an All Creative World site
Vootie's picture
1598 pencils

Adobe Wins, Loses and Celebrates

It's been quite the week for Adobe. It began by announcing that it now has more than 500,000 paid subscribers for its Creative Cloud offering, up 153,000 in just three months, with an additional 2 million taking advantage of free or trial versions. Adobe sees most of its customers moving to the cloud by the end of 2015, resulting in 4 million individual and team Creative Cloud subscriptions. Adobe stock gains accordingly led to cigars all round.

That was the good news. Tempering that was the sudden departure of CTO Kevin Lynch, who next week will be working for Apple. Lynch will be remembered as Mr. Macromedia, who after the acquisition became the face of Flash as the solution for just about everything. After Steve "Flash Killer" Jobs led a highly public fatwah against Flash, Lynch was forced to regroup and became the architect and champion of Adobe's Creative Cloud and Marketing Cloud. With Jobs now just a memory, there was no barrier left to Lynch's assimilation into the Apple mother ship. Will he be able to turn around the firm's feeble cloud initiatives? One can only hope so, although early reports are that his responsibilities will be in the domain of hardware. Go figure.

And the celebration? Apparently the Photoshop Facebook page has passed the five-million Like mark, and the dev team responded by compiling "some lesser-known facts" about the creation of Photoshop CS6, including the amount of beer consumed during its creation. Here's hoping they top that for the creation of Photoshop CS7.

Commenting on this Blog entry will be automatically closed on May 15, 2013.

wgzn's picture
2124 pencils

its funny. i chose the cloud suite subscription for two reasons:
1. because it ended up being about the same price as my usual upgrade schedule. but allows me to pay as i go rather than incurring a $1500 cost every 18months or so
2. i would always have the newest version of software.

this has kind of bitten me on the ass though as many service bureaus and other colleagues do NOT have the most recent versions. so im finding myself having to frequently "save down"

: (

Ivan's picture

Yes, same experience here. Few have the latest nowadays.

Art D. Rector's picture
3166 pencils

"63% more features than Photoshop CS5"

99.9% of which you will never use in your lifetime. That's why nobody bothers updating on a regular basis anymore - they're not adding anything we need. That's exactly why they're pushing the cloud model so hard - they don't want you to have a choice as to whether or not you need anymore of their bloat... umm... "new features".

Vootie's picture
1598 pencils

I guess it's all in how you define "need."

Art D. Rector's picture
3166 pencils

I define it in the same way graphics professionals out in the world - using their software - would define it. Do you honestly believe they've added 63% more USEFUL features... in ONE "upgrade"? Anyone who knows anything about this business and graphics software knows the very notion is absolutely ludicrous at face value.

wgzn's picture
2124 pencils

there are actually very few meaningful improvements from my perspective. in fact we've even lost a few features over time.

photoshop can no longer open PICT files?!?!??!?

the one thing that absolutely PISSES ME OFF is that adobe cant even unify on the way a tool works from one program to another. illustrator used to (CS4 and prior) have a free-moving slider to assign transparency - like the one in photoshop. but suddenly in CS6 it defaults to a preset pull-down of 10% increments. WTF?!?!? you ALREADY had this feature working. why did you go in and fuck it up?

then you have all this docked window tom-faggery in photoshop. why on earth did they think we wanted (needed?) the program to tell us how to arrange our windows AND that by default, everything from one program would be confined to one window.

Art D. Rector's picture
3166 pencils

Agree - the default should be the standard we're accustomed to in previous versions. If we WANT to put the windows together - make that an option or a preference or something. There are really only two options when it comes to the WHY Adobe insists on changing shit that was working PERFECTLY before... either they do it to get the upgrade money or they simply do not have any real world graphics people working for them. They've done so many insane things over the years (ditching all the keyboard commands in Illustrator, changing the color percentages in PSD, etc... etc..) that make absolutely no sense - those are really the only two options available... Either for the money, or because they have no clue what goes on in a real world graphics environment.

YoungZM's picture
917 pencils

I don't think it's fair to try and boast sales of a system like the CC because they don't actually let you purchase the programs anymore (at least online from what I can find). Everything is on some sort of CC membership basis, whatever happened to ownership? Saying that your stores green apple sales have increased when all you sell is green apples isn't exactly a flag you get to wave. There's something incredibly beneficial to just having a owned license copy.

