August 15, 2012

Coming soon to Illustrator: Package Files

Creative Cloud subscriptions carry a key advantage: Apps will get periodic feature enhancements (i.e. early access to functionality that would otherwise have had to wait until the next major product release).  Here’s a peek at what’s coming soon to Illustrator subscribers: 

I suppose someone will make a comment like “You are telling me that you are punishing customers who have purchased a license the way it has always worked.” No, actually: no one is getting punished. You now have a way to get early access to new features, but that’s up to you.

If you want to buy a license the traditional way, that’s perfectly fine, and you can wait until the next major version release (CS7) to get these & other improvements. If you subscribe, however, you get an additional advantage.

We should also differentiate these periodic feature enhancements (which are a subscriber benefit) from bug fixes & compatibility updates (which will go to all customers, same as always). We’ll work on being clearer on the latter (believe me, I share your frustration at the pace of info-sharing). The key point, though: nothing is being lost, and something cool is being gained. 

Posted by John Nack at 11:05 AM on August 15, 2012

Comments

  • SBG — 2:47 PM on August 15, 2012

    ===Yeah, that would be so crazy because of course you can still get the features – you just shouldn’t have chosen to be a second class citizen, you idiot customer. Remember that thing about how we aren’t really mad about Steve killing Flash, and how we’re just here to serve you? This is how we serve you. You will learn to do what we say, or suffer the consequences. ===

    Yep, that’s a completely non-adversarial stance you’re taking against your own customers there. Good show!

  • William OBrien — 3:12 PM on August 15, 2012

    John,
    Has anyone given any thought to having these “periodic feature enhancements” available to license holders for a modest fee ?

    Not all of us want everything but most of us want some of the enhancements. Seems like you are missing out on a revenue stream that might actually make your customers happy. I would imagine a high enough percentage of your customers use only one or two of your apps.
    The math associated with monthly vs bi-yearly cost is just not in our favor (by a lot of dollars).

    I understand the cost formula for developing software, somewhere in Adobe’s pricing algorithm there has to be a component directed to keeping customers happy.

    • Landon — 7:42 PM on August 15, 2012

      I get that subscribers get extras. They also pay more and have access to more/different products and services than standard license holders. What they get are things outside the scope of my licensed software. Great, understood. But in my mind *taking deep breath* I also paid for a license for the latest and greatest Illustrator, and Photoshop, etc. That’s the promise–you upgraded to get the latest and you paid for that privilege. If the subscription program pushes new features not in my licensed upgraded copy, that means the latest and greatest current version boxed and sold to me is no longer latest and greatest–or even current. That irks me on a very basic level. This changes the relationship of the boxed software to being a lesser version. It’s no longer a feature-for-feature current version and in my mind shouldn’t be marketed as such if does not have feature parity with the subscription version.

      From a practical standpoint, I also have no idea what new features the other guy is using, and what impact it will have on me when I’m trying to open their files or share work with them. Will new features in version 13.0.8.6 build 542 work with version 13.0.1.1 Build 5? Beats me, We’re both on CS6, but his current version of CS6 is different than my current version of CS6… that’s a problem.

      [That would indeed be a horrible problem, and I've pushed the teams to state clearly that any incremental updates wouldn't affect interoperability. (Your copy of CS6 has to work perfectly with someone else's copy of CS6, regardless of how you & your friend elected to pay for it.) After Effects used to do a "big/little" cadence (e.g. 4.0 followed by 4.1), and they always made sure that the "little" versions didn't change the file format, etc. --J.]

      The engineer in me loves the idea of seeing features early. It’s why I participate in Beta testing whenever I can. And maybe this should be marketed simply as access to Adobe’s Creative Suite Ongoing Beta program. That would at least take some of the sting out of knowing my Photoshop CS6 that I paid for is not the same as the other guy’s CS6.

      So… anyway… I think I’m going to go scare kids off my lawn now, complain about why I can’t find film for my old camera, and bitch about Apple’s pissing all over pro users while I wince at the sound and smells emanating from my aging-Mac-Pro-that-there’s-no-point-in-upgrading-from-for-at-least-another-year-because-Apple-released-a-polished-turd-and-called-it-new.

