A few weeks back, CNET ran an article on Adobe’s decision to stop selling the Creative Suite and move exclusively to the cloud. All of designers’ favorite software will now be cloud- and subscription-based under the name Creative Cloud.
It was the roar heard round the industry. As of this moment, the CNET article has 527 comments, and in one LinkedIn discussion group, the link has sparked 98 comments — almost unheard of for LinkedIn. There are a lot of fired up print shops and designers both concerned about the ramifications of the move on their business and offended by what seems to be a Big Brother decision over which they have no control.
I’ve written a number of articles on this issue, and I’ve read comments until my eyes blur. Among those who are unhappy with the change, their reasoning seems to fall into three camps.
1. They think the software and their files will reside in the cloud, thereby opening them to risk if the Internet goes down.
They also don’t want to be forced to continually learn the ins and outs and deal with the snafus that come with upgrades. What if they want to stick with their older version they are comfortable with or that is compatible with their clients’ files?
These are non-issues and reflect a lack of understanding of the move.
Creative Cloud and the files created with these apps do not reside in the cloud. Users access the Internet to download updates — but only when you choose to do so — and to occasionally verify that their subscription is up to date. When you upgrade, the software downloads to your computer. The files reside on your computer just like always. It’s just that if you stop your subscription, your access to the Creative Cloud software is restricted.
If you want to stick with an older version, you can do that as long as you want to. If you upgrade and don’t like it or it creates problems with compatibility, the earlier versions are archived and you can access them at any time.
2. They are concerned about the costs.
Adobe is charging $50 per month for subscriptions, which equates to $600 per year. Many designers keep their software for years before upgrading, so the $600 annual cost is an unfair burden.
If you are new to Adobe software, that’s true. But if you already have the Creative Suite, Adobe is only charging $30 per month for access to the entire suite. If you only want one app, such as Photoshop or InDesign, you only pay $20 per month. There are other discounted plans for enterprises/teams and educational use.
Those costs can be rolled into the project costs and cost of doing business. If you have 10 clients, charge each client an extra $3 per month to cover the cost of the cloud.
3. They are offended by the move and don’t want Adobe to tell them what to do.
To these, I say, “Get over it.” My LIFE is subscription-based. I pay a subscription for my email newsletter campaigns. I pay a subscription for cloud back-up and disaster recovery. I pay a subscription for my membership to the gym, for my mobile devices, and for my cable TV and Internet. If you are going to be offended by Adobe’s decision, then there are lots of other folks who deserve your ire, too. If you aren’t offended by AT&T, Comcast Cable, Constant Contact, Salesforce.com, the YMCA, or Gold’s, then give Adobe a break.
My two cents. Okay, maybe four . . .