Last week Adobe announced a sudden shift to subscription only on future releases of Photoshop. This seems inevitable as the whole software industry has moved away from major releases in favor of incremental improvements. An article in Mashable has Adobe explaining the reasoning behind the move from perpetual licensing to subscription:

With the traditional perpetual model, product updates had to happen on a certain cycle. If the Photoshop team wanted to push out a new feature or update, it had to stay on the same cadence as the updates for other apps in the suite. The product life cycle was roughly 18 months, which meant that it would take at least that long for new features to make their way to the final product.

That’s fine for some applications but it meant that Adobe couldn’t be on the cutting-edge with its support for the latest web standards and technologies. To fill in the gaps, Adobe introduced its Edge tools and services as as a way of giving users access to tools developed on a more agile basis.

What Adobe found with its Edge apps was that customers really liked getting new features in their apps more quickly. Adobe could roll out the updates to users automatically and add support for new standards and features outside of the confines of a standard product cycle.

With Adobe CS6, the company started a dual-track for its development, focusing on a core set of features at launch for the product and then adding subscriber-only features for Creative Cloud members. Some of those features — including support for high-resolution displays such as the MacBook Pro with Retina — were rolled out to all users, but the team was basically on a dual-path.

That’s not sustainable and so, moving forward, Adobe CC products will continue to see enhancements and updates throughout the year. Major releases will likely still have some general cadence but the product teams will no longer need to wait to release new features for an app.

The issue for photographers as explained in this article and comments is the $20 a month you must pay to access your photoshop files. If you don’t pay, your files are “digital trash.”

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  1. Regarding the “digital trash” theory, wouldn’t you still be able to us LR or Elements to access your old PS files if you drop CC? Or if you save them in TIFF, use an app from some other company or community?

    • That is my understanding as well. Wouldn’t an older version of PS open up PSD files?

      • Depends, only if you save with compatibility. Just because the extension is the same does not mean that all versions of photoshop will open the file.

  2. I have heard that if you are trying to work on or access your own files when wifi is not available, that you may not be able to “verify” your account with Adobe. That may mean that you won’t be able to open your own files, which would bring up an ownership issue. I’m sticking with the current owned version of Photoshop. Frankly, the updates have not magically aided my workflows in any way since Photoshop 4.0. In fact, some of the color engine changes have been troublesome.

    • I think it only “checks in” every few months. I don’t think this should be a concern.

      Your second point is right on. I have CS3 on one machine used for printing and scanning, and CS5 on my other machines. I see nor eason to upgrade.

      • When I checked with the first release of CC, adobe reauthorized (or whatever) via Internet every 30 days – or at least monthly.

        And – yes, if the software doesn’t see the authorization it won’t run. I’ve had ‘file permission’ issues with CS6 and had to loosen things up to get the authentication to work properly.

        • The event I’m referring to is the monthly check that happens while you’re out on location without wifi. In those instances, Photoshop may not run, and will limit your access to your files. I may be incorrect, but have heard some stories…

          • it will go 99 days between check ins without deactivating.

  3. I get Adobe’s business aspect of this, but the way the introduced/handled this was a complete nightmare. I would be open to buying into their subscription service if after two years I can opt out and still be allowed to keep the last Photoshop version I paid/rented for on my machine with no future updates.

  4. There are enough copies of CS5.5 & CS6 for both Mac & PC that are currently being shared among people in the photo industry, so very few will need to bend over for Adobe.
    Their stock has already gone down in price, and in the coming months this will continue to loose value.
    To screw those that have filled your coffers for years is a sure sign that you have lost all connection with your target market.

    • I don’t like it either, but I understand what they are doing. people were just not upgrading ofetn enough for PS to remain profitable in the longer term. The targets of this subscription model are institutional users. Too bad the little guys and hobbiests are hit the hardest. Sort of. LR will be available for purchase (I believe) and older version of CS work fine.

  5. Personally I think it is a money grab by adobe. People were not upgrading enough because the “new” features were just ok. So then they tried not allowing up to skip and a version. Now if you don’t upgrade to each new version you are forced to buy future versions at full price. Subscription takes the pressure off adding new useful features. As it is now they are just moving features from PS to LR to force you to own both. I’m still using the same tools I used in CS3 just now my icon says CS5. I’ll buy CS6 and use it until my OS no longer supports it. You would would think with every 3rd person calling themselves a photographer the price would have dropped.

