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Adobe's Creative Cloud Illustrates How the Cloud Costs You More

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the every-cloud-is-lined-with-your-silver dept.

Cloud 403

Nerval's Lobster writes "As we discussed yesterday, Adobe plans on focusing the bulk of its software-development efforts on its Creative Cloud offering, with no plans to further update its 'boxed' Creative Suite products. The move isn't surprising, considering the tech industry's general movement toward the cloud over the past few years. Creative Cloud will cost $19.99 per month for a 'single app' version that features the full version of 'selected apps,' 20GB of cloud storage, and limited access to services. Those who opt for the 'complete' version will pay $49.99 per month for every Creative Cloud app, 20GB of cloud storage, and full access to services; it also requires an annual commitment. At that price, it would take a little over two years for a customer spending $49.99 per month to exceed the full retail cost of box-based Adobe Creative Suite 6, which currently retails for $1299.99 at Staples and $1100-1200 on Amazon. In a recent interview with Mashable, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen insisted that the Creative Cloud's cost to customers is lower, especially since they won't have to pay for cloud storage and other services — never mind that 20GB doesn't carry anyone far when it comes to visual design. However much customers stand to benefit from the cloud, it's easy to see that, over a long enough timeline, and with the right financial model in place, the companies providing those services stand to benefit even more than they did with boxed software. That's liable to make just as many people angry as happy, no?" Update: 05/08 03:29 GMT by S :Changed prices involved to reflect standard versions of Creative Suite, rather than the discounted Student & Teacher editions.

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403 comments

I don't want (5, Insightful)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | about a year ago | (#43659729)

"Cloud" storage. And I'm not going to pay for it.

Re:I don't want (5, Insightful)

denelson83 (841254) | about a year ago | (#43659917)

"Cloud" storage. And I'm not going to pay for it.

Why would you? "Clouds" can easily disintegrate in a matter of minutes, leaving nothing but blue sky behind.

Re:I don't want (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43660115)

This will be the divergence in Adobe customers. Large corporations, who see benefit in a 100% tax deductible monthly subscription expense as opposed to an asset purchase that depreciates over time, plus don't really give two hoots about software price, will happily upgrade. Smaller companies and most independent graphic artists will likely continue to use the final desktop version. When retail prices soar too high because of scarcity in legitimately licensed copies, these users will move to pirated versions of the software. Adobe will then change something in file formats to make the cloud files incompatible with desktop versions of the software.

Re:I don't want (5, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year ago | (#43660151)

By which time all the small shops will have been pouring money into competing products long enough that Adobe will no longer hold a viable monopoly on the industry, and at that point, you'll see the bigger shops having to maintain both the incompatible Adobe product and the competing product. Within a few years after that, the big companies will ask, "Why are we paying these clowns, again?" and Adobe will be dead and buried shortly thereafter.

Re: I don't want (5, Insightful)

AvitarX (172628) | about a year ago | (#43660379)

That's sort of how InDesign got popular.

Re:I don't want (4, Informative)

D1G1T (1136467) | about a year ago | (#43660137)

20GB is about 20 minutes of HD footage. Even for stills that's only a few hundred images if you are working in RAW. Can't imagine Adobe exects anyone to use it other than as a demo.

Re:I don't want (5, Insightful)

Baton Rogue (1353707) | about a year ago | (#43660361)

20GB is about 20 minutes of HD footage. Even for stills that's only a few hundred images if you are working in RAW. Can't imagine Adobe exects anyone to use it other than as a demo.

Not to mention the time it would take to upload/download 20GB of data to the cloud. This will also wreak havoc on people with ISPs that have monthly bandwidth caps.

More != more (0, Troll)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#43659743)

So you're saying if I want to use Photoshop for a couple months via the cloud (at a cost of $20/month) that's more expensive than buying a shrinkwrapware copy (at $600)?

Please explain.

Re:More != more (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43659767)

If you want to use if for a couple of months at $20/month you'll have to steal it. The $20 a month plan is only available to people who bought the perpetual license and are willing to sign up for a 12 month contract.

Re:More != more (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43659785)

*Requires a one year commitment.

Re:More != more (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43659795)

Go ahead and do that. This is referring to people who use it all the time. You'd be better off just buying the discs and getting a Mega account.

Re:More != more (2)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year ago | (#43659799)

If you just want to try the software or use it once, $20 is a pretty sweet deal. For people who use the software on a daily basis, it's easy to see how the Cloud deal is more expensive. And even for casual users, $20/month could mean $20/use for them, which quickly adds up to being more expensive than the one-off purchase. Guess which kind of users are prevalent?

Re:More != more (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43659921)

It's $75 for a single month. You only get the $20 rate if you commit to a year.

Re:More != more (2)

SScorpio (595836) | about a year ago | (#43660131)

That's true, but they do offer a 30-day trial if you just wanted to check out the software. That $75 for the single month is also access to the whole creative suite, not just a single app.

Re:More != more (2)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#43659955)

Guess which kind of users are prevalent?

It's my understanding that most of Adobe's customers are businesses. A pay-as-you-go model means there's less chance of wasting money on licenses you don't need. After all, many businesses use temps, interns and contractors. And sometimes you'll need to switch an employee from one project where they need photoshop to another project where they need something else.

Re:More != more (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#43659843)

So you're saying if I want to use Photoshop for a couple months via the cloud (at a cost of $20/month) that's more expensive than buying a shrinkwrapware copy (at $600)?

Please explain.

On long term, yes.
Car analogy - what solution is preferable for someone to learn driving: use a second-hand car or rent a car by the day?
Translation: how long it takes a PS-noob to get enough experience to finish a project in 2 months? How much it will cost if all one can find on the market is rental-software?

Re:More != more (3, Informative)

Baton Rogue (1353707) | about a year ago | (#43660395)

Car analogy - what solution is preferable for someone to learn driving: use a second-hand car or rent a car by the day?

