Signs of the Times - July 2013 - (Page 14)
Darek Johnson is ST’s Senior Technology Editor/Analyst.
Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Darek Johnson
Adobe’s Creative Cloud – a Lifeline Grab?
Clouds, big-data and corporate panache step into the light.
A person earning $45,000 a year would need 22,000
years to earn $1 billion.
At a top-secret, data U.S. government Utah – Wired
time when the
is building a
center in remote
magazine calls it the country’s biggest spy center – and
news headlines say “big-data” systems are seriously
recording and influencing our lives, and Google, our
telephone companies and God knows who else are
selling our personal information to unidentified marketers
– The LA Times and other news sources report that
Apple, an upright technology innovator, has replied
to a Congressional investigation for tax evasion. We’ve
also learned that Adobe Systems Inc., is flexing its
corporate muscles by requiring its users to web-contract
– subscribe – to its online-fed (and monitored) Creative
Cloud systems, or walk.
Are the once-pleasant, but now mega-huge, tech
corporations becoming markedly aggressive? Is “corporate
panache” the right phrase? Is “swagger” a better word?
Some think either or both. One web-based petition
site – think elfin young David against tree-sized Goliath
– currently displays an anti-swagger, anti-Adobe Creative
Cloud petition. To date, it has gained some 2,000
signatures per day.
I’ll have more about this in a minute.
In fairness, however, know that abundant, positive
information resides on Adobe’s website – www.adobe.
Creative Cloud in brief
Creative Cloud membership provides users access to
the latest versions of all the Adobe professional,
creative, desktop applications. It’s available for
individuals, teams, businesses, government agencies
and educational institutions. With membership, you
receive new features and upgrades as they arrive.
Here are some highlights:
• Creative Cloud desktop applications download directly
to your computer, once you agree to Adobe’s contract.
You can also use the apps offline.
• Adobe said its best prices result with an annual
enrollment, but you can choose a month-to-month
plan. You may also mix and match applications.
• Your files remain on your local hard drive. You can
also file them in the provided Creative Cloud storage
(up to 2 GB is free). If you cancel your paid membership, and have Adobe-stored cloud files in excess of 2
GB, you have 90 days to transfer them or lose the files.
• The rule is one membership per Adobe ID, but you
can purchase team memberships.
14 SIGNS OF THE TIMES / JULY 2013 / www.signweb.com
Why is Adobe moving from boxed software to online
subscriptions? The most obvious answer is it’s truly
a better system – cheaper, easier on the environment
and easier to upgrade. Even better, subscription service
will provide the corporation a continuous source of
Constant and abundant cashflow is every businessperson’s dream.
Another, less-lauded reason is subscription systems
typically bind the user to the product. Such feed-trough
models make users less apt to change.
Further contemplation might analyze the future of
Adobe’s classic software – Photoshop, Illustrator and
their elemental cousins – to study how much longer
the firm could continue its position as the mainstream
seller of creative software products and upgrades.
In truth, all tool-based software sales reach a bellcurve peak, and then subsequently decline, to the
point where the product has saturated the user base and
salable upgrades become unnecessary commodities –
bells and whistles. At this point, product analysts
realize users are comfortable with their software and
aren’t wildly interested in upgrades.
It’s the dreaded “I have everything I want” level and,
once this is reached, software sales plummet.
In response, the mother firms search for new products
– the addition of workflow, maintenance, administrative
and plug-in software, for example. However, these (less
profitable) items eventually reach saturation and, without
new, sales-generating products, a firm’s once-grandiose
lifestyle can dwindle to shopping-mall offices.
Surely, Adobe’s Zen masters have seen this possibility;
thus, although many of its reasons are valid, Adobe’s prime
decision to compel paid subscriptions may be a wellexecuted – and insightful – grab for a cashflow lifeline.
The anti-Adobe petition
Derek Schoffstall of Harrisburg, PA initiated an anti-Adobe
Cloud petition at www.change.org. In part, he said, “You
should support this petition because Adobe is making its
already expensive products even more expensive in the
long run. Adobe is robbing small business, freelancers and
the average consumer. They don’t understand that every
company is a not multi-national, multi-billion-dollar
corporation that has an infinite amount of resources.”
His comments aren’t quite accurate, although they’re
within the target circle.
Cloud systems are the fraternal twin of “big data” systems,
which dwell in enormous storage banks that have
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - July 2013
Signs of the Times - July 2013
The Moving Message
Vehicle Graphics Contest Entry Form
Public Displays of Affection
Electric-Sign Company 1 on 1’s
Screenprinting for Signmakers
A Century of Going Places
Signs of the Times - July 2013