Having tested the waters, Adobe have decided it is no longer in their interest to run both a subscription service and a perpetual license service. From now on if you wish to continue using up to date Adobe Creative Suite software you will have to sign up for a month-to-month or discounted annual Creative Cloud subscription. This will give access to all of the Creative Suite titles, including Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Premiere and After Effects. Moving to a subscription only service held in ‘the Cloud’ has riled many Adobe Suite users, as demonstrated in this petition, already signed by over 3000 disgruntled users. Criticism is coming from a wide range of users, from the amateur photographers to the long term heavy users in the design industry who depend on the packages for their work and income.
Looking closely at the comparative costs however, perhaps it’s not all doom and gloom, as illustrated in this CNET technology news article.
Likewise concerns over control and ownership of work seem exaggerated as you can choose not to work or save your work in the cloud. You also have the option of upgrading your old boxed software at a discounted rate and your current package is not obsolete or worthless.
Here at Creative82 we can see how the move provides a more accessible and open software package which may encourage more creativity and collaboration. The addition of pro Behance portfolios is also of interest and there are benefits to the regular updates and fixes. However with an average £50/month bill many graphic designers and photographers see this move as a cynical money making move by a large company and are seeking alternative providers and workarounds.
It has certainly made the license less restrictive and will no doubt have an impact on levels of piracy but our concern is that it feels rather forced, and that we are signing up for an all or nothing way of working. Should creatives have to just give in to keep up? Or perhaps we will see a growing number of frustrated and financially stretched businesses and individuals resorting to working with outdated software? Will this lead to a mass walkout towards new competitors or open source options?
The future remains to be seen, as does the future pricing plan for Adobe products…