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Stay Smokin,
Co-Founder / Pittsburgh Underground

Thursday, May 22, 2014

PU It Stinks: The Adobe Creative Cloud

For any of us who work professionally in any creative field and have experienced the monopoly that Adobe holds through their product offerings (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, After Effects, Illustrator, InDesign) then you probably shook your head in disgust when Adobe announced that they would be dropping their traditional model of bundled software for the online trap that they call ‘the cloud’ (or in layman’s terms - rental software - $600 a year for individuals, $840 per user for teams) in order to create a more predictable stream of revenue for their products (much like that of an MMORPG like Elder Scrolls Online or World of Warcraft).

Unfortunately, the creative people that utilize these products are not playing games - they are professionals who use these workhorse programs for real, critical business needs on a daily basis for incredibly time sensitive projects. When you have to explain to a client that you can’t meet a deadline because the ‘cloud’ is down, most would look at you with bewilderment and move on - a practice that most creative professionals should employ when it comes to Adobe’s creative cloud.

Last Wednesday, the Adobe Creative Cloud service pooped out for nearly 1,000,000 users of the service for a staggering 28 hours. The only excuse given to customers from Adobe popped up on it’s blog after the fact (going down on a Wednesday, up on a Thursday, explanation on a Friday):

Several Adobe services were down or unreachable for many of you over the last 24 hours. The failure happened during database maintenance activity and affected services that require users to log in with an Adobe ID.

We want to assure you that this was not security related – none of your information or content was lost or exposed.

First, and most importantly, we want to apologize for this outage because we know how critical our services are to you and how disruptive it’s been to those of you who felt the impact. We understand that the time it took to restore service has been frustrating, but we wanted to be as thorough as possible. We have identified the root cause of this failure and are putting standards in place to prevent this from happening again.

We are aware that we didn’t meet your expectations (or ours) today. For this, we apologize. Thanks for bearing with us as we worked to resolve this – and know that we will do better.

In a world where there are no excuses missed deadlines, this is unacceptable to all users. Especially for a company who rested on their laurels for years with the only innovative features being introduced in 2010 with the introduction of CS5 (content-aware fill, refine edge, puppet warp, and mixer brush to name the few).

Now, those users who have been forced to ‘rent’ Adobe’s software instead of the more good old days of ‘purchasing’ Adobe’s products are stuck in an uncertain money pit of broken tools, missed deadlines, and lost revenue.

All in all, it could be worse. For example, in late 2013 Adobe had leaked 150 million usernames and passwords online (a crossword puzzle was even developed by a member of HackerNews of the most popular leaked passwords - you know, to cushion the blow).

I for one will be opting out - switching to Adobe’s only competitor, the CorelDraw Graphics Suite which gives the user a choice of either a purchase or subscription based model (let’s face it - when a company doesn’t give you a choice, you should be wary).

As for Adobe - get your shit together, cut out the greed, and give the people back what they want - the choice of either a subscription or bundled software model. Until then...


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