The better car analogy is the guy who likes to lease a new car every 3 years instead of buying one. You always get to have a new car, and there are rarely ever maintenance costs. The same would probably be true for the software subscription where you will automatically get the newest upgrades for free as part of the subscription.

Boss, Boss! (0)

jazman_777 (44742) | about a year ago | (#43659745)

De Cloud, de cloud!

creative clouds... an oximoron (4, Insightful)

aleator (869538) | about a year ago | (#43659763)

creativity is to be shared but also protected because usually the artist wants credit for it. now if you are keeping things in "the cloud" (independend who is providing it to you, be it apple, google, adobe, ...) and you intend do work on them, you have to ultimately trust the owner of the clouds servers on your data staying your data. making a small website with holidays pictures is one thing but working with real data for high payed contracts i would never just put the data anywhere in a cloud... after all winds can carry clouds anywhere.

Re:creative clouds... an oximoron (4, Insightful)

Misagon (1135) | about a year ago | (#43659813)

Also, if I store my work in the cloud and the subscription expires, will Adobe "just" hold my work ransom until I pay again ... or will they even delete my data?

Re:creative clouds... an oximoron (2)

aleator (869538) | about a year ago | (#43659839)

they might sell your data and give you access again from the earnings they do :)

Re:creative clouds... an oximoron (2)

niftymitch (1625721) | about a year ago | (#43660119)

they might sell your data and give you access again from the earnings they do :)

What liability do they have in the event of a security breach?

As product announcements can involve millions and leaks to a competitor can cost ten fold that if the competitor can stomp on your event.

I can see a run on the current shrink wrap version and then a total melt down in sales shortly after this program is in effect.

Re:creative clouds... an oximoron (1)

raymondcamden (2916197) | about a year ago | (#43660011)

Your files are not deleted. You just lose the ability to open them in the CC apps themselves. You can easily open them in other compatible programs.

CS6 costs WAY more than $599.99 (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43659765)

I don't know where they got those numbers from. Photoshop CS6 alone is $627 on Amazon and Design Standard is $1127.98. That makes the $49.99 take more than 2 years to be more than the cost of outright purchasing it.

If they are using Student/Teacher editions or something to make an unfair price comparison, how could you trust anything else in the article?

Re:CS6 costs WAY more than $599.99 (0)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#43659889)

If they are using Student/Teacher editions or something to make an unfair price comparison, ...?

Why is unfair? Do you suggest a student get to a professional level of experience on software-on-rent is cheaper than buying a standalone copy?

Re:CS6 costs WAY more than $599.99 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43659943)

It is unfair comparison as they chose a version of the suite that provides a subset when they should have been comparing the master suite collection which is the equivalent of what you get in the cloud version. Not saying I like cloud but the summary like all Slashdot summary is full of shit, sorta come to expect that from anything approved by soulskill though.

Re:CS6 costs WAY more than $599.99 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43659963)

Because there's a student/teach cloud offering, too, priced at $19 or $29 per month. So if you compare boxed CS6 to cloud CS, you need to compare the same versions of each. Edu CS6 vs. Edu Cloud, or regular CS6 vs. regular cloud.

Students pay less for the Cloud offering. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43660007)

Students and Teachers pay less for the cloud offering, just like they get a huge discount on the boxed software.

Re:CS6 costs WAY more than $599.99 (1)

SScorpio (595836) | about a year ago | (#43660107)

If they are using Student pricing they should use the $30/month Student pricing on the cloud version though it's on a special for $20/month right now.

This includes access to everything, not just Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign which make up Creative Suite Design and costs the same as the yearly cloud price.

Re:CS6 costs WAY more than $599.99 (2)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year ago | (#43660217)

$360 per year for a student price? Is that a joke?

That's an entire semester worth of textbooks or an entire month's room and board. Over four years, that's like buying eighteen student copies of Microsoft Office.

Surely Adobe cannot be that stupid. Then again....

Re:CS6 costs WAY more than $599.99 (0)

foniksonik (573572) | about a year ago | (#43660335)

Most Students aka 20 year olds have smartphone data plans that are more expensive. $360 sounds just fine for complete access.

Re:CS6 costs WAY more than $599.99 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43660387)

Most Students aka 20 year olds have smartphone data plans that are more expensive. $360 sounds just fine for complete access.

And how is this relevant? I'm sure the food they need for an entire year also costs more.

Except this little thing your skipped (4, Informative)

future assassin (639396) | about a year ago | (#43659961)

CS6 will run pretty much for ever unless an OS change makes it not compatible. You stop paying after two years and you got NOTHING. Wanna resumer after a year or two, dig out the Cs6 install and off you go for free.

Re:Except this little thing your skipped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43660085)

CS6 will run pretty much for ever unless an OS change makes it not compatible. You stop paying after two years and you got NOTHING. Wanna resumer after a year or two, dig out the Cs6 install and off you go for free.

That part is obvious. The point of the story is a cost comparison between the two options. The article and summary did a shitty job at that, and your parent rightly called it out. They even said that they weren't evaluating whether it was good or bad.

Re:CS6 costs WAY more than $599.99 (5, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year ago | (#43660129)

Yeah, those numbers are crap. That said, the conclusion isn't wrong, only the numbers. A typical non-corporate user:

  • Bought Photoshop a decade ago or more.
  • Buys an upgrade about every 6 years (3 major versions) at $250–300, or to $42–50 per year.

A Creative Cloud user:

  • Gets almost no discount for those years of buying upgrades—a $360 discount to rent the whole suite versus historically about $1500 off retail price when buying an upgrade.
  • Pays $240 minimum per year just for Photoshop.

So it's on the order of 6 times as expensive for your typical Photoshop-only user. For a multi-app user, it's $600 per year, so for new users, it is cheaper initially, but unless you are the sort of person who buys an upgrade at least every two years, it ends up being more expensive. Existing users are badly screwed.

