December 13, 2013

So, how’s Adobe doing?

  • 1.4 million+ paying subscribers to Creative Cloud (more than 400,000 signing up in the last three months alone)
  • 500+ new & improved features introduced this year
  • 2.4 million+ projects published on Behance (more than in its previous six years combined)

(Full details here)

Thanks for your incredible support this year, guys. We’re only just getting warmed up.

ByTheNumbers_sm

Posted by John Nack at 8:10 AM on December 13, 2013

Comments

  • Stephen Shankland — 8:20 AM on December 13, 2013

    I’ll bet some of the resistance to Creative Cloud subscriptions will moderate if you can really show a noticeably faster innovation rate. Also if you add new stuff (online in particular seems a fruitful avenue) without raising the prices. Right now the shareholders are happy for sure (all-time stock high) but the company has to make sure that financial success feeds back into customer satisfaction.

  • Asbjørn — 8:58 AM on December 13, 2013

    @Stephen: That would certainly help, but Creative Cloud’s fatal flaw remains. And I am afraid that most people just haven’t thought far enough ahead when subscribing. They will be in for a nasty surprise in the future.
    Adobe needs to provide a clean way out of Creative Cloud. It is not an option I would hope I ever need – but I need it to be there, just in case. I cannot accept a solution where I’m forced to pay for the rest of my life just so I can access *my* files.

    [I can’t accept it, either, which is why we publicly stated that we’ll find a solution to this problem. –J.]

    The moment there is an option to leave CC, pay perhaps a year’s subscription in advance and keep a fully-functional version of the software as of that time, I’m subscribing.
    Unfortunately, judging from Adobe’s total lack of acknowledgement of this issue, that day is likely going to be never…

    • Dan Routh — 2:56 PM on December 13, 2013

      But John, the truth is, you (meaning Adobe) haven’t done anything about that, and I personally will not rent software.

  • Mike Chambers — 9:28 AM on December 13, 2013

    @Stephen Completely agree on all of your points. 2013 has been focused on making the transition to the new model, building out the infrastructure, and doing the work to have the desktop apps work well in the new world.

    2014 will be building on top of this work, particularly on the service layer. Expect more info and details on this after the holidays.

    Btw, we have actually had pretty constant stream of new features and releases, but we don’t have a single place where you can track these. We are working to resolve this, which should help provide much better insight into all of the new stuff that we have been releasing.

    Stock is doing great, but in the long term, we have to provide clear value to customers if Creative Cloud is to continue to be successful.

    @Asbjørn There are a number of options around file access, but we know that they don’t meet the needs of all of our customers. As we have stated in the past, this is an area where we continue to explore solutions, but don’t expect any major changes in the near future.

    As I mentioned above, we are focusing our efforts on continuing to build out the platform and infrastructure, with a particular focus on the service layer for 2014.

    mike chambers

    mesh@adobe.com

    • Asbjørn — 10:03 AM on December 13, 2013

      Thanks for taking the time to answer – that is regrettably getting increasingly unusual.
      What options are there regarding file access? CS6 is not an option in the long run. Try opening an InDesign CS6 file in CS4. The same thing will increasingly be true with CC, as it diverges more and more from CS6 (which is only natural). Read-only is not an option.

      [Besides retaining a working copy of the apps after some set period, what *would* be an option? What do you need to be able to do with the files? –J.]

      I brought up this issue when the subscription version of CS6 was launched. I was actually very close to subscribing – this was the only thing that held me back – and continues to do so. I find it hard to believe that Adobe hasn’t been able to figure out a solution in the intervening 1½ years…
      It might be tiresome that I keep complaining about the same issue – but I really believe that you’re shooting yourself in the foot here. I love Adobe’s products, Creative Cloud is actually a good idea and I would like to use it. I like the idea of continuous improvements. But it all amounts to nothing because of this simple issue. And, frankly, that is a shame. Delivering a good, innovative product – and not being able to sell it to all your customers because of such a trivial issue.
      I think this is the main pain point with CC. Many people may say they don’t like the idea of a subscription – but what they really mean is that they don’t like the fact that there is no way out. Give them that, and a lot of the criticism will subside, I think.

      [It’s absolutely clear that continuous relationships are built on trust, and Adobe has to take steps that make you feel more comfortable in the relationship. We really appreciate your taking the time to offer constructive feedback. –J.]

      • metai — 8:23 PM on December 14, 2013

        “[Besides retaining a working copy of the apps after some set period, what *would* be an option? What do you need to be able to do with the files? –J.]”

        I refuse to believe that noone at Adobe thought of the easiest solution to all these problems. The perfect “exit strategy”.

        When the CC subscription has run out, have all the apps still working as they are, all you need to do is to take out is …

        … the option to save files.

        [I’m not sure how useful that would be. Wouldn’t it be better to have the apps run but only let you open & export/convert files? That way you’d retain access plus the ability to move data out as needed. –J.]

        • metai — 6:44 AM on December 15, 2013

          “Wouldn’t it be better to have the apps run but only let you open & export/convert files?”

          That’s exactly what I’m talking about. No “working copy”, no “set period” nonsense, that’s never going to happen (and for very good reasons).

          Imagine (and bear with me) Adobe gave out their software for free. The only thing the subscription unlocks is the ability to save files in the native format. All you would be able to do is export flattened files.

          This not only creates a perfect “exit strategy” where you still can *use* your files, switch layers, even still make minor corrections if absolutely needed, but you couldn’t *create* anything new anymore (unless you are a masochist and do it without saving or keeping the source files).

          This also creates a valuable tool for the clients of your customer base. They would get a really elaborate “viewer” for Adobe source files.

          And it would be the perfect trial version (I don’t know how it is with CC since I’m not partaking yet, but with perpetual versions you used to have 30 day trials).

          (Finally, let’s not worry about crackers “patching in” the save function again. Cracked full versions of Adobe’s products have and will be around anyway. And there’s a special circle of hell for professionals using pirated software to make their living.)

          • Dan Routh — 7:23 AM on December 15, 2013

            Wouldn’t it be simpler to just sell licenses? Adobe has moved away from a company that produced innovative imaging software to a corporation whose only reason for operating is to maximise profits for stockholders through extortion. Pay us monthly or lose access to your property.

          • metai — 8:32 AM on December 15, 2013

            @Dan: I think that ship has sailed. And for very tangible reasons.

            Adobe has clearly been at a very difficult point for quite some time now. Just about everybody who needs their products has their products, the market certainly doesn’t grow by huge margins anymore. On the other hand the groundbreaking must-have innovations are over, the updates to their products come as very minor updates, certainly not to the core functionality. And it’s nothing new, Adobe has been at this point at least since CS5, if not much earlier.

            So this move, as unpopular as it is, is necessary for Adobe to survive long-term. Short-term it costs them dearly, as we can see from the sales figures in this blog post. But in a few years, the transition will be complete and they will be back to their old numbers. If they don’t screw it up completely, everyone who needs their products will pay the same as before, and they will earn the same as before.

            You really can’t blame Adobe for trying to keep their business alive.

            However, you can blame them for taking their existing customer base for idiots. They could as well have told us the story, why they are doing it, and how a business relationship with Adobe will look like in the future. Instead they chose to try to sell us the “greatest thing ever”, which it clearly is not, and try to tell us they are “doing great”, which they clearly are not. A little more honesty in communications would have gone a long way. They could have been a 2013 company that understands social media and a direct connection to their customer base, but intstead they chose to be the intransparent 1980s company they were. They could have been “look, we know it sucks, but we have to do this”, instead they chose to be “you’re stupid if you don’t recognize this is so much better for you”.

            But all of this has been argued over and over before, I’m really kicking equine corpses here.

            As for “lose access to your property”, yes, that’s one of the points that has to be figured out yet. What don’t you like about the (as of today still hyopthetical) solution I posted?

          • Dan Routh — 9:10 AM on December 15, 2013

            I think the key here is that you and other folks are proposing solutions while Adobe has yet to officially recognize that a solution is even needed, much less offer any of their own.