  • Filip Krygsman — 5:58 PM on August 15, 2012

    It is good to hear Adobe will continue with periodical upgrades as we are have known for so long. To me that is a huge relief. Adobe, I think deserves some of these incredible angry backlashes like the first one in this post. Adobe has scared the bejesus out of a lot of their customers with their wild statements of subscription only upgrades.

    [I don't remember Adobe making any such statements, wild or otherwise. --J.]

    Adobe as I perceive it has been playing a very dangerous game of cat and mouse with their customer base. I still think your subscription plan is a rather bad strategy. My main two objection are: lack of ownership and lack of choice.

    [What lack of choice? It's true that the new Adobe Muse is available only on a subscription basis, but that's not true of app that previously offered non-subscription licenses. --J.]

  • Federico Reinfeld — 9:40 PM on August 15, 2012

    So we are actually getting punished from not going the subscription route?

    Your post is very ambivalent about when (or if ever) non-subscribers will get new features.

    [You did read the post, right? --J.]

    This reminds me of the Netlix “we listened to customers who wanted separate services” email BS.

    FR.

    • David — 10:14 PM on August 15, 2012

      Non-subscribers get the new features when they buy the CS7 upgrade.

      • Adam — 3:00 AM on August 16, 2012

        It really is that simple. I can’t understand all of the confusion and anger around this non-issue. If you want a bundle of new features at once, buy the standard license. If you want the new features incrementally rolled out as they’re created, go for the subscription.

        • joel — 10:18 AM on August 16, 2012

          Non issue? CS6 literally just came out, as in it was made available to the public via either means about a month ago. Now we are learning of a “new feature” that is being added for subscribers, but licensed users will need to wait for CS7.

          Package for Illustrator is no small feature. While I’m sure Adobe has been in the position of releasing previous version updates with new features not-ready-for-prime-time before, the timing and specifics of this release are incredibly galling.

          The message from Adobe is: Hey, from now on we’re going to actively discourage licensed users by cheating them out of new features that arguably should have been in the previous version.

          Because seriously Adobe, this is feature that third party developers figured out YEARS ago. Just getting to it now, right after the release of CS6, smacks of bait-and-switch marketing for your licensed users.

          • Adam — 5:39 PM on August 16, 2012

            CS6 released in May, it’s been a full 3 months, not “about a month.” Probably closer to 4 or 5 since the release version went “Gold Master.” What is the acceptable amount of time Adobe should wait to roll features out to Creative Cloud subscribers?

            People seem to think that the box license is for the “perpetual latest and greatest” when it’s not. It has a finite feature set that is clearly laid out in all of the marketing materials. There is no “bait-and-switch” going on. You get exactly what is advertised. The problem comes when people think they’re entitled to more.

    • Federico Reinfeld — 4:10 PM on August 17, 2012

      Hi John,

      I did read the post, I don’t think I explained myself correctly.

      My worry: not everyone on CS6 will have all the features available. There might be incompatibilities issues down the line between cloud and non cloud customers. Waiting for the next point upgrades solves nothing.

      My 2 cents. I’m only a freelancer paying for my software.

      FR.

  • Filip Krygsman — 1:00 AM on August 16, 2012

    It was my understanding that Adobe was going to introduce a subscription only strategy after cs7 and I don’t think I was they only one, there were thousands of us John. If that wasn’t true I contribute that to the lack of info coming from Adobe that really got us on a negative path with Adobe.

    [I'm not sure what to say, because nowhere did Adobe state that subscriptions would be the only way to proceed, and in every instance I can think of we've said just the opposite. Now, is it possible that someday, if subscriptions became wildly popular, that would be the only kind of license offered? I suppose, but I have no idea. --J.]

    With the lack of choice I mean that only one subscription plan is available from Adobe which may be great for some but most don’t like this as it is just to expensive for the few apps we use, however I understand there is a subscription plan for PS only as well. Is that right?

    [Yes, you can subscribe to PS and other apps for $20/mo. apiece. --J.]

    You haven’t touched on the fact that with a subscription you just never get to own any apps at all, or has Adobe changed its policy on that as well. Can you explain to us what happens if we fall back on our monthly payments after we have paid up to, let’s say cs9 or equivalent. Does that mean we suddenly have no

  • Filip Krygsman — 1:09 AM on August 16, 2012

    Whoops something went wrong and my post published itself before I could finish it.
    To finish my sentence….. Do we lose all our apps????