But the biggest problem I have with this arrangement is that it leaves me completely dependent upon Adobe's good graces. At any time, they can decide to crank the price to $100 per month, and I can either pay it or I lose access to all my files. They can decide to drop Mac support, and I either buy a Windows box or I lose access to all my files. They can lose so many customers over this idiotic rental plan that they file for Chapter 7, and thirty days later, my files are no longer readable. And so on. It's a lack of permanence that I would have a very hard time swallowing, even as a corporate user, much less as a home user.

In other words, this has all of the problems of a free Google App, only I'd be paying a quarter of a grand per year for the privilege of putting my faith in Adobe. And yet, this is a company whose management has so consistently proven themselves incompetent beyond measure that I have no faith that they will still be around in ten years.

My prediction is that a sizable percentage of users will treat the Creative Cloud a stopgap measure, to allow them to get by until they can fully migrate away from Adobe products to a competing solution. Now would be an excellent time to short Adobe's stock. I fully expect it to go down to somewhere around $15 (just above their book value per share) in short order.

Re:CS6 costs WAY more than $599.99 (3)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#43660199)

Creative cloud user: when Adobe goes belly up or decides to just end creative cloud, no more creativ cloud.

Re:CS6 costs WAY more than $599.99 (1)

EvanED (569694) | about a year ago | (#43660243)

That said, the conclusion isn't wrong, only the numbers.

Sort of. That depends on your situation. For instance, as you acknowledge, your conclusion depends on the assumption that you don't upgrade each new version. Someone who does would look at the correct numbers and go "yes, this makes sense". (A different conclusion!)

And even if it doesn't reverse the cost figuring entirely, it may be the cost difference is low enough that the value is still in favor of paying a little bit more. It does no one any good to use incorrect numbers.

Buys an upgrade about every 6 years (3 major versions) at $250â"300, or to $42â"50 per year.

Where are you getting that number? Amazon's Photoshop CS6 price is over $600. Even the student/teacher version is over $300. That alone would take your 6x cost increase to 3x.

But the biggest problem I have with this arrangement is that it leaves me completely dependent upon Adobe's good graces. At any time, they can decide to crank the price to $100 per month, and I can either pay it or I lose access to all my files.

Don't think of this as Adobe implementing a Photoshop analogy to Google Docs; this isn't PS running in the browser. Instead, it's a subscription-based version of what people already have that just checks in once a month (and forces in after 6 months). You'll still be able to edit local files.

Re:CS6 costs WAY more than $599.99 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43660205)

bump that comment way up. cs6 is $1200 a cs5->cs6 upgrade is $600. i dont endorse adobes model but get the numbers right.

Re:CS6 costs WAY more than $599.99 (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year ago | (#43660239)

Ah, but the upgrade price is the only one that matters. Apart from companies adding more headcount or new students graduating from college, nobody buys a full version of an Adobe product. If they need it, they almost certainly already own it.

Re:CS6 costs WAY more than $599.99 (1)

emt377 (610337) | about a year ago | (#43660349)

I don't know where they got those numbers from. Photoshop CS6 alone is $627 on Amazon and Design Standard is $1127.98. That makes the $49.99 take more than 2 years to be more than the cost of outright purchasing it.

Most buyers of the big suite packages are without doubt businesses where people use the tools for work. And from a business perspective a one-time purchase is an investment which in the U.S. is paid for with taxed money (at a 40-50% rate depending on state), and then depreciated over a number of years as determined by the IRS. A monthly recurring fee however is an expense. It's the same reason airlines sell their plane engines to financing groups, which then lease them back to the airline - a pure paper arrangement to reduce profit and taxation. (Paying interest at 10-15% is cheaper than paying corporate taxes at almost 40%; then try to recover value from the fixed-schedule depreciation.) For the same reason, leasing software is cheaper than buying it; Adobe understands this and wants a cut.

The cloud (2)

zeroryoko1974 (2634611) | about a year ago | (#43659779)

I say fuck the cloud.

No Shit, Sherlock - (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43659815)

This is what cloud computing is all about. It's not about providing a service to customers that's better than what they can get at their own desktops. It's about returning us to the mainframe days when computing was a service and time on the machine was rented out to users. By refusing to publish popular consumer software and moving it onto the cloud where it can be accessed for a fee, software makers can collect rents from their users forever without even having to improve their software. They can also strictly control what users do with the program, what kinds of files they make and how often, and even monitor what they do, all such activities having their own business case.

The push toward cloud computing, more accurately called centralized computing, is about taking as much control away from the user as possible and selling their computing experience back to them piecemeal at a greatly elevated price. Very few enterprises will actually benefit from this model and most of them are the ones selling, not buying, the software.

Re:No Shit, Sherlock - (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43659977)

This is what cloud computing is all about. It's not about providing a service to customers that's better than what they can get at their own desktops.

Indeed. Especially because, in this case, the software isn't even running on Adobe's infrastructure, it's still installed locally. The "Cloud" here consists exactly of a subscription pricing model and a more annoying DRM, which will probably be cracked anyway. From Adobe's website (http://www.adobe.com/products/creativecloud/faq.html):

Do I need ongoing Internet access to use my Creative Cloud desktop applications?

No. Your Creative Cloud desktop applications (such as Photoshop and Illustrator) are installed directly on your computer, so you won't need an ongoing Internet connection to use them on a daily basis.

You will need to be online when you install and license your software. If you have an annual membership, you'll be asked to connect to the web to validate your software licenses every 30 days. However, you'll be able to use products for 180 days even if you're offline.

Re:No Shit, Sherlock - (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43660177)

Simple hack: image your machine offline, reset the date and reimage on a monthly basis.