          • metai — 9:18 AM on December 15, 2013

            They will have to address this issue, sooner or later. Probably later, given their recent track record. Until then you’ll probably do what I do: Stick with CS6 until the Creative Cloud is a viable option.

          • Dan Routh — 9:26 AM on December 15, 2013

            Ezactly. Or until another company steps up and offers me a solution.

    • Dan Routh — 8:45 AM on December 14, 2013

      Mike, you write:

      “@Asbjørn There are a number of options around file access, but we know that they don’t meet the needs of all of our customers. As we have stated in the past, this is an area where we continue to explore solutions, but don’t expect any major changes in the near future.’

      We’re into CC now for what, a year, a year and a half? How much exploration does it take to find some sort of solution to the problem of losing access to your intellectual propery? Makes good PR I guess, but can we really be certain after this long that Abobe is actually interested in any solution at all? After all, you say yourself not to expect anything anytime soon.

      • John Stevenson — 9:41 AM on December 14, 2013

        I’ve been a user of the Creative Cloud versions of Photoshop since day one. (And have since then graduated onwards to become a new user of Illustrator and After Effects.)
        In Photoshop itself I like the Camera Raw Filter – it’s useful, in some unique ways, for new images captured in raw format, just as John has posted recently. But also for legacy photographs, point-and-shoot efforts and commercial stock images, which are usually (in my case) 8-bit jpgs. It’s possible to include the ACR Filter in Actions. Nothing prevents its operation in conjunction with Adjustment Layers, Masks, etc.
        So, just as a single point experiment, I took a brand-new .psd file, outputted from an Action as shown here: http://www.behance.net/wip/372131 and opened it in the oldest legacy version of Photoshop I have retained (CS5 v.12.1). The post-CS5 features which are incorporated in the Layer stack, including the ACR Filters in Smart Objects, are present and correctly notated, but – of course – are not adjustable. However, there’s no issue with reworking the image itself, from the .psd file with the CS5 feature set. I then saved my newly edited file in a 16-bit .tif format, with Layers and Alpha Channels in place. This file I could open back in Photoshop CC with everything present and active – no problem.

        • ProDesignTools — 7:29 PM on December 14, 2013

          “So, just as a single point experiment, I took a brand-new .psd file and opened it in the oldest legacy version of Photoshop I have retained (CS5 v.12.1)…”

          John posted some similar tests here, which you may find of interest:

          http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/2013/05/test-moving-files-from-photoshop-cc-to-cs5.html

          http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/2013/05/can-you-open-a-photoshop-cc-file-in-cs6.html

          [God, your memory is amazing: I had entirely forgotten I did those! Thanks. –J.]

          • John Stevenson — 8:19 AM on December 15, 2013

            Thanks – but please note, my test included the forward compatibility step. I went initially from CC (with CC-specific features) down to CS5, made changes, and then from CS5 up to CC. All with everything intact.
            And – importantly – my test also used a non-.psd file format for the forward step.
            What is all the fuss about on this matter? I could drop my CC subscription tomorrow, continue to work as I wish in CS5 and restart work within the CC framework when and if I wish at any future point … in principle up to the afterlife …
            The only practical limitation would be one the user and Adobe actually share – basic OS compatibility.

        • Asbjørn — 8:39 AM on December 15, 2013

          John, you conveniently chose one of the Adobe applications that has good compatibility between versions: Photoshop and Illustrator. Now please try the same with InDesign, After Effects or Premiere Pro. Try going InDesign CC to CS5 and back. I think you’ll find that impossible.
          I’m tired of everyone arguing about backwards compatibility and using Photoshop as an example. Photoshop is *not* the rule, it is the exception! Most Adobe apps have terrible backwards compatibility. Previously, that didn’t matter because you could always dig out an older version and install it, if needed, thanks to the wonders of perpetual licenses. With CC, that option is gone. Stop paying – and you cannot access your files.

          • John Stevenson — 8:58 AM on December 15, 2013

            I specifically wrote that I do not have prior-to-CC experience with Illustrator and/or After Effects. So, there was no intention by me to conviniently sidestep anything.
            But and/or however, I’d be pleased if my little Photoshop experiment, with (apparently) its new findings, act as a benchmark (and put just some of the uncertainties to rest).

          • ProDesignTools — 9:02 AM on December 15, 2013

            “Previously, that didn’t matter because you could always dig out an older version and install it, if needed, thanks to the wonders of perpetual licenses.”

            How would digging out an older version ever help with backwards file compatibility?

            Prior releases have never been able to understand newer features, regardless of the licensing.

            “I’m tired of everyone arguing about backwards compatibility and using Photoshop as an example.”

            For apps other than Photoshop, this guide may help:

            Are Adobe CC Files Compatible with CS6, CS5, CS4, CS3 – and Vice Versa?

      • Mike Chambers — 4:57 PM on December 14, 2013

        Im not sure what I can add on top of what I already wrote:

        As we have stated in the past, this is an area where we continue to explore solutions, but don’t expect any major changes in the near future.

        As I mentioned above, we are focusing our efforts on continuing to build out the platform and infrastructure, with a particular focus on the service layer for 2014.

        mike chambers

        mesh@adobe.com

        • KC — 7:20 AM on December 17, 2013

          To me, this reads:

          “Yes, we’ve got these suckers! Now we’ll tell them that we’re working on fixing their supposed problems to shut down their constant whining—when in fact, we’re just collecting money, hoping they’ll forget after a while. Yes, yes, we jumped the gun (jumped the shark?) coming out with this subscription nonsense, and there’s no way out of it without admitting fault—which we’ll never do. So, ha, ha!”

          What this should have said:

          “We sincerely apologize for jumping the gun. The Adobe CC subscription model was not well thought out and was a desperate attempt to appease our stockholders and management in regards to our economic situation.

          We have not had the end user in mind at any point in the process. We have not thought long-term. We just assumed that our monopoly would continue to be eaten up like candy and our loyal customers are deaf, dumb, and blind.

          We also apologize for making those who do not want to subscribe to feel like second-class citizens and berating anyone who dares come up with any other options, solutions, better models, or hard questions.

          We also regret ignoring the thousands of suggestions on how to rectify this situation and we not only make promise to solve this entire problem, but make it well-known that we were wrong and will prove—beyond a doubt—that our customers come before out stockholders.”

    • ProDesignTools — 7:38 PM on December 14, 2013

      “Btw, we have actually had pretty constant stream of new features and releases, but we don’t have a single place where you can track these. We are working to resolve this, which should help provide much better insight into all of the new stuff that we have been releasing.”

      Good, ’cause it’s becoming a lot!

      What’s New & Upgraded in Adobe CC Since Its Initial June Launch?

  • BJ Nicholls — 9:38 AM on December 13, 2013

    Yes, at some point I won’t be able to do full time design (retirement? yeah, right.) and the CC subscription won’t make economic sense.

    One of the things I hate about CC is the rate of innovation. The CC tools are less reliable and updates break stuff that was working.

    [Could you provide some specifics so that we can investigate? –J.]

    With infrequent releases I could at least know what problems the software has and how to work around them. CC means perpetual vigilance, and I don’t have time for that.

    [As far as I know, you’re never forced to install an update. (I’ll double check to make sure that’s true.) You should absolutely be able to update at your own pace. That’s especially true insides large organizations. –J.]

    Don’t forget the 3 million accounts hacked. I have no doubt that the flood of new SPAM that’s coming to my email account is courtesy of Adobe’s poor security, and I wouldn’t keep a credit card on file except that it’s required for Creative Cloud (someone suggested I use a prepaid card as a workaround – these appear to no longer be marketed).

  • Brian Spence — 10:22 AM on December 13, 2013

    I love the CC, but banging the drums for these numbers only points out the inevitable – that people don’t have any other choice in the matter. Once everyone has securely move from their store bought copies, will Adobe continue such great service? I think they will, and certainly hope so, but as basically a monopoly, they could do whatever they wish (to a point).

    • KC — 7:29 AM on December 17, 2013

      This is another point that no one at Adobe will respond to: We had a decent monopoly on our customers before—what can we do to make it a stranglehold?