    • Its not a “grab” its realizing the “purchase a license” business model is a dead end.

      • I don’t agree, it is just a way to increase rev and that’s it. I own my camera, lens and computer. This is just another tool I use to create images nothing more. Adobe doesn’t invent things they buy companies that invent things. Version to version there is never anything really amazing in the updates, they just move crap around change the “look” of something. Add a feature that kinda works like the demo you watched before you upgraded. I won’t have adobe’s hand in my pocket every month.

        • Your experience with PS is like mine. I see no reason to upgrade, which is why Adobe, looking down teh road, knows that people will not upgrade unless forced to, this the dead end of the perpetual license. PS was so mature, even in CS3, that there is no compelling need to update. I have CS3 on an older machine for scanning and printing. I will probably never upgrade it, especially not now.

  6. I am definitely not a fan of this either, I just don’t see why they couldn’t have kept both the subscription and the perpetual licensing service. I’m currently on CS5, will upgrade to CS6 at some point and stick with that for as long as I can.

    • If you figure out how to “upgrade” without buying a whole new copy of CS5 please let others know. I tried but once they unveiled the cloud concept all upgrade options to CS6 disappeared, vanishing into the cloud. So they got us, instead of a $200 upgrade it’s now a $600 purchase of a whole new program.

  7. The days of stealing (or is it called Sharing these days?) software is OVER.
    It cost money to RUN a (photography) business.
    Could this be the “financial barrier” we’ve (old Pros) been waiting for?

    • ..really!?!?…
      hope you know more about photography than you think you know about computers and software.
      Adobe clearly states that a copy of the software will be running on your computer.
      And there already exit software dongles that by pass internet connections and “Call home” types of preventive measures.
      There will always be a work around for those that are willing to take the 2 minutes to implement it.

      • Alan – Are you condoning thievery?

        “Personally I find it hard to get worried about $20 a month for a Professional grade software that has continual and quantified updates……”

        Again – I pray this is the financial barrier that sends many want-to-be photographers back to their real (expenses paid) jobs.

        • “Could this be the “financial barrier” we’ve (old Pros) been waiting for?”

          I think Don Cudney might be worried about other artists stealing his spotlight and potential business more than piracy here.

          As a creative, why would you hope that it becomes expensive for others to create? You are advocating a financial barrier to Art. WOW. Are you really that worried about competition? I can’t do what you do, and you can’t do what I do. Isn’t that enough?

          I very rarely go into Photoshop anymore. And I think Adobe knows this might be their last chance to make $$$ like they did in the past. I believe Adobe should make good money for their software. But lets not kid ourselves, PS is, and has always been, waaaay overpriced.

          • LOL. Are we going to drop our pants now and judge by size?

            Competition? LOL. Bring it on. Do I have to give everyone a Photography History lesson here? The Financial Barrier “used to be” a Hasselblad camera, studio lightning, insurance, film, processing, etc., etc.. “… maybe I don’t wanna become a photographer?”

            TODAY, any idiot that thinks he or she is “talented” can drop by Costco, buy a ProSumer grade DSLR, set it on auto and call themselves a professional photographer. MY HOPES? That these weekend and (I shot once a month) photographers go back to their real jobs and stop peeing in the pool. YOUR ignorance is amazing.
            Back to my 12 month swimsuit calendar. Worried? Me? I have TOOOOOOO much work.

            • “As a creative, why would you hope that it becomes expensive for others to create? You are advocating a financial barrier to Art.”

              YES – this is a Business ….. not a !@#$%^ Photo Workshop.

              • Don, your LOL’ing and bragging about some random calendar shoot is really lame and only makes you look arrogant.
                I am an Artist before a business man, I believe you may be the other way around. Different strokes for different folks.
                No one was pulling out the ruler, re-read my post.

                • I’m not bragging and none of my shoots (photo jobs = photography IS a profession) are random. I am sick and tired of professional photographers (artists) acting like or stating that they’re being “screwed” – the title of this thread. Photoshop is a TOOL that professional photographers use EVERYDAY and is worth 10x more than $20 a month. I guarantee these same people are buying $5 coffees from Starbucks.