While I like the availability of new versions, as everyone has already mentioned and anyone can figure out, they're not "useful" (ie. nothing has been added that changes core functionality or benefits) or popular enough to switch to (no one else has it).

The only redeeming thing that Adobe has seemed to figure out in this entire process is a payment plan to make their product feel like less of a hit. I do think though that once you hit x month in your contract you do "own" a license for your product. I expect to see boxed copy sales skyrocket in the coming months-years as customers realize that they won't be able to purchase owned licenses anymore. The good thing about this is it's bringing in way more denaros for Adobe Systems; much as it pains me to admit they probably have more users now more than ever (maybe not of the new creative cloud system, but bringing affordability to amateurs was an important step). I guess that's their goal since they made that terrible investment acquiring Flash.

Vootie's picture
1598 pencils

Well, boxed versions of Creative Suite and its applications will end in May. As for the Flash investment, I think it worked out pretty well for them.That investment paid off most recently with Lynch heading up their Creative Cloud and Marketing Cloud initiatives.There are benefits and losses to users when using a subscription system, no argument about that -- but I think it will take another year or so before the dust settles and we get a better sense of this.

YoungZM's picture
917 pencils

Not sure how you justify the investment paying off, they spent millions acquiring it, more integrating it and marketing it only for everyone on the planet to steadily tell Adobe to let it die. The best thing Macromedia ever did was jump ship because they saw precisely what was happening to Flash, its limitations and the trend it was headed for. It doesn't work well for mobile and that's where society is mainly headed. The Flash stocks are happily as dead as a cadaver.

I agree, only time will tell.

Art D. Rector's picture
3166 pencils

Not the first software Adobe has killed off. That's their specialty... Pagemill, Pagemaker, GoLive, Freehand (they're getting sued for that one), Dimensions, Live(whatever - the flash software they had before Flash)... Dreamweaver is probably next since they started yet another website building app - Muse (that's 4 web apps according to my count).

Seriously Young - don't ever get comfortable with anything Adobe makes cuz they'll be pulling the rug out on it sooner or later.

wgzn's picture
2124 pencils

"don't ever get comfortable with anything Adobe makes cuz they'll be pulling the rug out on it sooner or later."

well, thats true of just about everything - eventually... but only partially accurate here.

adobe's longest-running production programs. illustrator, photoshop and aftereffects remained more or less unchanged from a UI perspective from versions 1 up to about CS5 (which in most cases was about 14-15 versions over 20ish years)

what theyve been playing fast and loose with are the things that were either trendy/novelty (golive, dimensions and probably muse) or things they acquired specifically to cannibalize and kill (pagemaker, freehand, flash, etc.)

what's sad is that they've been slowly dumbing-down professional tools to make them more palatable (and appealing) to the hobbyists and consumers. since about the birth of CS and the pdf preview the absolute pixel accuracy of things from illustrator to photoshop has softened a bit. seems like there is always a pixel or two you have to bump to keep things perfectly in line.

it seems too that software companies are adding bloat to programs just to make them marketable. which i understand to some degree. they have to do SOMETHING to keep up sales. but the specs of my computer are 50x-100x even 200x or more what they were in say 1994. but from a program performance perspective. i'm not that much more productive

Art D. Rector's picture
3166 pencils

Mostly agree. However the caveat there is Illustrator, PSD and After Effects are the 3 most successful of their graphics programs. They ditched Pagemaker which had a massive built-in user base. GoLive was basically the most popular web software as well when they bought it (then fvcked it up) - then killed it. And they bought up Aldus/Macormedia to get Pagemaker which led to some overlap - so there are some asterisks attached. But basically - if someone comes along with something better - don't be surprised if Adobe buys it up and cancels whatever you're using at any given moment.

So far as the last bit - Adobe is a software company. They sell software. Don't get confused on that point. That's why when I see people worshipping at their altar, I have to point out - hey they're just in it for the money. They don't care about us, giving us a good deal (as if) or even improving the software. They're in it to make money - that's all. They've proven that time and time again. And - not that pointing the finger at anyone in particular - but they have been known in the past to pay "independent" writers to push their product. So take every "review" with a grain of salt as well.