      In responses above, there are feeble attempts by Adobe to say that this next phase of the project will be aimed at allowing an exit strategy—but there are also plenty of Adobe responses to the complaint that are belittling the requests (Hey John, do you need examples of those too?).

      • Bob Levine — 7:46 AM on December 17, 2013

        The moment your refer to Adobe as a monopoly you lose all credibility. You clearly do not know what a monopoly is.

        There’s plenty of competition out there.

  • Bob Levine — 11:16 AM on December 13, 2013

    What I’d love to see at some point, for those that have retired or moved on from Creative Cloud would be the ability to go to an Adobe site and upload a native file and have it converted to a universal format.

    For instance, you have a native InDesign file. It would be beneficial to be able to upload it and have it converted to PDF so it could be re-purposed; or a PSD that could be saved as a TIF or JPG.

  • Paul Marriner — 12:31 PM on December 13, 2013

    My problem relates to near-term retirement. I signed on for a year of the full CC at the attractive CS6-owner price. However, when it ends in July I certainly can’t afford the current list price. So, to keep the two apps I use most, PS and LR, at the best price, I’ll have to sign on to the $10 deal before Dec 31. That means I’ll pay $60 for nothing just to protect myself. Too bad I couldn’t pay for a year up front and have the year start when my CC subscription ends.

    • ProDesignTools — 7:42 PM on December 14, 2013

      “Too bad I couldn’t … have the [Photography Program] year start when my CC subscription ends.”

      You actually might be able to do something like that Paul. Try contacting Adobe customer service to ask.

  • Christopher — 1:54 PM on December 13, 2013

    Saw this in my RSS and was quite surprised so see Adobe actually asking us the users how they are doing, aka presumably a survey of some sort. But in traditional Adobe fashion it was rhetorical. “How are we doing? We’re doing great!”

    And yes I’ve also noticed an increase of spam since due to Adobe’s lack of security of it’s data it comprised the privacy of countless customers.

    Adobe is in this for the money and is fine losing all its long standing customers in favor of new customers. So we can all continue to provide valid issues but they will either be ignored, or generic responses such as we are aware of the issue but currently have no timeline on a resolution.

    There was a large Fireworks export bug that existed several years before getting finally resolved compared to smaller agile companies were bugs get resolved in real time. I think the world is ready for the Adobe “the new Microsoft” to be dethroned by new Apple’s such as Macaw, Sublime Text, Sketch and others as they begin to work with adobe formats.

  • Ray Sanford — 2:42 PM on December 13, 2013

    Wish Adobe Business Catalyst got as much attention on the technical side as CC does. BC is lagging further behind the industry each month.

  • Daniel Swanson — 3:29 PM on December 13, 2013

    I think Adobe has made good progress in implementing Creative Cloud. It’s a gargantuan effort–most likely the largest in the company’s history.

    I’m glad to see the numbers are pretty much confirming the “rightness” of the strategy.

    Too bad for the complainers. They won’t be missed.

  • Rick Popham — 4:42 PM on December 13, 2013

    “[Besides retaining a working copy of the apps after some set period, what *would* be an option? What do you need to be able to do with the files? –J.]”

    Considering that the retention of a working copy is the holy grail of “exit strategies”, the phrasing of your comment is discouraging. It seems to indicate that this is off the table.

    “[As far as I know, you’re never forced to install an update. (I’ll double check to make sure that’s true.) You should absolutely be able to update at your own pace. That’s especially true insides large organizations. –J.]”

    Thing is, you have to pay for them anyway.

    @Swanson: “Too bad for the complainers. They won’t be missed.”

    You’re speaking for Adobe now?

    Post a comment

  • scottinbeijing — 5:25 PM on December 13, 2013

    To Dan Routh: so don’t rent it—your choice.

    and re your tractors: the company ads are more interesting. Maybe you should choose another subject to photograph

    • Dan Routh — 5:48 PM on December 13, 2013

      Scott, I don’t intend to rent it. And thanks for your critique. I will file that away with all the other information I receive from asses.

  • scottinbeijing — 5:27 PM on December 13, 2013

    more to Dan: forgot to add to the “don’t rent it”; don’t rent it and quit whining.

    • Dan Routh — 6:11 PM on December 13, 2013

      My initial post was in response to a remark that John added to another post. He was gracious enough to send me a private email to discuss the topic. I added how I feel about renting software, something I am quite serious about, but in no way am I “whining”. You on the other hand seem to have some other motive for posting, considering the personal attacks. After all, do I actually know who you are? And, do I care?

  • scottinbeijing — 5:30 PM on December 13, 2013

    why would one, even me :), deserve a working copying of the apps “at the end”?

    I photographed, or designed, or etc. and was happy with the result while paying for the app. Later do I deserve to create something new for free? I think not. Deserve to be able to print it of course, but just save a tiff or pdf if that will work for you.

    • Dan Routh — 6:24 PM on December 13, 2013

      I have thousands of files of my intellectual property in psd format, a format that I used after Adobe convinced me that I could save my images with non-destructive adjustment layers and come back later and make further edits if I needed of wanted to. Yes, I could resave everything as a tiff or a pdf, but that would be extremely expensive and time consuming. What bothers me and many, many other people is that Adobe changed the rules in mid stream and with the new scheme, as soon as you do not make a monthly payment, then you no longer have full access to your property.

  • John Stevenson — 8:04 PM on December 13, 2013

    The headline question here is tempting ..
    I looked at just the basic financial performance of Adobe in recent 4th quarters. Here’s a summary (all data taken from the website):
    2009 4Q – total quarterly income $757M
    (2010 2Q – Adobe releases CS5)
    2010 4Q – total quarterly income $1,008M (33% increase)
    2011 4Q – total quarterly income $1,152M (14% increase)
    (2012 2Q – Adobe releases CS6 and Creative Cloud)
    2012 4Q – total quarterly income $1,153M (no increase)
    2013 4Q – total quarterly income $1,040M (10% decrease)
    Actually, the picture is likely somewheres more severe than this for the digital media sector of the company. The digital marketing sector is currently the growth portion of its business. And, if the recent income from this is subtracted from the totals listed above, then it seems that the income earned from digital media software and services decreased by 22% between the last quarter of 2012 and this year.
    Such, I guess, has been the “price” – in income, over the past twelve months – of doing business so far via the new model.
    Anyways, the stage is set – some major innovations and new features need to be released in the most popular of the Adobe imaging software applications in the next 12 months.

    • KC — 7:46 AM on December 17, 2013

      To sum up your post: Adobe lied (or would that be “continues to lie?).

      In other words:

      “Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.”
      ― Mark Twain

      “99 percent of all statistics only tell 49 percent of the story.”
      ― Ron DeLegge II

      “Statistics lie. They are designed to sway opinions. Take the time to keep yourself informed on things that matter.”
      ― Steve Maraboli

      “There are three types of lies — lies, damn lies, and statistics.”
      ― Benjamin Disraeli

      • John Stevenson — 7:59 AM on December 17, 2013

        Your comment is entirely incorrect. I did not present statistics (at all). What’s in my comment are Adobe’s own financial results and some arithmetic. That’s actual data.
        And, since you claim (as you do elsewhere today) that Adobe is busy putting shareholders ahead of customers, then let me know please why you think their shareholders, to whom this data is presented, are well served by an almost 25% loss of income (in 12 months) …

  • metai — 2:58 AM on December 14, 2013

    As much as Adobe wants to sugar-coat it, that’s still quite a far cry from the numbers Adobe pulled with its products prior to the Creative Cloud.

    The argument I made as a comment in http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/2013/06/more-than-700000-people-now-subscribing-to-creative-cloud.html still stands: For CS6, Adobe sold 4.1 million suites, and 1.5 million single products, which makes 6.6 million full or upgrade licenses, within ten months.

    And now Adobe is celebrating 1.4 million subscriptions within a year. I am inclined to do the slow clap, again.

  • Richard Broom — 4:04 AM on December 14, 2013

    John. Please would you let me know when Adobe Captivate will be included in CC. The inclusion of Captivate makes sense to me but it should also make sense to Adobe not least because Articulate seems to be increasing market share.

