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Topic - adobe creative cloud vs. permanent license

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I made some quick calculations (in Euro, German VAT) regarding amortization with "creative cloud" vs "permanent license" and came to the following conclusions, maybe some of you have further insights or want to correct me:

1st case
- user bought Adobe Production Premium CS 3 in 2007 and upgrades now to CS 6: 2616 Euros + 1307 Euros (Upgrade) = 3923 Euro, in the same time span (if creative cloud existed back then) you would have spent approx 3480 Euro with the cloud subscription

2nd case
- user bought Adobe Production Premium CS 3 in 2007 and did upgrades each version until now, including CS 6, excluding any special upgrade offers: 2616 Euros + 2020 Euros (4 upgrades X 505 Euros - CS4, CS5, CS5.5, CS6) = 4236 Euros, in the same time span you would have spent approx 3480 Euro with the cloud subscription

So extrapolating into the future it indicates that you`re better off with the cloud and have a smaller pay each month instead of a bigger each year - what do you guys think?
I think the rationale behind it is to make it a just good enough deal for it to be worth doing. When you buy the regular license you are not obliged to upgrade at every single release, and many users will skip releases.

I presume that Adobe's previous and expensive experiment with subscription was a failure, because it was obviously such a bad deal and once you stopped paying the subscription you didn't own the software. There was no point in subscribing since taking out a loan would be a much better way to achieve the same result but then actually own the software.

The pricing of the Creative Cloud is much more competitive, and I think it would take about 4 year's worth of subscription before you have paid as much as the full cost of buying the suite, so it is a lot more attractive - in the end it probably brings in more revenue to Adobe than having many of their users skip upgrade cycles. This way there is continuous revenue for them, at a price which is just low enough to be attractive to their customers.
In my case, having bought the CS5.5 Production Premium during their 50% offer, the cost of upgrading that package to CS6 is about equal to one year subscription, even with the current promo. So no cloud for me.

-
http://pascalnocquet.com
http://modology.fr - Modo Forum in French
Twitter : @modofr

Message edited by Matelot on 4/26/2012 - 11:25 AM

Some more opinions on Adobe's strategy with the Creative Cloud.

http://www.itwriting.com/blog/5118-adobes-cloud-plans-most-customers-will-migrate-pay-more-get-more.html

http://www.itwriting.com/blog/5721-whats-in-adobes-creative-cloud-and-should-you-go-cloud-or-purchase-outright.html

I'm still undecided on which way to go on this, since I mainly use PS and Illustrator.

The feasibility depends on

A) Which suite you own (the more expensive the permanent license is the longer it takes to ammortize)

B) If you caught a special deal (50% off or so)

C) The time you "jumped in" (as a "frequent" updater, regardless if you update to every full version or each second one, it takes 7 years with the cloud before you start paying more)
I've been on subscription with Adobe for over a year now. I love it.

Saves me shelling out one big lump sum and upgrades every 18 months.

For the amount of work I do with even just Photoshop every month it more than pays for itself.
Aside from the issue of being tied into to paying Adobe nigh on forever, the only other issue I see with the cloud is to do with plugin/script compatibility as versions move on. Old versions are usable for up to a year, but then afterwards you lose the base for the plugins and scripts you had before.

That's one of the reasons I'm still on the edge about it.

Message edited by R10k on 4/26/2012 - 4:04 PM

Not owning any suite but just a single CS3 or later program (PS in my case) makes the $30/month deal really rather amazin to get the entire creative suite for a year for about the price of upgrading the couple of apps that I have.

After the year I can decide to keep paying or still upgrade my permanent licenses.

G.
Remember that you will, unless Adobe backs down again, not be able to upgrade from older versions in future.

On the other hand, I think including the initial purchase in the calculations for someone who already has a permanent license is misleading - the real comparison is future upgrades to permanent licenses vs. the subscription and that's less clear once past the initial discount on the first year (for me, with no need for the full Master Collection, I think version upgrades will be better - especially if we assume that it will be possible to skip a version, in effect, by not upgrading until the buy-now-get-the-next-version-free deal although that does, of course, involve buying a pig in a poke).
I mainly use After Effects, so I don't subscribe. For Photoshop, I paid 80 bucks for Elements, and it does what I need for anything outside of After Effects.

Actually, in a lot of situations, I can use AE as Photoshop.

Message edited by adrencg on 4/26/2012 - 5:13 PM

Quote from Richard Haseltine :
Remember that you will, unless Adobe backs down again, not be able to upgrade from older versions in future.