                  • Don, I am a professional photographer. I use Photoshop maybe once a month. I get it right, in the camera, import into Aperture and use plugins from there. I’m happy to bypass Photoshop as it doesn’t manage a library of a kabillion images. There are plenty of pros with a similar workflow.

                    I don’t think Adobe is screwing me with this subscription based software because Photoshop has become irrelevant to my needs. I believe Adobe hears about professionals such as myself and sees a problem with future revenue.

                    Also I think you are completely missing my point. What happens when you decide you no longer like Adobe products, or if something better comes out. You are then stuck with them because of a three letter extension at the end of your file name?! There’s not really anything innovative as of recent to Photoshop. I bought Photoshop long ago. Why should I have to keep giving them $$$ for the rest of my life? Because we’re photographers, we now have to pay an Adobe tax?

                    This is my main problem:
                    “$20 a month you must pay to access your photoshop files. If you don’t pay, your files are “digital trash.””

                    I’m on my way to Starbucks now to enjoy my $5 coffee. That makes more sense than paying the $200/ mo tax you’re championing.

                    • I’m confused by the statement – ““$20 a month you must pay to access your photoshop files. If you don’t pay, your files are “digital trash.”” How do they become trash? I can access RAW or Photoshop files any number of ways and through non-Adobe software … or has that changed? The over whelming feeling I have received from this Thread is that photographers are cheap and don’t want to pay for something 50% of them received for FREE. Sharing = Stealing. Just me I guess.

              • Don – I wish I were able to say that it’s hard to believe this is even an issue, but look how far we haven’t come. It’s unfortunate that so many don’t get that this is a business. The one’s that do live extremely well. The others seem to enjoy and be proud of the term “starving artist”, even when it doesn’t apply to them.

                Hey, it forced me to write a blog post though!

                • @Debra – Appears many of the folks posting (anonymously) on this thread are not photographers, photo editors or retouchers which seems weird for a weblog called – A Photo Editor. LOL = Lots of Love. NOT Laugh Out Loud. hehehehehe

                  • AND – I’m tired of “educating” and arguing with folks that don’t “shoot for a living” – 365/24/7. It’s easy to sit back and talk !@#$ when you have a full time cubical job with benefits and expenses paid. Peace Out.

                    • What a pompous circle-jerk.

                      I have been a professional for almost 20 years. I don’t starve. All I do is photography. You both have an illogical stereotype in your heads as to whom you are having a debate with.

                      Re-read my posts. Without prejudice.

                    • I should clarify. My Comment was not directed at any particular anonymous Poster.

                • “The bottom line here is that if you can’t pay $20.00 per month for something that is integral to your business, you should find something else to do with your life.”

                  My thoughts exactly. We’ve been using the subscription plan for a few months. No more pay hundreds for an upgrade and then have a new version announced a few weeks later.

                  Folks should see how much a seat for professional rendering or cad software costs. $20/mo isn’t much.

        • He isn’t condoning it he is just stating the obvious fact, as Adobe did as well, that this will have no effect on pirate software.

          • Who uses pirated software? Thieves. Enough said.

            • I’m not sure I understand your point. You are thinking that perhaps the $20/month will somehow reduce your competition and I am saying that since it in no way changes the pirated software equation that it will likely make little difference.

  8. I think this has a lot more to do with profit than it does with getting updates to customers in a timely way. Think of all the software that you buy that gets continually updated: anti-virus, operating systems, ftp, every app I have on my Android tablet. Both licensed software and subscriptions can be, and are, updated at both regular and irregular intervals. I find it interesting that a creative company like Abode can’t come up with a more creative model than subscription. How about modules and more seamless integration with LR? Buy the base PS platform and add the features you need for your business. Need more power than LR has to offer, but don’t need CS6? Buy the CS6 modules that you need to beef up LR. I would buy a lot more adobe products if I didn’t have to over-buy for my needs. I’d also be willing to experiment more with features if I could buy them one or two at a time. As it stands, I’m buying editing software modules (that work o.k. with LR) from other companies simply because Adobe doesn’t have them available to me unless I buy expenesive packages (PS/CS)loaded with features I don’t need or want.