    [To be honest I don’t know what factors determine whether an app gets included in CC. I’ll ask & try to share what I find out. –J.]

    Second, I subscribe to CC but don’t use all the Adobe programmes (who does?). Wouldn’t it better for us (we are the customers) to choose from a smorgasbord of applications (including Captivate!). Makes sense to me but I am sure this will have the men in suits vomiting all over the floor.

    [Knowing said men (and women), I’m getting quite the visual there. ;-) –J.]

    For example, I’ve just downloaded LR5 from the CC site but, to be honest, I rarely, if ever, use it. There are, however, programs outside the CC suite that I would use but I can’t justify the expense.

    Best wishes to Family Nack for a peaceful Christmas and New Year
    Richard

    [Thanks—same to you, Richard. –J.]

  • Wayne — 4:36 PM on December 14, 2013

    I’m not sure why Adobe doesn’t just offer a “buy out” plan at the expiry of each contract year. The user buys a “permanent” license for the software version you have. Once purchased the software has a permanent license – all updates and support end at that point including cloud services. I realize there are potential issues with longer term OS support, but I’m sure that could be worked out as well.

    Everyone wins in this situation. All files created by the client would work with the software version they have. Adobe would get a permanent license fee to prevent people from “skipping” versions like in the past model. Additionally professionals would not be able to abuse this system as their client base would demand the current CC version via subscription.

    I think we are making this a much bigger issue than it should be. People lead complicated work lives today. I have had at least 3 major life changing career changes in my life. Adobe software has been there for each one, but someday as my career changes I may not be able to quantify renting the software. Yet I will have a lifetime of work that I would not have access to anymore due to the subscription model. I think this is the fundamental difference between CC and other subscription services that we pay for. Adobe software does nothing unless creative people use it to make content. That content belongs to us – unlike a service like Netflix or cable-vision where we simply consume entertainment for a fee.

    Permanent licenses need to be reconsidered carefully and as I have described above Adobe wouldn’t be “hurt” by this. If anything it would make the subscription model make more sense in terms of the benefits we get from it. You want to have your Adobe user base enthusiastic about CC saying, “Why would I want a permanent license when I get updates and great services in the cloud?” Unfortunately we are not there yet mainly due to this one issue involving permanent licenses that we have all been discussing since the subscription model began last year. Please add it to Adobe’s “just do it” list.

    Thanks for the opportunity to write as always!
    Wayne

    • Bob Levine — 4:43 PM on December 14, 2013

      I can’t help but find it mind boggling that people are still talking about perpetual / permanent licenses. Isn’t it clear by now that it’s not going to happen?

    • John Stevenson — 5:23 PM on December 14, 2013

      Wayne, I think you may have contradicted yourself. It would be OK to you to have a perpetual license with no support. However, then you note: “there are potential issues with longer term OS support, but I’m sure that could be worked out as well”.
      There was a phase, staring in mid-2012, where Adobe supported both licensed software and Creative Cloud subscriptions. So, the costs of doing that are known to them. It seems clear to me that the complications of the logistics of maintaining this were soon judged to be prohibitive (i.e., above the levels, in passed-on cost to the customer, that Adobe’s marketplace would accept).

      • Bob Levine — 5:34 PM on December 14, 2013

        Everyone wants a choice but doesn’t look at the cost or implications of providing them. Here’s my take on it, not that it will change anyone’s mind: http://boblevine.us/why-creative-cloud-subscription-software-is-here-to-stay/

        • Dan Routh — 5:54 AM on December 15, 2013

          You are correcet Bob. It hasn’t changed my mind. Adobe’s software scheme will always eventully

      • Wayne — 10:30 AM on December 19, 2013

        I was hoping that my previous post was if anything reflecting the fact that I do see both sides of the story. Adobe had to go subscription model to continue to be the software development giant that they are. Whether we subscribe or pay a one time license isn’t really what I’m arguing. My concerns are about our rights as content creators and Adobe’s role in much control they have of our content. The subscription model changes how we will have to deal with our files in the future – especially if we can no longer rent the software for some reason. I am an early CC subscriber as well and I have made my living using Adobe tools for over 15 years. When a fundamental change occurs in the way a company deals with their customers there is bound to be a few issues along the way. If Adobe tells me that I should be backing up all of my native adobe files to universal formats then I that’s what I will do if possible. Currently, though Adobe has yet to address this issue fully and I think it is worth writing about.

  • JohnD — 2:54 AM on December 15, 2013

    I’m sure this has been stated before, but the way I see it, the perfect exit strategy would be something like that:

    If you subscribe for a year, you get to keep the latest working version up to that date. Say a year, two, or whatever adobe decides.
    But I get that for you guys must be almost the same thing as selling perpetual licenses.

  • Dan Routh — 5:55 AM on December 15, 2013

    Sorry.

    You are correcet Bob. It hasn’t changed my mind. Adobe’s software scheme will always eventully lead to a loss of access to your property.

    • ProDesignTools — 7:52 AM on December 15, 2013

      …as will the indefinitely long use of any non-updated perpetual software as well.

      In other words, will you still able to successfully run static software, operating systems, and computers that were issued in 2012 …in 2027?

      And say even if you could, would you really want to? Are you right now still running a Windows 98 computer and its programs? (If so, why?)

      “Theoretically” is nice but isn’t of much use in the real world… Hardware breaks, software doesn’t run anymore. There have always been costs of keeping your platform relatively up-to-date and working. Look past as well as forward.

      Practically speaking, precious little is “forever” in technology and the ever-advancing pace of Moore’s Law.

      • Dan Routh — 8:10 AM on December 15, 2013

        Actually, I have never run a Windows computer of any kind, but that is neither here nor there. The Achilles Heel of Adobe’s software scheme is the fact that there is no exit strategy available. Adobe to this point offers no solutions, and in fact refuses to say that they will even consider a solution (look at Mike Chambers’ posts). John himself has repeatedly stated that this is a problem that must be solved. Adobe as a company has done nothing. They created CC as a way to maximize profits, not as a way to improve their software or to better serve their customers. Companies that don’t serve their customers usually go away.

        • Bob Levine — 9:00 AM on December 15, 2013

          “Companies that don’t serve their customers usually go away.”

          Correct, and companies that fail to adapt to a changing business landscape become BlackBerry.

          No company will ever make every customer happy. Just as freelancers, such as myself, have to occasionally realize that a client is no longer worth holding on to large corporations have to do the same.

          Anyone arguing that Adobe should be bringing back perpetual licenses while preaching that they will fail if they don’t is wearing blinders.

          The only way Adobe will fail is if the product sucks and the competition jumps in. Adobe is not being run but idiots. They are well aware of what needs to be done.

          Final points: The argument that this is a money grab is laughable and that can be seen in the financial reports. This is about steady, predictable cash flow.

          If you’re not going to change your mind, why do you think the powers that be at Adobe, will?

          • KC — 8:03 AM on December 17, 2013

            @Bob Levine: “Adobe is not being run but idiots. They are well aware of what needs to be done.”

            If they were/are so well aware, please explain:
            – the backpedaling necessary to fix the CS6 upgrade fiasco: http://scottkelby.com/2011/an-open-letter-to-adobe-systems/
            – Adobe 2013 hack of 38–150 million users data
            – the constant extension of Adobe CC deals (because so few are signing up)
            – the need to create the Photoshop Photography Program, and then its extension (because so few are signing up)
            – the need to _now_ work on an exit strategy—after the fact, and only because so many are complaining
            – the berating and belittling by Adobe (or its representatives) of anyone who does not subscribe to Adobe CC

            It is quite obvious to me that not only do they (Adobe) not know what they are doing, but their competition is not fully taking advantage of the situation:
            – If Quark had half a brain with QuarkXPress to compete against InDesign…
            – If Pixelmator had half a brain to compete against Photoshop (they’re pretty close)…
            – If Apple would kick in its other half of its brain with Aperture (against Lightroom) and Final Cut Pro (against Premiere)…
            Then Adobe would be dead meat.

            However, I have a sneaking suspicion that they could all just be allowing Adobe enough rope to hang itself.

