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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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Community Expert ,
Nov 21, 2011 Nov 21, 2011

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Well said but will anything change?

Is Adobe listening to its users?

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Valorous Hero ,
Nov 21, 2011 Nov 21, 2011

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I suspect Adobe prefers to whittle down the crowd of customers so that they are easier to listen to.

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Participant ,
Nov 21, 2011 Nov 21, 2011

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Interesting, but seems less shocking to me since Adobe laid off 1/3 of its Ottawa (Canada) workforce a few weeks back.

I have the Production Premium CS5.5 suite.   I wasn't happy when I bought CS5 and CS5.5 came out!    Anyway, I'm curious to see what will happen in all this. 

cheers,

Petey

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Community Expert ,
Nov 23, 2011 Nov 23, 2011

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I suspect Adobe prefers to whittle down the crowd of customers so that they are easier to listen to.

Delightful comment!

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 22, 2011 Nov 22, 2011

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yes indeed--waiting to see what develops on this front. Honestly can't afford to pay full price for what used to be an upgrade path...

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LEGEND ,
Nov 22, 2011 Nov 22, 2011

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I believe the only thing that Adobe will listen to is their bottom line. The pricing change may have an adverse effect on it and if it does Adobe will revert back to their old practice.  Asking users to upgrade to a buggy CS5 so they will elageable to upgrade to CS6 is no way to treat their install base.  While I have CS5 I will not upgrade to CS6 unless Adobe fix the Bug I reported and Fix the other CS5 bugs I read about and checked. CS5 is a buggy version of Photoshop I have upgraded from PS3 to PS5 to PS5.5 to PS7 to CS to CS2 and CS3 without problems. However when I upgraded to CS5 bugs effected many of my action, changes broke two of my Photoshop Plug-in Script,  Changes in CS5 UI broke other Actions I had recorded. Additionally Adobe removed function from Photoshop without providing a viable alternative so many users need to keep CS3 installed so the can use the PDF support that was removed and can not be installed into CS5. Adobe's support is now so bad I will no longer use it. Submit a bug report and you gat an automated response that your bug report will automatically be closed unless Adobe hear form you again. In fact even if they hear from you many times and they accept that you have indeed reported a bug they will still close you bug report and tell you Adobe may fix it is some future release. Who need that kind of support when Adobe and other Photoshop forums are more informative and knowledgeable then Adobe support personal. IMO Adobe seems to be butchering their Golden Cow.

JJMack

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Enthusiast ,
Nov 22, 2011 Nov 22, 2011

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I am prepared to upgrade every 2 or 3 versions, but it's too expensive to upgrade every time.  Even a tiered upgrade price - making it fairly expensive to upgrade 2 versions ago - would mean I wouldn't upgrade.  It's just too expensive for most amateurs (and probably some self-employed professionals I know). 

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LEGEND ,
Nov 23, 2011 Nov 23, 2011

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Thank you for that link. I suppose that I need to go and read some of my NAPP e-mails, as I had missed the "open letter."

As a NAPP member for many years, it is comforting to see the organization speak out on the new upgrade policies.

Well done Mr. Kelby.

Appreciated,

Hunt

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Engaged ,
Nov 23, 2011 Nov 23, 2011

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As an off / on again NAPP member (on now) you'd think that the way Kelby and Adobe are joined at the wallet Adobe might listen to him.

Let's hope so...

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Community Expert ,
Nov 23, 2011 Nov 23, 2011

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Getting somewhat off the Photoshop-topic I work in prepress and am therefore trepidatous about what effect this will have to companies’ upgrading Adobe applications like Indesign.

Currently almost all the agencies we deal with use CS4, CS5 or CS5.5, so downward-compatibility is little problem when handing back files; but if people were to omit upgrading for more than two versions to offset the costs that could become a problem.

And depending on the new features in future releases of Photoshop downward compatibility (or rather maintaining editability for all such potential features when editing in lower versions) might become an issue for this, too.

Anyway, the decision to shorten the upgrade-path seems ill-conceived to me, but I’m not optimistic about Adobe (or their marketing department) re-evaluating it.

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Enthusiast ,
Nov 24, 2011 Nov 24, 2011

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I guess it remains to be seen how Adobe users vote with their wallets. That is the only thing that this company will pay attention to at this point.

When they see a big decrease in real sales and a huge jump in pirated products, then they would pay attention.

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Participant ,
Nov 24, 2011 Nov 24, 2011

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I'm personally really bothered by this and hope Adobe isn't serious about implementing this plan.

This scheme of forcing loyal, registered users into a monthly subscription pricing thing is exactly the type of thing only a greedy, bean-counting "suit" could propose. The whole idea is generating a greater amount of positive cash flow for Adobe at the much greater expensive of registered users.

There's all sorts of problems with this loony plan and it really could backfire badly for Adobe.

First of all the economy in the US and the rest of the developed world is not in great shape. Any advertising related industry takes it on the chin pretty hard when the broader economy is in the toilet. There is a LOT of businesses who just don't have the money laying around to get all of their computer "seats" on the hook for this monthly bill "cloud" upgrade scheme.