On the other hand, I think including the initial purchase in the calculations for someone who already has a permanent license is misleading - the real comparison is future upgrades to permanent licenses vs. the subscription and that's less clear once past the initial discount on the first year (for me, with no need for the full Master Collection, I think version upgrades will be better - especially if we assume that it will be possible to skip a version, in effect, by not upgrading until the buy-now-get-the-next-version-free deal although that does, of course, involve buying a pig in a poke).


I was basing on my own situation - I don`t have a production premium bundle...
I believe that the free upgrade to CS6 deal was a one time offer in response to the backlash over the new policy to allow only only upgrades from one version back. I'm assuming that we'll need to purchase every new release if we want to stay on the upgrade path.
My fear over the Creative Cloud is once we're all hooked on, they completely control the license, and a couple years down the road when they decide to jack the subscription price wayyyyy up, well, then we wont be able to use our old versions to buy an upgrade of packaged software and we wont have a license to run our current software unless we continue paying the subscription. Your only option at that point will be to continue the subscription, since you'll no longer really own the software, you'll just be renting it. If they keep the price reasonable, sure its a great deal, but they know they are the only game in town.

James Darknell - Training and Documentation Manager
http://www.thefoundry.co.uk

I may buy into the first year since it will only cost me $360 compared to if I tried to get access to the latest versions any other way.

My question is - is this "CS6 Creative Cloud" the total encompassing suite (Master Collection) or is it just whatever suite you currently own??


I have Web Design Premium, but at first, my impression of this "Creative Cloud" thingie was you get access to ALL Adobe CS wares for this deal?


Or do I just get Web Design Premium CS6 for my $360/year?

Frankly with Joomla, and Wordpress, I don't care about Dreamweaver any longer but of course I'm still interested in AcroPro, PShop, FLash, Fworks and Illy etc.

I'm mostly looking forward to having the latest AfterFX, Premiere and other multimedia wares moving forward.


If I'd still be stuck at the Web Premium level then I may just upgrade my AfterFX ($279 at Safe Harbor) and maybe Fireworks and be done with it...


-Will
Quote from MutantPixel :
My fear over the Creative Cloud is once we're all hooked on, they completely control the license, and a couple years down the road when they decide to jack the subscription price wayyyyy up, well, then we wont be able to use our old versions to buy an upgrade of packaged software and we wont have a license to run our current software unless we continue paying the subscription. Your only option at that point will be to continue the subscription, since you'll no longer really own the software, you'll just be renting it. If they keep the price reasonable, sure its a great deal, but they know they are the only game in town.



True, BUT even under the old model, Adobe was very good at eventually coming up with an upgrade (say, to AE) that wasn't compatible with the previous version, and so upgrade was inevitable. I guess at least with the subscription you spread the pain out. $50/month for the production premium is quite digestible.

I just object to the term "cloud". I'm sick of it already. Let's just call it iCloudHD-x and get it over with!
My question is - is this "CS6 Creative Cloud" the total encompassing suite (Master Collection) or is it just whatever suite you currently own??


I believe it`s like the master suite
I would go for the hooked-on idea.

What I love about the cloud idea is, that it finally allows people to get Adobe Software without the huge initial investment.

When I started with CG, Adobe was only one of many companies and there were often very cheap offers for a full Photoshop with a scanner, full Premiere with a video card etc. Pagemaker I got as a crossgrade from Corel Ventura (or was it a promo?) and later on when InDesign came out first it was very cheap initially as well since they had to kill Quark.
I don't think I ever paid full price for anything other than Illustrator, which somehow never was on sale (and I was using Freehand back then anyway).

But those days are long gone, today Adobe is extremely expensive and hardly ever gives anything away for substantial lower prices. It became a de-facto Monopoly for most people.

Another good thing: from the cloud you can install on two machines and they can be different OS - that was impossible before.

My problems with the Cloud idea are:
- Once you're on, you no longer own the software, so you can either go on paying for it or not have any software at all. So if there should be a financial valley, your out.
At least that is how I understand it - correct me if I'm wrong.

- As was said before: right now they make it cheap, but later on they have a license to kill, since you can't really get out, now that they don't allow updates from older versions any more.

- But the main reason why they are so lewd about the cloud is something else completely IMO: ATM there is a huge second hand market for used Adobe software. That will dry out completely after about 1-2 years from now and will be gone forever with only a tiny trickle left. That is a HUGE thing for them. Same for Autodesk and other such companies.

- For me, the Cloud would actually only be cool if I could cheaply rent the software for the actually hours used and paid for. Most of the tools I hardly ever use, but need every now and then so have to have them available.

