excerpts, quips, and musings on the production and post-production industry, and other stuff of interest

Adobe Rides the Creative Cloud

Adobe showed more of its vision today with their Creative Cloud (CC) offering at Adobe MAX. As there is plenty of misinformation traveling around about the CC, Adobe is trying to get out in front of it. To that end they released a video showcasing the most common myths about the CC.  If that doesn't help alleviate all your fears Adobe also published a public "letter" intended to help us see where Adobe is headed.

From the Adobe letter:

We believe that Creative Cloud will have a larger impact on the creative world than anything else we’ve done over the past three decades. It is our single highest priority to enable deep integration between our tools and services. One of the implications of this is that many of the new features in our CC applications require access to Creative Cloud, as will many of the updates we are planning for the future.

In order to accelerate the rate at which we deliver new features and services, and to ensure that we do so with the highest level of quality, we are focusing all of our efforts on Creative Cloud. 

Given this, the CC applications will be available only as part of Creative Cloud. We will continue to sell and support Adobe Creative Suite® 6 applications, and will provide bug fixes and security updates as necessary. We do not, however, have any current plans to release new versions of our CS applications.

So again, we're back to my previous post: Is software a service or a product? Given Adobe's approach they firmly believe the former, going so far as not even offering the latter any longer in the form of perpetual licenses. To many this marks the end of the road for their time with Adobe. The CC is more expensive, less flexible, and unproven. For others this marks their foray into a new world of always connected, always updated, and always utilizing current software. The CC allows them to do things previously cost or technologically prohibitive. So where does that leave us? I guess it depends on which camp you fall into.

Walter Biscardi's musing on the CC:

In the end you have to do what you feel is right for your own needs and business.  For some that’s going to mean leaving Adobe for something else. That’s perfectly ok and in fact I encourage this if you are truly that upset about this model.  Most of you know I did this very same thing one year ago when we made the move from FCP 7 to Avid and now Premiere Pro.  I was absolutely NOT going to FCP X and there was no point in sticking around since Apple was paying no attention to the editors (in my mind) so I left. And it felt GREAT! No more “feelings of betrayal” and having my feelings hurt.

Who cares, it’s just software. You know how many pieces of software are available today that edit video well? A lot. I’m really happy with my decision to switch to Adobe a year ago and I really like the positives of what the Cloud has to offer so we’re staying put at Biscardi Creative. If you’re not happy, they please please, find something else and move on. The sooner you do this, the happier you’ll be and trust me, a happy editor is a more creative editor. Trust me, this I know from experience.

Or Shane Ross via Twitter (@comebackShane):

I don't care about the box. I care about constantly shelling out money for a tool I should own.

So is software a service or a product? Yes. Historically, we have associated software with a product one purchases (though one could argue with iOS and Android that perception has been changing for the last 5 years). Is that wrong? No. Is it right? No. It just is. For decades, software makers from Apple to Microsoft to Adobe to Avid have conditioned us to purchase "the software product." You buy your license and run the product as long as you want. Again, I don't believe this CC argument should be framed as "right vs. wrong." I believe it's simply a change in the market given today's technology and current climate.

Will Adobe survive? Most likely. Will Avid/Apple/Autodesk adapt to this model? Unlikely. Is the CC right for everyone? Probably not. But if you've enjoyed using CS6 (or FCP8 as I call it) as much as I have then you'll probably make the jump even though it's more expensive than the previous "product" based model. I'll be exploring the "Team" offerings from Adobe to deploy across multiple workstations, despite the fact that it's doubling my cost per seat year over year. Yes you read that right. I'll still be moving to the CC even though it cost more. Why? Because Adobe has the best workflow [right now] for the type of work my team does. And for that reason I'll put my money with them.