          • Scott Boucher — 3:53 PM on December 17, 2013

            KC – I have to agree with Bob Levine in this case. You seem to be arguing more on emotion and opinion than verifiable facts. You can argue the merits of the strategy, the value of what CC offers and even whether or not it will last in the long term but you can’t really argue that it’s been a success since it’s been introduced.

          • Bob Levine — 8:10 AM on December 17, 2013

            Explained by saying that they are listening to their customers. And what makes you think the photography program is/was unsuccessful? Programs such as this get extended all the time not because they’re unsuccessful, but because they are producing results.

            I also don’t see anyone (from Adobe or an Adobe rep) berating anyone for not subscribing. Again, Adobe is not a monopoly. Instead of worrying about all this, why not move to the competition? There’s plenty of it.

            The only thing clear to me is that you’re posting with emotion because you certainly aren’t using facts or knowledge to make your points.

          • KC — 8:19 AM on December 17, 2013

            @Bob Levine: “Correct, and companies that fail to adapt to a changing business landscape become BlackBerry.”

            Oh, you mean stick their head in the sand and not listen to its customers?

            Maybe Adobe should spend a few minutes listening Simon Sinex’s TED Talk “Start with Why.” Some quotes:
            – People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
            – The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have—the goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.

            Adobe is doing the exact reverse of this. They have provided the ‘what’ (features, abilities, etc.) and the ‘how’ (subscription model), but they are failing miserably at the ‘why’ and have yet to come up with a believable answer.

          • Bob Levine — 8:25 AM on December 17, 2013

            Again you demonstrate your complete lack of knowledge. There are 1.5 million subscribers and I doubt many of them subscribed at gunpoint.

            There is no way to make everyone happy. You are clearly not in Adobe’s target market and should be exploring other options.

            Hopefully the alternatives to Adobe’s products will make you happy. Good luck, KC!

  • Dan Routh — 9:23 AM on December 15, 2013

    “Final points: The argument that this is a money grab is laughable and that can be seen in the financial reports. This is about steady, predictable cash flow.”

    Sure it is. If you can’t make profits by making a better product that people want or need, then figure a way to try to force your customers to hang with you. All negative financial reports would do is reinforce the view that CC as a business model sucks. As for idiots, I would say that their PR/marketing department are just that.

  • John Hoffman — 12:41 PM on December 15, 2013

    People are getting too excited worrying about what will happen when they want to retire down the road.

    People retiring now, they have the option of keeping CS6 or buying a upgrade to CS6 if they do not already own it. Those options will become less attractive with the passage of time, as CS6 becomes more an more obsolete. Adobe will then have to offer some other cost-attractive solution to the problem both to keep customers happy and to hopefully have those customers remain customers on a reduced price basis for some reduced product.

    Another potential solution for retirees that seems to have been overlooked: Take a class at a local community college and subscribe to the full Cloud product for a year at the substantially lower academic price. The class does not even have to be a class relating to computers.

  • Dan Routh — 1:09 PM on December 15, 2013

    A large portion of my professional life’s work consists of stacks and stacks of negs and transparencies. An equally large part (in the terabytes) consists of thousands of psd files. Yes I get excited when I am confronted with the possibility of not having access to that property. And no, some night class at my community college will not make me feel any better. Adobe actually working on a solution might.

    • ProDesignTools — 6:06 PM on December 15, 2013

      “An equally large part (in the terabytes) consists of thousands of psd files. Yes I get excited when I am confronted with the possibility of not having access to that property.”

      And so as a professional photographer, $10 a month is still too much to pay for such assured access plus always having the latest releases of Photoshop + Lightroom, including support for all future platforms & operating systems? (where a perpetual license would stop being supported)

      If you answer that it’s still too much, it’s hard to take what you’re saying seriously.

      • Dan Routh — 6:23 PM on December 15, 2013

        Besides the inevitability that everyone will probably have to stop making monthly payments at some point, it’s not a question of how much it costs per month now. Can you guarantee that in 10 years it will still be that $10/month? Adobe doesn’t. And as far as your obvious connection with Adobe, it is equally doubtful for me to take you seriously as well.

        • John Stevenson — 7:09 AM on December 16, 2013

          Dan, The very first comment you posted in this series states “I personally will not rent software”. So, it’s hard to see why you continue to write further.
          But, as shown by others in this thread, it’s fully possible for a photographer such as yourself to work out an exit strategy just in Photoshop today, based around CS6 (or even CS5). Perhaps not with the maximum elegance, but certainly with practicality. In fact, if you write down the basic specifications of what you need (as an implemented strategy for the dual archiving of your work) then I will design it for you. Of course, I might charge you $5 per month to use it ….

          • Dan Routh — 8:03 AM on December 16, 2013

            John, I am quite capable of dealing with a life without Photoshop, and no , I will not rent software that will eventually lock me out of access to my property. I continue to write because I am a long time PS customer (PS2.0 through PS CS-6 and every version in between) and it would make my life much much simpler and cost me a lot less down the road if I did not have to deal with implementing my own exit strategy. John Nack himself has stated that Adobe will have to find a solution at some point. The sooner they do that the sooner we can all go back to creating and not worrying about how much angst has been dumped on us.

          • ProDesignTools — 8:42 AM on December 16, 2013

            “I am a longtime Photoshop customer through CS6 with thousands of PSD files and it would make my life much much simpler and cost me a lot less down the road if I did not have to deal with implementing my own exit strategy.”

            Well, given everything stated in this conversation (including what Bob’s said, the addition of the Photography Program, and John Stevenson’s findings), you couldn’t fault an observer for concluding that in this case, “standing on principle only” seems to be costing you more than it’s helping you.

          • John Stevenson — 9:25 AM on December 16, 2013

            Dan, I too have used many versions of Photoshop, starting at 3.0. I like CC (the whole thing) a lot. It sets new challenges; establishes new opportunities.
            What flummoxes me completely about your statements is that you (now) acknowledge that you’ll spend more going forwards with a non-Photoshop workflow. But, additionally, it seems abundantly clear to me that you’ll also suffer way more uncertainty.
            To date no image editing software company has really staked a substantial claim to be “the Adobe-successor”, with a licensable post-Photoshop CS6 platform. Sure, there are some who are maneuvering. But it’s likely that, within the group of hopefuls today, some with ambition above ability will not survive at all, others will falter, and a few will be happy to just carve-out a specialist niche. (Usually what happens is that there is an enthusiast-driven surge of initial interest in an alternative initiative – Anthropics’ Smart Photo Editor stands as one good recent example – which withers away when it gains no traction in the professional market.) Overall, this is not good for the construction of a stable, reliable workflow (for professionals).
            And to me, the biggest potential problem with CC-compatibility issues lies not with the legacy pictorial files/content of the user but in the intellectual property of those who make add-ons across the Adobe product line – those third-party folks who develop plug-ins, scripts, Actions, etc. (and even tutorial content). There I’d observe that “helper” initiatives in the class of those of Astute Graphics with Illustrator, the TypeMonkey and LayerMonkey scripts for After Effects, plus several more, have broken new ground in the last 18 months. What’s good enough – in the trust bracket – for these developers is, I feel, a very positive sign, in both technical and commercial directions.

          • Dan Routh — 8:48 AM on December 16, 2013

            Believe me, this isn’t about principle. It’s totally about access to property.

            [We hear you, Dan, and we committed to solving that problem. I’m sorry that it’s taking a while to offer simple, concrete details. I will keep annoying people here until we have a solution that puts your mind at ease. There are so many great things we can do for customers with the cloud, and we need to move past this sticking point. –J.]

          • Dan Routh — 10:09 AM on December 16, 2013

            John what “flummoxes” me about this whole thing is the failure of Adobe or any of their hangersons to recognize that there is a problem that needs to be addressed and their refusal to address it. Eventually most users if not all will stop making monthly payments. At that time there is a question of access to intellectual property that has to be addressed. It is a problem and it is very real. Adobe needs to deal with it and soon.

          • Dan Routh — 10:10 AM on December 16, 2013

            John Nack. Thank you.

