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Adobe's New Upgrade Policy (for CS6)

Community Expert ,
Nov 09, 2011 Nov 09, 2011

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http://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2011/11/adobe-creative-cloud-and-adobe-creative-suite-new-choic... - Posted by DAVID WADHWANI, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER, DIGITAL MEDIA BUSINESS UNIT

Just saw this and I'm speechless.  Everyone knows about Muse by now and how they want to charge to continue to use the product and now today Adobe boldly makes this statement:

In order to qualify for upgrade pricing when CS6 releases, customers will need to be on the latest version of our software (either CS5 or CS5.5 editions).

That means no more 3 versions back.  Upgrade at every point or buy a new license when you need it again, or pay the subscription model for Adobe "Creative Cloud" for $49.99/month ( $599.88 / year ).

How does everyone else feel about this?

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Community Expert ,
Nov 09, 2011 Nov 09, 2011

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If true, then:

1) It stinks and is a betrayal to customers who have been loyal over the years

2) It'll increase piracy

3) I hope there's a backlash in consumer sentiment but I doubt it. What's the alternative?

4) It was inevitable. Microsoft stopped offering upgrade pricing for Office and no-one seems to care.

Hopefully someone will come into the market and re-introduce competition.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 10, 2011 Nov 10, 2011

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John to your point #4, that may be true, but Microsoft didn't introduce a per-use charge like Adobe is trying to push everyone to.  Even the Mac App Store is the same, companies are providing free upgrades to existing products and the products can be installed on an unlimited amount of computers.  I don't see Adobe lifting the computer limit as of right now.  And if it keeps going this way where does it stop?  Will we pay for software like a parking meter in a city and keep having to insert coins every hour?

Al, to your statement:

This is not your uncle's type of company we're talking about. Integrity already flew up into the cloud a long time ago. Dreamweaver is a declining application - though it could be a phenomenal application again if someone at Adobe cared. I guess we'll see what happens.

It's a sad truth.  And for those customers who would want to go to CS6 who would want to buy CS5.5 first, just to upgrade immediately like they suggest?

If our customers are not yet on those versions, we’re offering a 20% discount through December 31, 2011 which will qualify them for upgrade pricing when we release CS6.

Looking back the whole Macromedia purchase to eliminate the competition, has not been a good thing.  Flash is being dropped from Mobile support and I wouldn't be surprised to see the desktop player follow in its footsteps, then there's Fireworks maybe it is just a POW, and Freehand is six feet under.  If nothing else things like this should only foster more competition in the industry to drive prices back down.

Then you go look at the news with Adobe laying off 750 workers and this is just 2 years after the Lambert Walsh open letter apology for the horrible customer service that was plaguing Adobe ( http://blogs.adobe.com/captivate/2009/08/open_letter_to_our_customers_o.html ) that was posted all over this site.  I know there are plenty of great minds still at Adobe who care about the products they are making and could turn these into phenomal products again, as you mention Al.  But with all this PR surrounding them, it's going to take some effort to win back consumer confidence.

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Mentor ,
Nov 09, 2011 Nov 09, 2011

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That's based on some Adobe surveys sent out and with an analysis by one

of the survey recipients. While they might be able to hoodwink print

designers, Dreamweaver is currently perceived as in-decline and it will

take at least 2 phenomenal new versions to regain momentum and cred with

advanced web developers.

This where you saw it?

http://blog.photoframd.com/2011/07/08/scary-news-about-adobe-cs6-maybe-no-upgrade-discount/

I wouldn't take a site like that very seriously

--

Al Sparber - PVII

http://www.projectseven.com

The Finest Dreamweaver Tools since 1998

Dreamweaver CSS Design on Steroids:

http://www.projectseven.com/peeks/ccm

Coming Soon

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Mentor ,
Nov 09, 2011 Nov 09, 2011

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Sorry Snake. I couldn't see your link as I peruse these forums primarily via email. So this was stated by an Adobe executuve. With a name like "Wadhwani" how can you not take him seriously? If they feel they have a captive market, then they will likely do what they feel they can get away with. This is not your uncle's type of company we're talking about. Integrity already flew up into the cloud a long time ago. Dreamweaver is a declining application - though it could be a phenomenal application again if someone at Adobe cared. I guess we'll see what happens. Dreamweaver is along for the ride and certainly not the star. We have nearly 60,000 customers and a large percentage of our customer support queries involve Dreamweaver CS4 or earlier. It would seem that only the diehards have actually upgraded the past few years.

