I thought this was going to happen… but not as quickly as this. What am I referring to? Well, Adobe just announced the end of CS. Once upon a time software was distributed on a physical medium. Magnetic medium was in the beginning. Then at some stage it became optical (CDROM)… Now none. Software has truly become “soft”. Adobe coined the name “Creative Suite” and that was a very good idea in the way that Adobe would bundle and integrate software. Now the new term is “Creative Cloud”.
Adobe Creative Suite 6 is the last of the Creative Suites. Who would have guessed that CS6 would be the end of the road? Imagine back in the 1990s, when Premiere was nothing in the eyes of editing professionals. Could they have ever imagined that Premiere would be what it is today? Let’s consider three years ago, did anyone think that CS6 would be the last? The 6th generation is where this ends? No. I don’t think so. Many editors would consider it natural to think there would always be another CS to follow.
It is like the FCP editors. FCP 5, FCP 6, FCP 7 and …. FCP X. Ten??? What happened to 8 and 9? FCP ends at 7? That’s it? Now we have FCP X. The point is that no one predicts the end. And does everyone like the idea of software being in the Cloud? YES they do… well, the theory is that it is good. But also, NO they don’t like it. It’s a YES/NO situation.
Focusing on the biggest ugliest pimple of the idea of cloud based software, the puss filled cream center about to explode is the cost. A monthly subscription appears cheaper. Great, only $50 US Dollars a month. Sounds cheap. But compared to a traditional upgrade of approximately US $500, the monthly rate would only give us 10 months of service. It is in the long run more expensive. It’s a major commitment. For those who think about the long term financial implication and obligation to pay Adobe… it’s a serious concern. Do I have to pay Adobe forever to be able to access my files? What if I only wanted to take a 5 minute peek, would I have to pay the whole month’s rent?
The Internet world has already begun splitting into two groups. Those who like CC (Creative Cloud) and those who want to preserve their precious CS.
This action by Adobe is a risky one. My own opinion is that it is too early to force people into CC. It has been done over the course of what I see as twelve months. I am not aware of any existence of CC before April 2012. The implementation period needed to be longer to allow the wider community to gradually welcome and adopt Creative Cloud. To allow the skeptics to slowly understand and feel safe to let go of their DVD install discs. To let those on a budget make the most of their investment in genuine software. To allow businesses to control their cash flow.
Apple made a mistake with the launch of FCP X. As far as I am concerned FCP X is a good piece of software but it is not what everyone wants. I have never used it but seen people’s videos and tutorials, it has a lot of good to offer. However, Apple forced FCP editors to accept something that not everyone wanted. It tore through the post production universe… It’s still hard to believe that there is no more FCP, the software that stabbed Avid in the heart and changed the editing world forever. It has reached the end of its life.
So will Adobe face similar “attacks of rejection” like FCP X by the Adobe community for forcefully imposing CC? I expect they will. To what extent is hard to predict.
For Mufasa, I just want life to be easy when it comes to what software we should use. We still use FCP a lot. It works very well. I cannot see it disappearing quickly. Premiere though was becoming more significant with every project and CS6 impresses me a lot. I will upgrade our version of CS5 to 6 now. But I have no plans to join Creative Cloud. I have had Avid since Xpress DV 3.0 on Windows 2000 from its release in 2002. I currently have a copy of Media Composer and I have always had a special love for Avid’s software but used it very rarely since 2006. In the background is Lightworks and as a very low cost alternative, perhaps that may have a chance to be revived. I will try Lightworks once it is available on Linux. After CS6 and beyond, I feel that there is going to be a lot of exciting change to come.
How users of software and hardware behave is very exciting to follow. Just because a company or product is a leader, it does not mean it will maintain the lead for eternity. The world changes. And with Adobe CC, the unexpected brings with it the winds of change. Will these winds favor Adobe or will it allow Avid great opportunity if they maintain traditional software licensing practices? I still keep my Avid Dongle, just cannot let go of that thing. Lets see what happens…
Written by James Iles
08 May 2013