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Adobe's Creative Cloud Illustrates How the Cloud Costs You More 403

Posted by Soulskill
from the every-cloud-is-lined-with-your-silver dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "As we discussed yesterday, Adobe plans on focusing the bulk of its software-development efforts on its Creative Cloud offering, with no plans to further update its 'boxed' Creative Suite products. The move isn't surprising, considering the tech industry's general movement toward the cloud over the past few years. Creative Cloud will cost $19.99 per month for a 'single app' version that features the full version of 'selected apps,' 20GB of cloud storage, and limited access to services. Those who opt for the 'complete' version will pay $49.99 per month for every Creative Cloud app, 20GB of cloud storage, and full access to services; it also requires an annual commitment. At that price, it would take a little over two years for a customer spending $49.99 per month to exceed the full retail cost of box-based Adobe Creative Suite 6, which currently retails for $1299.99 at Staples and $1100-1200 on Amazon. In a recent interview with Mashable, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen insisted that the Creative Cloud's cost to customers is lower, especially since they won't have to pay for cloud storage and other services — never mind that 20GB doesn't carry anyone far when it comes to visual design. However much customers stand to benefit from the cloud, it's easy to see that, over a long enough timeline, and with the right financial model in place, the companies providing those services stand to benefit even more than they did with boxed software. That's liable to make just as many people angry as happy, no?" Update: 05/08 03:29 GMT by S :Changed prices involved to reflect standard versions of Creative Suite, rather than the discounted Student & Teacher editions.
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Adobe's Creative Cloud Illustrates How the Cloud Costs You More

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 07, 2013 @06:23PM (#43659765)

    I don't know where they got those numbers from. Photoshop CS6 alone is $627 on Amazon and Design Standard is $1127.98. That makes the $49.99 take more than 2 years to be more than the cost of outright purchasing it.

    If they are using Student/Teacher editions or something to make an unfair price comparison, how could you trust anything else in the article?

  • Re:More != more (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 07, 2013 @06:23PM (#43659767)

    If you want to use if for a couple of months at $20/month you'll have to steal it. The $20 a month plan is only available to people who bought the perpetual license and are willing to sign up for a 12 month contract.

  • by neile (139369) on Tuesday May 07, 2013 @06:32PM (#43659847)
    The comparison should be made to Adobe CS6 Master Collection which is going for $2,100 on Amazon right now, not the smaller package of CS6 goes for $403.99. Adobe also announced the monthly cost for a single app will be $10/mo. for the first year, not the current $19.99/mo. Similarly, if you are an existing CS3 or higher owner, you can get the first year of everything for $39.99/mo. for the first year. Now I'm not saying whether this is a good or bad change, just pointing out that the summary's numbers aren't accurate.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 07, 2013 @06:33PM (#43659857)

    Maybe the summary is talking about an academic license. From what I can see, CS6 Master Collection costs about $2100 on Amazon.com. That's a substantial difference, and it changes the proposition considerably. In fact, it reveals the writers entire point to be bogus, at least for typical business users.

  • CS6 != Photoshop CS6 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Score Whore (32328) on Tuesday May 07, 2013 @06:35PM (#43659879)

    Adobe Photoshop CS6 retails for $599 all by itself.

    Creative Cloud @ $50/mo includes:

    What's included in your
    Creative Cloud membership?

                    Photoshop® CS6 Extended
                    Photoshop Lightroom® 4
                    Illustrator® CS6
                    InDesign® CS6
                    Adobe Muse
                    Acrobat® XI Pro
                    Flash® Professional CS6
                    Flash Builder® 4.6 Premium Edition
                    Dreamweaver® CS6
                    Edge Tools & Services
                    Fireworks® CS6
                    Adobe Premiere® Pro CS6
                    After Effects® CS6
                    Adobe Audition® CS6
                    SpeedGrade CS6
                    Prelude CS6
                    Encore® CS6
                    Bridge CS6
                    Story CS6
                    Media Encoder CS6
                    Business Catalyst
                    Typekit
                    Device and PC sync
                    Cloud storage

    I begin to suspect that Nerval's Lobster and the slashdot editor Soulskill lack appropriate knowledge to be commenting on this subject.

  • Complete Rip-off (Score:5, Informative)

    by MatthiasF (1853064) on Tuesday May 07, 2013 @06:36PM (#43659897)
    Everyone is comparing the costs to a NEW full license of the suites or programs, but that's only a small half of the story. Those of us that have already made the investment of a full copy and can upgrade, these changes are a complete RIP OFF.

    The cost of upgrading CS5.5 Premium Design suite to CS6 is $375. Cost of Creative Cloud? $50 a month, $600 a year.

    We use to only upgrade Adobe suites every 2-3 years, at $375 a pop. Now for the same thing, we must pay $1200-1800 over those two to three years?