Vootie's picture
1598 pencils

I'd be interested in knowing about software companies -- or any companies for that matter -- that are an exception to this. And please provide the names of those who Adobe has paid money to review their products.

>They're in it to make money<

Art D. Rector's picture
3166 pencils

Well of course there are plenty of companies who are not in it for the money, Vootie - they're called "non-profits" or "charities". So far as software companies, I can't think of a single one - and that certainly includes Adobe. In fact - Adobe would be at the very top of my personal list of companies that are in it for the money. :) However sometimes a person's love for one particular aspect or product of a company, say... Photoshop - can cause a person take their eye off the ball. I was merely reminding people of the big picture.

Names? I already gave you one - that sets the precedent and proves the point. What's interesting about that particular case is how closely it followed Adobe's business model for software. They saw something that could be useful to them - they bought it up and put their name on it (either literally or figuratively - I'm not sure and it doesn't matter). It goes well beyond paying someone for one or two software reviews, Vootie. It exposes the very nature of the beast itself and how willing (one might even say eager) they are to misrepresent themselves. But we're not children here. It's a brave new world on the internet - the old journalistic rules don't necessarily apply. When Walmart is on Facebook - literally attempting to give a "face" to a corporate titan - who are we (the average reader) to trust? Well we can start by applying a standard journalistic test to any particular "review" in question... does it tell both sides of the story? Are we hearing both the pros AND the cons of any particular product in question? Because that's the hallmark of an unbiased, honest review. One that leaves out the latter is not a "review" - it's an "advertisement". And companies usually PAY for advertisements, Vootie.

Vootie's picture
1598 pencils

Sorry, your answer is unclear, can you provide the names of those who you know were paid money to review Adobe products, as you claim takes place?

Thanks

Art D. Rector's picture
3166 pencils

Well obviously someone is unclear, because I don't remember making that particular "claim". But if you wish to check the claims I did make - the board has archives. Do a little research, Vootie - surely your investigative journalism muscles must be due for a stretch after all that blogging. True, it's harder than rewriting Adobe press releases - but it's also more rewarding for the soul.

Vootie's picture
1598 pencils

There's no need to resort to ad hominem attacks to defend your claims. And no need to search the archives. You said earlier in this thread: "And - not that pointing the finger at anyone in particular - but they have been known in the past to pay "independent" writers to push their product." Remember, now? So I'll ask you again and it's a simple question -- who, exactly, are these "independant" reviewers that you "know" have been paid by Adobe. If you can't provide any names, then you are simply badmouthing all those who write software reviews with such ungrounded assertions. Your turn.

Art D. Rector's picture
3166 pencils

Oh come on, Vootie. I would characterize my post more as playful push back for misrepresenting what I said rather than an ad hominem attack. But now that you've quoted me directly, you can clearly see I said I'm "not pointing the finger at anyone" - so what would it do to MY reputation if I then turned right around and named names? I gave you the clue - you can dig it up or not. And I think any professional writers passing thru here will be secure in the knowledge they are either honestly reviewing software or they're getting paid for PR work (in which case they wouldn't care). The only people who could possibly feel offended are those who are misrepresenting themselves in some way. And I don't mind offending them - I would encourage everyone to do so.

Case closed? I think so.

Vootie's picture
1598 pencils

It seems you are unwilling to either ground your claim that Adobe paid for positive software reviews, or retract it. A pity. But there we are.

Art D. Rector's picture
3166 pencils

It seems you are perfectly willing (one might even say eager) to misrepresent what I've said - so why would you hesitate to misrepresent yourself as well?

A pity, but yes - there we are.

Vootie's picture
1598 pencils

Get a grip.

Creativebits is a blog about Creativity, Graphic Design, Adobe, Apple and other related subjects.

Featured Images

Do you need a great new logo?

If you need a logo for your company or product you can get it done with us.
In our logo store you can pick from over 28,000 pre-made logos that will be customized to your name for free or you can post a contest for us for just $250 and our designers from all over the world will submit dozens of logo design suggestions to your specific needs.

Marketplace