    [Yes. Look, pre-subscriptions, if you wanted to get the Master Collection, you were out $2,600 immediately. With a subscription it's just $49/mo., or (amazingly) $29/mo. via the intro offer. Adobe just cut your up-front cost by nearly 100x, yet we hear words like "theft!" thrown around. --J.]

    What is Adobes strategy here. Even when you fall back on mortgage payments there is always an arrangement you can make with a bank, like smaller payments at a higher rate, or whatever. I may be wrong, but it is that uncertainty that gets a lot of your customers up in arms. As I said once in a previous post we are getting the impression that your one scheme fits all is not going down to well with the enormous variety in your customer base.

    [That doesn't seem to be borne out by the adoption rate we're seeing, but you're right, different strokes for different folks. --J.]

    Well I am not getting it.

    [Nor do you have to. --J.]

  • Asbjørn — 1:39 AM on August 16, 2012

    I have to agree with Filip – you are not addressing the core issue of Creative Cloud here: What happens when you quit the subscription? As I understand it, you simply lose all your apps. And, frankly, that is simple theft.

    [If you stop paying for cable TV & the TV stops displaying shows, is that theft? What if you rent a movie from iTunes & then want to re-watch it a week later? Renting it was a lot cheaper than buying it outright, but it carried a different trade-off. --J.]

    I will end up having paid the same as buying a proper license, but not owning the apps.
    As long as that is the policy, I will NEVER use Creative Cloud.
    So yes, you *are* punishing customers, because we don’t have a choice. I don’t want a subscription with no clear way out – so I have to buy a license.

    [Which, as I say, is your choice. Each option has pros & cons. Nothing's been taken away; instead, Adobe has added something to the "pro" column for subscriptions. --J.]

    • Michael — 10:22 AM on August 16, 2012

      I’m sorry, but this argument borders on the ridiculous. What you’re saying is that Adobe is *punishing* you by offering either a subscription model that you don’t like or the legacy system of purchasing a full license, which you are used to. So if they completely remove the subscription option and go back to only full license, you’re no longer being punished? So much for the marketplace supporting innovation…

      And concerning your argument about never owning the apps when you quit the subscription, the only way for that to be fair to Adobe would be for you to subscribe long enough that you paid the full license amount in subscription fees, at which point if you quit you would have a license for the version in use when you first subscribed. That would probably be several version back at that point, and I can’t imagine you’d be happy with that, either. So what you’re really wanting is to pay a modest fee each month for as long or as short a time as you like and then be allowed to quit and take a full license with you, right? I don’t see how any business or unbiased individual would consider that a reasonable request…

      I don’t like the subscription model for the very reason you mentioned (of not owning the software permanently) but Adobe having added the subscription option does not in any way diminish what you can do using the boxed version.

      • Michael — 10:25 AM on August 16, 2012

        Revision, paragraph 2: … allowed to quit and take a full current version license with you…

  • Dragos — 2:06 AM on August 16, 2012

    John, there a lots of companies who constantly publish incremental upgrades for their software for all licensed customers. There is no technical reason for offering those only to Creative Cloud subscribers, is just Adobe’s way to force (or punish, as you said) people into their scheme.

    [No one's being forced or punished, but we do hope people are enticed. --J.]

    • PECourtejoie — 2:44 AM on August 17, 2012

      If I’m not mistaken, Adobe CANNOT offer new features after the quarter the boxed (perpetual)applications have been released, or it needs to report the sales of said apps to the next quarter, something bad for accounting/quarterly reports (Could you imagine, no sales of Creative Suite, one of Adobe’s core products, for several quarters?). It’s due to the Sarbanes-Oxley act. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarbanes%E2%80%93Oxley_Act

      [Accounting rules do limit our options in many cases. As you'd imagine it's not a subject I relish blogging about! --J.]

      Companies that do offer new features after the first quarter have their accounting done in a way that allows it.

  • Adobe Sucks — 2:25 AM on August 16, 2012

    Adobe, sticking it up paying customers ass and they will like it.

    Thank god Adobe is less relevant these days.

    [You stay classy. --J.]

  • Apple — 2:45 AM on August 16, 2012

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57482886-37/jonathan-ive-for-apple-its-quality-not-quantity/

    “We are really pleased with our revenues but our goal isn’t to make money,” he said. “Our goal and what makes us excited is to make great products. If we are successful people will like them and if we are operationally competent, we will make money.”

