Adobe-Creative-CloudLast week ago Adobe announced that they would be discontinuing the stand alone versions of their Adobe Suite software in favor of their new cloud based service.  Since then, there has been uproar among Adobe customers who feel betrayed at the thought of having to rely on a subscription based plan to access new versions of the popular software.

The blowback started almost immediately when Adobe announced that they would be discontinuing the Creative Suite line of Adobe products– including such production staples as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Dreamweaver.  The Creative Suite made these programs available for a one-time fee and was a popular choice among design professionals around the world.  Going forward, customers who wish to access new versions of the software will have to sign up for Adobe Cloud, a subscription based service.

In response to the news from Adobe, over 13,000 concerned customers have flocked to an online petition to try and get the decision overturned.  The petition allows signers to voice their concerns, which has shown that many have the same criticisms of Adobe Cloud, “Not only is the monthly “subscription fee” high to begin with, but it could also go higher at any time. If I pay for something, I need to *own it* — it’s an investment for me and my company. I do not seek to rent any tool,” wrote one person who signed the petition.  Other concerns have been expressed over the fact that if you stop paying the subscription fee that you will lose access to all of the work you have done up to that point.  Furthermore, people worry that in areas where the internet is not reliable or during travel that they could be locked out of the programs. While all of these are valid concerns not everyone is upset with the service.

I have personally used Adobe Cloud since the start of January and have been very happy with the service.  As a previous Creative Suite owner I was allowed to opt in to a reduced monthly rate and was given access to the entire suite of software. If you are the type of customer who upgrades yearly, Creative Cloud offers a good value since all future updates of the software are offered as part of your base subscription fee.

One concern I hear a lot is the matter of not being able to use the software if you have an unstable internet connection.  This is actually not the case at all.  Adobe Cloud is not truly cloud based software; all programs are fully downloaded to your computer and you are able to use them even if your internet connection goes down.  The only requirement is that about once a month the Adobe Updater needs to connect to the internet to verify that you still have a subscription to the service.  Now, if you travel for extended periods of time I could see how this could be bothersome but for most users it shouldn’t be a problem.

Regardless of my positive experiences, forcing customers to use the service as opposed to giving them the option is a poor business decision that will likely undermine the Adobe user base.  There are bound to be circumstances where the online subscription model of service is disruptive or unreliable, in which case, Adobe has now cut off access to customers who would otherwise use the software.   The “upgrade at gun point” nature of the service change is unlikely to win over any new fans.

– Richard Keene
IT Computer Support of New York
Design and Optimization Department