Re:No Shit, Sherlock - (2, Interesting)

e r (2847683) | about a year ago | (#43660251)

I agree with you completely. To everyone who sees the truth in this and doesn't like what Adobe is doing: 1. Are you using Linux right now? 2. If you're not using Linux, why not? It respects your freedom. The abuse of, and disregard for, your freedom is what angers you about what Adobe is doing right? 3. If you don't care about the stars-and-stripes freedom thing then do you care about technological progress? It seems to me that open source software-- at least open source infrastructure like operating systems, standards, and libraries-- is a better and faster road to progress. Why? First, because Microsoft or Apple can only hire so many programmers so ultimately they can't beat an entire world of people working on the same thing. Second, because if some closed-source shop, like Oracle or Sun or Microsoft, goes away then frequently so does their source code and all the progress that it represents. 4. If you don't care about any of the above, then do you care about money out of your pocket? Linux costs nothing for you. It's free. It's not crappy either, it's actually pretty good if you're using a consumer-targeted distro like Ubuntu or Mint. With Steam running on Linux now you can even play mainstream games. Use Linux, guys. Most of you have probably at least tried it. Many of you will flame me for saying this. But I don't say this to be a troll, I don't want anyone to think I'm being passive-aggressive and trying to bring up a very old and tired subject. I just think that everyone's probably angry at the abuse and sees where companies like Adobe, Microsoft, and Apple are trying to take us. Yet very few people are voting with their feet on this one. Please, just try it if you haven't already, you might like it. You might try it and something breaks or it gets frustrating or doesn't work like you expect or is missing some program that you can't live without...OK, that's fine, nobody's twisting your arm. But for the vast majority of you out there I believe you really could get along just fine with it. And by using it you're lending your support to progress; you're lending your support, a grain of rice, to the cause of freedom yours and mine.

Re: No Shit, Sherlock - (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43660341)

Too bad open source SUCKS and actually costs MORE than closed source once you factor in training and dealing with the inevitable bugs and security problems endemic in open sores software.

Re:No Shit, Sherlock - (1)

Sir Holo (531007) | about a year ago | (#43660279)

Spot-on, parent poster. It's all about control and squeezing the customers for more money.

If Adobe, or any other software companies, go to this model, I will simply refuse to "upgrade" as long as I can stand it. And, I suspect, by the time that I do need to "upgrade" (based not on new features but on OS compatibility), someone else will have entered the same market-space with a "boxed" product. I will switch over to that.

The root of this SAS and cloud-based nonsense is that many software applications have matured. There is no reason to buy the next version, because the apps already do what you need. Companies need revenue to survive. But, instead of entering a new market, or addressing a new need, they are trying to go to always-on internet and DRM'd versions of those self-same boxed products that many already own.

Re:No Shit, Sherlock - (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43660325)

This is what cloud computing is all about. It's not about providing a service to customers that's better than what they can get at their own desktops.

No, it is not. Cloud computing is things like Amazon's EC2 cloud; Which provides people who host content on the internet the valuable service of being able to add extra capacity on demand. It eliminates the slashdot effect on websites. It's also useful for a variety of other functions, like video encoding/decoding, load balancing, etc. Cloud computing is a Good Thing.

You've confused cloud computing with profiteering asshat corporations who are using it to effectively create a new kind of DRM. And like all forms of DRM, it isn't wanted, causes a wide range of problems, and screws over the paying customers. Which, from the article summary, is pretty much what everyone's predicting will happen.

Re:No Shit, Sherlock - (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43660373)

And then when I need-and a large portion of the time I really do need-to work offline, I can't with the new setup. I also can't control updates. New versions may break plugins and scripts we need to complete projects. I also cannot guarantee that any new version will work with our hardware.

20 GB ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43659845)

Hell, I can buy a 32 GB flash drive for less than twenty bucks and carry it around in my pocket. 20 GB in the cloud isn't even a joke, it's an insult.

Re:20 GB ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43660061)

> I can buy a 32 GB flash drive for less than twenty bucks and carry it around in my pocket.

Shhh... that's the "cloud": a bunch of dudes walking around with flash drives on their keychains. When you want to pull up your data, we look up which guy is carrying around the flash drive with your stuff on it, and we call him up and have him come down to the office and plug it into a USB port.

The cost comparison is off (4, Informative)

neile (139369) | about a year ago | (#43659847)

The comparison should be made to Adobe CS6 Master Collection which is going for $2,100 on Amazon right now, not the smaller package of CS6 goes for $403.99. Adobe also announced the monthly cost for a single app will be $10/mo. for the first year, not the current $19.99/mo. Similarly, if you are an existing CS3 or higher owner, you can get the first year of everything for $39.99/mo. for the first year. Now I'm not saying whether this is a good or bad change, just pointing out that the summary's numbers aren't accurate.

Re:The cost comparison is off (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about a year ago | (#43660063)

The comparison should be made to Adobe CS6 Master Collection

Only if you actually use most/all of the applications. I expect that many customers go for something less comprehensive like Design Standard instead, for a little over half the price you mentioned depending on the choice of package.

With the prices actually being charged where I am and right now, not any hypothetical future ones they've said they'll do later or anything that is restricted to a short period of time or in another country, it works out cheaper to buy the entire package if you use more than two of the CS applications, and the cost for renting over about two years is around the same as the cost for buying CS6 Design Standard outright, and then the cost of renting stays up whereas the cost of buying each upgrade has been much lower with the one-off purchases.

Re:The cost comparison is off (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43660363)

The comparison should be made to Adobe CS6 Master Collection which is going for $2,100 on Amazon right now, not the smaller package of CS6 goes for $403.99. Adobe also announced the monthly cost for a single app will be $10/mo. for the first year, not the current $19.99/mo. Similarly, if you are an existing CS3 or higher owner, you can get the first year of everything for $39.99/mo. for the first year. Now I'm not saying whether this is a good or bad change, just pointing out that the summary's numbers aren't accurate.

Yes, and it omits an important number: People who are going to run away screaming from the idea of paying a monthly subscription fee and will turn to software piracy instead. Adobe is basically walling off the consumer market and then pouring concrete over it to kill it off, while telling it's corporate buyers that subscriptions are the way to go. Well, businesses don't care... it's just another line item to them. Of course they'll sign on.

And so it goes that Adobe becomes the enemy of self-employed graphic designers everywhere, attempting to destroy the artist who's barely scraping by.