    This is the difference between Apple and Adobe.

    Adobe only cares about shareholders and profits, not paying customers. Thats why Adobe will always be mediocre while Apple soars to new heights.

    [No one likes Photoshop; Apple are Marxists; and I write this blog at all hours because I care only about "maximizing shareholder value." --J.]

  • Mike — 3:00 AM on August 16, 2012

    John, didn’t Adobe explicitly switch to a 12 month release cycle (aka .5 versions)in order to make it easier to implement new features early?

    And now you tell us we have to wait for these features until the next .0 version comes out almost 2 years later? I can’t see the point in not at least including those in a 6.5 release (as you did before btw.)

    Just to add: in a lot of places the thought of having an additional fixed monthly cost associated with a given employee scares the hell out of the finance department and the management. They need/want the flexibility to be able to skip a release in order to save substantial amounts of licensing fees. Hence a subscription-based software is totally out of the question for them…

  • Adam — 3:11 AM on August 16, 2012

    John, I for one am a really happy Creative Cloud subscriber, and appreciate the options. It’s too bad that there is so much FUD out there about Creative Cloud and people would rather rant on your blog than do a quick google search to educate themselves.

    Anyway, keep up the good work!

  • andre — 4:02 AM on August 16, 2012

    And then some of us don’t even have the option of Creative Cloud.

    “We’re sorry but this offer is not valid in your country or region.”

    Nice to know, seeing as the upgrade offer ends 31 August…

  • tPet — 4:34 AM on August 16, 2012

    Add one more to the Creative Cloud and happy about it crowd. Face it folks, this is the way all major software is going. The box model is dead. It’s slow, it’s more costly (packaging, etc), and frankly, it’s wasteful. Plus, the not having to worry about coming up with $600 – $900 every two years sold me at the get-go.

    And no, Landon, you didn’t pay a license fee to have “the latest and greatest” Illustrator in perpetuity. You paid for the license to use Illustrator as it was at the time you bought it. Nothing more. Any updates (outside of bug-fix releases) you get are gravy.

    • Jim Conner — 2:50 AM on August 17, 2012

      I guess you not very good at math if you think a subscription is cheaper.

      [Cheaper when? It all depends on how long you're using the tools. A subscription to the entire suite is nearly 100x cheaper up front than buying Master Collection. --J.]

    • Jack Nack — 3:04 AM on August 17, 2012

      Really, shouldn’t adobe be fixing the major bugs in cs6 before adding new features?

      [Absolutely, but these things can be done in parallel. I don't know whether the AI update will also contain bug fixes (for everyone, not just subscribers), but I'd be rather surprised if it didn't. --J.]

    • Landon — 2:46 PM on August 30, 2012

      “And no, Landon, you didn’t pay a license fee to have “the latest and greatest” Illustrator in perpetuity. You paid for the license to use Illustrator as it was at the time you bought it. ”

      tPet, ummm, I wrote nothing about having the latest and greatest for “perpetuity”. Read it again. If I buy the newest version of Illustrator–CS6 in this case–it is natural to assume (because it’s always been so) that as the newest version of Illustrator it is the latest and greatest version since it is the “new” version. With me so far? As it stands now the boxed version of CS6 will never have any of the new features that CS6 subscription holders do even though both are called CS6. Boxed licensed version users will have to wait until CS7. So, if I buy CS6 boxed version right now (the “new” version) I’m not getting the Packaged file options or any of the new stuff that subscription users have right now when they receive their version of CS6. The two versions are not equal. So when you write “You paid for the license to use Illustrator as it was at the time you bought it” you’re wrong–it’s not CS6 as is available in it’s latest and greatest form at the time because it is not the CS6 with all of the bells and whistles that the subscribers have. It’s more like Photoshop vs Photoshop Extended with the additional features.

      My biggest problem with feature parity was addressed by John when he wrote there would be no features that would break compatibility. I’m happy about that.

      I’m happy Adobe offers a subscription service for those who want it, and as I stated before I understand that subscribers have a different set of software and services available to them. I like Adobe products. I like and appreciate John and his blog.

