In May of 2013, Adobe Inc announced they would cease production of “in the box” software and were shifting to a “cloud” subscription model. Many professional digital artists, photographers, graphics designers, etc. were not happy. Essentially Adobe would no longer sell copies of their software, all you could do now was rent it. As some of us began doing the math, we realized this would actually increase our software costs over Adobe’s already high cost by +50% to +100%. Yet we weren’t getting anything new and useful to us for this, and in fact we were losing something we valued. That being the security that came with knowing you had a set of install CDs that were yours and software that would continue to function indefinitely.
I was one of those artists who was not happy about this. Neither were any of the others who signed the petition protesting Adobe’s decision.
I’ve been and Adobe customer for a long time, enough years I can’t readily remember when exactly I started. While my first paint program was actually JASC Paint Shop Pro, within a year I had switched to Photoshop because it offered so many more features and was more powerful. I continued to use Photoshop for all my digital graphics until now. I’d never had cause to consider using anything else, and so had not paid much attention to Corel’s development of Paint Shop Pro. Nor had I paid much attention to the development of community software like GIMP But I certainly started looking, and was pleasantly surprised by what I found.
GIMP unfortunately doesn’t seem to like my copy of Windows 7, and I thus far refuse to upgraded to Windows 8 (that’s another story), so it looks like in the future I’ll be returning to Paint Shop Prop. I find it a bit ironic that I’m going back to the very software I started with, or at least its digital descendent. I’ve been testing out trial versions of CorelDraw and Photo Paint as well and I like what I see. While Corel software doesn’t yet have all the functionality of Photoshop, it looks like they’re working to catch up. Corel also announced a commitment to continue to produce “in the box” software on their blog. I was happy to see that and it looks like Corel might be in a position to scoop up a lot of former Adobe customers. If that happens, they may become the new provider of industry standard graphic software, if they can catch up technologically.
That’s the big question, can Corel catch up and if so how quick? I’m not signing up for a Cash Cloud, er Creative Cloud subscription and fortunately the Adobe software I already have still works, so I can afford to wait and see what happens. In the mean time since Corel’s Paint Shop Pro is so much cheaper and still does a lot of what Photoshop does I’ll probably go ahead and pick up a copy.
Personally, I think Adobe got greedy and has stumbled in a way that could cripple their company. Or not, they may get enough subscribers that it won’t matter they’re losing a lot of professionals. But, without the support of those professionals that made them an industry standard I do wonder what Adobe’s future is going to be. Whatever it is, I don’t see myself as part of it.
Sign of the times.