    That's an increase of 200-250% depending on your suite.

    Why is no one bringing this up?
  • by future assassin (639396) on Tuesday May 07, 2013 @06:42PM (#43659961) Homepage

    CS6 will run pretty much for ever unless an OS change makes it not compatible. You stop paying after two years and you got NOTHING. Wanna resumer after a year or two, dig out the Cs6 install and off you go for free.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 07, 2013 @06:43PM (#43659977)

    This is what cloud computing is all about. It's not about providing a service to customers that's better than what they can get at their own desktops.

    Indeed. Especially because, in this case, the software isn't even running on Adobe's infrastructure, it's still installed locally. The "Cloud" here consists exactly of a subscription pricing model and a more annoying DRM, which will probably be cracked anyway. From Adobe's website (http://www.adobe.com/products/creativecloud/faq.html):

    Do I need ongoing Internet access to use my Creative Cloud desktop applications?

    No. Your Creative Cloud desktop applications (such as Photoshop and Illustrator) are installed directly on your computer, so you won't need an ongoing Internet connection to use them on a daily basis.

    You will need to be online when you install and license your software. If you have an annual membership, you'll be asked to connect to the web to validate your software licenses every 30 days. However, you'll be able to use products for 180 days even if you're offline.

  • by future assassin (639396) on Tuesday May 07, 2013 @06:44PM (#43659995) Homepage

    And if you stop paying the cloud stops working....

  • by Solandri (704621) on Tuesday May 07, 2013 @06:46PM (#43660003)
    Creative Suite 6 comes in all sorts of different versions. Based on the comparison chart [googleusercontent.com] (which Adobe replaced with a link forwarder to Creative Cloud), it looks like the equivalent CS6 version is Master Collection, which is $2100 on Amazon retail, $900 upgrade. So at $50/mo that'd be equivalent to 3.5 years for the initial purchase, and 1.5 years between upgrades (granted $50/mo is their introductory pricing).

    Don't get me wrong, I think this is a terrible idea, and am thanking my lucky stars the only Adobe software I use extensively anymore is Lightroom, which for the time being can still be purchased as a standalone version. But for people/companies who actively use the different CS products and upgrade them with each release, it doesn't sound like that bad a deal. It will suck for casual users though. I keep an old copy of Photoshop CS2 around for the stuff I can't do in Lightroom. I feel sorry for the kids graduating now - if they need to touch up one photo in PS, they'll have to pay $20/mo for a year = $240 for that casual use.
  • Re:I don't want (Score:4, Informative)

    by D1G1T (1136467) on Tuesday May 07, 2013 @06:59PM (#43660137)
    20GB is about 20 minutes of HD footage. Even for stills that's only a few hundred images if you are working in RAW. Can't imagine Adobe exects anyone to use it other than as a demo.
  • by EvanED (569694) <evaned@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday May 07, 2013 @07:02PM (#43660167)

    Assuming the executable is on the vendor's computer:

    I realize that the /. summaries and to a lesser extent Adobe have done a poor job at conveying this information, but that assumption isn't right.

    This isn't really "creative suite in the cloud" so much as "subscription-based creative suite with some cloud storage you can use if you want." You still download the programs and install them locally, and they check in each month (according to comments in a previous story).

    I don't really want to say that this is a good thing; that's for each person to decide. But it does invalidate almost all of your statements, which I will now attempt to correct in the name of reducing FUD:

    The software only has to be compiled for one architecture - no more Windows/Mac/Linux versions
    The user has no installation problems - conflicts with drivers, antivirus, &c
    The code can be optimized to the execution machine

    Not sure what versions will be available; I'd assume Mac and Windows. But they are native programs, not running in the browser. (Not sure why you say that last one is an advantage for the vendor...)

    The code cannot be pirated
    Slightly ironically, the way Adobe is doing probably won't mean much here.

    If the company goes out of business or closes the server, you lose your work
    You can still store information locally.

    You need to be internet connected to the internet for it to work
    You need a reasonably fast internet connection for it to work
    You need a reasonably reliable internet connection for it to work

    You only need a connection once a month for activation purposes.

    The company gets to mine your activities for targeted advertizing
    Unlikely. At least, it won't be significantly easier than it is now, since it's a local app.

  • Re:More != more (Score:3, Informative)

    by Baton Rogue (1353707) on Tuesday May 07, 2013 @07:29PM (#43660395)

    Car analogy - what solution is preferable for someone to learn driving: use a second-hand car or rent a car by the day?

    The better car analogy is the guy who likes to lease a new car every 3 years instead of buying one. You always get to have a new car, and there are rarely ever maintenance costs. The same would probably be true for the software subscription where you will automatically get the newest upgrades for free as part of the subscription.

