There seems to be a misunderstanding....long term users and long term customers are not the same thing. Someone who has not bought product from Adobe in over two years is not really a long term customer. Someone who downloaded the software for free 10 years ago (pirated) could be considered a long-term user, though. Customers spend money....users, well....they use. There's a difference, just thought I should clarify that.
Again, should be emphasized here that Adobe is not forcing anyone to upgrade with the next version, not any more or less than they ever have. However, people who have kept up with the upgrades each time (the "long term customers") are being given a better upgrade discount than people who only purchase from Adobe every 3-5 years. CS5, which is eligible for the cheapest upgrade prices (along with CS5.5) was shipped 18 months ago, and it will have been 24 months by the time CS6 comes out. I'm estimating to have completed 120 projects in that time frame, easily enough to justify upgrade costs (although I still remain on CS5, not 5.5, so I've saved a few hundred bucks myself).
I appreciate the effort that is ongoing here, which is to petition Adobe to change their plans or phase this policy in some way or another. And maybe Adobe will do just that, or maybe not. But the groundswell is coming largely from users that have not felt the need to upgrade for a long time - and that is fine, not everyone NEEDS to upgrade every single time. But these people are therefore not in Adobe's current pool of customers for the last 2-3 years. So I'd ask, does Adobe, as a company, really have much incentive to listen to the pleas of people who may not even upgrade anyway, as they have not done so for some time? And if we want to look beyond just the business decisions, should Adobe really consider you their "friend" and take care of you if they haven't heard from you in a few years? Seems some people are demanding loyalty without any return on their part. It's a two way street, I learned about loyalty by the time I was 8 at least, but as a business owner now, I fully understand that your relationship with your customers goes both ways, and I always reward my best clients differently than those that I only hear from every other year or two.
As for other options outside Adobe, Photoshop has been out on the market for a couple of decades now and found very little competition. This is just a fact. Same could almost be said of Illustrator I suppose...possibly for Dreamweaver, and nowadays InDesign to a degree, certainly for Acrobat, and why not even After Effects? Adobe has a proven set of tools that have yet to find their match at any price or feature set. The closest competition was Macromedia, but that wasn't direct competition in most areas, more of a complementary toolset - which is why it was smart for Adobe to acquire them way back when.
My suggestion for anybody who is out there looking to purchase digital content creation tools is to get the best set of tools to help you get your work done. If you have found a set of tools that helps you work better than the Adobe products, you really ought to be using those tools (and telling other people about them). Otherwise, bickering over a difference of $1,000 (I really hope these tools help you earn much more than that every year) seems like little more than a rattling drum.
I still haven't gotten an answer to some of my earliest questions....does nobody else remember back not too many years ago (I'm not THAT old...) when upgrade prices were only available for the most recent version, no matter what? Does anybody remember how much more all of these tools used to cost just a few years ago? Am I the only person who sees the DOWNWARD trend in these costs (besides the investors)? Calling what Adobe does these days "mercenary" is an insult to the term itself.
I keep telling myself I'm going to jump out of this thread for good....maybe this time I mean it? Nah...probably not.
There seems to be a misunderstanding....long term users and long term customers are not the same thing. Someone who has not bought product from Adobe in over two years is not really a long term customer.
I think I was a good long term customer even when I sat out various upgrades. Adobe did too by providing different options for upgrading based on age of product. I agree this is a useful concept. Adobe, by dropping the in-between upgrade pricing, is redefining this relationship.
But the groundswell is coming largely from users that have not felt the need to upgrade for a long time - and that is fine, not everyone NEEDS to upgrade every single time.
I don't know about groundswell; I am not in that group, but realize that as I enter retirement from part-time video production, that I prefer owning a suite that I can continue with rather than $600 per year to continue using. While it is tempting to think that Adobe only cares about the full time professionals, I'll bet they have a good idea what amount of their income is from part-time, hobbyists, etc. And their apparent judgement is that they'll keep sufficient market share to warrant the change of model. Time will tell.
While it is tempting to think that Adobe only cares about the full time professionals, I'll bet they have a good idea what amount of their income is from part-time, hobbyists, etc.
that is the bulk of their market...not professional..
eg... pro market in general is about 10% of total use of products like photoshop, quark xpress, for print ( offset press work ).. and adobe has 99% of that market ( 99 % of the pro market 'in photoshop' )...
unfortunately its a very small portion of the overall market which is made up of " small business " mostly ( printing on machines in house ...not offset work ).
same is true generally re: pro for editing ( for adobe ) except that adobe has only about 2% of that pro market instead of 99% of print market ...
so basically...some adobe products enjoy big market share in both pro and small biz world ( eg. photoshop ).. and other products dont.
if you go to the adobe company website and do a little looking..you'll see articles and statements by the president about this recent decision re: upgrades and business ' model' etc... ( in which he plainly states it was a very difficult decision to make )...
adobe is going to SaaS system... ( software as a service )... and putting a ton of money into that transformation. you can imagine maybe how that will effect the company re: hard copies and availability of product in your local computer software stores etc...and the registration process, licensing etc.