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Engaged ,
Nov 10, 2011 Nov 10, 2011

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Quote "We are excited to announce that membership to the Adobe Creative Cloud will be available in the first half of 2012 at a price of $49.99 per month for individuals and $69.99 per month per seat for workgroups, both for an annual plan"

So you should be. Just think of the great big bonuses that the upper echelon are drooling about.

This will be £50 per month in the UK for an individual, if current UK pricing policy of $1 = £1 (when the true exchange rate is £1 = $1.5)  is continued!

Or £600 a year, which is more than double the current upgrade price that I pay as a single user for web standard if I upgrade every two years. No doubt the upgrade prices will increase to match, and because the product will be continually evolved, upgrades will be produced every three months, so it will be impossible to keep up to date.

Unless you are working for big corporations with money to burn (like Adobe) there is no way that this sort of rip off can be sustainable.

If Adobe insist on going down this route then they should do it at a price that is viable.  I would not mind paying  £10 or $15 a month, which is all that the product is worth.

The proposed prices are a certain way to drop half their  non-corporate customer base - but perhaps that is what they want

I write for charitable groups, and they will not be able to pay these sort of costs.

If I had known this a few weeks ago, I would never had bothered to "upgrade" to 5.5 which is not much of an improvement on version 4.

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Explorer ,
Nov 10, 2011 Nov 10, 2011

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Adobe already changed their release cycle to a .5 increment every 12 months.

We'll have to see if that means you have to have CS6 to upgrade to CS6.5 in May 2013.

But somehow this was to be expected: if you have a look at Autodesk (at least for their 3d tools) you will see that they totally changed their releases to fit into yearly subscription fees (one full release/year with additional features becoming available to subscribers later on).

As you said: its's actually quite nice for larger companies (tax benefits and it's very easy to calculate the costs).

On the other hand I'm still torn in half myself...

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Community Expert ,
Nov 13, 2011 Nov 13, 2011

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Mike_Edel wrote:

Adobe already changed their release cycle to a .5 increment every 12 months.

We'll have to see if that means you have to have CS6 to upgrade to CS6.5 in May 2013.

Fortunately not – Adobe's new upgrade policy deals only with major versions of the software (every two years)...

So 5 and 5.5 are considered "the latest version," and will be one version back from 6 (and 6.5), and eligible for upgrade discounts until 7.

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Explorer ,
Nov 14, 2011 Nov 14, 2011

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ProDesignTools wrote:

Fortunately not – Adobe's new upgrade policy deals only with major versions of the software (every two years)...

So 5 and 5.5 are considered "the latest version," and will be one version back from 6 (and 6.5), and eligible for upgrade discounts until 7.

That's somewhat reassuring - we simply don't have the ressources (I'm not talking about budgets) to upgrade once a year.
For larger companies this means making sure all affected users upgrade at once (especially in an InDesign + InCopy workflow) and testing the new release before putting it into production.
So the benefit from the subscription is not that high. Except that we will probably miss out on the interesting new tools (Edge, Muse).

I still need some more details on the specifics before really coming to a decision but we already skipped 5.5 for most users (that pains me though - especially given the new tools in Dreamweaver and InDesign).

Cheers,

Mike

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Community Expert ,
Nov 14, 2011 Nov 14, 2011

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For larger companies this means making sure all affected users upgrade at once (especially in an InDesign + InCopy workflow) and testing the new release before putting it into production.

So the benefit from the subscription is not that high. Except that we will probably miss out on the interesting new tools (Edge, Muse).

I agree 100% with you there Mike.  My last position was only using CS4 and were never planning on upgrading to 5/5.5 and my current one has 5.5, but I don't picture them jumping at each new release and like you say when there are multiple users involved it gets really expensive.

Additionally, I don't think there have been enough patches/changes to the programs on a yearly basis as far back as I can remember and I think that is worrying a lot of users too.  People mention about the out-of-date JQuery mobile in CS5.5 and have worked around to update it manually.  There is also supporting new CSS and HTML.  While these things have been coming and are most likely coming in future releases, I don't think people have seen enough from Adobe up to this point where it would make them interested in paying for monthly development.

