a feeling that’s what I am using until Apple decides to actually start being Apple again.

Which could be awhile.

Maybe the cloud option is beneficial for some, but the price savings doesn’t work out for professionals that have been upgrading over the years. Upgrade from CS5 to CS6 is less than what you would pay from “renting” over the course of a few years.

Personally, I want to own my software, not be held hostage by it.

Judge for yourself.

Adobe’s response to Fast Company here.

Lifehacker’s review here.

 

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7 Comments

  • Reply Matt the Velociraptor July 23, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    i am 17 and really enjoy being creative. i especially like that last part “Personally, I want to own my software, not be held hostage by it.” Why in the flying fuck would i want to pay X amount of money to create things that aren’t 100% mine. since this new cloud thing – my respect for abode as a company has plummeted 10 fold. Now more than ever you can see how much of a greedy fuck they are.

  • Reply Wil Reiner - Philadelphia area Wedding Photographer October 30, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    I’m really hoping that Apple comes to the table and kicks Adobe’s butt to the curb for treating their captive customers so poorly. I just bought CS6 last year, and I plan to keep the last “non subscription” Creative Suite on my Macs for many years to come.

    I really do not want to take part in their subscription model, ever, and I’ll be looking at alternatives in a few years for programs like Photoshop, inDesign, and Lightroom. Apple and/or Google would be logical competitors in this field, I don’t understand why their not jumping in.

  • Reply Kyle Travis December 11, 2014 at 5:37 am

    I really hope that Adobe can’t hold it’s users by the balls enough that they can get away with charging by the month.
    f
    I have a DVD of CS 5.5 and I can’t load it onto my new Surface Pro 3. Windows tech support couldn’t figure out why, and when I tried to get ahold of Adobe, I found that I have to pay for their tech support.

    I already bought their product, and now because it doesn’t work, they want me to pay more money to ask them how to fix it.

    Fuck Adobe. Just fuck them.

  • Reply Farqa Dobe October 23, 2015 at 9:29 am

    C’mon enterprising software developers. There’s a gaping hole in the market here, dangling seductively and ripe for the taking. Adobe needs to be dragged from its throne and hauled through the streets naked whilst being pelted with rotten fruit.

  • Reply Angela November 5, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    I hope Adobe faces the ghosts of “Overpriced Software Past, Present, and Future” and sees how the majority of it’s users were completely spat on and forced to move on to much cheaper alternatives.

    There’s just no excuse for such greed catering to people that tend to start off in a hobby or business that is mainly a solo endeavor.

  • Reply Trevor April 25, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Problem is we were holding out where I work, but we had bought a bunch of CS5 licenses and upgrades to CS6. Adobe unilaterally declared that 5 was no longer a license they would honour which killed all our CS6 upgrades. So we went to the cloud and now our design team constantly complains that they get the rainbow wheel of spinning death and I know it’s adobe. Expect Adobe to wipe out CS6 licenses in the near future the same way and force you onto the cloud. But there’s no alternative!

    Our team actually does ask for upgrades all the time so, no, we couldn’t get away with using the same version for years :/

    Welcome to the age of global fascism where corporations backed by governments can screw consumers for profit. Now banks are allowed by governments to bail in and steal money from people’s bank accounts, is it any wonder that Adobe engages in this kind of near criminal behaviour.

  • Reply Marcel May 26, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    I have just purchase lightroom.
    6 hours to get the thing registered and working so that I can use it off line. Web chat only, & no one to speak to.
    I was going to buy photoshop CS6 I don’t think so now.
    Adobe do not realise or accept that there are still people in this world that are not connected 24/7 and that some do not WANT to be tethered to a company with all the associated risks of data theft.
    I am looking at alternatives to photoshop and lightroom. ACDsee looks promising as does Serif Photoplus. I already use serif Page plus as a publisher and find it rather good, Also as a company when I have needed support it is there.
    Looks like Bye-Bye photoshop after nearly 20 years.
    So much for retaining customer loyalty

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