The Photoshop-Lightroom $10 Deal: More Thoughts
Yesterday I spoke with several trusted friends about Adobe’s new compromise offer of Photoshop CC and Lightroom for $10 a month (with added benefits of 20 gigs of Cloud storage and a free Behance website). I also visited several photography site forums to get a feel for the mood out there (keeping in mind that forums should never be considered scientific or definitive when making any decisions). There seem to be about four camps forming, clustered around some very strongly-held feelings.
Camp One is centered on anger and real bitterness toward Adobe because of how they handled the first subscription announcement and the current state of affairs. Those folks are done with Adobe … they have whatever they are going to use in the future. They own their software and are not going to ‘rent’ any future versions under any circumstances. Once burned, twice shy is their mantra. They are vehement in their disdain for Adobe. They actively are searching for other software solutions and workflows. No one is going to change their minds; they are done with Adobe. Scratch the surface of any of the big photography website forums and those in this camp are easily found.
Camp Two are those photographers who feel Adobe made a big mistake with their earlier actions and now realizes that fact. They feel Adobe is sorry (even if Adobe has yet to explicitly say so), and that they have learned their lesson. These photographers like the $10 price, and they want the upgrades that CC will give them. Bygones are bygones with this group, and they are ready to sign up for this new package now.
Camp Three are those who see the compromise as a necessity for Adobe, a need for them to win back a market they undercounted and underestimated. This group doesn’t trust Adobe not to squeeze them down the road, once they have signed up for CC and are on the hook. They never did like the contract Adobe wants you to agree to for CC, and they don’t want to sign one in the future. They want to read the fine print for this new deal and see what it has held over from the first go-around. Many fear that Adobe’s business model hasn’t changed, just the bait to get you interested again. There is a wait-and-see attitude that could go either way. This group includes some very astute business people who want more details … and assurances. They have until the end of the year to investigate and decide. But they are skeptical right now, and many are going to be hard to win over. But they can be convinced.
Camp Four is the workflow group, if you will. Adobe hurt them, and that hurt isn’t easily forgotten. My good friend Kendall Reeves always tells me that people like to do business with people they like. And few people like Adobe a whole lot right now. But this group is going to run the numbers and see if CC makes sense economically. They are going to continue to search out all the other processing programs out there, calculating what works best for them whether it is Photoshop or some new kid on the block. They will hang on to what they have (CS5 or CS6) as Plan B, their backup system. If they try this new deal they will make sure all their work is safely stored in formats that can be accessed later with the old programs. Adobe is going to be on trial with this group, living up to promises of affordability and improved features to keep their business. Trust, but verify as Ronald Reagan used to advise.
More details of this offer will emerge in the next few days (the deal apparently comes online September 17th). We all have some sort of workflow system in place now, and we have until the end of the year to make any new decisions. There is no need to rush right now, no need to make an immediate decision. I am going to take a bit of a wait-and see attitude, but I am going to be open to Adobe (a change of attitude for me). Photography is a joy in so many lives, including mine. I want to do everything I can to keep it that way.
Now, on the heels of all this news comes another option for our photo needs. OnOne Software just announced Perfect Suite 8, an add-on to Photoshop CS5 or CS6 that just may give Adobe’s CC plan a real run for its money (the program also stands alone as a processor if you prefer to work that way). Perfect Suite 7 is a very fine program that does all kinds of things that made Photoshop better. Version 8 seems to me to be designed to take your old Photoshop and bring it up to date. It also seems very much designed to look and act like a combination of Photoshop and Lightroom. This is a powerful, feature-packed program that obviously (to me) was developed with Adobe’s missteps with CC in mind (during a webinar I watched they threw in a comment that you own, not rent, this suite). It’s not on the market quite yet, but it is close (this November 26th). And it seems affordable, an important consideration to most of us. Click here to take a sneak peek at what they are offering. It looks quite promising to me, and maybe Adobe thought the same thing (they may have watched the video you can see here). In any event, check it out this weekend and see what you think.
Okay, that is a lot to consider for this last day of the week. Enjoy what comes next … camera in hand.