      • Dan Routh — 6:41 PM on December 15, 2013

        As much as CC supporters would like naysayers to go away, it remains a fact that a fatal flaw exists in the CC business model,..no exit strategy for users once they stop paying. That is something that Adobe has to deal with at some point if they want CC to work, and something that they have officially refused to recognize to this point much less do anything about.

        • Bob Levine — 5:32 AM on December 16, 2013

          Dan, you insist it’s a fatal flaw, yet the evidence is to the contrary. Straight up question: Would you consider anything other than a full working copy of the application as an exit strategy? If not, you might just as well go shopping for another software solution, but if you think subscription only won’t happen anywhere else, I think you’re going to be very disappointed.

          Nothing gets copied more than success, and contrary to your view, Creative Cloud is an overwhelming success.

          • Dan Routh — 5:58 AM on December 16, 2013

            Bob, you insist you know my situation. For me the only exit is to have full access to my property. And yes, I am looking for another solution. Evidence of people signing up for CC doesn’t prove they will have access to their work when they stop paying.

          • Bob Levine — 6:18 AM on December 16, 2013

            You are putting words into my mouth, Dan. When did I say I knew your situation? The lack of an “exit strategy” may be a fatal flaw for you and many others, but it is not for the model itself.

            No business model can please everyone.

          • Dan Routh — 6:37 AM on December 16, 2013

            “The lack of an “exit strategy” may be a fatal flaw for you and many others, but it is not for the model itself.”

            That is yet to be seen.

          • Scott Boucher — 6:54 AM on December 16, 2013

            Seems to me that approaching CC while looking for an exit strategy is in itself a defeatist strategy. As for the possibility that the price will rise in the future, how many services are you using right now that you can’t say that about? In the end, I think market forces will dictate the success of CC. But, with 1.4 million subscribers and counting, I’m not sure there’s a lot of incentive for potential competitors to invest in development of similar products.

  • Scott Boucher — 3:10 PM on December 15, 2013

    I’ve been a CC subscriber for about four months now and have been relatively happy. That said, I’ve been disappointed at the number of new features added to InDesign specifically. It’s the main application I use and the CC upgrade was already pretty light on new features. Was hoping they had a slew of new things in the que that just didn’t make it into the CC release. Seems like the video apps are getting new stuff on a regular basis but InDesign, Acrobat and Illustrator are fairly stagnant. Would love to see additional DPS capabilities in InDesign, maybe some integration between InDesign and Muse or the ability to drop HTML 5 from Edge Animate directly into an InDesign file that is then exported to a DPS app. Also, the DPS publishing process seems a bit complex. Would be nice if it could be simplified a bit. Finally, why can’t Adobe create an iOS version of Acrobat that allows users to take advantage of the interactive and multimedia capabilities available in the desktop app? PDF files are pretty limited in iOS right now.

    • Bob Levine — 3:56 PM on December 15, 2013

      Scott, much of the development time for InDesign CC was dedicated to decarbonizing it and making it 64 bit. Give the ID team a bit more time.

      • Scott Boucher — 4:11 PM on December 15, 2013

        Bob, I read all the articles about the effort to make InDesign 64 bit but that doesn’t really explain why the development teams for the video products are kicking out new features on a regular basis while ID is idle. Aren’t the video products just as complex to develop? Also, do all the CC products have the same number of developers working on them or are the more popular apps given more resources? Maybe the ID team is just smaller with fewer resources. That would help explain the problem a bit. Finally, ID CC was released back in June. It’s now December. When you say “a bit more time” what exactly do you mean?

  • Bob Levine — 6:15 PM on December 15, 2013

    From what I’ve seen in the U2U forums from Adobe personnel some time in January. But I wouldn’t expect much this time either. Re-writing an application like ID from the ground up was no small task and it hasn’t been pretty for some users. A lot bug fixing going on right now.

  • Bill — 9:20 PM on December 15, 2013

    Consumer confidence in cloud computing is at an all time low. There’s no point covering your ears and hoping that isn’t true.

    On top of that, Adobe had millions of user details hacked, and the fallout continues as people discover they have long lost Adobe accounts from years ago, their details now exposed on the publicly available hacked lists.

    I purchased CS6, but I will not be purchasing the cloud stuff. There is no benefit for me to using the Adobe cloud.

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with software that lives on my computer and can be updated with occasional patches. That is called stability. No cloud involved. I don’t want the software I use to be constantly tweaked and messed with on a daily basis. Adobe software is not a web browser or anything like that.

    Every so often I look at what’s new with patches or fixes for software I’ve bought. And once every year or maybe 2 years I consider buying an update to the next major version. But now all that is out the window because Adobe decided to fundamentally change their software product model. Just amazing.

    I’ve been using Photoshop since version 1, and I’m so very disappointed at this move to the subscription model. I just hope CS6 keeps me going for the next few years.

    • ProDesignTools — 9:27 AM on December 16, 2013

      “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with software that lives on my computer and can be updated with occasional patches. That is called stability. No cloud involved. I don’t want the software I use to be constantly tweaked and messed with on a daily basis.”

      More of the common CC myths… Each CC tool is upgraded more like every couple months and you have complete control of when (or if) any CC app will be updated locally on your machine (“stability”).

      Additionally, usage of the included cloud-based services is completely optional.

  • polyxo — 6:31 AM on December 18, 2013

    I have hesitated for some days to participate in this commenting session. Maybe it is due to just having visited my old father – also on this occasion I had to figure that some discussions just aren’t worth it. This is even more so if the
    counterpart keeps forgetting what one has talked about just recently…

    Here they are again , those customer-oriented sounding questions: How important is it to you to keep access to older files after you have quit CC? What degree of accessibility of the files is really necessary? Is not it enough to be able to continue to open the native files as write protected, so that they are still good for conversion into other file formats? Why is it so crucial to drill down to levels of masks, stacked smart objects with all sorts of color spaces and embedded RAW files with settings or embedded complex Vector Objects,to brush presets,custom shapes and text styles?
    I do not know how many times I’ve already seen showcased perfect examples for massive data loss, once one lets the CC subscription run out.

    But for Adobe this does seem to matter, especially here the usual Sock Puppets appear and dig out those supremely limited comparison scenarios which are there to demonstrate Adobe’s wonderful backwards and even surprising forward compatibility. The relative success of certain exchange-concepts between PS CC, older perpetual versions often gets generalized to be valid also for other Adobe authoring applications – a downright desirable effect…
    Moreover, all sorts of alternative graphics programs(formerly of course not even worthy of mention) are claimed to be fabulously compatible.
    “If you no longer subscribe to Photoshop , then then simply open your .psds’s in IrfanView! Where – one gets asked – is the damn problem? We do not see it.”
    And of course the commenting session isn’t complete without silly/off topic/disrespectful remarks along the lines of “if you can’t fork out
    some dollars a month for graphics programs you might rethink your business model.”

    It might be that John and other Adobe employees who engaged in this discussion indeed have as bad a memory as they claim. It could be the case that provided criticism and examples of glaring flaws of the new licensing model don’t stick in mind that well when not actually working productively within the own Software. But in reality it’s about something else, I’m afraid.

    In fact, reference is made to direct demand that one “works” on an exit strategy. Yeah, schedules are good , that way one can generate some nice pseudo – evidence!

    “2013 was the year for rollout , in the following year we’ll look into options to offer for ex-subscribers and their petabytes of data.”
    Data , mind you in proprietary formats, that one can not access to its fullest extend with any third party software on the planet!

    So, in other words, in 2013 you get us hooked and from 2014 on you might consider whether and in what form we might offer converters. I figure that Adobe is primarily a business but it leaves me stunned that Adobe claims this sequence of events perfectly acceptable. Call me old fashioned, but I had expected an exit solution before even introducing the new licensing policy.
    It makes me equally stunned by how easily a large number of customers are willing to cede rights to their data. A significant number of people apparently see no problem with getting sent home with a tif or similar, once they’ve stopped their payment.
    And it’s precisely this kind of irrationality Adobe builds upon… The underlying strategy is, that one will have to pay for temporary access to old data, even if one hasn’t touched Adobe software in years but now needs to dig in the archives. Would there be a different plan then, then Adobe would have long since established the only high-quality and at the same time technically
    easiest exit strategy:
    Saying thanks for the trust and money spent by letting leaving customers keep their latest version number as an unsupported perpetual license. This isn’t romantic in any way. It’s what I can call a fair deal.