  9. I think it is a terrific move. Photographers will be opened up to more and more advancements in Photoshop. The old models are dead or dying and the new models are arriving. And change is hard.

    Recently there was a link here to a Joe McNalley conversation.

    Quote featured:
    “I’ve got a couple of young assistants in my studio, and I say look, you’re future is very vibrant…a lot of people are saying doomsday stuff right now, but I think the future is vibrant, it’s just going to be very different from mine. Talk about multitasking! They have to be good on the web, they are going to have to know video, audio, all that stuff. They’ll have to be kind of their own multifaceted entertainment-information package. They are going to have to bring lots of skills to the party. We learned how to do one thing well, and that was how to tell a good story with a camera in our hands.”

    Audio / Video / Web / Photography… sounds like the CC to me.

    And I totally realize that I am not the norm, as I am also a designer, but for me CC is a lifesaver… and one of the coolest things that has come out of tech in a long time.

    Personally I find it hard to get worried about $20 a month for a Professional grade software that has continual and quantified updates. I pay more than that for my Webinar access. Or my billing software online.

    It is going to be a shake up for many, but it will eventually be the way most or all software is delivered. If it shakes you up, get a licensed copy of CS6 and hold on to it. Should be fine for the next 3-4 years surely.

  10. There are pros and cons to this, its hardest for photographers who only use PS and maybe LR. For anyone involved more widely in digital media its very good value for money particularly if you need occasionally to dip into inDesign or After Effects as I do.

    While I was initially sceptical of this move and feel it hasn’t been handled terribly well by Adobe, realistically anyone in business should not find the cost unreasonable. Unless a credible competitor existed to Photoshop + LR, then we really need Adobe to flourish. If they failed it would be hard to find a company interested in servicing professional photographers.

    The value in the CC subscription is quite high if you use all the features, for example the cloud storage thats included, the 5 free websites that come with Dreamweaver, the free Behance pro site and so on. You also get the ability to create iPad apps directly out of inDesign with the Digital Publisher Single Edition.

    However if you use all that stuff then you become even more dependent on Adobe. Their business model sometimes feels a bit grabby, at least with the heroin dealer you get the first fix for free.

    LR needs to be watched as the catalogs would not be backwardly compatible if you later decided to stop subscribing I’d think.

  11. Re: “If you don’t pay, your files are “digital trash.”

    Any program that can read a JPEG, PSD or TIFF will still be able to open and use files you processed and saved in those formats even after you stop subscribing to Adobe Creative Cloud.

    Raw format files, including DNG, are unaffected

    • please show me the software which is not part of the adobe creative cloud that can correctly read full PSDs written by photoshop. reading the so-called “compatibility setting” – nothing more than a flattened image stored as an extra layer – does not count.

  12. John:based on my experience, licenses Adibe priducts check that they are actuvated each time they start. Adobe CC checks for authorization mlonthly via the internet.

    I’m sure that if you are not connected when authorization is checked + whatever other criteia Adibe chooses to implent, you software will not run.

    That being said, Adobe really needs to explain this clearly

  13. Adobe should have hired communications professionals to launch CC only products. Why oh why they didn’t pay Goodby or Wieden Kennedy to launch this is beyond me. I’ve read up on what they are doing and I’m still not sure how it is going to work, or wheather LightRoom is going to be CC only as well.

  14. I think Adobe’s decision to mandate a switch to a subscription-only product has the potential to go down in history as one of the worst marketing decisions ever made.

    I understand why Adobe did it. The company has been under financial pressure for the past few years and they concluded a subscription-based revenue stream would be financial salvation (not unlike the publishing industry which convinced itself that pay walls would solve all their financial problems). When about 1% of Adobe’s customer based moved voluntarily to the subscription-based product, Adobe decided to declare victory and attempt to force-march the remaining 99%.

    I don’t think the words “tone deaf” go far enough to describe the folly of that decision. It sure feels like this situation is quickly devolving into a standoff where customers are more enraged by the line Adobe has drawn in the sand than the subscription-based product itself (there wasn’t much controversy when the cloud service was simply a payment option). Had Adobe continued to enhance the subscription service with new features and functionality, I suspect more customers might have warmed up to the concept. Then Adobe could have been more forceful in pushing the stragglers to switch. But now that this has become an upgrade-or-else situation, it feels like a lot of customers are digging in for a long siege. It will probably take 3-5 years before PC system software enhancements and hardware evolution starts creating compatibility problems for the boxed versions of Adobe software. It sure seems possible that Adobe could find itself surviving (or maybe not surviving) on greatly diminished revenues during that period. It also gives various competitors time to fill the void with alternative products.