      So why should I care tPet? Besides being the curmudgeonly old bastard that prefers boxed software (my choice of course) I don’t like that it’s not clearly labeled that I’m not getting the latest and greatest features when I buy the boxed software. When I look up my options in the handy dandy Photoshop Family Comparison Guide for instance: http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopfamily/buying-guide-version-comparison.html there is no column for “Photoshop Extended Subscription” that spells out that it has additional features available that the other versions do not. So as a consumer if I’m on a friend’s machine running the subscription version of CS6 and I like it so much that I run out and buy a boxed copy I’m going to be a bit surprised when it’s missing features. Having purchased boxed software from Adobe for nearly two decades, yes I find that irritating. And yes, I know I can buy a subscription. And yes, eventually all software everywhere will probably be on subscription and I’ll be bitterly cursing while rocking myself in a beat up office chair clinging to an old smoking Mac Pro 1.1 complaining about how I have to fork over my wallet non-stop or all of my software will disappear from my computer. That’s likely in my future. I just want it clear that I’m getting a different and less capable version of the software when you’re happily using your Photoshop CS6 Extended Subscription version and I’m using my Photoshop CS6 Extended.

  • Robert — 8:16 AM on August 16, 2012

    Add me to the list of people disappointed by this “feature” announcement. I understand that Adobe would like to “entice” more users to join the (ultimately more expensive) subscription plan, and decided early-feature upgrades would be a good way to do it.

    However, making boxed-version buyers wait an entire CS product cycle is unfair. That’s about a 2 year wait, meanwhile our peers are using more advanced features that will improve their productivity and workflow. Packaging files in Illustrator is actually a great example. Creative Cloud users will get the latest and greatest, while boxed users fall behind the learning curve and become less competitive with other agencies and studios all because of the way their accounting happens to work. For many creative professionals who use CS every day, the subscription plan simply isn’t the right choice financially.

    I’d propose a compromise: Subscription-owners get early releases the day they’re ready, but Adobe releases *quarterly* “Feature Pack” upgrades to boxed customers.

    This is a model that actually works well for—for all things—video games. Popular franchises like Halo and Call of Duty release frequent new content, like Map Packs, and those who want immediate access subscribe to the “Elite” version of the software, which guarantees instant access to new content the same day it’s ready.

    However, non-Elite subscribers have the new content available to them after a given amount of time (usually measured in a few months), without having to wait for the next major release of the game, which would be an absurd notion. Or, they are charged a nominal fee to download the individual new content at their discretion.

    While I think the minor upgrades contained in the Feature Packs should be free, Adobe could probably even get away with charging a nominal fee to boxed users—say $10-$20—so they have quarterly download access to bring them up to parity with subscribers, without having to wait a frankly unacceptable 2 years for the next major CS release to get minor, but very help, feature updates like Packaging files in Illustrator.

  • Leigh — 8:32 AM on August 16, 2012

    I could see features being with held until CS6.5 next year, but waiting for CS7 to get them seems a bit much.

    ["6.5" vs. "7" is just semantics; read "available at the next major release," whether that's in 6 or 12 or 18 months or whatever. --J.]

  • Filip Krygsman — 4:36 PM on August 16, 2012

    Well Iam happy to hear that the boxed versions are continuing.
    I am not at all interested in the cloud version, but as you said different strokes for different folks.
    As long as I can get any of your apps in a boxed version as I need them then there is no worries. I just have that sneaky suspicion that this is not going to be the case!!!!
    I am grateful for your blog John and it seems to be the only one were we customers seem to have a direct Adobe contact to discuss these policies and you are taking the brunt of it.
    It must worry Adobe that there is so much confusion and anger coming from your loyal customer base about this cloud thing.
    It is an Adobe policy change and the effort by Adobe to explain themselves seems minimal and they are relying on your blog to get the message out about any changes they are applying as this cloud thing is evolving.
    To us honestly, it all smacks of arrogance. Maybe it is time for Adobe to address each of their customers individually by good old fashioned snail mail, just as a matter of courteously.
    But thank you Johnfor your loyalty to us.

    [Thanks, Filip; that means a lot to me. --J.]

  • Barry Boroditsky — 5:05 PM on August 16, 2012

    A packaging capability for AI is great news; it’s a feature I always thought was missing. As a month-old CC subscriber I’m looking forward to it.

    That said, as a University faculty member who teaches Creative Suite to design students, I have an obvious concern. Some students are within laptop cohorts, and have CC subscriptions; others have purchased boxed product. All are being taught best workflow practices in a design context.

    The ability to package AI files is a significant workflow advantage. Unfortunately it won’t be available to all students, nor will I be able to require packaged AI projects, as I do for projects coming out of InDesign.

