Top analyst slams Adobe over expected expensive changes to Creative Suite upgrade policy

Top analyst slams Adobe over expected expensive changes to Creative Suite upgrade policy

Summary: The president of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals this week decried reported planned changes to Adobe Systems' upgrade policies for Adobe Photoshop and the Creative Suite. The new path requires owners of older versions to purchase the current Creative Suite 5.x before upgrading (and paying for) the next version.

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The president of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals this week decried reported planned changes to Adobe Systems' upgrade policies for Adobe Photoshop and the Creative Suite. The new path requires owners of older versions to purchase the current Creative Suite 5.x before upgrading (and paying for) the next version.

According to Kelby, owners of the popular Version 4.x will be required to "repurchase" Version 5.x at full price before moving to the next version, presumable Version 6.0.

In his long "open letter" to Adobe executives, Kelby suggests that Adobe go slowly with such an aggressive pricing strategy.

I have always felt that Adobe was very customer centric, and that their decisions were based on what’s best for their customers, but in this particular instance I can’t see how cutting off CS4 and CS3 users, and making them either pay two upgrades in a row, or pay the full retail price to get CS6, benefits anybody but Adobe.

Remember that we're talking about a $699 piece of software here.

With that said, here’s my plea to Adobe: If you really want to be fair to your customers, at the very least don’t start this policy yet. Start it with Photoshop CS7. Make CS6 your new upgrade pricing transition version, and tell everybody now, up front—–at the start of the product’s life cycle, that everybody will need to upgrade to CS6 at some point because the next version (CS7) won’t support older users. That way, we’re not spending money just to spend more money again. Adobe, you can still have what you want—-you can still get everybody on the current version, but it gives us time to save, time to plan, and anybody still left behind at that point will have had more than fair warning.

Another option I feel would be very fair to Adobe customers would be to offer a tiered upgrade which rewards your best customers (customers who upgraded to CS5 or 5.5) by giving them the best upgrade deal, but then offer CS4 users a reasonable upgrade path (they would pay more for their upgrade, but they’re getting all the features added in CS5.5 as well, so that’s fair) and then why not even offer an upgrade path to CS6 for your CS3 users? They would certainly wind up paying the most in upgrade fees, but at least it wouldn’t be the full $699 (or even more if they’re on the CS3 suite). This tiered approach gives everybody an opportunity to stay on as an Adobe customer, but still gives your best customers preferential upgrade pricing.

Good luck with this plea. Adobe owns this professional platform. Apple might offer some competition, but in its actions this past year, Cupertino appears to stressing its consumer-side solutions rather than behaving like a company that targets professional content creators. We will see whether the considerations for longstanding customers or corporate profit margins come out on top here.

Topic: Enterprise Software

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  • RE: Top analyst slams Adobe over expected expensive changes to Creative Suite upgrade policy

    With all due respect, the people who use Photoshop and are willing to pay for it at all can afford to pay 700 dollars for the latest version, if they are still on the 4.X version.

    Adobe is being smart here, even Microsoft is no longer allow you to go from XP to 7, it has to be XP to Vista to 7.
    Lerianis10
    • And there is the rub....

      @Lerianis10 .... Paying for failure is the consumer. Hey I'm a huge and on this sight a well known Apple fan but this is a bad policy plain and simple and "IF" Apple does the sqme I say it now and clearly SHAME on Apple. I don't care if you happen to think VISTA was great and a good product "IF" I did not and choose to skip it until another better version came out then I should not have to pay for a previous one. It's like I go to purchase a new car and find I MUST purchase the previous model as well as the model I actually want. For me that would be terrible cause right now my car is a 1989 Honda Civic YIKES!!!! It's bad enough we are sometimes Beta Testers on our own dime. Now we have to pay for a companies failures and or bad choices...huh!?!

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • RE: Top analyst slams Adobe over expected expensive changes to Creative Suite upgrade policy

        @James Quinn

        Cars are different than computer software. You are comparing a B-52 bomber to an apple (the actual fruit) there, to show the ridiculousness of that argument.
        Lerianis10
    • RE: Top analyst slams Adobe over expected expensive changes to Creative Suite upgrade policy

      @Lerianis10 - FWIW, Microsoft doesn't force XP users to buy Vista and then buy Win7. If you want to upgrade to Win7 without doing a wipe & reinstall, you can upgrade to en evaluation copy of Vista and then upgrade that to a licensed version of Win7 if you wish.

      However, it would greatly benefit most XP users to do a clean install of Win7 whenever possible so that cruft & issues with XP aren't carried forward to Win7.
      bitcrazed
    • RE: Top analyst slams Adobe over expected expensive changes to Creative Suite upgrade policy

      @Lerianis10 buying photoshop is not so bad.
      but I have production Premium Suite CS4, a 1200$ product. to get CS6, I would have to pay the full price again, as though I've never been a customer of Adobe. I'm not a professionnal, I just needed AfterFX, Photoshop and Premier for amateur video making.
      fredericr
    • RE: Top analyst slams Adobe over expected expensive changes to Creative Suite upgrade policy

      @Lerianis10 [b]even Microsoft is no longer allow you to go from XP to 7, it has to be XP to Vista to 7.[/b]

      Since [i]WHEN[/i]? Is this some recent development that I'm not aware of? Because I did not have to "update" to Vista on my Dell XPS when I upgraded it from XP to Windows 7 - I did a clean install of Windows 7.
      athynz
  • I switched a long time ago....

    to Corel Paint Shop Pro, and haven't looked back.
    Joe_Raby
    • How long back?

