Photoshop, in terms of usage, is easily one of the most popular computer programs on the planet. In terms of sales, on the other hand, it is not, instead being likely one of the most pirated programs on the planet. So what is Adobe doing to combat this? Well, they’re taking a page from Microsoft’s playbook and making its photo editing tool a rent-only proposition, turning Adobe Creative Suite into Adobe Creative Cloud.
And that means you can no longer own tools you might, say, need for your job.
From now on, you won’t buy CS6 or CS7—you’ll buy a $50 per month subscription to CC (happily, the first year will only cost $30 for anyone with a CS3 or later serial number).
What’s the reasoning behind the overhaul? For one thing, an online subscription service could help Adobe curb piracy. For another, it’ll make it easier for customers to opt-in to new product releases throughout the year, rather than dropping a single giant update annually.
For those playing at home, Adobe wants $600 per year out of you. Admittedly this is a better deal elsewhere in the world, like Australia, where it’s cheaper to fly to the US to buy anything Adobe makes than it is to buy it Down Under.
But for a lot of us, it raises the question of whether we need Photoshop in the first place. Personally, I’ve never paid for Photoshop; I use a free photo editing program called GIMP, especially since mostly I just need it for the crop tool, the blur filter, and the magnetic lasso. Adobe’s new filters and tools, such as a camera shake remover, are undeniably neat, but they’re not $600-a-year neat.
For us this mostly raises one very important question: How long before Google just makes an online version of Photoshop?