Let's put this in terms of a large officer copier/scanner/fax/etc/etc.  If I was paying a lease and it broke, I would have a technican out with 1-3 business days and the problem would be fixed or at the very least a user-servicable part to remedy the problem.  For those of us who have been around for awhile, some may remember the Lambert Walsh open letter ( http://blogs.adobe.com/captivate/2009/08/open_letter_to_our_customers_o.html ) to which he apologized for Adobe's shortcomings in the customer service.  Do we feel that trust is regained and if the software crashes we will have an engineer from Adobe working on our case to ensure the product is working at all times in our environment?  This thought makes me realize how Apple can justify sandboxing apps on the Mac App Store because if everything is in it's own little Virtual Playground then all software should run the same (assuming the system meets requirements).  In that scenario the Creative Cloud could work and be successful.  However, in the current environment, Adobe just can't provide that level of individual service to customers when their software product interacts with hundreds, and thousands of other software products in different configurations all interacting with the system.  And I don't see Adobe trying to make that claim of better support with its cloud and subscription products to date and being.  In fact, I see them doing just the opposite because even in their current subscription FAQ they say:

http://www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite/faq.html#subscriptions

Are service and support included with my subscription?

You get the same service and support with your subscription that you would get under the regular purchasing model for the same product.

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New Here ,
Nov 10, 2011 Nov 10, 2011

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I pay for the subsciption on Adobe Production Premium Suite and I have to say I love it. I stay current, upgrades are easy and just breeze out to me.

I have no compaints. I am concerned about this Creative Cloud thing, as I am not sure what it will include.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 10, 2011 Nov 10, 2011

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The subscription edition is great for those who are happy to pay the monthly (or annual) fee to Adobe for the rest of their lives.

But when you stop paying, you lose the ability to update your original files (and create new ones).

Those who prefer perpetual licenses view the subscription editions as a premium priced ball and chain (subscription fee) with no end date.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 10, 2011 Nov 10, 2011

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To further what John is saying there are also incompatibilities with files from different versions in some programs.  One thread I saw going on was in the InDesign forum where this got brought up:

http://forums.adobe.com/message/4017232

Additionally, creative design is not something that only happens in large corporations like you would see with software like SQL Server.  Creative professionals range from movie studios, to art / pr companies, to individuals doing design/photography out of their home.  That's the user who is going to be alienated more than anyone is the contract professional.  And a lot of businesses won't upgrade with every new release either or want to take that risk.  Is the new software always going to be compatible with the end-user's system?  What if you are in a business using XP still and CS6 requires Windows 7 and you are on the subscription model that forces an upgrade.  Then you are out of luck?  What if CS7 will require Windows 8, 64-bit processor and 8GB of memory and your company only has 6GB in your Windows 7 system and says it runs fine why do you need to upgrade?  Or if you are able to use the older versions why are you continuing to pay for Adobe to develop something that you are unable to use?

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New Here ,
Nov 10, 2011 Nov 10, 2011

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John,

While I agree to some of what you are saying, I do believe that the suite of services I am paying a yearly subscription for are worth the price. The thing that attracts me is that I would be using this suite to the exclusion of others anyway. After Effects kills Motion at every turn and the Premiere convinced me to switch from Final Cut, simply by the way it handles files natively. I can't compain. If they screw it up by limiting the versions I can subscribe to..well, that is a diferent story. In our business; software and upgrades are exensive. I get all the current upgrades and services with my subscription..so I don't stress about keeping up with versions.

No downside to this yet, but I do realise there could be one.

Also, I just want to put this out there: Most professionals spend thousands per year on their tools. Landscapers invest in new mowers/repairs, and of course most roofers I know spend a ton on new tools. We are professional designers, video editors, animators and web professionals. It shouldn't be free. It should cost something to do this. If someone has a Cannon 5D and charges $750.00 for a full project; they should complain. We use Red Cam and charge a lot. All in all, I feel like I am stealing from Adobe.

Great product.

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Mentor ,
Nov 10, 2011 Nov 10, 2011

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Hi Jerdman,

Print and multimedia design tools like Photoshop, InDesign, and Premier,

are tools and any good tradesperson keeps their tools honed and updated.

However, you are on the Dreamweaver forum and while Dreamweaver is, on a

whole, an excellent tool, someone with advanced coding and CSS skills

does not need constant updates. In fact, if I weren't an extension

developer who has to test in many versions, I would be using Dreamweaver

8 along with my real code editor (which no version of Dreamweaver can

come close to matching). That said, a lot of folks who use Dreamweaver,

ad post regularly on this forum, are constantly pushing open source

solutions (which require manual coding) over automated extensions, which

cost money but do the heavy lifting - so I find this discussion a little

whimsical with perhaps a dash of poetic justice

We sell lifetime licenses along with regular free updates. Paid upgrades

are only released when a product's entire codebase needs to be rewritten

for a new era of devices.

I think that's the way all software should be sold. Unfortunately,

Apple, Adobe, and Microsoft are now full-fledged monopolies, and lacking

the integrity to do otherwise, will go as far as they can to make the

most money they can from their user bases.

