Adobe Compromises On Photoshop CC. How About You?
Tough call today for many of us on the Adobe Photoshop issue. You undoubtedly have heard by now that Adobe is offering a newly-packaged product – Photoshop CC and Lightroom (the two programs photographers use daily) as a bundle at a much reduced price. So, Adobe says they are listening and trying to be a good neighbor at $10 a month. They do the math (along with others at a lot of sites and forums) and claim that we actually could save a little bit of money compared to the costs involved in upgrading both programs every couple of years or so. And, based on a two-year cycle of upgrading, they appear to be correct (I figure it costs about $300 to upgrade both every two years compared to about $240 using the offered subscription price). So, what to do? What to do?
Will Adobe raise prices in the future on this new subscription deal? Undoubtedly (almost everything costs more over time). Would the upgrade costs go up over time? Sure. Will they go up at about an equal rate so you still could plan on saving a bit on the CC deal? Well, that’s the wild card. When Adobe first created this mess many, many of us lost faith and trust in them. We just decided there was no way we would sign up for an open-ended deal where subscription costs could soar wildly and we would be trapped with a product we then couldn’t replace. But Adobe sort of threw us a curve with this new offer. It is not introductory (a come on). They apparently didn’t want to chance losing a big bunch of photographers permanently, so they have this new pricing policy. That would signal to me that this is their new business model for us and we can count on their pricing to be fair more than we did earlier this year.
Do we want the CC versions at all? I would argue that we do, we just didn’t like the way Adobe was holding us hostage with this new subscription thing. All things being equal, more features in a program usually benefit most of us at least some of the time. I have had two recent tips and tricks from one of my favorite retouchers (Glyn Dewis) that I discovered rested on having Photoshop CC rather than my current CS6. I liked what Glyn was showing, but I was resigned to not being able to do because of the whole subscription thing and its cost. Now I am thinking that I could subscribe and stay current with Glyn all the time. I like that idea.
Can Adobe be trusted? Will they try to hook us with this new policy and then turn on us down the road (when we have all given in and subscribed)? Frankly, as much as I was disgusted with Adobe, I doubt it. If they weren’t serious about compromising with us dedicated photographers they wouldn’t have had to offer this deal in the first place. If it was still and going to be forever a take-it-or-leave-it-cause-we-don’t-care proposition Adobe could just wait us out and let the chips fall where they may. I suspect they have heard so many complaints from so many quarters that they took them to heart (finally) and came up with up they do consider a compromise, a fair deal for them and for us. I tend right now to take them at their word.
What happens if we do get double-crossed with this new offer? Well, we might lose a little bit of money, but we won’t be any worse off then than we are now. As it stands now Adobe has announced no new upgrades, no new stand-alone Photoshop to come. Ever. So we all bought CS6 and decided that would be our keeper, our fallback position until we saw if any other company could come up with an answer to our needs. We still have that option. We have CS6 (or CS5), and we are not going to delete it or lose it from our computers. We still can keep an eye out for a new Photoshop competitor who can earn our allegiance. All we would lose by subscribing to CC right now would be $10 a month as long as things were going okay with Adobe. Is that do-able? Probably for most of us.
So, the $64,000 question. Am I willing to compromise, or am I so angry with Adobe that they just have lost me forever? And as unbecoming as that sounds, it is a legitimate question that many of us will have to wrestle with. We are human, after all. Adobe was a friend, a trusted partner to so many of us. And we felt taken advantage of, used by them with that subscription notice earlier this year. You become a bit jaded, a bit let down, a bit revengeful toward the company that did this to you (geez, that sounds extreme. But I have talked to tons of photographers who feel exactly that way). What to do? What to do?
My answer is to take a day or two to decide. I am going to talk with my closest photographer friends and get their take on this. I also am going to pray about it – not for God to give me an answer, but for Him to open my heart and rid it of those feelings of anger and bitterness. Once I can do that I can make a decision based on facts and logic and what will most make photography fun and productive. Right now I am leaning toward signing up, something I swore I never would do. It’s certainly not a done deal. But I hope I can take the high road here and objectively discuss Adobe with my friends. Maybe Adobe has learned a lesson of sorts here. And maybe I can do the same.