    While I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth, I feel that packaging capability is significant enough that all current AI users should obtain the workflow benefit by way of an update. Given how quickly this functionality is following the CS-6 release, I find it hard to believe it wasn’t on the drawing board prior to May-2012.

    And John, thank you for taking the time to publish this blog!

  • Jim Conner — 3:00 AM on August 17, 2012

    I would gladly do a subscription, but sadly no subscription is available for photoshop cs6 extended.
    That’s all i want ,just photoshop extended.

    Why John,why?

    [Presumably because we want you to subscribe to the higher-priced offering, and because we think people with needs met by Photoshop Extended (e.g. 3D) would likely benefit from related apps (e.g. After Effects) available through full Creative Cloud membership. --J.]

  • Jack Nack — 3:07 AM on August 17, 2012

    I must be missing something, doesn’t adobe fix bugs anymore?
    Illustrator and every other cs6 application has major bugs.

    Releasing new features into an already buggy application seems, well, …….

  • .ces — 8:36 AM on August 17, 2012

    “bug fixes & compatibility updates” – John

    Haahahahaha….bug fixes! Too funny! Oh man, don’t quit your day job. No, seriously.

    When has AI or PS received bug fixes mid-cycle? Ever?

    [Every cycle. (Please find me a release of Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. that *hasn't* received at least one update. --J.]

    Even when you guys had some serious security holes in CS apps, you initially wanted your oh-so-loyal customer base to UPGRADE to get the patches. (Imagine that, paying to fix YOUR security holes…)

    [That was a mistake, but the calculus was this: Is it worth spending time patching apps for an obscure theoretical exploit (one never found or performed in the wild) at the expense of doing other feature work & bug fixing? It's always a zero-sum game. The simple cost-benefit calculus was reasonable, but the message it sent to customers was horrible; hence the re-think. --J.]

    Now, you relented and did provide a patch….but only after the IT security industry folks publicly and loudly called you out on it.

    But bug fixes? That’s a riot. You guys rewrote AI into the new UI…bugs and all!

    Look, despite your bean counters’ optimistic numbers, a lot of us won’t be going to the pay-to-play model. I paid $0 to get CS6 (upgrade deal), and I only paid $400 to get my CS4 up to CS5 (design std). So why would I ever be enticed to pay $200 MORE a year to get apps I won’t have time to use? And If I don’t upgrade until 2014, I’ll have saved ((12x$50)x2)-$400) = $800.

    And then you throw out these “updates” as somehow being worth that extra cost. You. Still. Don’t. Get. It. >> Fix the stuff that is already broken and stop adding bloat. Or step up the feature migration from Freehand. And @Barry, you’d better believe this package feature was in the works long before the CS6 release.

    [*Everything* is in development for a long time. That doesn't mean it's ready to ship at any particular time. --J.]

    Adobe creating an update in only two months? History doesn’t bear that out. Rather, the package feature was the “killer app” idea for the cloudCS.

    Someone mentioned the accounting preventing upgrades mid-cycle. If it’s a FREE bug fix, are you really charging for it? So the accounting might not even play into this.

    [As I said, we need to do a better job explaining how bug fixes & compatibility updates (e.g. the ones we've always offered for free for Camera Raw) are different from feature enhancements. Accounting law handles them differently. --J.]

    Moreover, look to Apple as to how to do it right, within accounting limitations. For awhile, you had to pay a mere $10 to get the iOS update for iPodTouches. So, people go their upgrade, for a modest fee, and Apple got their accounting right. Adobe won’t do this because it goes against their core business model.

    [It doesn't go against Adobe's core business model, but it would entail deferring revenue (which on paper makes it seem that the company is doing worse), and that would apparently cause Wall St. to flip out. Needless to say this isn't my call, and I find it frustrating. --J.]

    In short, John, Adobe’s it’s this stated business model of not releasing mid-cycle updates to paid license holders that isn’t very user friendly no matter how much or how hard you spin the Cloud deal.

    Being user friendly would be opening up the architecture so we could buy “features” a al carte. But like cable TV subscriptions we end up paying a lot of money for ‘stuff’ we don’t want, let alone need.