  • Re:More != more (Score:4, Informative)

    by c0lo (1497653) on Tuesday May 07, 2013 @07:37PM (#43660447)

    Car analogy - what solution is preferable for someone to learn driving: use a second-hand car or rent a car by the day?

    The better car analogy is the guy who likes to lease a new car every 3 years instead of buying one. You always get to have a new car, and there are rarely ever maintenance costs. The same would probably be true for the software subscription where you will automatically get the newest upgrades for free as part of the subscription.

    Not quite. With an offline version, one can buy a "second hand" install CD. With an "only for rental" offer on the market, there's no chance to do it.

    Think textbooks [gnu.org]

  • CS6 will run pretty much for ever unless an OS change makes it not compatible.

    Virtual machines take care of that problem pretty nicely.

  • by dgatwood (11270) on Tuesday May 07, 2013 @08:26PM (#43660785) Journal

    If the company goes out of business or closes the server, you lose your work

    You can still store information locally.

    If Adobe went under tomorrow, Creative Cloud users would still be able access their files for 180 days, after which their copy of the app would no longer function. Unfortunately, Adobe tends to use proprietary file formats. A few other apps advertise the ability to partially read some Photoshop files, but AFAIK, none of them are anywhere near 100% compatibility with even CS3 files yet, much less CS6. I'd imagine the situation is similar (or worse) for their other apps.

    So in effect, the GP was right, at least unless somebody buys Adobe out during those six months or until one of those other apps manages to reverse-engineer all the remaining file format bits that you depend on. Pedantically, the work isn't gone—merely inaccessible—but in practical terms, there's really little difference.

  • Re:I don't want (Score:4, Informative)

    by asmkm22 (1902712) on Tuesday May 07, 2013 @08:48PM (#43660943)

    I doubt GIMP will benefit much. Anyone who wants to pirate CS5 or 6 will still be able to. The only way GIMP will get more traction is if the program is actually improved at a more reasonable pace, which I don't see happening any time soon. And since there aren't any other good alternatives to Photoshop right now, people will just continue pirating Adobe products.

  • Re:Less is more. (Score:5, Informative)

    by QuasiSteve (2042606) on Tuesday May 07, 2013 @09:25PM (#43661221)

    As someone who uses The GIMP extensively and Photoshop occasionally.. "uhm. no."

    The GIMP is not even close to Photoshop yet. That's not to say it isn't a perfectly capable tool for what most people do, but then 'most people' would be fine with Elements, or Lightroom, or Instagram. Graphics professionals will have to weigh their individual demands and see whether The GIMP or one of the many plugins/scripts fills those demands in an acceptable manner.

    Just as an example of what I mean by the latter, and I know it's a limited use case but this applies to so many things, content-aware rescaling.
    In Photoshop you activate the tool and just scale the layer through the typical scaling interface (e.g. drag edges), and the result is shown instantaneously if your machine can handle it.
    Now let's do it with The GIMP. First off, The GIMP doesn't have this feature. You'll have to grab the Liquid Rescale plugin. The main interface offers some great control, but if you just want to rescale the layer the Interactive mode sounds more promising. Except that all it does is update the layer every time you let go of the up/down control / enter a number into the fields while scaling from a fixed pivot (top left corner) While much better than going through the main plugin interface (where you have to commit, then undo if not to your liking, etc.), it's a far cry from essentially the scale tool using a different algorithm for its scaling - who knows, maybe that's on the feature list for a future version, it would certainly be a sensible place to put it.

    Perhaps a bit less esoteric, adjust the canvas size, and let's say you want to add a 2mm border around the edges. First of all, you can't just say you want a 2mm border. You'll have to add 4mm to the width and height first, and then set the offset to 2mm on each axis. Great, keeps your brain accustomed to doing remedial math. So you do that and now go do it again. Notice how the unit dropdown is no longer set to mm? The reason for this is that the unit dropdowns always use the unit associated with the image (bottom left below canvas) rather than the last-used setting. Both have their merits, but % (percent) is not a unit for images, but is a common unit in the drop-downs. Similar things apply to e.g. the aspect lock button.

    Some things a script-fu can address, but many things it cannot. Yes, it's open source, I can add the features (or pay somebody to add them) and with a lot of luck even get them accepted into the trunk (so I don't have to keep patching and compiling / paying somebody to do so). Can't really do that with Photoshop. But but for a long, long list of such features the fact is that with Photoshop, you don't have to to begin with.

    There's plenty of reasons I dislike working with Photoshop - it's far from perfect and I like the direction The GIMP is going in - but there's many more subtle and yet aggravating things besides the ubiquitous CMYK and GUI layout arguments (two areas that are very, very low on my list - if I went into why, this comment would be even more rant-y.)

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