      @Joe_Raby

      It used to be Jasc. ;)
      klumper
      • RE: Top analyst slams Adobe over expected expensive changes to Creative Suite upgrade policy

        @klumper After Corel bought JASC, it quickly went downhill.
        Champ_Kind
  • It's aimed at companies like mine...

    We make a habit of upgrading only to odd-numbered versions, just to amortize our upgrade cycle every three years rather than every 14 to 18 months.
    Ad Astra
  • I told you so

    That the likes of Scott Kelby should write about Adobe in such derogatory tone certainly suggests something is wrong. I'm suprised I haven't picked it up, and that its taken ZDNET a month ... but well done all the same. In fact we need a lot more from ZDNET highlighting tactics like this one.

    I keep pointing out that the global corporates will use the cloud to keep prices at the historical level they want, not at the level it should reasonably be given advances in computing, networking and software. I could write a template for new announcements ...

    "At our recent { MAX } conference, we announced the {Adobe Creative} Cloud ??? a groundbreaking initative that we believe will radically redefine {the creative process}."
    "We are excited to announce that membership to the {Adobe Creative} Cloud will be available in the first half of 2012 at a price of {$49.99} per month ..."
    "With regards to upgrades, we are changing our policy for perpetual license customers. In order to qualify for upgrade pricing when {CS6} releases, customers will need to be {on the latest version of our software (either CS5 or CS5.5 editions).}"
    "There is a tremendous shift happening around content creation, distribution and monetization."
    MONETIZATION OF CREATION AND DISTRIBUTION ... that's the only phrase we need to understand.

    Buy hey, let Apple charge developers 30%, let M$ sucker you into that 30% ... move all your work to a vendor cloud and pay their subscriptions, buy up ADOBE's monetization dream ... loser! And all the corporate sheep will then be able to write:
    "... falling in line with the new industry norm ..."
    It will only become the norm if you are too stupid to see the shift! Everyone seems to be able to see the shift as far as the music industry is concerned - in retrospect.

    Isn't it time to show a little foresight and prevent it happening across the board?
    jacksonjohn
    • RE: Top analyst slams Adobe over expected expensive changes to Creative Suite upgrade policy

      @johnfenjackson you're a bit veering off into the field with that rant about the 30% for the app stores. when you buy software from anywhere other than the a company own's web store, the retailer has his percentage as well, not to mention all the other costs. and some company actually do not run their own web store, it just looks like they do but it's another company that runs it and takes its cut
      fredericr
      • Old Millenium Business Model

        If you look here ...
        https://sites.google.com/a/chromium.org/dev/developers/tech-talk-videos/release-process
        ... you will see that Google can update 200,000,000 users in 6 hours.

        Do you not understand the Internet? That the incremental cost of digital distribution and payment collection is ...
        ... virtually ZERO?
        It seems not!

        Why do you want to continue with a business model from the last Millenium?
        jacksonjohn
      • johnfenjackson@...

        @johnfenjackson@...

        emm.. regardless,
        Google ALSO charges 30% from developers to sell stuff on their android market.
        Davewrite
  • RE: Top analyst slams Adobe over expected expensive changes to Creative Suite upgrade policy

    Welcome to the world of the effective monopoly. When they have you locked in, they can charge whatever they want and you just have to suck it up. If enough people bail on the platform then maybe something will happen, but not before.
    terry flores
    • So it's Adobe's fault that the competition cant produce a good product?

      @terry flores Adobe made a good product that nobody seems able to duplicate.

      I say, if you dont like the new pricing, don't upgrade. There's probably very little in the new version that is a must have feature. The product is already very mature, and so I doubt the new features are earth shattering.
      otaddy
      • RE: Top analyst slams Adobe over expected expensive changes to Creative Suite upgrade policy

        @otaddy
        Thats my thinking just how much more can they add to the program thats worth the upgrade. Hell they haven't even fixed all the bugs from the very first version which i beleave we are paying for as well. And why cant we buy Adobe 7?
        Stan57
      • RE: Top analyst slams Adobe over expected expensive changes to Creative Suite upgrade policy

        @otaddy I agree with this as well. I'm still on CS5. I went from CS to CS3 then CS5. I will probably upgrade to CS7 and I may even wait a little longer than that. I do my job just fine with CS5. The only reason I upgraded from CS3 is because the company I work for transitioned to it and it was annoying having to open the INDX/INDD files and fool with all of that. Until they upgrade to something else, I'm sticking with CS5.
        heymatthew
  • RE: Top analyst slams Adobe over expected expensive changes to Creative Suite upgrade policy

    GIMP, Inkscape and Sribus. These are what I need for now. Admittedly they might be a little less efficient for some jobs (one-step CMYK), but Adobe's ridiculousness is out of line. And why the hell is the open letter pleading rather than blasting the hell out of Adobe?
    JOB83
  • Money... Money

    Overpriced upgrades for an already overpriced software. Too bad that Corel can't keep up.
    gbouchard99@...