    And one last point, why would I want to be on the latest cloud version, when many times, earlier versions of AI/PS not only are “good enough”, but often faster in real world production environments because of less bloat. (Ex. Ten years later, Freehand’s type engine runs circles around AI’s type engine, that isn’t even 64-bit to this day.)

    Cheers,
    .ces

  • .ces — 10:35 AM on August 17, 2012

    John,

    There’s no theoretical when it comes to exploits, so the calculus was *not* reasonable. People’s lives are being affected everyday by exploits left open. Security is security. Your bottom line trumped users’ security. It’s not a messaging problem, it’s a boardroom priority problem. Period.

    But c’mon, Adobe PR releases have said you don’t do mid-cycle updates. (I could dig for the reference, but it’s out there…maybe even on this blog.) Or was it the CEO himself at a conference speaking engagement?? I think that was it.

    Or try wikipedia for starters: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_Illustrator

    Which ones don’t have a x.1 release? v6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14.
    And adding camera raw profiles doesn’t really count as an update.

    Or this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_Photoshop#cite_note-50
    “PS 12.1 = PS 12.0.4″ per who else but John Nack.

    “What’s the difference between Photoshop CS5 and 5.5? Nothing besides ***subscription support***.” – John Nack

    http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/2011/05/photoshop-12-1-photoshop-12-0-4.html

    [crickets]

    Illustrator has not had bug fix updates for damn. long. time. Even when you released a x.1 or x.5 release, it hasn’t done anything meaningful to us end users. I’m not on any NDA team so am not privy to details, but I know the engineers are frustrated that they aren’t allowed to fix code errors, UI bugs, and UX issues that have been long standing. Instead, they are directed to make 3D grids, pattern makers and now project collection service. A bullet point in someone’s calculus c/b slideshow means lost productivity to us.

    Development: Of course things take time. So why not hold off on CS6 to include the project collection function? Or…[gasp]…release that function as a upDate to all PAID users? Have I not paid for CS6 (in one way or another)? Don’t I deserve that update? It’s part of AI, right? — So, in other words, when it becomes clear that featureA, fB, and fC won’t make the initial release, it’s someone’s conscience *decision* to hold back on giving paid users these features. It’s not accounting law/regulation that is holding Adobe back from giving us those features as a free update. It’s Adobe’s business model. (On the other hand, Apple’s iLife apps are updated regularly OTA.) So it’s possible to do real, substantive bug fix updates mid-cycle, but Adobe chooses not to do so.

    And if the lack of regular, substantive 0.x updates is due to accounting, it only affirms to many of us who really is in charge of Adobe.

    Again, as with my last dumping on your otherwise fine blog, it’s nothing personal, John. It just burns some of us to hear such much-heraled news of some new feature, while we deal with the same workflow bottle necks day after day after day… So, if by engaging you on this blog gives these issues more exposure, especially with the upper mgmt, well, so be it.

    Thanks,
    .curt

  • .ces — 10:47 AM on August 18, 2012

    Dan,

    Thanks for the interesting link. But….

    Sooooo….the last update for AI CS5 is from what, 2010? Like I said, “Illustrator has not had bug fix updates for [a] DAMN. LONG. TIME.”

    CS4 has only had two tiny updates, totally <1MB in size to fix an FH import issue and to allow CS3(!!) plugin. So, c'mon, not really much of a bug fix for CS4, eh? And most of the ongoing workflow issues in CS5 are still there in CS6.

    And if you want, I could compile my list of ongoing issues/bugs/problems with AI? All of which have been posted as bug reports and feature requests…and even submitted to beta testers (one way, mind you, as I have no idea what happened to the comments…well, other than not being implemented…yet?).

    CS6:
    -palettes are HUGE, so much so that they are counter-productive
    -can't collapse all layers/sublayers AT ONCE, like you can now in PScs6
    -status of layer (un)collapsed is never preserved when saving then reopening file.
    -when you try to box-select a few closely spaced objects (and nothing else) on a page that also has text-on-path objects, your selection ends up including the text…even though the text is no where near the other objects and even though your selection does not cross the text's path. The box-select method mysteriously selects the text objects! Try it if you don't believe me. Just make a line, add text to it, then use the Selection Tool (v) to draw/drag a box somewhere near, but not on the line. Boy, I tell ya, that does wonders for end user productivity! (NOT)
    -select behind is still worthless (see FH to see how to do it right)
    -can't direct select an endpoint on text-on-path objects….you have to deselect object, hover until you are on endpoint, then click and drag to edit.
    -still can't copy/paste vector object from AI to InD? And "but why would you want to do that?" is NOT the appropriate response.
    -most of AI CS6 is still not true multi-core 64-bit. How do I know? I can watch my process monitor max out one core, while the others are idle…all just to copy and paste or move some text objects.

