Cyber Culture: Adobe heads for the Creative Cloud. A nebulous way to cash in?
Rhodri Marsden is the Technology Columnist for The Independent; he has also written about crumpets, Captain Beefheart, rude place names and string. He's also a musician who plays in the band Scritti Politti, and won the under-10 piano category at the 1980 Watford Music Festival by playing a piece called "Silver Trumpets" with verve and aplomb.
Wednesday 15 May 2013
In a move which has prompted the technology world to say "blimey", Adobe announced last week that it will no longer produce boxed versions of its Creative Suite, which comprises such industry standards as Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. Instead, its customers are being ushered hastily towards the online equivalent, Creative Cloud, a software-as-service "solution" which you can use for as long as you pay a monthly subscription fee.
"We believe," said Adobe hopefully, "that Creative Cloud will have a larger impact on the creative world than anything else we've done in the last three decades."
Well, it's certainly made people cross. The jury's out on whether Adobe customers will be better or worse off. If you're the kind of person who regularly uses the entire Master Suite of Adobe products (over £2,600 new) and buys every upgrade when it's released, Creative Cloud's £33 a month charge represents a steal.
But if you're an occasional user of Photoshop and Illustrator and tend to skip every other upgrade, you're going to be out of pocket. Any spiffy new features will only be available in the Creative Cloud versions, so Adobe is hoping to lure in new users and lock them in to a subscription plan.
Microsoft, who have a similar cloud offering – the £65 per year Office 365 – has hinted Adobe's move may be overly bold and somewhat premature. But you can see why Adobe has done it.
Despite increasingly stringent anti-piracy measures, Creative Suite is widely cracked. Creative Cloud gives control back to Adobe, who in turn hope that pirates will convert to paying users. But it's risky.
People may instead make the leap from Adobe to cheaper alternatives: from Illustrator to iDraw, from InDesign to Swift Publisher, or from Photoshop to GIMP (the GNU Image Manipulation Program). Yes, compared to Photoshop, GIMP looks and feels like an inferior prototype. But, crucially, it'll never ask you to sign up for a direct debit.
In this week's Cyber Culture:
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Dame Vivienne Westwood: The former Queen of Punk may now be an establishment pillar, but her work is still controversial – and much copied
Regin: Newly uncovered malicious software snooping since 2008 'was developed by a nation state'
Kim Kardashian recreates iconic Jean-Paul Goude naked 'Champagne Incident' photo
Henri de Toulouse Lautrec: Google celebrates 150th anniversary of French artist's birth
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Green Party Caroline Lucas interview: 'We could be on the edge of something very big'
- 1 Lego letter from the 1970s still offers a powerful message to parents 40 years later
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Green Party Caroline Lucas interview: 'We could be on the edge of something very big'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
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