The Obvious Question (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year ago | (#43659855)

What F/OSS alternatives are there that are at least functionally equivalent?

Re:The Obvious Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43659925)

Currently none. some will argue gimp for photoshop but really it is not even close to being an alternative for serious professionals.

Re:The Obvious Question (3, Insightful)

Score Whore (32328) | about a year ago | (#43659945)

None. There are lots that get about 80% of the way there. But as anyone who has developed a complex product can tell you, the first 20% of the cost and effort gets you 90% of the functionality, the remaining 10% functionality takes the remaining 80% of the investment. The odds are against F/OSS products ever being a total replacement for the products in Adobe's portfolio.

$403.99 on Amazon? I don't think so. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43659857)

Maybe the summary is talking about an academic license. From what I can see, CS6 Master Collection costs about $2100 on Amazon.com. That's a substantial difference, and it changes the proposition considerably. In fact, it reveals the writers entire point to be bogus, at least for typical business users.

Re:$403.99 on Amazon? I don't think so. (1)

tysonedwards (969693) | about a year ago | (#43659941)

For people who upgrade between versions of the Adobe apps sooner than 4.3 years, Creative Cloud is a cost savings.
People who stay on one version forever... yes Creative Cloud is going to cost more money.

Although, the whole thing is more a testament to how expensive Adobe Creative Suite has been.
The people who just bought CS6 instead of CC are the ones who are really screwed here as Adobe has made it very clear that they are going to have "exclusive features" for Creative Cloud that will not flow down to CS6.

Something Microsoft got mostly right w/ Office365 (4, Insightful)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about a year ago | (#43659859)

We have our full time employees and thus we know we need X seats of Microsoft Office split between Windows & Mac users. Well we're coming up on summer where we will have 3 - 5 interns working for us and bringing their own computers. Office365 gives us the ability to add an extra 3 seats for 4 months costing ~ $150 vs. $1500 to go buy extra seats. Actually one of the interns is a graphics arts major and instead of spending nearly $2k for software to be used by one person for a couple months it's going to cost us around $200 for Adobe Cloud. Usually we sub the graphics design stuff out, but we have a project the students will be working on over the summer. So for us, it gives us great flexibility being able to price things per project as opposed to having to sink large sums of money into software that we may only need for one project.

Now to those like the graphics artist we hire to do most of our graphics work, yeah I can see where they'd be pissed. Many of them I know generally spend $2k and get about 4 years out of the software before upgrading. I still know a lot of professionals still using CS2 because it does all they need and see no reason to upgrade until they absolutely have to.

Re:Something Microsoft got mostly right w/ Office3 (1)

SScorpio (595836) | about a year ago | (#43660203)

Spending $2k and getting four years of usage isn't a very good deal compared to this new offer.

CS6 Master Collection retails for $2,600, though it's on sale for $2,100 on Amazon. $50/month x 48 = $2,400 so $300 more over those four years. Spreading out the cost of the purchase and getting all updated versions seems like the better deal.

Re:Something Microsoft got mostly right w/ Office3 (1)

andydread (758754) | about a year ago | (#43660269)

The graphics artists would simply just extract that difference in the increase in their cost from you the customer. So look for your costs to go up.

Disruption to work (2)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about a year ago | (#43659875)

Worst is the potential for disruption of work. With the non-cloud model, users can upgrade on their schedule. If they're in the middle of a big project, they can postpone upgrading until they've got a few weeks of slack time. With the Cloud version it'll be very easy for Adobe to force upgrades when Adobe, not the user, wants. You can imagine the headaches that could create.

Re:Disruption to work (1)

Grashnak (1003791) | about a year ago | (#43660377)

Um, no. The adobe application updater works just like most updaters - it tells you there is an update and asks if you want to install it. You're quite free to say no, as I do all the time because I'm busy. On the other hand, they push out lots of of updates now that otherwise might have had to wait 2 years for the next version of the software. I'm quite happy with it, I don't mind the cost which is considerably less than I spend on coffee every month, but ymmv.

CS6 != Photoshop CS6 (4, Informative)

Score Whore (32328) | about a year ago | (#43659879)

Adobe Photoshop CS6 retails for $599 all by itself.

Creative Cloud @ $50/mo includes:

What's included in your
Creative Cloud membership?

                Photoshop® CS6 Extended
                Photoshop Lightroom® 4
                Illustrator® CS6
                InDesign® CS6
                Adobe Muse
                Acrobat® XI Pro
                Flash® Professional CS6
                Flash Builder® 4.6 Premium Edition
                Dreamweaver® CS6
                Edge Tools & Services
                Fireworks® CS6
                Adobe Premiere® Pro CS6
                After Effects® CS6
                Adobe Audition® CS6
                SpeedGrade CS6
                Prelude CS6
                Encore® CS6
                Bridge CS6
                Story CS6
                Media Encoder CS6
                Business Catalyst
                Typekit
                Device and PC sync
                Cloud storage

I begin to suspect that Nerval's Lobster and the slashdot editor Soulskill lack appropriate knowledge to be commenting on this subject.

Re:CS6 != Photoshop CS6 (3, Informative)

future assassin (639396) | about a year ago | (#43659995)

And if you stop paying the cloud stops working....

Complete Rip-off (5, Informative)

MatthiasF (1853064) | about a year ago | (#43659897)

Everyone is comparing the costs to a NEW full license of the suites or programs, but that's only a small half of the story. Those of us that have already made the investment of a full copy and can upgrade, these changes are a complete RIP OFF.

The cost of upgrading CS5.5 Premium Design suite to CS6 is $375. Cost of Creative Cloud? $50 a month, $600 a year.

We use to only upgrade Adobe suites every 2-3 years, at $375 a pop. Now for the same thing, we must pay $1200-1800 over those two to three years?

That's an increase of 200-250% depending on your suite.

Why is no one bringing this up?

