Stephen Shankland November 22, 2: Subscription pricing, in which a person gets rights to use software for period payments, has been a mixed success in recent years.
Red Hat has made it work with Linux and related server software, but Microsoft's enthusiasm for subscription pricing seems to be emerging mostly through online services such as Office Adobe--a software powerhouse going through a rough patch with layoffs and with Web standards hurting its Flash business --is making a big bet on subscriptions for its Creative Suite CS products.
Some customers, though, aren't happy about the change. Adobe announced the new upgrade and subscription pricing earlier this month--but the issue started ringing alarm bells for many only yesterday when one authority--Scott Kelby, president of the National Association for Photoshop Professionals--objected in an open letter to Adobe.
Kelby asked Adobe to reconsider its position that only those who already owned Photoshop CS5 would be able to pay a lower upgrade fee when Photoshop CS6 is released, saying it was the wrong thing to do: While I understand that Adobe needs to make business decisions based on how it sees market conditions, I feel the timing of this new pricing structure is patently unfair to your customers and our members.
Here's why: You didn't tell us up front. You didn't tell us until nearly the end of the product's life cycle, and now you're making us buy CS5. Otherwise, we have to pay the full price as if we were never Adobe customers at all. Kelby's post generated plenty of ill will toward Adobe in more than comments. Several people pointed to Netflix and Bank of America pricing changes that generated a loud customer backlash. Especially in the current economic environment," complained Paul Wright.
Goodwill and credibility are hard won over time, but can evaporate in a heartbeat. Photoshop version numbers can get complicated: When CS5. Given how close those prices are to the perpetual license, there's not much incentive to move to the subscription plan.
Sure, you'll get upgrades for free as long as you keep paying, but on the flip side, but if you stop paying you have to stop using the software. The new order But beginning with a newer plan called the Adobe Creative Cloud that's just entered beta testing , those subscription prices will start looking a lot more compelling. It'll also cover new Web-standards development tools, Edge and Muse. And it'll include the Adobe Touch apps for tablets , a collection of six pro-oriented programs that just were launched for Android tablets.
It may not be a great deal for Photoshop-only customers, but the more apps a person uses, the more compelling the offer becomes. Some caveats: Adobe hasn't released the month-to-month pricing for those skittish about a longer-term commitments. In a response to Kelby's letter, the company said it plans to make its case starting next week: The changes to our upgrade policy, for customers who would like to continue to purchase CS software as a perpetual license, benefits customers who are on the latest versions of our software.
We have promotions that enable customers to upgrade to the latest CS version ahead of CS6 at a reduced rate--at the moment we are offering 20 percent off any upgrade to the latest version of their Adobe software. A 20 percent discount helps cushion the blow for those who choose to keep buying software the same old way, of course. But it's clear Adobe has a lot more convincing--and explaining--to do.
Search for: As of , nearly all Adobe professional software is now available only through a Creative Cloud subscription. They are now available only as part of a paid Creative Cloud subscription. How to get applications such as Photoshop Between and , some Adobe professional applications were available by both subscription and perpetual licenses.
This led to confusion about which version to get, especially as Adobe began to hide the perpetual license options. After CS6 went off the retail market in , the choice became clear only because all Adobe pro applications became available exclusively by subscription.
Photoshop The king of Adobe software is, of course, Adobe Photoshop. If you use Photoshop for business reasons this is probably going to be one of the smallest business expenses you have.
The relatively low cost of the Photography Plan subscriptions means that many of the objections to it are not economic. The full Creative Cloud plan, which includes nearly all Adobe pro applications, is much more costly. The only non-subscription version of Photoshop currently for sale is Photoshop Elements, or you can use a non-Adobe Photoshop alternative.
See below for more information about those options. Lightroom On October 18, , Adobe announced the releases of Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC under a choice of Creative Cloud plans ; it was also announced that Lightroom 6 is the last version available through a perpetual license. Lightroom is the newer form that stores all of your images in the cloud; Lightroom Classic is the current version of the original Lightroom that stores all of your original images on your own local storage.
These versions have Creative Cloud-specific features, such as the ability to sync with Lightroom in the cloud and on other devices. These applications were formerly called Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC, but Adobe dropped the CC after it was no longer necessary to distinguish the subscription and perpetual license versions.
The last perpetual license version of Lightroom was Lightroom 6. Introduced in , Adobe stopped selling it in Lightroom 6 will not receive any further major upgrades; the equivalent of Lightroom 7 was Lightroom Classic CC version 7 which is subscription-only.
Again, Adobe has stopped selling new or upgrade licenses for Lightroom 6 directly from their website. If you find a copy of Lightroom 6 and are thinking about buying it, keep the following in mind: Lightroom 6 is no longer supported or receiving updates, so raw files of newer cameras may not be supported. The Lightroom 6 feature set is falling further behind Lightroom Classic. For example, it lacks features such as Dehaze and Texture, and does not include the performance enhancements and improved GPU support in Lightroom Classic.
After November 30, , the live map view in Lightroom Classic 7. The live map view has been updated and continues to function in the current versions of Lightroom Classic version 8 or later and Lightroom version 2 or later. Lightroom 6 may work if it was already installed before upgrading to macOS Go to https: Or go to this direct link: This was true throughout the first half of , but when I checked the Acrobat Pro DC page at the end of August , the perpetual license options had been removed.
Buying a used copy There may be copies of Creative Suite software available for sale through the used market, but if you are interested in buying it that way you should exercise extreme caution to avoid scams, pirated copies hacked with malware, and serial numbers that Adobe has deactivated. They are no longer being updated, so if you upgrade your hardware or system and a CS6 application now has a problem running on it, a fix is probably not available.
Non-subscription alternatives from Adobe: On the Mac, hobbyists and others needing something more advanced than Apple Photos can turn to Acorn , Pixelmator , Polarr , and others.
These are generally very capable raw processors. These extensions bring the image-editing capabilities of Photos closer to Lightroom. Some history: The web page http: As of January 9, Creative Suite is no longer available for purchase. Since switching to a subscription model, Adobe has reported many quarters of record revenue growth partially driven by Creative Cloud subscription rates that exceeded their projections, year after year.
Subscriptions bring in more revenue than perpetual license software did, and by an extremely wide margin. Spread the word!