I personally will give this some time and watch what happens with my boxed software close at hand :-)
I guess there will be a lot of changes in how the whole cloud topic is approached over the next couple of years. Humanity has to find out how to best handle it and has to live through some blackouts and broken internet cables to see how it feels if your files are somewhere else entirely and you can't get at them other than by swimming a LOooooooNG way... ;-)

Cheers,

Tom
I dont' agree with paying large amounts of money to end up with nothing at the end, which is what would happen with a sub once you stop.
Yeah, I may not have the LATEST cool tool but I could potentially use my CS 5.5 for several years after paying less than I would have with a sub for several years.
Oh help us all if they charged by hours used. Imagine if Adobe had a financial stake in renders taking even longer in After Effects than they already do now? -do they prorate it every time you crash?

-while I use AE and Premiere on a daily basis, I could easily replace them with competitor's software. Though I'm not even a "photoshop guy" it really is a necessity, even if it's just to be compatible with other artists with whom you might be working. I guess if I could find a viable replacement for PS, then I wouldn't need Adobe at all. Honestly though, I haven't even looked to see if there is a worthwhile replacement out there. I guess I just assumed there isn't...


Quote from beckmanvfx :
$50/month for the production premium is quite digestible.


How digestible will it be when its $200+ a month? It will probably take a number of years to get there, but my guess is it will get there. And by then they wont be offering Creative Suites anymore - so your only option moving forward will be to continue paying the $200 a month for CC, because you have no old software to install - those by then ancient version probably wont work on the present OS, and if you stop paying the CC subscription, then you simply have no software licenses anymore to use.
Its a pretty old business model, hook everyone in to the program with a cheap entry price, eventually remove all other options, until one day you have total control. Even with Autodesk, if you don't pay the subscription you'll continue to be able to use your last version until it doesn't work (I seem to recall this is the case anyways). With Adobes new CC, no more subscription, no more license.

This new model practically guarantees income every month for Adobe, regardless of whether updates are awesome or lackluster. To keep using the software regardless of whether you like the new version or not, you still HAVE TO subscribe each month. Investors don't like a bad quarters when users don't upgrade to the latest Photoshop, Creative Cloud eliminates that. Good for investors, not so good (in the long run) for users. Sorry, I love Adobe software, but I am extremely skeptical of their motives with the Creative Cloud.

James Darknell - Training and Documentation Manager
http://www.thefoundry.co.uk

^I absolutely agree with this - yes, whatever you own now will be it, until it falls off the operating system...


It may be WISE to create a VirtualBox or Virtual PC of your WinXX machine now cause, whatever OS is available in the next 3-5 years, may not run or install any of this software!

I can just imagine Adobe tweaking the CS6 installers to "Prevent install on Win9 or higher" OSs as we speak!

...And of course this is assuming that the VirtualBox of your existing OS will run on the OS 3+ years in the future!!


My only quandry is I'd really like to have a 64bit version of AfterFX - for me it's either $349 for AfterFX all by its dammie, or $360 for the next year for airything...

-Will

PS - Now might be a good time to build yourself a small box that runs your current OS so you'll have access to this stuff in the near to mid future.

I've always regretted not having saved a working MSDos/Win98 machine in my closet somewhere so I could still play all my old Origin Wing Commander games!

Now may be the time to put together an inexpensive, mid-tower i5, i7 system just for the purpose of being able to maintain access to these wares we've spent all this money on!


Message edited by WillBellJr on 4/26/2012 - 10:16 PM

The subscription price has actually come down. At first it was AU$157/month (which I was still happy to pay for the whole suite). It came down to $60/month about 6 months ago if I upgraded to 5.5.

Even if I didn't want to upgrade they offered a free extension on the 5.0 license for about 6 months once the yearly subscription had run out.
Bah. For $399 I've got a Design Premium license till the end of time. The new 64 bit illustrator is what I have been waiting for.
Quote from Wayne B. :
I dont' agree with paying large amounts of money to end up with nothing at the end, which is what would happen with a sub once you stop.
Yeah, I may not have the LATEST cool tool but I could potentially use my CS 5.5 for several years after paying less than I would have with a sub for several years.


Agreed. Subscriptions suck. Most often or not, new releases aren't THAT relevant to what I really need.

Unless your talking modo 601...
Another good thing: from the cloud you can install on two machines and they can be different OS - that was impossible before.


Actually, despite what the clueless reps tell you, you can do that if you buy a volume license.
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