Originally Posted by Paul Connell
I totally agree on overly complex feature in/exclusions. For years, I struggled with the various CS sub-suites, always finding each one omitted 1 or 2 applications that I preferred to have. I finally broke down and bought the Master Collection last year and was, and remain, absolutely satisfied. The features are great, and the applications pretty rock solid reliable, so I'm not an Adobe hater here.
On the other hand, this move does make me rather suspicious considering it's come after Adobe has thoroughly consolidated their grip on the industries their many tools serve. A lot of people have been saying "just find and use alternatives" when the cold, hard truth is that in most cases, serious alternatives really just don't exist. Adobe IS the standard, and credit to them for achieving that. But that being the case, when work is, to a large extent, locked within certain file formats, it's a decidedly punitive, if not outright abusive, step to tie access to one's own files (in those formats) to a perpetual monthly fee.
Returning to the KISS argument, I'll agree that things shouldn't be overly or unnecessarily complex. But it's absolutely the case that the needs of Adobe's customers are probably among the widest ranging as any customer base can be. In my case, I don't do web design, audio or page layout work for hire, but I do need to maintain my own web site and occasionally need to handle small layout or audio tasks. I can justify the up-front costs of purchasing those applications as part of the overall collection because as they stand right now, they'll more than serve my needs for the foreseeable future. But I simply can't justify their cost if it's monthly and perpetual.
I do think the solution of granting perpetual license rights after a sufficient time on subscription would be the best of both worlds - it neither takes away the attraction of immediate access to the latest tools, nor penalizes those who simply don't need every bleeding edge feature, and it leaves Adobe with a continual incentive to deliver on the promise of faster/quicker/better updates. Not to come across as a skeptic (which I'm really not), but no argument can legitimately be made that Adobe has a greater incentive to deliver value once their income is essentially guaranteed simply by granting access to their products as they currently exist on their customer's hard drives today.
Considering the reaction in the comments section of virtually every article I've read has been overwhelmingly negative, I'm hopeful Adobe seriously considers a middle-road solution. I do love their tools, and derive a considerable percent of my income from them, so again, I'm simply not an Adobe hater. I just think this move is a little overreaching and might begin to touch on an abuse of the position they hold.
Very nice post!
I'm actually pretty torn between the whole ordeal to tell ya the truth. For me... and about 10 other people I've counted on assorted forums... the sub looks very attractive if Adobe keeps to their word. What it comes down to and where I also have to be somewhat skeptical, is Adobe's past of not fixing bugs at all or very late before bringing new versions out. Also, the transparency of what they truly are planning here.
In my "wishful thinking", I would love it if the individual programs would be stripped of their overlapping functions, making them lean, mean and efficient... and because you have ALL of the programs, those would function perfectly for the task at hand. For example: I see no good reason going forward why video editing should be in Photoshop if you have access to Premier. Or.... if Illustrator was discontinued in favor of a cross-program vector widget/plugin* for Photoshop, InDesign, Muse... or even for Flash/PhoneGap. What about the sad addition of Paragraph and Character Style Pallettes to Photoshop? You can debate whether they should be in an image-editor at all... but the biggest problem is that you would "expect" that the would function the same as in inDesign and Illustrator. The don't... and they are a HOG with many styles on say a web site mock-up.
Modules* would fix that, well at least the differences between the palettes and functions in each program. Because you do have to ask: why are we even using an image editor to mock up a website that later needs to be properly coded? And speaking of web design: how telling is it that there are already a number of website online apps that do HTML5/CSS3/JQuery coding and layout... 1000x better than Dreamweaver.. or even the new Edge tools? I don't think Adobe is oblivious that fact either, and they, or at least the engineers, know they are losing the game slowly but surely.
* I've asked many times on the Adobe forums if anyone knows what happened to the idea, at about the time plug-ins for PS came into existence... what happened to the other big idea of "modular feature sets".. basically Adobe designed plugins that would work with all of their main/base software programs. Thereby truly extending them rather than slapping a new binary on the market like with PS and PS Extended. The modular approach was always a fascinating idea to me. For example, I don't consider Illustrator complete and/or even workable without the add-ons/plugins from Astute Graphics, which truly extend "stock" Illustrator. Naturally we all know how popular PS plugins are... but even for InDesign there are quite a few nice ones.
The overlap and attended bloat, including cramming too many things into each program to satisfy sub-sets of users over the years, and then after the fact fixing (or not!) the bugs... is what's making most people skeptical in the first place. If Adobe came out and said this was for a complete re-imagining of the tools we use... and yes... you will want ALL of them, not just PS... then I could see more people thinking $50.00 to be a good deal... maybe!... and probably later.
Naturally at the same time, continuing to offer CS6. ... but wait... that's exactly what they are doing, isn't it? You can use CS6 until the end of time with a perpetual license.
Could it be that many of those programs in CS6 will not even be around in 2-3 or 5 years? Fireworks is already EOL... and I think Dreamweaver is next in favor of the new Edge tools. What else could be EOLed and/or replaced with a "module" similar to Mini Bridge?