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Adobe gets it wrong with the cloud!?

The new Adobe Cloud Pain

I have always been very loyal to Adobe and their great software. I mainly use Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop for my editing and photography workflow and I think they are outstanding software with no close competitors for the professional photographer. Unfortunately Adobe is letting me down this time and I'm angry at their move to exclusively move Photoshop CS to the "Adobe Creative Cloud" (aka "Adobe CC").

The two main problems for me as a professional photographer in using the new cloud based Adobe Photoshop are the following:

1. It's only going to be available as a subsription service and you need to connect to the Adobe Creative Cloud

If you want to edit a photo where you have no internet connection you are out of luck and that's completely absurd. I can't believe that they aren't going to sell a stand-alone version. I'm dumbfounded about this business decision. They are limiting where and when I can use their software to complete my editing work.

2. They have substantially increased the price for photographers that only use Photoshop and don't need constant updates.

They are different monthly subscription plans that are billed monthly with annual commitment. Whole Creative Cloud subscriptions are $30/month for for teachers and students, and $50/month for all other subscribers, that's $600/year. For photographers that only use Photoshop there are options to license just Photoshop, the current rate is $20/ month for the first year, with prices subject to change after the first year.

For Adobe power users that use several Adobe software products the monthly price plans are great and will result in significant savings compare to buying the former Adobe Creative Suite. However photographers who only need Photoshop and don't need every update are not as happy as they are used to buying the software for approximately $150 as an upgrade every other upgrade cycle. Doing the math, I spent about $150 to keep Photoshop CS updated every three years, or I can spend $240 every year, so the total cost of owning Photoshop CC for 3 years is now about $720, an effective price increase of 400% !

Adobe is greedy about how to increase their revenue in a monopoly situation, they don't have any real competitors! I can understand a resonable yearly price increase, I think 400% is way to much, but worst is to limit the usefulness of the software by only making it available in the cloud with a subscription plan. I see a lot of photographers looking for alternative software solutions in the near future, especially hobby photographers that don't depend on the software for their work, but professional photographers will probably eat the bill.

For hobby photographers check out this link If you want to build your own "Creative Software Suite" with free and cheap software!,

For professional photographers I only know one good alternative to Adobe Lightroom and partly also for some Photoshop users since you can use layers and that's Phase One Capture one Pro 7, they have a 30 day trail, so you can try it for Free!

Some relief for the new "Adobe Cloud Pain" for photographers is that for now, Photoshop Elements and Lightroom are not going to be only cloud based.

Leave me a comment about what you think!

UPDATE, I just found out that you appently don't need to be connected online to use Photoshop CC in the new Creative Cloud!

You will need to be online when you install and license your software.With an annual membership, you’ll be asked to connect to the web to validate your software licenses every 30 days. However, you’ll be able to use products for 99 days even if you’re offline, but it will pester you with constant vrification reminders to go online.

3. I have one additional mayor problem with the new Adobe Creative Cloud, that's easily overlooked. If you buy an upgrade like you do with Photoshop CS, you have access to that new version forever. If you pay for the cloud version and choose to end your subscription, you have access to nothing. You lease the software, you don't buy it!

Fort Worth Photography & Dallas Photography

3 Responses to “Adobe gets it wrong with the cloud!?”

  1. Dan Ludlow says:

    I agree with what you say.

    Using the cloud will be much the same as using CS, but the monthly fee in place of "ownership" (you only rent software "perpetually" in fact) is a real change to come to terms with.

    More importantly (as you highlight) users like myself spend roughly what you suggest (in the UK we pay roughly in pounds what you pay in dollars, so it costs us more/increases Adobe's profit), so the arguement for setting the subscription price (and "lapped up" by the media?) which suggests $20 month shows "savings" clearly shows nothing of the sort.

    As you point out this is a big price hike in Adobe's favour IF you are merely a Photoshop user. The Price should be less than half that, and needs to be for users to stay loyal to what is superb software.

    Kicking customers in the teeth in the way the Creative Cloud has been introduced/foisted on them is appalling marketing, and I would doubt the ability of those behind it if I was an Adobe shareholder. Looking at how they are handling the obvious backlash, they simply lack imagination. What did they think their photographer/hobbyist following would do faced with their delivery? They simply don't know their customers or people in general if they simply relied upon exloiting a monopolistic position.

  2. Toon Grobet says:

    It strange to see that this article starts with a completely wrong interpretation by wich it sets a very negative and hostile tone. You don’t neef to be connected to the net to use the software. Ok it is corrected later in the article. It would be much more correct to omit that first chapter all together.Because for those people who don’t read the complete article it is misleading.
    I’ve been using CC from the beginning and it costs me less than the DVDs and constant fees for updates. Psd was 800,-€ for a full license and 250,-€ /update (at least onve a year) And after 3 a few years you needed Now I pa 400,-/year and I also get Indesign, Illustrator, Lightroom, etc. The whole package was sold previously for 3000,-€.

    • Yes Toon, negative is my view of Adobes business practices and that the only option that they currently offer is to rent CC and no alternative to buy the software anymore, but it’s hardly a “hostile article”, I even say that Adobe has the best image editing software for professionals and that I personally use them. When a company has monopoly on the software it’s easy to disregard customer’s wishes.

      You belong to the kind of customers that CC cater to and the few that will save money on the new “rental plan”, since you use several software in CC. But you can hardly argue that it’s a good deal if you only use Photoshop or any other Adobe software and you are not interested in constant updates. I can see that the price structure is different in Europe and that’s substantially more expensive.

      It’s not primarily the new prices that I disagree with, it’s the lack of buy option and the fact that you can’t own the software, what are you supposed to do with your edited files if you stop the subscription, you can’t open or edit them anymore?

      Saying that you don’t need to be connected to the internet is only partially true, you definitely need to have internet to activate it and for the occasional verification of the software, so yes you can be disconnected from the internet during a month or two but eventually you have to online to use the software. It might not be an issue for most people, but it’s not a flexible solution that offers options.


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