Next, not every upgrade is worth buying to every user. Lots of users sit out an upgrade cycle or two to make the upgrade worth the price. Adobe and other software companies used to understand this and used to have a one price fits all model on upgrades. Back in the 1990s it didn't matter what version of Photoshop or Illustrator you had. You pretty much paid the same thing to bump up to the latest version. Now Adobe is threatening to fine anyone with full pricing if they sit on the fence just once. That's going to create a tremendous sales opportunity for rivals like Apple, Autodesk, Avid, Corel, etc.

One must also consider the additional cost this will place on customers in terms of hardware. Most any new version of any application will have greater performance requirements than its previous version. I kept using CS3 and avoided upgrading to CS4 mainly because it would not work well on my old computer. I bought a new Win7 64-bit based system and had to upgrade to CS5.5 because CS3 wouldn't run on the new hardware. If I'm forced to continually upgrade my Adobe license out of fear of being stuck with full price fines I'm also going to have to buy new computer hardware more often too.

I prefer to upgrade my software when I want or need to do it, not when Adobe or anyone else tries to force me into doing it. This sort of thing could have a lot of Adobe customers keeping a grip on old software, old hardware and refusing to upgrade.

With the misteps Apple recently made with Final Cut X, one would think Adobe executives would be a little more careful about how they treat their customers.

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LEGEND ,
Nov 24, 2011 Nov 24, 2011

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Bob the Sign Guy wrote:

This scheme of forcing loyal, registered users into a monthly subscription pricing thing is exactly the type of thing only a greedy, bean-counting "suit" could propose. The whole idea is generating a greater amount of positive cash flow for Adobe at the much greater expensive of registered users.

It would be useful if you understood the Adobe Creative Cloud option...it's an additional option, not a forced initiative. You can choose to keep perpetual licensing of suites or point products OR choose a subscription model. There is no indication that anybody will be FORCED to do a subscription only option... The only forced aspect is the 1 version back policy change.

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Participant ,
Nov 25, 2011 Nov 25, 2011

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The only forced aspect is the 1 version back policy change.

That is exactly what makes the subscription idea forced. If you sit out one version then you're treated like a customer who has never owned the product. That is a giant rip off.

Not every upgrade is worth buying. I've seen it mentioned in countless software reviews where a new release is recommended only if you're a couple or so versions back, but if you have the most recent release the new upgrade is too underwhelming to buy.

I paid $1400 to upgrade from CS3 Design Premium to CS5.5 Master Collection. If this new pricing model was already in place my upgrade cost would have spiked to the full $2500 fee, just as if I've never owned the product. I've been using Adobe Photoshop since version 2.5 and Illustrator since version 4. I deserve a little better treatment than someone who has never been a customer before. I very strongly advise Adobe to at least maintain a somewhat reasonable "any CS version upgrade price" option rather than gouging users with a full price fine for sitting out one version cycle. That is extremely bad customer service.

In this down economy the last thing that businesses and individuals want/need is another freaking revolving monthly bill. Pricing on Creative Cloud is ultimately more expensive than just buying the upgrade box when it becomes available. Add up all those monthly payments over 18 months. When you buy an upgrade box for one payment you also have the option not to buy it if the upgrade doesn't do much compared to the previous version. With Creative Cloud you have to be on the monthly bill hook forever just to be able to protect your software investment.

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New Here ,
Nov 25, 2011 Nov 25, 2011

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I would only add to this that Adobe should consider the fate of Netflix. There recent problems (and severe decline in stock price) all started from a price increase that did not sit well with a significant number of customers.

(I too am someone that uses Photoshop maybe 6 times a year for a couple of days at a time. As a serious amature, I would not upgrade from CS4 to CS6 if I'm forced to pay the full price for CS6.)

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New Here ,
Nov 25, 2011 Nov 25, 2011

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Q: If I have CS 4 and I pay the full price to upgrade to CS 6, then I assume I can sell my license to CS4 and that buyer would have a valid CS4 license? This should be possible, right? After all, the license to CS 6 is not dependent on having a CS4 license.

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Participant ,
Nov 25, 2011 Nov 25, 2011

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It wouldn't surprise if Adobe changes up terms to where someone couldn't sell their aging license to someone else.

BTW, IMHO the prices in the subscription plan are a giant rip-off for anyone using these products on a long term basis. Going by the prices in the Adobe Store, a one year subscription to Master Collection would cost over $1500 per year ($1548 is $129 X 12). The $129 price X 18 months is $2322.

The $50 subscription price some have been mentioning in regard to Scott Kelby's open letter only applied to a Photoshop Extended subscription alone. It does not include any other Creative Suite products. Overall, it is a lot cheaper to keep buying the upgrade boxes. The subscription model only seems useful if someone has to use a certain Adobe product on a very temporary basis.

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New Here ,
Nov 25, 2011 Nov 25, 2011

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>>>

It wouldn't surprise if Adobe changes up terms to where someone couldn't sell their aging license to someone else.

>>>

My guess is that would be illegal as it would not be "fair use".

