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Adobe Listened To User Feedback Regarding Their CS6 Upgrade Policy

Published: 03/02/2012
By: larry

Nick Jones reminded me last week that I pointed out in Nov that Adobe initially announced that only CS5 users could upgrade to CS6. But I did not pass on the fact that Adobe finally caved in to public pressure and changed their upgrade policy. Here is Adobe's current upgrade policy for the up coming CS6 that is coming some time in the first half of 2012.

I think we can thank Scott Kelby for this change in direction. Scott spanked Adobe pretty bad about their initial policy. Thanks Scott for getting Adobe to listen. Too bad they can figure this stuff out on their own.

Basically it appears that CS3 and CS4 users will get some special pricing break to upgrade to CS6. But after CS6 you better stay current or you can't upgrade.

Personally, although I dearly love the full version of Photoshop and I've paid the upgrade price religiously every upgrade since  the early 90's, I have to say that the Creative Suite applications are beginning to feel obscenely expensive. And I've never felt this way before. Also, I find the concept of paying a monthly fee for their cloud suite rather offensive. It may make sense for some but I don't like the concept of paying a monthly charge for software. I guess I'm just old fashion. I think what we are going to see in the future is a continuing pricing assault on Adobe's key creative applications by Apple. The two most recent pricing assaults from Apple are $79 Aperture (vs $199 LR) and $399 FCP X (vs $799 Premier Pro). There is a long deep seated rivalry between Adobe and Apple that goes back to the early days of the Macintosh. Oh yea, another example of this is before last Thursday you had to use InDesign CS5.5 ($699) to build beautiful multi-media iBooks for the iPad. Last Thursday Apple announced iBook Author (free) which is way easier and faster than InDesign.

Photoshop Elements (PSE) is still a good value at $79. An for real estate photography PSE with Lightroom or Aperture is all you need.

9 comments on “Adobe Listened To User Feedback Regarding Their CS6 Upgrade Policy”

  1. One of the things not being discussed by Adobe, but is CERTAINLY a part of the shift in this, is piracy. Photoshop is probably one of the most hacked softwares out there, and if Adobe can put it in the cloud on their servers, they can obviously control it better. The downside to that is, what happens when those hackers get a fire in their furnace over it and take down the servers, even for one day with the software being unavailable to the rest of us? Thats a recipe for disaster in the creative business world. Imagine one week where no one could access Adobe's cloud and use any of the products?

    I think even the upgrade policy has some to do with piracy. They lose money all the way around and are making up for it everywhere they can.

    To me it would make more sense if this is the direction they are taking to have single software subscription prices instead of the whole suite, but I really hope they reconsider.

  2. Adobe really doesn't havea grasp of the market realities - much the way the Wordstar, WordPerfect, and Lotus 123 lost their leadership position. First issue is the requirement for profitibility based on scavenging the current customer base, rather than have it supliment future sales. Dropping the 2 years off, only served the current earnings growth pressure, butwill not be availble for future as the lump them to one version. Also consider the ill will they generated with the initial announcement and those that ruse an upgrade in the 2 months, buying CS5 to be eligible for CS6 - and now Adobe has backtracked.

    In terms of Cloud subscription who needs it? Certainly not John Q Amateur who bought Photoshop more for status than need. There are much cheaper and nearly equally capable programs available. Now move to the professional. Limited production using 2 or 3 times per month would be hard to justify a monthly cost. That basically leaves Adobe dependent on the high end professional...the very same group others covet. As a Photoshop, Premiers, Acrobat X , Dreamweaver, In Design, and Illustrator user (as well as the secondary programs like After Effects and Encore) user their Suite isn't really that tighly integrated with differing command shortcuts and even differing workflow logic. Lightroom vs. Photoshop and In Design vs. Illustrator differences/conflicts are good examples.

    Lets see. Apple gives away cloud as it incorporates it into the system, Adobe wants to charge a monthly subscription. Likewise, apple has some very capable programs -but no direct competitor to Photoshop like Aperture/Lightroom or FCP X/Premier compete which are significantly less expensive. Adobe has a significant problem on their hands where their pricing - which encouraged hacking similar to the $50 run-n-gunner we deal with - to a highly competitive competing products with a corporation that can take Adobe to the cleaners. That is not good, and altering/alienating upgrade policy or subscription service for cashflow from a coveted group is not going to solve it.

  3. Here's to hoping apple comes out with a competitor to photoshop sometime in the next five years. Adobe's DRM is nothing but a royal pain in the ass for honest users, and pretty horrible at curbing piracy.

  4. Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3 wonderful programs. I am very happy that I made the decision to step up to the plate and made them part of my initial investment when I started my business last year. After 9 months of intense study I still feel that I only have a basic command of these programs - especially Photoshop and this is after being a dedicated PSE user for over 10 years. Adobe's support and tutorials suck though, It was only after additional investing in the tut that I really understood just how powerful Photoshop really is. So I am afraid that they have me where they want me. For me, the investment in the upgrade will be small compared to the many many hours of midnight oil that has been burned developing my still basic understanding of these programs. (Please don't tell Adobe, though)

  5. Not interested in cloud-hosted subscriptions, so hopefully this isn't a transition to subscription-only products. Otherwise, I love Adobe products and haven't regretted an upgrade yet. Looking forward to more innovation!

  6. This is the same model adopted by Autodesk. Buy a $4000 (!) piece of production software (per seat!), and either pay $750/year additional to get the next annual release, or wait a couple years and pay another $2000-3000 to get current. The only thing they offer are cosmetic improvements in their software that aren't necessary for production, yet they have forced everyone to an annual upgrade model instead of only releasing major upgrades when ready.

    These companies have no way to support their bloat unless they force you to upgrade early and often. If you didn't have to upgrade until a substantial improvement was made in existing software, the companies would fold under their current weight. Drug dealer method, get you hooked, charge you systematically here on out.

  7. This is a slightly different perspective on the cost of purchasing a product that is controlled by the seller.

    There are a great number of independent small businesses using/rely on Photoshop that are made up of one person, (I venture not to guess for being grossly incorrect- maybe a gazillion?!, but whatever it is- it is a LOT); photographers, graphic designers, artists, painters, and many others that I am not aware of in the professional field. Then you have businesses that range from 2 upward with much bigger revenue streams and I dare say way more lucrative. I understand licensing, so I am not speaking about multiple users using the same copy but multiple people supporting the single license; e.g. the print shop with the graphic designer, the sales person, the printer effectively lowers the cost of said purchase. It would be very interesting to see just how many one-person businesses use Photoshop compared to everything larger in Photoshop's portfolio. Photoshop for the one-person outfit might be a 20% expense on their balance sheet while a larger outfit's cost ratio drops proportionately, scalability is a key element that is not considered in the pricing by Adobe.

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