    In the end, I'm sorry, but linking to a list of 'bug fixes' doesn't address the larger problem that AI needs more than a skin and 64-bit PS plugin support. It comes back to the all to often complain against Adobe these days: Stop with the silly new features and fix the basic tools we all use 95% of the time.

    .curt

  • Macintosh — 8:18 AM on August 19, 2012

    Can’t wait for Apple to release their Photoshop and Illustrator killer, Apple sells their software Final Cut Pro X for $299 and Adobe sells theirs for thousands more.

    Rip off Adobe, hope your shit company dies and goes bankrupt and burn in hell and all your lazy(like Steve Jobs said) and incompetent employees be laid off and live on the streets.

    [And I hope you someday get to kiss a girl. --J.]

  • Paul Rumens — 10:20 PM on August 20, 2012

    Hi John.

    Like many here, I love your blog, and I love having a face to Adobe. You are the only person from Adobe I can contact. I know for example, you will read this comment and that you will reply to me on Twitter.

    So straight up John. Thanks for being there for us.

    I know you really don’t have any thing to do with the Illustrator team, so I feel for you that the comments here are filled with hate!

    Being an Illustrator user my self, I understand the frustration of Curt, Ces, Filip and many more.

    Personally, Illustrator CS6 is a massive improvement in regards to stability and performance.

    In saying that it has been a long time coming! Being an Illustrator user has been a painful time, there are bugs that have been carried along for many many versions and CS6 still has many issue.

    The biggest hurt is all the great features that other app get and Illustrator take years to get something close.

    Separation Preview – finally we got that, but its crippled compared to Acrobat and InDesign

    Find Font – crippled compared to InDesign

    Effects – again InDesign has far more that illustrator

    Auto-Save – Even Photoshop got that in CS6

    And of course Package for output – again indesign has had this for years.

    There are many more issue but you get the point!

    I have used FlightCheck, and more recently ArtFiles for what can only be called a massive oversight by the AI team.

    So not getting Package isn’t a really big deal for me, as long as I have ArtFiles.

    BUT that’s not the point, unlike the Creative Cloud folk, Adobe has my money, I have paid in full.

    So really it not that I feel I am “entitled” to this upgrade for free, it that I feel it like Adobe showing me the middle finger, they could give it to me… but they won’t.

    One final thing, I love some of the “classy” comments you have received!

    Thanks John

  • billy bob — 2:42 PM on August 21, 2012

    punishment vs advantage = 2 sides to the same coin

    ["It's the Jungian thing, sir--the duality of man!" --J.]

  • fr — 4:18 PM on August 21, 2012

    Considering how much we pay for a full license I can’t say im too pleased to hear cloud subscribers will get extra features that non cloud users will have to wait longer and pay another expensive upgrade fee for. Considering the cost of the software it has always dissapointed me how little you get in terms of updates. Whilst some companies provide numerous small enhancements in free service packs/updates with Adobe you only get fixes for the most serious bugs and the updates seem to stop as soon as the next version is released. The Camera Raw plugin is also a frustrating example of this making it needlessly more difficult to use a new camera with anything other than the most recent version of Photoshop.

    I realise you are still in a very powerful position in this market, so probably don’t feel you need to worry too much about upsetting a few customers, but things can change, so perhaps you shouldn’t give us too many reasons to look for alternatives.

  • William OBrien — 6:41 AM on September 02, 2012

    John,
    So you volunteered for this “point man” patrol, assume you pass most of this on to your “adult supervision”. I Have been/are in this position, not a lot of fun but probably necessary to get the bugs out of the (any new) process.

    Hang in there and hope for incremental itterations of the process in a direction that reduces the number of “hate mail” submissions.

    Keep up the good work, Bill

  • scott_m29 — 11:13 AM on September 14, 2012

    While I understand Adobe’s reasoning, having already purchased multiple licenses for our workgroup through our company, not getting an update with such an essential production tool like Packaging, is really, really disappointing.
    Wait until the next big upgrade in 12-18 months?
    Sad.

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