If the license is legal, I have a right to sell the license unless Adobe puts an expiration on the license or unless they invalidte it via the upgrade process. I doubt they would try to sell licensess that actually expire and, as mentioned, if one pays the full price for a new version, there should be no issue in selling a CS 4 license on EBay.

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New Here ,
Nov 25, 2011 Nov 25, 2011

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It might even trun out that one could sell a license for an older version for more than Adobe allowed for prior upgrades.

For example, I did not think that CS5 had enough benefits over CS4 to cause me to upgrade. Had I been a new customer, I might conclude the same thing, that is, CS 5 did not justify the cost of buying it vs buying a license to a prior version at a discount. Therefore, a market might develope for licenses for past versions of Adobe products. There could be enough of a number of new buyers willing to buy prior license to meet the supply of those that want to upgrade.

I wonder if Adobe would actively support legal license transfers in a professional manner or if they would try to stone wall this?

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Participant ,
Nov 25, 2011 Nov 25, 2011

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Considering how Adobe executives seem to want to implement this one version back license death penalty for existing users, My guess is they would be leaning towards stone walling customers from selling old, expired licenses to others. I'm not sure how they would prevent such transactions from taking place. If it's possible for them to prevent the sale I'm thinking they would do it.

It's pretty sad when a company puts the interests of its share holders ahead of their customers. This mindset has infected many large American businesses. With this latest news it seems like Adobe is following suit with so many others.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 25, 2011 Nov 25, 2011

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You are quoting the current rental prices for the suite and Photoshop, but Scott was replying to this announcement where you can see that the Creative Suite Master Collection monthly subscription is going to be $50 a month - what you would now pay to rent Photoshop on its own.....

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Participant ,
Nov 25, 2011 Nov 25, 2011

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Even if the Creative Cloud pricing model holds true ($50 per month for everything in the Adobe Master Collection arsenal, as well as Muse, Edge, etc.) it's still more expensive than buying a Master Collection box upgrade from the previous version. $50 per month equals $600 per year. And that's $900 over 18 months, the typical Adobe CS product cycle. This pricing is along the lines of someone buying every upgrade. Many users choose to sit out one or two product generations and wait for an upgrade that is a big enough upgrade to buy. Users are already penalized badly enough for choosing that route. The 1 version back death penalty just makes it even more absolute.

There's lots of existing users who have suites in the CS2, CS3 and CS4 product generation. The clock is now ticking on their software investment, at least in terms of having it as a "perpetual license." If they don't immediately upgrade to CS5.5 before the CS6 product release they'll have only two choices if they even want to upgrade: pay full price for the traditional boxed software or go with the creative cloud model. Lots of people with aging software may just choose to tough it out by continuing to use the old programs.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 25, 2011 Nov 25, 2011

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Bob the Sign Guy wrote:

It wouldn't surprise if Adobe changes up terms to where someone couldn't sell their aging license to someone else.

BTW, IMHO the prices in the subscription plan are a giant rip-off for anyone using these products on a long term basis. Going by the prices in the Adobe Store, a one year subscription to Master Collection would cost over $1500 per year ($1548 is $129 X 12). The $129 price X 18 months is $2322.

The $50 subscription price some have been mentioning in regard to Scott Kelby's open letter only applied to a Photoshop Extended subscription alone. It does not include any other Creative Suite products. Overall, it is a lot cheaper to keep buying the upgrade boxes. The subscription model only seems useful if someone has to use a certain Adobe product on a very temporary basis.

Amen. And remember, the life cycle of CS is now like two years. So, assuming the pricing structure does not change drastically (but who knows?) I can ugrade to CS5.5 Design Premium, from CS4, for $650, and then to CS6 (due mid 2012) for around $400. So an outlay of $$1050 and I'm good for thirty months. An annual subscription at $95 per month over the same period is over $2800! A full version of CS6 would be like $1900 - nearly a grand less!

From the CS FAQ:

Why is Adobe changing its upgrade policy for CS6? In October 2011, Adobe introduced Adobe Creative Cloud, a complete solution of cloud-based creative services, applications, and community that will enable customers to create, publish, and share across channels and mediums. Creative Cloud will be offered for as low as US$49.99 per month for an annual plan, providing our customers maximum flexibility and lower cost of entry. Given this innovative new offering at such an attractive price, we expect that many of our customers will become Creative Cloud members. To that end, we are simplifying our perpetual license offerings for Creative Suite. This change is designed to streamline our offerings while simplifying the choices our customers need to make. Customers may choose to keep their Creative Suite perpetual licenses current in order to receive upgrade pricing when new versions of Creative Suite are released, or move to Adobe Creative Cloud when it becomes available, at an extremely attractive and affordable price.

So, Adobe is doing us a favor by simplifying our options? Whatever they're smoking, I want some!

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Community Expert ,
Nov 25, 2011 Nov 25, 2011

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The main advantage I see as an owner licenseee of a whole suite edition is if the individual apps were updated as they are ready, rather than waiting for the whole suite to be ready to go. We shall see.

By the way, note that there is a Crative Cloud forum: here.

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