Since the mid 90s, I've been comparing installation of Adobe products (and Macromedia when it was still a thing) to cancer or other diseases: when you install Photoshop it spreads everywhere, you don't know where it goes, what it does and it's hard to get rid of.
Since we're 25 years later, is there nowadays a way to purchase Photoshop where the only thing installed would be Photoshop? no additional stuff, no extra libraries, no extra packages, no extra drivers, no extra tools, no services, and a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y nothing that starts by itself when the computer starts (MacOS here)? additionally, it looks like there are subscriptions now but I'm looking for an outright purchase.
Or is it still as messy as it was and then I should look at alternatives? It's mostly for picture editing (layering / slicing of elements, no photo, etc)
When I look at the product list I don't even know what is what anymore
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>>>it looks like there are subscriptions now but I'm looking for an outright purchase.
Photoshop is only available by subscription. So, not for you.
You could trial Photoshop Elements which is an outright purchase. It's consumer-oriented (good for scrapbooking, family photos etc) with a 'friendly' UI and completely different to its bigger cousin Photoshop.
>>>Or is it still as messy as it was and then I should look at alternatives?
If anything, Adobe's installations are worse than ever. Files, folders, background services, startup services and Cloud services plus other extras scattered everywhere on your hard drive. Sounds like you're very particular about what gets installed on your computer so I'd suggest alternatives may be a better option for you.
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Which operating system do you have?
If you're contemplating an upgrade to Bug Sur, please have a look at this first:
I'm on Big Sur already; I'll check if older version can work on it and probably buy a pre-creative cloud license then.
Don't do that. It will NOT install on Big Sur (BS for short).
From Catalina onward MacOS will NOT run ANY 32bit programs. So even if the actual Adobe program you are trying to install is 64bit the installer for it is more than likely 32bit and MacOS will not run it.
Then you have 99.9999999% of any older adobe program you might buy, from anywhere, is pirated and or perviously owned, Registered, and legally you can't use it without ownership trasnfer. And that transfer can only be done Once.
The Photography Plan subscription that included both LrC and Ps (the Full Photoshop) is only $9.99 a month in US Dollars. That is a DEAL.
It's actually a good price, but I prefer to find an alternative software then.
In the late 90s, I had a discussion at work with some people from Intel and they were already saying that the future is software rental (they didn't use the term subscription back then). 20+ years ago, I was already against the concept and things haven't changed.
Considering Adobe has fully gone that route, even if the price is definitely a good deal, I will not support that model.
But, thanks for the information.
"I will not support that model."
I don't know how you can avoid it. These days, monthly payments are required for everything: streaming/cable, cell phone, Internet, anti-virus, etc...
Services, such as streaming, cable, phone, etc are intangible. We cannot own the infrasctructure, it needs people's work to operate, etc so by their very nature, they incur running costs to keep being available.
Software such as Photoshop, on the other hand, requires a fixed investment to make a tangible product out of it. That product is immutable, doesn't have any operating costs, etc. It is a product of a set value (presumably cost + profit) that can be bought, sold, exchanged, etc on a market.
They are two different categories. I was in meetings 20+ years ago where Intel was discussing that companies will eventually move the software model to rental instead of ownership. It helps finance updates, smooths out cash flow, lowers risks and increase profits. Essentially it helps the company's stability by passing the cost of that stability to the consumer. For the company, it's great and getting users to think this is the only option, is even better.
But in the meantime, a lot of alternative products have come on the market and many products disguised as services have alternatives. They may not be as comprehensive, or polished, but they can fullfil the requirements in many use cases. In my case, since the need is not about Art/Photo, but really slicing and putting things together, open source products do it at the same level.
I just thought about getting a Photoshop license because I assumed I'd have every feature I may need. But I didn't expect that change.
Anyhow, software as a service may be a trend now, but it's unlikely to be lasting. I guess we have to wait another 10 years or so for changes to occur again.
That may have been true under the old 18 month release cycle but not not anymore.
Photoshop CC, Photoshop for iPad, etc... are in continual development to keep pace with new operating systems. That's why Creative Cloud subscribers get access to updates every few months instead of having to wait 1-1/2 years.
Microsoft, Apple and other software makers are doing the same.
The likelihood that this will ever revert back is slim to none and slim just left town.