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An Open Letter To Adobe Systems from Scott Kelby about Creative Suite pricing

Explorer ,
Nov 21, 2011 Nov 21, 2011

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Participant ,
Jan 11, 2012 Jan 11, 2012

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Well, that brings up one of the biggest complaints regarding Adobe's new upgrade policy: a sense of diminishing returns with each new upgrade cycle. Some new features (like content aware fill in Photoshop or the Warp Stabilizer in After Effects) are great and very useful. Others, like the perspective grid in Illustrator, are kind of "meh." I rarely ever used the perspective grid when the feature was added to Freehand a decade ago. That's just me though. With apps like Photoshop and Illustrator there's a core set of functions we use all the time and then other things we may rarely ever use.

The fact remains a LOT of users don't believe every upgrade is worth it. They want the option of sitting out one or two version cycles until enough big features pile up to make upgrading finally worth it. This applies to far more than just Adobe's software. I know people who use ancient versions of Microsoft Office on old Win XP machines because it does everything they need it to do. They may not move up to something like Office 2010 on a new Windows 7 machine until the old one finally dies.

What about the possibility of a new release being buggy and best to avoid? Anyone remember Macromedia Freehand 10? It had problems, particularly the Mac version -billed as the first vector drawing app made for Mac OSX. Worse yet, Macromedia did little if anything at all to offer bug fixes. That forced a lot of FH users to stick with Freehand 9 and wait for Freehand MX. Macromedia Studio suite users were pretty annoyed when Freehand MX was not included with Macromedia Studio 8. This happened during the lead up to Adobe acquiring Macromedia (and eventually retiring Freehand). Incedentally, when I upgraded to Adobe Master Collection CS5.5 I could have used either my CS3 license or my old Studio 8 license.

Every upgrade for an application or suite of applications has its own set of issues for each user. It's not as simple as "if you're a loyal Adobe customer you'll buy every upgrade." What if your current computer isn't powerful enough to handle the new version? What if it has a 32-bit OS and the apps, like After Effects, require a 64-bit OS? Not everyone has the money laying around for both a new computer and graphics suite upgrade. Even though frequent hardware and software upgrades may be no problem for some businesses, times have been pretty tough for a lot of people.

At the very least, Adobe ought to stick with its previous upgrade model of perpetual licenses of Creative Suite products. If the Creative Cloud is as great as Adobe believes Adobe ought to show they have enough faith in Creative Cloud by not forcing perpetual license owners to move over to it by adopting the 1 version back upgrade model.

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Engaged ,
Jan 11, 2012 Jan 11, 2012

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With a name like Bob the Sign Guy, I can't resist:

What's your sign, Bob?

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Participant ,
Jan 11, 2012 Jan 11, 2012

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Gemini.

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Engaged ,
Jan 11, 2012 Jan 11, 2012

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Uh oh! Dual personality!

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Enthusiast ,
Jan 12, 2012 Jan 12, 2012

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Meanwhile at the barn, John Nack has an interesting blog post this morning.

Titled:

New upgrade options for CS3 and CS4 customers

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Enthusiast ,
Jan 12, 2012 Jan 12, 2012

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I don't upgrade Photoshop every time - it's not worth it for me.  Every two or three, yes.  But the incremental benefit from each upgrade is, for me, pretty marginal, whatever the hype from Adobe.  I have CS5.  Unless CS6 is so good it lets me walk on water, I won't get it.  The amnesty for CS6 doesn't help me. 

I'm not making any moral point about Adobe "letting down" their customers.  Adobe's upgrade policy is a purely commercial matter.  As is my decision not to upgrade every time, or ever if I can't upgrade two or three ago. 

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