--

Al Sparber - PVII

http://www.projectseven.com

The Finest Dreamweaver Tools Since 1998

Coming Soon: CSS Composer Magic:

http://www.projectseven.com/peeks/ccm

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New Here ,
Nov 10, 2011 Nov 10, 2011

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Al,

I did wander in here without knowing where I was. I am sorry about that.

Your points are very well taken.

Thanks,

James

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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Engaged ,
Nov 12, 2011 Nov 12, 2011

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Couldn't agree more Ali. Thats the way it has to be for the small user. I have been using some of your tools for years.

Unfortunately, whilst I only need Dreamweaver and Fireworks, Adobe insist on including another 11 programs on my basic suite that just take up disk space and never get used - but I still have to pay for them!

Interesting toys, but of little use unless you have a year to learn them all.

Ever heard the term "Bring back Macromedia?

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Advisor ,
Nov 12, 2011 Nov 12, 2011

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Adobe wants to guarentee they will make a annually or monthly profit.  If users are upgrading Photoshop or any Adobe project every other version, Adobe feels entitled and they don't like that.  This is just wrong.  Atleast give users two versions past to upgrade, if you are on CS4 you can upgrade to CS6 if you are on CS3 you have to buy the full version of CS6.  I personally won't be upgrading to CS6 and if I can't upgrade to CS7 from CS5 then I'll stick with CS5 for as long as I possibly can.

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New Here ,
Nov 22, 2011 Nov 22, 2011

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IMO, the most unfair thing about this policy change is the short notice. Adobe is offering a 20% discount on CS5.5 upgrades thru Dec 31, so I have about 6 weeks to upgrade from CS4 to CS5.5 in order to have the "privilege" to upgrade to CS6 when it is released -- and I have no idea if I'll want or need what's in CS6! So I'm supposed to spend $160 now for CS5.5 and then another $200 (guesstimate) for CS6 in a few months?

I saw a suggestion to Adobe in another blog that they should start this policy effective with CS6's release. In other words, you can upgrade to CS6 from earlier versions when it's released, but from then on you have to take each upgrade if you want the upgrade pricing. Still not what I want to do, but fairer than springing this on us at the last minute.

I also agree with some of Al Sparber's comments above, and if I have to make a decision by the end of the year, may just spring for CS5.5 and consider it my "final" version of DW.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 22, 2011 Nov 22, 2011

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Interesting, some folks in our new poll on the policy were saying basically the same thing...  It might have been better received if Adobe provided for a transition period, or perhaps more notice, or maybe even a phased approach of with "2 versions back" as a middle step for CS6.

(BTW, feel free to participate and express your views on the new model if you like, either positive or negative - we will be sharing the results directly back with Adobe.)

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Contributor ,
Nov 23, 2011 Nov 23, 2011

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Whichever way you look at it, Adobe has got you by the sort and curlies

The upgrades are expensive - so the only option is to skip a version

Now that loophole is closed we can all look forward to being at Adobe beck and call.

Before you know it you wont be able to purchase the app and you'll have to rent it to do your job!

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Community Expert ,
Nov 23, 2011 Nov 23, 2011

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Looks like more people from different products are getting in on the discussion too.  On Monday NAPP President Scott Kelby wrote an open letter to Adobe asking them to reconsider this change. You can read the letter on his blog post:

http://www.scottkelby.com/blog/2011/archives/22903

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Contributor ,
Nov 23, 2011 Nov 23, 2011

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I certainly do hope they revert to the older and far more customer focused approach.

If Adobe keep mounting the financial pressure on users it will certainly push more people to use software from 'non legitimate' sources.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 23, 2011 Nov 23, 2011

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Paul_Taylor wrote:

If Adobe keep mounting the financial pressure on users it will certainly push more people to use software from 'non legitimate' sources.

Or it will just push people to other sources.  People seem to forgot there are still a few competitors still out there, Apple's Final Cut, Quark, Microsoft Expression, etc. ,etc.  And that' s just the larger companies.  There are some innovative smaller firms out there trying to get into graphic design as well.  There are 2 Mac-specific ones that have caught my attention to replace PS & DW. 

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Contributor ,
Nov 23, 2011 Nov 23, 2011

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I've just been looking at the Quark upgrade - from ANY version to version 9!

£275 or so. Looks like a great opportunity to pull back some of the Indesigners. We started with Quark and moved because of features, but it seems to have caught up in a lot of respects. The offer is very tempting.

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