If, like many people, you were dumbstruck to hear Adobe’s announcement that Creative Suite is dead and Long Live Creative Cloud, Lifehacker has a good job breaking down the salient points. Perhaps the biggest one is this:
The desktop applications do not live in the cloud. You install them like you’ve always installed them. That said, they need to connect to the internet once a month to verify your membership.
So it’s not so much a “Cloud” as a “App Rental” service. This means lots of things:
- Recurring revenue for Adobe (and expense for you, the user)
- No longer being able to single-pay for Photoshop anymore (Photoshop will now be a $20/month charge, or $240/year)
- Continuous upgrades – While you can decline upgraded when Adobe makes them available, I have a feeling that’s a feature that won’t last long. That means plugin developers are in for a wild and bumpy ride as Adobe releases upgrades without their knowledge.
- No hardware relief – Adobe initially pitched the cloud as “You won’t need to buy massive hardware for regular upgrades!”. Well, that’s not going to pan out (at least not for now), as it’s just regular applications that require all your local disk, RAM, and CPU/GPU for whatever your doing.
So in the end, it’s basically just a “money grab” for Adobe. While a few people will save money renting Photoshop month-to-month as needed, the professionals will have to bite the $50/month ($600/year) to use it. That’s far cheaper than the cost of buying it all now, but less than the cost of buying a new version only every 3 or 4 years because you’ve developed a pipeline and workflow full of 3rd party applications and plugins tailored to your job.
Only time will tell how it goes for Adobe. I suspect they’ll immediately lose some wealthy customers (US Government, large corporations) that are wary of IP Leakage related to the “cloud” aspect, and the budgetary changes it will require. This is the chance for smaller players like Pixelmator and Acorn to steal some market share.
What’s your thoughts?