    • Asbjørn — 6:43 AM on December 18, 2013

      Thank you! Well said, indeed. This is precisely my problem with CC as well. Unfortunately, you are probably talking to a wall here, but still – a very good comment on this issue.

      • polyxo — 8:26 AM on December 18, 2013

        Thank you Asbjørn.
        Sorry I got lost in answering those who don’t agree with me. Good to see that I’m not alone.

    • John Stevenson — 7:01 AM on December 18, 2013

      “I do not know how many times I’ve already seen showcased perfect examples for massive data loss, once one lets the CC subscription run out.”
      Please provide a link for the very worst case. Or several if you wish.
      Those of us who are not sock puppets and who have provided some real-world examples of how to address your problem would like to learn …

      • Bob Levine — 7:08 AM on December 18, 2013

        Just another example of someone posting FUD. Massive data loss because you let a subscription lapse? Complete nonsense based on emotion instead of facts. The only thing lost is access to the applications you are no longer paying for.

        • polyxo — 7:47 AM on December 18, 2013

          See my reply to John Stevenson.

          • Bob Levine — 7:56 AM on December 18, 2013

            I saw it. That’s not data loss. That’s data the user threw away by choosing a different application. Big difference.

            Again, we can debate the merits of a subscription only system which may or may not work for you, but if that data was so valuable, the user could easily have taken a one month subscription to Photoshop.

          • polyxo — 8:20 AM on December 18, 2013

            See my answer to John Stevenson.

      • polyxo — 7:46 AM on December 18, 2013

        John,
        the introduction of CC has been discussed in many fora and I can remember many people posting cases which lead to data loss but I’ll not sift though numerous threads to prove the very obvious. What I can provide is a link to a discussion with John, which I had just recently on this Blog. John here agreed that most proprietary features of Photoshop can not get read properly or at all by third party applications. This is a fact which I don’t want to discuss anew every two months. The link is here http://tinyurl.com/nh6hhx4 but I’m afraid you need to sift though the thread as I couldn’t link to specific posts.
        That said – I actually summarized conditions for data loss already in my first comment in this thread:
        Start with a RAW photo and edit it in ACR. Use global but als local adjustments like the healing brush and bring the image into PS as a Smart Object. Go further here – convert a duplicate of that image to LAB while leaving the original document in Prophoto and blend it with the original by using masks. Now make a smart object of what you have so far and run Adaptive Wide Angle as a Filter. Comp this image on a large canvas with other images, text, custom shapes, Ai-content as smart objects. Now save the result out to any format and see what you get with Photoline (the best option available imo), Gimp, Pixelmator, Photopaint etc. What you will see will probably keep the appearance. But you will have lost the original RAW file,hidden colourspaces, all smart filters, all parametric vector shapes, many third party editors will ignore bitdepths >8 and probably not even tell you. Embedded and at the same time referenced AI-content will lose parametric properties and get rastered, text will likely be rastered as well, text styles are gone… This is what I call pretty darn, terribly lossy.

        • John Stevenson — 8:02 AM on December 18, 2013

          Holger,
          Yes, I saw that. But I skipped past it because – IMHO – it is not, nor ever will be, Adobe’s problem.
          I doesn’t amount to “data loss” caused by the transition from perpetual (so-called) licensing and a subscription-based access/service.
          Could it be called a data inconvenience? Well maybe. A difficulty brought about by the user themselves. But loss it is not.
          And, why-oh-why is some other developer choosing not to work with better than 8-bit data laid at Adobe’s doorstep?

          • polyxo — 8:06 AM on December 18, 2013

            Sorry, but this is to me not worth further discussion. It’s of course loss and one can not rebrand it. People who accept this just throw away the rights they have had over decades.

            I’m comparing the CC licensing model with what one
            gets from all other software I purchased over the years. That is full, permanent access to all explicit and nested data.

          • Dan Routh — 8:20 AM on December 18, 2013

            “A difficulty brought about by the user themselves.”

            And Adobe had absolutely nothing to do with it at all.

          • John Stevenson — 10:13 AM on December 18, 2013

            Dan, Let’s think this through properly and objectively please. Suppose that Holger (polyxo) had made his file using the steps that he has written down in this thread, with the licensed versions of the CS6 applications he named, Photoshop and Illustrator. It’s obvious that the third-party applications he has named (Photoline, Pixelmator, etc.) would not be able to interpret all of the features he incorporated from his Adobe software in his output file, no matter what file format he might elect to use. When I read the features which the developers of Photoline, Pixelmator, etc. specify as present and functional in their software, then I do not find any claim that their applications can do that.
            Is that Adobe’s problem? Does it comprise a loss of data? And, if you consider the answers here to be yes, then how did the introduction of the Creative Cloud subscription scheme create that problem?

          • polyxo — 10:50 AM on December 18, 2013

            John,
            I was mostly reacting to the often made but utterly false statement that Photoshop created content could be perfectly opened and even edited losslessly pretty much with any bitmap editor.

            Authoring type of software is about creating data which one can re-access for as long as matching
            hardware is used and image editing as well as DTP indeed requires opening older files. The way
            Adobe graphics software works supports repeated editing, by using a file format which embeds source files and by nondestructive editing in various implementations. The whole underlying concept says:Control forever. A user who has worked with the typical combination of PS, AI and ID over the years will produce thousands of files which are multiply interconnected. This customer may have been a happy camper for many years but he/she for whatever reasons should be able to settle for another software pipeline permanently. And he/she should do so with the confidence that everything is on board. This is simply what I expect from Pro-Level software. I don’t want to spend non trivial amounts of time of converting existing artwork into lossy open formats, and I neither want to leave multi GB worth of mostly dead (as expired) CC applications installed as mere converters for named lossy formats.

            It is clearly and merely Adobe’s problem that it doesn’t deliver a concept which grants further access customer property after dropping the subscription.
            Here in Europe we customers as a matter of fact do own the license of the software we bought, whatever the vendor cares to write onto the box and it stays my property even if one decides to no
            more update. The same is clearly valid for all my data. I would honestly not be surprised if the European court invalidated the whole system for Europe, the same way as it took away resale restrictions found in the Eula.

          • Dan Routh — 11:35 AM on December 18, 2013

            John, you are lecturing me about loss of data, when no one is suggesting any data will be lost. What I am losing with CC is the access to that data down the road if I stop paying my monthly fee. You are not the only person on this board who knows how to do a workaround to save access to SOME of that data. What we are upset about is Adobe’s move to prevent us full access unless we keep paying, on and on. I know how to live without Adobe, but I am upset after years and years and thousands of dollars of being a good customer that they are trying to force me into the CC scheme with no way out. Polyzo’s comments about the legality of all of this in Europe is interesting. Doesn’t take a lot to imagine a class action suit in this country down the road.

          • John Stevenson — 12:36 PM on December 18, 2013

            Dan, … but it wasn’t my intention at all to lecture. In fact, the term “data loss” was introduced today by Holger (polyxo) as follows: “I do not know how many times I’ve already seen showcased perfect examples for massive data loss, once one lets the CC subscription run out.”
            There’s still no evidence which satisfies my curiosity on the validity of that claim. (All I did was pose it to you in the form of an open question.)
            Finally, I’m European (originally) and have worked for and with two graphics software development companies in Europe. Both made extensive use of proprietary file formats. Notably though, both companies also developed plug-ins for Adobe products. As is said in my actual homeland: “you can’t have your cake and eat it too”.

          • Dan Routh — 12:50 PM on December 18, 2013

            So in the case of CC as it is now, if you don’t keep paying, then the saying is, “You can’t have your property and full access to it too.”

