Adobe seems to have a love of shotguns, namely pointing it at itself and/or it’s users and pulling the trigger.
I’ve been pretty vocal about my dislike for the present CEO. I sold all my Adobe shares (just to make that clear). And I really think Adobe is doing EVERYTHING it can to kill itself – which is a shame because they have a lot of good products.
So recently on Slashdot there was a discussion of Adobe’s handling of a Photoshop CS5 bug. Where Adobe’s solution is “Pay us to upgrade to CS6″
Now some might point out the fact that CS5 was released 2 years ago and CS6 is the second version since CS5 (with CS5.5 in between). But let’s consider whether that is legitimate justification.
CS5 was released in April 2010, followed by CS5.5 in April 2011. CS6 was just released this April. Let’s say you bought the top of the line “Master Chief Suite”. The upgrade cost from CS5.5 is $550, and from CS5 – over a thousand $$$$.
But let’s say you bought Adobe CS5 suite in March 2011. You’re now on the hook for over a $1,000 just to secure your 14 month old software suite. That’s pretty damn petty IMHO.
I already dislike how tiered Adobe’s upgrade path has become. Essentially they’ve kept the the high upgrade price while moving to a shorter upgrade cycle. And tiering the upgrade based on the version. But it used to be that upgrades were available to the last two cycles. And I think it should still be that way. Instead, Adobe is trying to get $500/year, every year from it’s users.
Why this is bad? $500/year isn’t bad if you’re an active business with a high production rate. But it’s very bad if you’re an independent or part time user (ie: many of us with a 40 hour a week day job that DOESN’T use Adobe products) and you just want to stay in the game and stay current with Adobe technology and do the odd job here and there. It then becomes cost prohibitive; and why is this bad? Because it means people like me will fall behind on Adobe’s technology platform and cease maintaining the skillset, in other words, shrinking of Adobe’s developer base – and that’s a VERY BAD thing.
Adobe is becoming an extremely greedy company under it’s current leadership; and a foolish one to boot. I’ve long advocated for the removal of Adobe’s current CEO and a replacement with someone who better understands the present digital world.
SOLUTION: Release a reduced developer edition of CS Master Suite. The developer edition requires that you sign-up as an individual programmer. It gives you a limited license. Full featured, but you can only produce personal or not-for-profit products. Make it cheap!
This is similar to the licensing that Adobe did with giving away Flex Builder in 2009 to anyone who was unemployed. That was a REALLY cool thing, and I give Adobe HUGE Kudos for that.
Adobe’s Flash, although oft criticized has a tremendous amount going for it technology wise. But it’s been mis-marketed, managed, and like Coldfusion is kept from it’s potential. I truly believe Adobe is going in a direction that will ultimately lead to it’s eventual demise/purchase within a decade’s time. Where as I believe that Adobe if it were to take advantage of certain opportunities in his playing hand could propel itself to a position of near rivalry with Apple and Microsoft. But so far, I haven’t seen them do ANY of the right decisions they need to do for that.