The Inexcusable Creative Cloud

Periodically Adobe tempts me to get Creative Cloud and start paying them a large subscription fee monthly, forever. The temptation is to get access to all of Adobe’s latest software at one low price… That low price however is almost three times what the amortized cost of Creative Suite ever was. Moreover once you subscribe nothing prevents Adobe from hiking the price. And you can never stop paying, because you never own software you can go on using.

Today I received an ad email that stated that I could “Lock in your price for up to two years!” Which if you think about it is a promise to raise the subscription price within two years.

I recently found on my iPad, in Adobe Reader, an offer that I could pay an additional $11.99 per month to make PDFs! Really? I have been making PDFs without paying a subscription to Adobe for more than 20 years.

This is a company that spent more than $1671 million on “Sales and Marketing” in 2014. That is about twice what they spent on Research and Development and more than 47% of their gross profit of about $3525 million. Adobe is not a software company. It is an advertising machine.

Also look at their R&D budget. Adobe spent a bit more than $844 million in 2014 on R&D. At any given time in the last 20 years you should admit that any particular Adobe product has been mostly resolved already. So if they are paying R&D (coders, testers and etc.) $100 per hour (That would be a lot, I know.) that would imply that Adobe employs more than 4500 researchers and developers full time to work on products that are always mostly researched and developed already. The Adobe product line never needed almost eight and a half million hours of redevelopment in 2014.

Adobe’s financial statements are here ( if you want to gasp for yourself. Be prepared to use the words exploitative and monopoly.

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I am an experienced freelance graphic artist and sometime canoeist. I feel strongly about the quality of professional work and like sitting by a remote lake on a sun-warmed rock.

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