          • John Stevenson — 4:42 PM on December 18, 2013

            … so, when the “Stevenson File Retrievals, LLC” incorporation is done, then we can re-think the English proverb again!
            Basically that’s what is in play here – Adobe has an opportunity … but, someone else might fill the gap (though most likely only one application at a time, for example just as here: http://aescripts.com/pt_opensesame/ which is actually a pre-CC utility, at $70 for the privilege)..
            My own experiences with software development, in three different technology arenas, taught me to know that there is no perfect solution. Everything you can or could do to move forwards will have plus and minus points, both technically and commercially. Some of the efforts I worked at I’m not too proud of. So, as for the cake you’re seeking, it’s necessary to be careful what you ask for. (But I don’t intend to lecture …)

          • Dan Routh — 4:52 PM on December 18, 2013

            Glad you’re not lecturing there, because you’ve lost me. The simplest solution from Adobe would be to at some point just sell me a license and forget about all this CC garbage. Innovate and sell me a product/license that I want and need. Don’t try to extort money from me with some rental scheme.

          • Scott Boucher — 5:25 PM on December 18, 2013

            Dan, let me get this straight, your contention is that Adobe is being run by people who, at best, are “idiots” and at worse are greedy and underhanded. Yet, despite holding this opinion, you’re angry because they won’t run their billion-dollar, multinational corporation according to your set of beliefs. Have I missed anything?

            Also, short of doing a 180 degree change of direction from their current CC strategy – which I think we can all agree simply is NOT going to happen – what exactly do you want them to do to ensure you have access to your files should someone decide to drop their subscription? You’ve already acknowledged that there aren’t any other applications that can open and edit the proprietary PSD file format. Short of providing users with a full working copy of Photoshop to use after they stop paying for their subscription, what can Adobe do? I hear a lot of complaining but I’m not hearing any solutions.

          • polyxo — 3:28 AM on December 19, 2013

            “Short of providing users with a full working copy of Photoshop to use after they stop paying for their subscription, what can Adobe do?”

            There’s simply not other solution which deserves its name than to do exactly that. Files(psd, ai,indd and all other content in proprietary
            formats) are the intellectual property of the Adobe customer. The customer posesses everything which is included within these files, down
            to nested and externally referenced content, paths, custom channels and masks. The end of the renting period marks an end to access to this posession – which is not acceptable. I see that some people here feel inclined to speak for Adobe and about the options they have at disposal. Realistically however it is solely up to them to present a solution to what is a gaping – and thus far entirely unadressed – weakness in their new licensing scheme.

          • Bob Levine — 5:20 PM on December 18, 2013

            And we return once again to wishful thinking of perpetual licenses returning as though it was some god-given right.

          • Dan Routh — 5:39 PM on December 18, 2013

            Scott, don’t think you’ve missed a thing. Pretty much nailed it. And as far as what else can Adobe do. Who knows?

          • Dan Routh — 5:02 AM on December 19, 2013

            Holger, thank you. Glad to see someone else understands the concept of property and why it upsets us to allow a corporation to control access to ours.

          • Scott Boucher — 9:46 AM on December 19, 2013

            If it upsets you so much to have an evil corporation control your data then DON’T. No one is forcing you to subscribe. You’ve made your point of view very clear. We all understand why you won’t be a CC member. Got it. We’re clear. Adobe is bad. CC is flawed. We all hope you’re happy with Quark and Pixelmator. Good luck to you.

          • Dan Routh — 11:06 AM on December 19, 2013

            Scott, my opinions and complaints with CC are aimed at Adobe because this is an Adobe forum. What you think really doesn’t concern me in the least because as far as I know, you don’t represent Adobe. I have been a customer of Adobe for many many years and I wish to continue to be one. Adobe’s new rental scheme has caused a major problem in that relationship. My whole intent is to find out if Adobe wishes for me to continue to be their customer, by recognizing and finding a solution to that problem. If they do, we all win. If they don’t, so be it. The potential for pain down the road I will have by carrying out a work around makes it worth pushing the point.

          • Scott Boucher — 4:28 PM on December 19, 2013

            Dan, I never really thought my opinion concerned you. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that your opinions aren’t of much concern to me. What you don’t seem to understand is that your opinions aren’t of much concern to Adobe either. They have 1.4 million people that DO agree with them. Call me crazy but I don’t think a few negative comments on an online forum is going to cause Adobe management to make a dramatic change to current strategy. I think they listen to constructive criticism from customers but taking the position that their entire business plan and long-term strategy is completely wrong probably isn’t going to be viewed as constructive.

          • Dan Routh — 4:55 PM on December 19, 2013

            Call ME crazy Scott, but when you start representing Adobe, I MAY care.

          • Scott Boucher — 6:49 PM on December 19, 2013

            Dan, I don’t need to represent Adobe to know that you’re just howling at the moon. Good luck with that.

          • Dan Routh — 7:44 PM on December 19, 2013

            “ARH-WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”

          • Scott Boucher — 4:47 AM on December 20, 2013

            Nicely done

    • Dan Routh — 7:40 AM on December 18, 2013

      You were right polyxo. They are already coming after you, since you obviously don’t have the “facts or the knowledge” and they do. Although that seems to be hearsay. Feel better that even John Nack acknowledges there is a problem. Doesn’t mean Adobe has or will do anything about it, but at least someone with the company understands.

      • Bob Levine — 7:51 AM on December 18, 2013

        All I’m saying is that there is plenty to debate as long as facts are used. Do you honestly believe there has been massive data loss because of a canceled subscription?

        The funny thing is nobody who thinks this is a good model is attacking those who don’t. It’s quite the other way around. I do get the fact that this is not something everyone wants. What I find objectionable is the spread of FUD. Stop with that already. It’s counterproductive to getting anything done.

        John’s acknowledged the need for improvement. I personally, have my own wish list of improvements but I also understand that Adobe is running a business and has every right to run it the way they see fit, just as you have the right to do the same thing with yours.

  • Dan Routh — 8:06 AM on December 18, 2013

    Actually, I think you have done a pretty good job of attacking anyone who has spoken out about the problems inherent with CC. No, I doubt if there has been massive losses of data yet from canceled subscriptions. Those with the most to lose are probably sticking with CS6 till we figure out what the future holds. That is the key. The future. Adobe can solve this whole mess if they will. As for FUD, yes I fear that I may be in a world of hurt with CC because of the uncertainty of whether I stand to lose full access to my property if forced to deal with a non exitable subscription, and I doubt now as to whether Adobe will do something about it.

    • Dan Routh — 8:07 AM on December 18, 2013

      And, John actually acknowledged that there was an real problem.

      • Bob Levine — 12:55 PM on December 18, 2013

        Yes, he did. Do you doubt his sincerity?

        • Dan Routh — 2:24 PM on December 18, 2013

          No , I am referring to your characterization of what he said as being only that CC needed “improvement”, when he said “We hear you, Dan, and we committed to solving that problem.”

  • Asbjørn — 10:09 AM on December 18, 2013

    So, Creative Cloud is great… yeah right! For stockholders, certainly, but not for customers: http://news.investors.com/technology-click/121113-682544-adobe-systems-set-to-report-q4-earnings.htm

    • John Stevenson — 11:54 AM on December 18, 2013

      It’s surely a pity that you do not take a moment to read what is already included on that topic in this thread.
      The actual 4Q numbers for Adobe, released after the article you linked to, did indeed prove to be good results. But, that has nothing (at all) to do with the Creative Cloud. The newer sector of Adobe which provides marketing services and analytics is the big recent success. This is now branded as the Adobe Marketing Cloud. Its financial results have been reported separately for the last two years. It has sustained a full annual growth in revenues (up to more than $1 billion total in the last year) of between 25 and 35% in that period. This is a great accomplishment for a mature, hi-tech company. And it has everything to do with the current high share price, rewarding the shareholders for the use of their money (and patience plus understanding).
      I think nobody – likely John included – would claim that the introduction of the Creative Cloud scheme was well-managed. Or that the platform itself – as it is manifest and exists today – is flawless. But, it serves no constructive purpose whatever to be throwing together customer surveys of 50 (yes, just fifty!) Adobe customers – which could be an average of 10 primary users of Photoshop, plus another 10 for specialists with Premiere, plus another … etc.) as reported in the article you link to.

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