In a nutshell... if you want the product as a hard copy you'll probably have to order it from adobe instead of getting it in the stores.. ( the bulk of the pro users will have to do that )
The others will get it as a service ( annual subscription ).
its a big change but may work well for adobe as it cuts a lot of costs for them and puts them in position to deal with where they want to go 5-10 years down the road.
anyway, look at the company web site.. look at what positions are available now ( employment opportunity ) and so on...get idea what the company is doing...
I found it interesting to do maybe you will too ?
Christian Jolly wrote:
I appreciate the effort that is ongoing here, which is to petition Adobe to change their plans or phase this policy in some way or another. And maybe Adobe will do just that, or maybe not.
Actually, they did just that... some significant news out today
So this should hopefully reduce some of these hard questions, at least for 2012.
I couldn't disagree with you more about the long term customer debate. My mother works at a car dealership and she's always telling me about long term customers that only buy cars at her dealership. They don't buy cars there every single year but they have bought there last say 4 or 5 cars from them and they get treated as such. They are the people my mother considers long term and I agree with her completely. I think you're confusing "frequent" and "long term" customers to suit your needs in this debate. If i've been buying Adobe products for the last 10 to 15 years I'm a long term customer (even if I don't purchase every year), if I buy there product every year I'd be a frequent customer both of which leaves room for me to be a loyal customer.
I'll just add i'm one of the people that needs to stay somewhat current (was on CS4) for my small business, I recently got my armed twisted by Adobe to upgrade to 5.5 so that I could stay within there new policy guidelines they sprung on us. My arguement is not whether the policy is fair or not (it's their business to do with as they see fit), it's that they tried to change it at the 11th hour instead of letting people know far in advance to give them time to decide what's best for them, and when it's a policy that can have you drop a thousand dollars on a dime it's important enough they should have done it differently. Obviuosly they realize that now because they backpedled out of it. But... what about the people they caught in there crappy last minute policy change in the first place.. are we just collateral damage for dumb boardroom decisions?
See now if I want to be able to keep within there new policies I have to buy CS6 which is right around the corner, even though I just purchased 5.5 recently. At some point in the near future I have to purchase CS6 to keep my upgrade path going, so why on earth would I not buy 6 right after it comes out and get at least a years worth of use out of it instead of a few months (like I now have to do with 5.5). I'm happy that you sound like you've got the money for such things, I sadly do not have that kind of cash laying around. Even if I did have it lying around I don't know if someone saying "hey you, give me a thousand dollars and I'll be back in a week to get a thousand more" would sit well with me.
In a perfect world, they would have announced there policy change to be what it is now and let people have time to upgrade as the change is drastic. What they did was basically say "hey you, upgrade right now to keep current although right around the corner this is outdated software and upgrade again very shortly to keep current again and this time get some use out of your new purchase. That's just wrong. Adobe fix this buy giving people who just got caught in your mess (November 2011 policy change) the option to upgrade to CS6 for a very very low cost or free for that matter. It's the least you can do for your screw up.
Bad policy is bad policy in my mind, the bottom line is they gave us almost no time to upgrade something that had been policy to be upgradable for years to come. So yeah I "had" to upgrade based on there new policy... the one they just backed away from. This is a good reason I think many I know pirate their software.
Hi Funnels, we would suggest contacting Adobe Customer Support with the issue on 800-833-6687, or on Twitter @Adobe_Care
Also keep in mind that with Adobe's tiered upgrade pricing, future upgrades should cost significantly less for you with CS5.5 than customers with older versions.
I feel much the same, as some of the clients at your mother's car dealership. I find the best suppliers for me, and try to stick with them, until they run me down the road. That was how it was with photo labs - I did not care about their unit prices, and ONLY about their quality and service, which reflected directly on me, and made my client's lives much easier. I would never even bother to review unit prices, until it came time to adjust my rates to reflect increases. A few $'s here, was never something that I really cared about, so long as everything was 100% for my clients. Let a lab mess up for a client, and all hell broke loose. Then, I would sit down with the owner (seldom worked with any sales rep), and if they could not make everything right, plus guarantee that my clients' work got 100% of their attention, I then moved on. Same with the Mercedes dealership - so long as they treat me, and my wife, perfectly, I will continue to buy from them, with but a few questions asked.
Now, for decades, I have used Adobe software, and for most programs, always followed the upgrade paths, as those allowed me to do more for my clients, and usually in less time. There were a few gaps, but not many, and I own many, many Adobe programs.
Now that I have retired, I am a tad less inclined to just grab the next upgrade, because it offers a few things. I skipped PrPro CS3 (too many issues being reported, and not much to help me), and then CS4, as I waited for things to sort out there. Now, I have upgraded, as there are enough things to intice me. It might be the same with CS6, but only time will tell.
In my current position, I will likely be less inclined to upgrade to each issue, as it will mostly be for my personal use, and also to allow me to help in the Adobe Forums. Still, I will follow the Adobe upgrade threads, as they may, or may not, affect me directly. At least now, the clients are out of the picture.