Upgraders get a discount on the first year. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43660013)

$29.99/month for the full suite, and you don't even need to be a Master Suite owner to get the upgrade pricing.

Re:Upgraders get a discount on the first year. (2)

andydread (758754) | about a year ago | (#43660383)

Since they upgrade every 3 years at a cost of $375 then 375/36 = $10.41/Mnth That 29.99/Mnth is a whole ~60% more a month than they are paying now. And that is with the first year discount. I think the GP has a point. This looks like a massive money grab from Adobe. It should open up some of their customers to re-evaluate whether they really need Adobe products to function or at lest look at how many PCs in their establishment can do just fine wtihout it.

Lots of advantages, none for the customer (0)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#43659905)

Assuming the executable is on the vendor's computer:

The software only has to be compiled for one architecture - no more Windows/Mac/Linux versions
The user has no installation problems - conflicts with drivers, antivirus, &c
The code can be optimized to the execution machine
The code cannot be pirated

You always have the most up-to-date version of the software
The execution machine is probably better/faster than your personal machine
If the company goes out of business or closes the server, you lose your work
The company can lock you in with proprietary formats that you can't read (ie - you can have the results, but not the intermediate form used by the software)
You're forced to pay for access during months when you don't use the software - or you lose your data
You need to be internet connected to the internet for it to work
You need a reasonably fast internet connection for it to work
You need a reasonably reliable internet connection for it to work
The company gets your real personal info with the subscription (as opposed to purchasing and not registering, or registering with false information)
The company gets to mine your activities for targeted advertizing

These are just off the top of my head - I'm sure others can think of other creative ways the company will use this technology.

All in all it's a great deal for the vendor. For the user, not so much...

Re:Lots of advantages, none for the customer (5, Informative)

EvanED (569694) | about a year ago | (#43660167)

Assuming the executable is on the vendor's computer:

I realize that the /. summaries and to a lesser extent Adobe have done a poor job at conveying this information, but that assumption isn't right.

This isn't really "creative suite in the cloud" so much as "subscription-based creative suite with some cloud storage you can use if you want." You still download the programs and install them locally, and they check in each month (according to comments in a previous story).

I don't really want to say that this is a good thing; that's for each person to decide. But it does invalidate almost all of your statements, which I will now attempt to correct in the name of reducing FUD:

The software only has to be compiled for one architecture - no more Windows/Mac/Linux versions
The user has no installation problems - conflicts with drivers, antivirus, &c
The code can be optimized to the execution machine

Not sure what versions will be available; I'd assume Mac and Windows. But they are native programs, not running in the browser. (Not sure why you say that last one is an advantage for the vendor...)

The code cannot be pirated
Slightly ironically, the way Adobe is doing probably won't mean much here.

If the company goes out of business or closes the server, you lose your work
You can still store information locally.

You need to be internet connected to the internet for it to work
You need a reasonably fast internet connection for it to work
You need a reasonably reliable internet connection for it to work

You only need a connection once a month for activation purposes.

The company gets to mine your activities for targeted advertizing
Unlikely. At least, it won't be significantly easier than it is now, since it's a local app.

Re:Lots of advantages, none for the customer (1)

SScorpio (595836) | about a year ago | (#43660241)

These are still normal applications you install on your computer. The only "Cloud" is the online storage, and you install the application from the web. The software complains every 30 days for you to authenticate it, but it will run for three months without re-authentication. But you can run it day to day without an Internet connection.

Re:Lots of advantages, none for the customer (2)

EvanED (569694) | about a year ago | (#43660319)

Actually more clarifications now that I've looked at the FAQ a bit:

You're forced to pay for access during months when you don't use the software - or you lose your data
Not only is this wrong for the reason I gave before (you still can use local files), but you have 90 days after cancelling your membership to still access your files. (After that, yes, you'll lose some work. Though there's still a free 2 GB you'll have access to.)

You need to be internet connected to the internet for it to work
You need a reasonably fast internet connection for it to work
You need a reasonably reliable internet connection for it to work

My once a month statement was low. The FAQ is slightly confusing, but it sounds like it will work for 6 months without an activation (just bug you once a month).

!Gimp (0)

TrumpetPower! (190615) | about a year ago | (#43659911)

Before anybody here recommends the Gimp as an alternative...yes, it's a well-done project, and yes, it admirably suits many people's needs.

But suggesting that the Gimp is a suitable alternative to Photoshop for a creative professional makes you sound as insanely stupid as that accountant who wonders why the company spends all that money on a huge financials package with a massive SQL backend when he could whip up something that works just as well in Excel with a few macros in an afternoon.

There is a serious lack of alternatives in this space; the monopoly Adobe enjoys is akin to AT&T before the breakup. Adobe clearly knows this, and this cloud bullshit is obviously an attempt to (continue to) cash in on said monopoly.

Most people I know are planning on camping out indefinitely on CS6 and hope something shakes free sooner rather than later. Long-shot dreams, such as Google buying Corel and turning PaintShop Pro into a Photoshop competitor, are being desperately wished for.

It's not pretty.

Cheers,

b&

Re:!Gimp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43660021)

If you are one of the people who believe in this "desperation", then perhaps you could donate some money rather than griping? It's not like GIMP is asking $50/mo for their tools, so instead of loudly bemoaning the lack of competition you could help fund it?

Even at face value it's stupid (3)

goodmanj (234846) | about a year ago | (#43659913)

I want cloud storage! My boss says it's going to be the next big thing to contextualize our value process, so I have to have it! Hmm, let's see:

13 months of Creative Cloud with 20 GB of cloud storage: $650
Infinity months of Creative Suite 6 plus 13 months of 25 GB Google Drive storage: $635
Being able to put non-Adobe files in my cloud storage: priceless.

Re:Even at face value it's stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43660219)

cs6 is $1200, see all other comments

Re:Even at face value it's stupid (1)

goodmanj (234846) | about a year ago | (#43660317)

I wouldn't know, I bought Illustrator CS3 TEN YEARS AGO and it still works fine for everything I do.

