Last month I asked what now seems like a prophetic question: Why Don’t We All Love Adobe? My take was that Adobe had stopped listening to the concerns of its long-time customers. So when it recently announced that our future would be Creative Cloud-only, I wasn’t surprised that more than a few customers responded with a blunt, ‘No thanks.’ Typical are the comments on NAPP president Scott Kelby’s blog — hell hath no fury like a Photoshop user scorned. Then there’s this thread in the Adobe forums and in the comments to John Nack’s blog here and here. And of course the petition asking Adobe to continue providing a perpetually licensed alternative.

Unless Adobe responds quickly and significantly to such customer concerns, Creative Suite 6 may well be the final iteration of Adobe products for more than a few users, who will make do with the 2012 release while exploring replacements. And Photoshop CS6 might well go on to become one of the most pirated applications of all time. Adobe has been making noises in the last few days that it will provide some kind of solution for photographers and also resolve the issue of not being able to access files once a subscription ends. Which will help. But it may be too little, too late, for more than a few loyal Adobe customers.

My take on Creative Cloud has always been that it was an innovative offering that made sense for those using a lot of its apps and services, and were hungry for constant feature updates. But I’ve never seen it as a one-size-fits-all, subscribe or get lost, proposition. So I was as taken aback as anyone on Monday when the fatal announcement was made, with my concerns laid out clearly in a Creative Cloud Chronicles column last week. Will Adobe be able to turn things around and regain the trust of their disgruntled customers? And, more importantly, do they even want to? I honestly have no idea.

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