    I think the great irony is the future of publishing and photo editing software may be cloud-based (what Adobe is offering isn’t really cloud computing, but that’s a whole other problem). I’m not convinced Adobe will be the dominant supplier when the dust settles. Adobe hasn’t had a good relationship with its customers for years. I think a lot of customers viewed Adobe as greedy, arrogant and put its profitability ahead of delivering customer value. This latest kerfuffle sure seems to have that “last straw” feel to it for a lot of customers. I think the good news for photographers is there is a greater range of competitive options already on the market than some of the other Creative Suite products. It will be an interesting train wreck to watch.

    I think the other interesting aspect of this to watch is if Adobe crashes/burns with Creative Cloud, what affect will that have on the broader SaaS market? A lot of the issues here are Adobe-specific, but a catastrophic marketing failure by Adobe could have a chilling effect on the rest of the market (SaaS as well as other cloud services).

    • I suppose I should have actually answered the base question (sorry for the rant): No, I don’t think Adobe’s subscription-only policy unnecessarily screws photographers. I think this change is particularly problematic for Adobe customers who’s businesses involve more ongoing capital expenses than just a computer, software and some office space (e.g. graphic designers, Web designers, etc.). I think for a lot of photographers Adobe software is a useful tool, but having the latest release isn’t the highest priority business expense. By forcing customers into a subscription service, it takes away the ability to prioritize expenses. That is a problem.

  15. What I’d like to see – Apple buy Adobe and put an end to this mess. But then again, that ship has sailed. This should have been done long ago. The current leadership at Apple can’t even put out their own fires. So the added pressure of cleaning up and fixing all the Adobe software issues would make them implode. Just look at iTunes. What an abortion that is nowadays. As is Aperture. So since a merger or acquisition is out of the question, what I’d like to see is more competition. The ultimate equalizer. Adobe can only get away with all this because they have no viable competition. Sure there are a handful of up and comers and established software companies that let you skirt a few parts of your digital workflow.

    But there is no one clear rival. This would be a perfect time for either Apple, Quark or Google to up their game and mount a serious charge for the throne. But Apple is too busy making toys built for content consumption instead of content creation. And Google is too busy making disco glasses that make everyone look like they stepped out of a Tron sequel.

    If only these companies knew how off target they are in relation to the future. If all your R&D is spent designing newer and cooler ways to consume content, who’s going to make the stuff that creates content? Last I checked, one can’t edit a feature film or TV commercial on an iPad or iPhone. One can’t effectively layout and produce books and magazines for publication with an iPad or iPhone. One can’t effectively edit and process a two-week photo shoot with an iPad or iPhone. Let alone have enough storage to back up all these projects. I mean let’s get serious. If things continue, fully loaded and functional Mac Pros, iMacs and even Macbook Pros are going to be coveted possessions worth fighting over. This is why Apple and Google need to step it up. Enough with the toys.

    Quark could definitely corner the software market if they had balls. Heck, they could have done that years ago before InDesign took off. Apple could easily triple it’s software commitment and create some Adobe killers. Same could be said for Corel. The door is definitely open to Quark and Corel.

    But what I’d really like to see is Google step up and take both Apple and Adobe to the wood shed. They make both hardware and software that could rival Adobe and Apple. They could start making high-performance desktops and work stations, better and faster laptops, and their own suite of software. They could own content creation. Android and its spawn could easily evolve into something bigger and better. This would bring Apple and Adobe back into line rather quickly. Yes, competition is the high tide that could float all boats. The light is green and there is no traffic. Let’s hope Google realizes this before it’s too late.

    • Well Nik Software (now owned by Google) recently upgraded anyone who licensed one of their products (I use Silver Efex Pro 2) to the full Nik suite gratis. I suspect that was more than just generosity on Google’s part.

    • You could always get a PC, like the most of the working world does when they need performance… more computing power for less price.