Corporations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43659953)

I wonder how corporations will feel about this. Most companies aren't to thrilled about having cloud services for apps they depend on. And 20GB Cloud, big deal, my corporation has 100s of terabytes for me to use. I don't need the cloud. We have 200+ seats of CS6. Guess we won't be upgrading any time soon.

Aka "business opportunity" (1)

edcheevy (1160545) | about a year ago | (#43659957)

Company gets greedy, company raises prices, opportunities become more enticing for competitors. Sure it will take the market a little while to react, but if the vacuum at the reasonable end of the price spectrum creates more competition from paid or FOSS alternatives, I'm cool with that.

Let's compare the costs of cars to soda fountains (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43659959)

This is the worst case of anecdotal reasoning I've seen in quite some time.

That someone sticks the term "Cloud" to the name of their product does not make it definitionally indicative of the nature of "the cloud". Insofar as one can even define precisely what "the cloud" is, it is vastly larger in scope than this marketing model and this product. If the comparison was between traditional "boxed" software and SaaS, or for that matter renting the boxed software, then you'd still have the same problems with anecdotal reasoning, but at least your comparison sets would be meaningful.

In this case of Adobe's product, it may perhaps end up being net more expensive, in vastly more cases it is less expensive than the equivalent "boxed" alternative, where such even exists--witness all the "free" services "on the cloud" that require/request only that you view some ads.

Companies will charge the most that buyer perceptions enable them to charge for any given item, always, and although this summary seems to suffer from the perception that they do otherwise (such as "cutting costs to lower your prices", and therefore surmising prices seriously are a function of costs rather than a marketing meme), if anything "the cloud" wins in both respects--downloading efficiency versus shipping boxes of bits, and from offsetting the losses due to piracy of said boxes' contents.

Ech... a general pox on all the layers of slipshod reasoning here, and I'm off.

Bandwidth issues no? (1)

Twinbee (767046) | about a year ago | (#43659973)

Can someone enlighten me why you'd want to store or access potentially giant images on their happy shiny 'creative cloud' considering it could take minutes or even hours to load or save a picture/project? It's not like we live in the future where everyone gets a consistent 1GB/second upload/download.

Re:Bandwidth issues no? (2)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about a year ago | (#43660265)

Can someone enlighten me why you'd want to store or access potentially giant images on their happy shiny 'creative cloud' considering it could take minutes or even hours to load or save a picture/project?

Because it's the cloud, man, the cloud! Jesus Christ, how many times do we have to tell people that?

Seriously though, did anyone ever think that software as a service was going to at all be geared toward the consumers? Just wait until you se what those prices will end up being from Adobe, Microsoft, and whoever decides you are going to rent their software. And no more choices either. If Adobe wants to have a Metro interface? Enjoy that! You will get your software updated when they want you to, and you will accept it. After all, what are your options, cloud citizens?

Only thing is for some upstart to offer professional software that you keep on your machine.

Re:Bandwidth issues no? (1)

raymondcamden (2916197) | about a year ago | (#43660321)

It works like Dropbox. The file is *on* your machine and synced to the cloud. You aren't opening large files via the net.

feel the tug upon your wallet (1)

TheGrumpster (1039342) | about a year ago | (#43659983)

I was wondering how long it would take Adobe to adopt The Steve's model of attaching your industry as a leech to gullible consumers. The Adobe PR machine and its shills will spin this a dozen different ways to make it sound like you're getting a great bargain, but the reality is that if you use this software on a daily basis, you're going to be paying for it on a daily basis from now until the end of time. This is undoubtedly a response to sagging overall sales of what are now rather stale and grossly overpriced products, much as Microsoft has discovered with Office. When was the last time Photoshop got a real upgrade? And don't you love how they keep crippling Lightroom to make sure you have to own Photoshop if you want to do any real image processing? Lightroom arguably has the better UI, but they're not about to port that to Photoshop and cut out the chance of yet another subscription. I honestly don't see a lot of innovation going on at Adobe. Let's hope the Gimp gets to be a little more user-friendly and then we can all ditch Photoshop forever. What a good riddance that would be.

Not comparing to the right version (3, Informative)

Solandri (704621) | about a year ago | (#43660003)

Creative Suite 6 comes in all sorts of different versions. Based on the comparison chart [googleusercontent.com] (which Adobe replaced with a link forwarder to Creative Cloud), it looks like the equivalent CS6 version is Master Collection, which is $2100 on Amazon retail, $900 upgrade. So at $50/mo that'd be equivalent to 3.5 years for the initial purchase, and 1.5 years between upgrades (granted $50/mo is their introductory pricing).

Don't get me wrong, I think this is a terrible idea, and am thanking my lucky stars the only Adobe software I use extensively anymore is Lightroom, which for the time being can still be purchased as a standalone version. But for people/companies who actively use the different CS products and upgrade them with each release, it doesn't sound like that bad a deal. It will suck for casual users though. I keep an old copy of Photoshop CS2 around for the stuff I can't do in Lightroom. I feel sorry for the kids graduating now - if they need to touch up one photo in PS, they'll have to pay $20/mo for a year = $240 for that casual use.

Re:Not comparing to the right version (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a year ago | (#43660393)

There's also a $75 one-month-access fee that you can pay if you need the software every so often. So it looks like the people who upgrade constantly will win out, the people who only use it once every year will win out (not needing to lay out hundreds of dollars for a few uses), but the people who buy one version and use it for years won't.

Long term document access (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43660031)

Suppose I want to be able to open my documents 10 years from now. I'll just buy a subscription, and how their servers still work? Not a problem really though, since you don't need to open your docs if they vanish with the cloud anyway right?

Pirate proposal (3, Interesting)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#43660065)

Assuming that the software exists on the vendor's server, suppose the following:

1) I purchase a subscription to Creative Suite

2) I setup my computer to allow others [that I choose] to remotely use the internet as if from my computer

3) I sell time on my computer to allow others to use Creative Suite from my computer when I'm not using it

4) Profit!

