Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud)

 So back last year Adobe launched their new version of Photoshop CS6 (PS CS6) and intended to only offer users who were current (CS5) a reduced upgrade price, well the backlash from the PS user community was huge and Adobe had a change of heart and extended their upgrade pricing to CS3 and newer versions until December 2012. Their new business model has been met with even more disdain and it doesn't appear that Adobe is going to blink this time.

 When PS CS6 was launched Adobe also introduced their Creative Cloud (CC) subscription service which contained their entire creative suite of products including PS. Users could buy their products as a standalone license or subscribe to their CC and pay a monthly fee to use their entire suite of products. Adobe has said that the response was very positive for their subscription service and they currently have a user base of 500K subs. Users who were paying thousands of dollars to keep current with the suite of development tools thought that this new service was great deal, and it likely is if you use 3 or 4 products, but what if you're just a photographer? Well even some of Adobe's people are now saying the deal isn't a deal even with the new CC launch just announced.

 Adobe is now saying that they will no longer support a stand alone version of their suite products, this includes PS. If you want to stay current you will have to pay them a monthly fee to use their latest and greatest products. When Adobe announced this new business model it was confusing to say the least and even now there is a lot of misinformation floating around the photography community. So if you are like me who uses PS and Lightroom (LR) what does all this mean:

- PS CS6 is the last standalone licensed version you can own. Going forward you must pay a monthly subscription fee of :
          - $10/month 1st year for owners of PS CS3 or newer, $20/month after 1st year.
          - $20/month if you do not own PS CS3 (or newer).
          - $30/month if you want to subscribe for a single month or months less than an entire year.
- The PS CC  will be downloaded just like your existing version, however once you stop your subscription the software will no longer function on your machine.
- You do not have to be connected to Adobe via the internet to use  PS CC. The software needs to be able to contact Adobe at least once every 30days for a single month subscription or once every 99 days for a yearly commitment.
- You can still purchase the latest version of PS CS6 from adobe, although they have gone out of their way to hide the link here it seems you may have to pay full price $600.
- Adobe has said that they will continue to support and fix bugs with PS CS6 to at least one more OS release for both platforms (Windows and Apple). They will also provide updates to camera raw to support new camera models, however new features will not be included.
- Lightroom 5 (LR5) will continue to be available as a standalone product outside the cloud, at least for now, who really knows what Adobe has planned?
- Photoshop Elements is another way to go if you do not to subscribe to the cloud products or can't afford PS CS6.

 Users are upset to say the least, myself included. Will I subscribe to CC, NO!!  I'm thinking about not even updating to LR5 because I do not know where that product will end up in 6 or 12 months. Adobe told everyone to update their older versions of CS to CS6 before December, or they will be left behind, and people did thinking that they'd have to pay full price for CS7 otherwise. Well in just 5 short months the bait and switch, there is no CS7, nicely done Adobe.

 The monthly fee of $20 may not sound like much to someone who is making a living off of their photography, but there are a lot of hobbyist like myself who do not make a dime off of their work and never intended to. They enjoy photography as a way to express themselves and get out and enjoy nature etc. I think Adobe will soon realize that like myself there are a lot of users who will live with the current CS6 product and hope that someone else comes along with a competitive product.