      I’m not trolling, really… it’s just business. You don’t find many macs in 3d rendering or autocad shops.

      • Craig – dumbest comment ever. All the cool kids use Macs. And photographers don’t use 3D rendering or Autocad. Thanks for the smile.

        • I wondered a few years ago why Apple bothered making general purpose computers anymore.

          Relatively few people use them outside of the design and arts industry. They run on commodity hardware that Apple can’t lock in supply (unlike the iphone and ipad), so their profit margins are slim. Product development and maintaining their own OS suck up a lot of time and money for these small number of users, and performance wise they’re generally several months behind the curve.

          I wouldn’t be surprised if one day Apple just gets out of that business. Don’t think they’ll abandon the professional market? Look at Final Cut.

          • I don’t think Apple will dump the pro market. The installed base is simply huge. Every ad agency in the world is overflowing with Macs. Every production house is overflowing with Macs. Every audio studio is stuffed with them. One reason is that they really are simple and don’t get in your way when you are working. This is invaluable, and is really about the OS.

            FCP was great and much cheaper than an Avid system, and is still great for short cuts, videos, and commercials. The addition of Color was great, despite its severe limitations compared with DiVinci. But Avid stepped up, and Apple couldn’t compete, and FCPX is/was a joke. FCP7 works well.

            • It’s easy to think that’s a “huge” base when you work around them all day, but it’s really quite small compared to the total market of general purpose computers (ie, desktops and notebooks but not tablets, mobile devices)

              Apple’s a business. They’re going to focus on what makes money, and more specifically, what creates more profit. They face the same downturn in GPC sales as PC makers are with many consumers switching to tablets. Tim Cook’s a supply chain guy more than a romanticist. Once the numbers don’t make sense anymore, it’s cut.

              It is not hard to switch from Apple to PC. The world won’t end if it happens. I use both all the time. For most purposes, they function identically.

              • Once in a specific application there is little difference, and working on a dedicated workstation is fine (Avid, in particular) but using windows as I do a Mac for photography and minor video editing, email etc, Windows feels like a Rube Goldberg contraption. I would be fine if Apple stopped making hardware, but just keep the OS and make it portable to non-Apple machines. I would be OK with that.

  16. I am curious how competitors will react.

    If someone subscribes to the whole CC package, he has all the applications not only for photography, but also for design, publishing, and film editing.

    Photoshop will have a lot of power pulling people in, and it will be a threat to Final Cut Pro , Quarkxpress, Paint Shop Pro, Avid, Sony Vegas etc.

    How the competition will respond to this strong move by Adobe?

    In regards to cost, so far you paid about $200 every 18 months to 2 years, and now it’ll be $240 a year. This increase in cost means there’s more money in this kind of software . Not only Adobe, competitors can charge more as well.

    This may give them a good reason to invest more in this field. We have never seen a true competitor to Photoshop in all these years. Which might change now.

    Also, image editing is changing. It’s incredible how much work you can do now in high end, vector-based RAW processors (who are much more now than simple “converters”) like Capture One Pro 7.

    Adobe shook things up, and time will tell if this was for its benefit, their absolute victory, or if it actually helped competitors to step up with new software solutions.

    After all, what we are seeing in 3D software is only the beginning. Imagine that kind of software merging with traditional pixel editing software. Will we see a full-blown vector based software that can compete with pixel-based Photoshop?

    The old system has been broken, and we’ll see what the new times will bring.

  17. Hi,

    Where I live, in New Zealand, not exactly a third world country, we still pay Internet according to the amount of data we use… I use a 36Mo D800, my edited images are often 1Go. Uploading and downloading MY images from a Cloud system would cost a LOT of money. Who really need to edit its photoshop files when not at home, in front of theirs desktop and multiple hard drives? USELESS.

    • I think you are misinformed about this Creative Cloud, the software and all your files will still be on your hard drives. Unless you decide to use the cloud storage that is included in the subscription off course. By subscribing to CC you will just have all the different programs available in “the cloud” to download and install whenever you want. The programs will then go online once a month to see if your subscription is still valid.

      • why use the cloud anyway with so many available storage options around.. I wouldn’t trust them instituting changes just like this one from Adobe. In fact the whole digital world is and will be susceptible to varying degrees of adverse change that most of us won’t see coming until it’s too late.