This will clearly be a violation of their terms of service, but isn't it protected under the first sale doctrine? Is there any way that they can enforce a ban on this activity?

A website similar to Craigslist could let people register their computers, the software they have registrations for, and the hours when it will be available. The website would manage time, passwords, and payment. Sounds like a potential business opportunity.

Note that Windows already has most of the features you need for this (keeping the remote user out of your personal files, for example).

Fantastic chance for free software (3, Insightful)

knarf (34928) | about a year ago | (#43660113)

While the concept of freedom which lies at the base of the term 'free software' still continues to be misunderstood by many, these nebulous moves by all those entrenched purveyors of proprietary software should make it clear to even the most bone-headed sub-species of manager. Free software means you get to run it the way you want, when you want, however often you want, without any risk of the software suddenly disappearing because you missed a payment or the vendor went out of business or or or...

In short, if the cloud gets so nebulous you can't even see your wallet in your hands any more, just follow the beacon to dot.org which has been shining for years now without you even noticing.

Adobe's CEO is obviously referring to fantasyland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43660125)

20 GB of storage, with 20GB of bandwidth in each direction is roughly: $2.03 (USD) per month on amazon. So the real added value of this service is a gigantic ~ $24 of savings and connivence... minus the additional $600 you'll spend the next year in monthly licensing.

After a lifetime of pirating Adobe products (young and poor), I was getting ready to buy a CS Suite (I'm gainfully now employed, and can afford it/profit off it)-- but now I think I'll just keep my pirated copy. At least then I'll never have to worry about activation servers going down....

Oh well, at least Photoshop CS 6 is mature enough we can use it for a few more years until people either revolt or some bigger firms start sponsoring more Gimp development.

Simple: Supply and Demand (1)

Brad Goodman (2906427) | about a year ago | (#43660139)

Adobe will not make more nor less off the "cloud" model vs. the "boxed" model. They will make as much as their software is worth via the laws of supply and demand. I'd their software is great, and the is little alternative, they'll extort a high price. If they try to go too high - people will seek alternatives, even if it is painful. It doesn't matter if they do this via the higher cloud pricing model, or merely by jacking-up their boxed rate.

Cloud vs. App Store (3, Interesting)

bostonidealist (2009964) | about a year ago | (#43660161)

Cloud/Software-As-A-Service/Web Apps are obvious wins for the Googles/Microsofts/Adobes of the world. They

  1. 1. eliminate piracy
  2. 2. guarantee a steady revenue stream
  3. 3. allow vendors to data-mine user behavior
  4. 4. avoid App store sales fees

Adobe's move is not just about locking-in customers, it's about ensuring that they don't have to give Apple and Microsoft a cut of all their sales. Gatekeeper on the Mac and Windows RT are harbingers of Apple's and Microsoft's long-term strategies: force everything through the App store and skim off the top. All the major software vendors are fighting a war and the consumers caught in the crossfire.

goodbye adobe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43660181)

wow that's 3 in one day. Adobe, Microsoft, and Faceobok, all going into the deadpool.

This is the academic pricing (3, Interesting)

luminate (318382) | about a year ago | (#43660187)

Huh? $403.99 is for the Design and Web Premium Student and Teacher Edition while the $49.99/month cloud service gets you the Master Collection for commercial use (currently ~$2100). While it certainly isn't a better deal for everyone (students, those that rarely upgrade or only want a few of the apps), it looks like a great deal for current non-academic master collection users. That said, it seems backwards to substantially lower the price for the customers that can most afford it (commercial master collection users) and jack up the price on students and casual users. I don't blame them for trying the cell phone model though. It's amazing how much people will throw away if the cost is amortized over a long period.

Adobe's Trying to Stop Piracy? (2)

BoRegardless (721219) | about a year ago | (#43660259)

As Bill Gates was just quoted, 90% of MS software in use in the Chinese government offices and in large companies (mostly government owned) is pirated.

If Adobe is doing this to stop piracy in foreign countries that is their choice. That doesn't mean Adobe will be my choice.

I think I will do my light duty image editing in other applications from now on. No way am I going to store images of patent pending proprietary products on Adobe's servers or my own equipment that Adobe can deny me access to whenever I don't come up with their monthly fee, for whatever reason (ever heard of credit card theft and a card is cancelled: been there already).

sigh....again...seems to be a theme here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43660301)

Your $400 price quote is disingenuous. That is for student/teacher only. The real price is closer to $1200 so it almost 3 years in reality to make up for that and at that point you are going to upgrade anyway. So come on...lets be a little more real here.

God I hate slashdot...why do I keep coming back

Holy grail: software subscriptions (1, Insightful)

macraig (621737) | about a year ago | (#43660307)

Software subscriptions have been the Holy Grail for decades now. Consumers have generally - so far - been wise enough to reject it in general, but like IP legislation the potential gains are so enormous that corporations will never stop trying to reinvent it in a palatable fashion. Here we go again....

Correct (0)

jon3k (691256) | about a year ago | (#43660357)

How THEIR cloud costs your more. Not THE cloud.

Cloud Storage Savings? (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a year ago | (#43660369)

So they claim that their cloud offering will save money because you won't need to spend money on a separate cloud storage service? Ok, let's suppose you were going to pay for a cloud storage service. I'll pick the one I use: Google Drive. (I'm guessing other providers will be competitive in pricing.) I use their free offering, but let's say I wanted 20GB. 25GB of Google Drive storage costs $2.49 a month. (Source. [google.com] ) Their $49.99 monthly fee could buy you 20 months of 25GB Google Drive.

Suppose you had an extra $49.99 that you were going to spend anyway. How much Google Drive could you get (instead of renting Adobe's software+20GB)? 1TB.

So, depending on how you look at it, Adobe's offering is either 20 times more expensive or 50 times more expensive than Google Drive. How is this saving the customer money again, Adobe??!!!

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