Time for creative destruction of the creative cloud

On May 6th Adobe announced its next iteration of the Creative Suite titled Adobe Creative Cloud. The software will be offered as a subscription only and priced (for existing users) at $49.99/month for the entire Creative Suite and $19.99/month for Photoshop only.

I won’t be upgrading. Let me tell you why…

Price – Adobe has more than doubled the price of its software. As a photoshop user since 1994 I could rely on the fact that every 18-24 months Adobe would release a major Photoshop upgrade and charge existing users around $200 for the new feature set. $200 every two years was an acceptable price to pay for Photoshops ever improving features and worked out to about $8.33 a month. Under the new subscription only model, Adobe will now be charging $19.99 per month for the privilege of using Photoshop. To put it another way what used to cost me $200 every 24 months will now cost me $479. The most frustrating part to me is the fact I would no longer own the software. If I don’t pay every month, I can’t play.

Accessibility – I spend over half the year on the road (and the ocean) photographing. Many of the places I travel to either don’t have internet access or I choose not to connect for various reasons. All subscription software must occasionally check in with a server to make sure the user is paid for the month. If the software can’t reach the server it will cease to work. With Photoshops subscription only model I can easily imagine being in the middle of a photography project on a ship or off grid in India and having my software cease to work because it can’t check in with the server.

What can you and I do?

2 – Find good image processing alternatives. In one bright spot of news, Adobe has announced that Lightroom will be spared the subscription only model. Thankfully there are some fantastic Lightroom plugins made by NIK and OnOne that replicate much of the functionality I need in Photoshop – with the exception of the content aware fill and cloning/healing tools. Also the Apple app store has opened the door for small groups of focused programmers to put out a viable Photoshop alternative.  On interesting piece of software that has emerged is called Pixelmator.  OnOne & Nik and any hungry programmer – NOW is your chance to step up to the plate and fill the vacuum Adobe has just created for itself!