Adobe Is A Synonym For Arrogance

About that big! Star of Texas Rodeo, Austin, 2003

Adobe is the software vendor to whom I have paid the most over the years; more even than to Microsoft (who have lost my business altogether) and the only software company to whom I can still expect to regularly pay hundreds of dollars more in the coming years. Over the last 18 months my dependence has shifted from Photoshop to Lightroom but there are still rare occasions where Photoshop is my only option so I have to have it. Or do I?

What a marvelously greedy cash cow Adobe has built on the back of digital camera progress! I have not needed or cared about a single new Photoshop feature since version 6 but I have been forced into upgrade payments to gain Camera Raw support for a Nikon D100 and then again for a Nikon D300. And the last time, to CS4, so that I could move from Windows to a Mac – sideways hardware moves are only allowed if you are on the current version. The timing of the last two upgrades has sucked, being forced to occur just weeks before the expected announcement of the next Photoshop version and so just failing to qualify for an automatic upgrade.

Now, the news out of Adobe is that they are changing their longstanding upgrade policy: no longer will upgrades be supported for two three versions back but only for one. If I want to get to CS6 next year, I will first have to upgrade to CS5 or put myself back to square one and have to pay the full whack for CS6 and beyond. There goes another $400 for nothing, not a single function that I need or care about.

It is always a red flag when a company’s marketing declares “New Choices for Customers.” New choices generally means new ways for customer to pay more. In this case I will have the “choice” of $50 a month to join the “Adobe Creative Cloud” and, for $600 a year, make myself even more inextricably bound to them with my files stuck on their servers. THAT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

Adobe holds a virtual monopoly on this market and they are making the maximum Machiavellian use of it. They are losing their Flash monopoly to HTML 5 (Apple’s refusal to play that game has given courage to the rest of the world) and now they look to be replacing their lost revenues from the pockets of photographers and graphic artists.

Scott Kelby, president of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals, has written an open letter to Adobe on this subject. Let’s hope someone is listening.

Me? I am seriously motivated to kiss Photoshop goodbye.

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