        • If you are referring to their cloud storage I could’t agree more. I don’t really think its an option for photographers anyways due to all its limitations, but if it is, it should only be considered as an extra backup option anyways.

  18. I’ve been using the Adobe cloud version of PS6 since December when I wanted to move off of CS4 for the Camera Raw upgrades.
    It’s works fine. Checks in once a month via the web but the software is on your computer. No need for Internet for it to work.
    Costs $20/mo for photoshop only. All I ever rally use but if I really need Illustrator or something I stil have the old version.
    Doesn’t seeming a huge deal to move over. It was seamless on my end.

  19. For you trash it, try it: 16 bit, ability via a plug-in to open just about any raw file and its frikkin free.

    GIMP 2.8 for OSX , Windows plus Linux.

    It is actually a damn good program with some tight plug-ins.

    Before you poo-poo open source software, remember that Firefox, Camino and chrome are all built upon open source products.

  20. I’m not opposed to subscriptions necessarily, but stories like this one just scare me to death:

    Adobe has only thought this through as far as getting money from their customers. The part about providing a reliable service in return, not so much. What happens if you need to change your method of payment? What happens if your computer can’t connect to Adobe at its pre-determined intervals? Suddenly, minor technical glitches that didn’t previously exist can suddenly bring your business to a sudden halt for days or, as noted by some commentators on other sites, for months.

  21. I have been a long time onlooker and stalker of A PhotoEditor. I have never gone to the comments before. Yeah, I am late to the party but I hope you are happy I am finally here. As a visual content provider Adobe has no peer. Your missives have frightened me and enlightened me. Hope they have your ear. Thank you all for your time. Let’s hope that when the “Clouds” part, our Tiffs and MOVS are safe as our negatives and reels…

    • I hadn’t got around to looking at the license terms in detail, but it was on my list of concerns to look into. This very detailed and well considered commentary by Peter Jay Gould briefly mentions the terms, mainly Adobe bearing no responsibility should their failure to deliver their service cause you to lose business, clients or work:

      Everyone seems focused on the cost. That’s a concern, for sure, but that focus just makes photographers look like cheapskates (to the rest of the world), and deflects attention from much bigger questions. That single point of failure, Adobe’s servers, gives me real pause. If Adobe hiccups for any reason – and hiccups are inevitable with any technology – it’s their customers who lose.

      And now the terms of service, making it very difficult, if not impossible, for photographers and other creatives who may be harmed to have any recourse. Thanks for posting that link.

  22. As a professional photographer who relies on Photoshop just as much as I rely on the digital cameras that produce my RAW files, I believe having to pay an ongoing monthly fee to use the application is an incredibly shortsighted decision by a company that essentially has the monopoly on digital asset management, and if I may quote David Hobby…the Strobist…”feels like the biggest money grab in the history of software”.

    You can read my complete screed here:

    And a follow-up from today here:

  23. We live in a free market society and Adobe can certainly market their products in any manner they like. On the the other hand, I’m seriously wondering if going in this direction isn’t a bit shorts sighted? I’ve been around long enough to remember when QuarkXpress dominated the market for page layout software, with over 95% market share among users. They are still in the game…but not nearly as relevant as they once where. Adobe’s took the market from them by developing a product (InDesign) that better met the needs of the user base. Will this new marketing plan cause Photoshop to follow in QuarkExpress’s footsteps? I may sign up for the $20/month but will almost certainly be looking longer and harder at alternatives.

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  25. I was really trying to come around to this until I decided I am not for subscription based services for all the reasons you can think of. But just to stress more importance on this, I like to own a product and only purchase an update when necessary. I like to work on my laptop at the beach or away from the office disconnected from the cyber apocalypse and I like to store my files on my own server drives and never in adobe’s cloud regardless of of how much space they offer. Who cares!
    The future is about being less dependent on the internet.

  26. FYI… PhotoShop Alternatives:
    (Do any of the following apps do everything PS does, and as well? I personally don’t know. Figured a list of such apps couldn’t hurt the discussion.)

    ACDSee Pro 3 Mac:
    Acorn 4:
    Iridient Digital (RAW image processing)

    10 Photo Editing Programs (that aren’t Photoshop): Digital Photography Review.

    -Steve Skoll

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