Adobe CC - Hero or Villan?

Adobe in addition to knowing a thing or two about software, certainly knows how to stir up lively debate.No one can deny that they make some fine software, that the vast majority of photographers use. The software ship seemed to be sailing along just fine, with the option of subscribing to the software if you wanted access to a wide range of their software.

Then a bolt from the blue.

You can no longer buy the software.

You must subscribe to it.

Adobe's rationale does make a great deal of sense.

No more software piracy, a CFO's dream of a constant monthly income stream, no more printed DVD's

Putting Adobe well and truly in the driving seat.

Not only for the company does it make sense, for top end working pro's it could be a money saving boon, always having the latest and greatest from the software giant.

On the other hand, there will be some people who like buying and owning software, without a monthly payment leaving their bank account.

If you are broke and you hit hard times, Adobe will deactivate your software.

Leaving you few options to earn your way out of a financial hole.

I do know shooters in this unhappy situation too.

Without Adobe the photographic world would be a much unhappier place, but you do have to question any manufacturer who takes away a buyers choice and imposes a new way of distributing software, no matter how appealing it may seem.

Old hands like myself may recall this is not the first time that Adobe has ruffled feathers in the photograph world.

Remember Adobe stock photos? It was greeted by swathes of the photographic community with the same enthusiasm that one would greet a rabid leper, and though it does still exist, as a result of the furore, it was somewhat kicked into the long grass.

There is always a challenge when you are the in disputed market leader, you can become a little, dare I say it, disconnected from your customers, with more than a slight whiff of schadenfreude.

Are Adobe guilty of this? I will let you decide.

There is a bigger issue here though, competition breeds success.

And when it comes to Photoshop, Adobe does not have a great deal of competition - yet.

Yet?

Adobe may well have uncorked the bottle and the genie may well be out there - not wanting to go back in quite so easily.

They just may have opened the door for a clever start up to offer similar software that you can buy out right.

There may come a day when photographers use something other than Photoshop.

This may seem far fetched, but consider for a moment Microsoft Office and Excel

Every but every computer had this software installed, but little by little it is not quite so vital anymore, with its market share being eroded by affordable and compelling alternatives like Pages and Numbers.

So Photoshop you HAVE to subscribe to but it is rather interesting to note that you don't have to subscribe to Lightroom.

Why?

Competition.

Photoshop has an opposition which is about as unified as the Judean people's front and the popular front of Judea were in ousting the Romans in the wonderful 'Life of Brian'.

Lightroom faces opposition which is vibrant and compelling, Capture One 7 and DXO to name but two, keeping Adobe honest and giving them a good run for their money.

I reckon Adobe will stay top of the tree, with many seeing CC as a bargain.

But equally I believe that there will be a small but vocal community of users who do not wish to be compelled to pay a monthly subscription if they want to use the software.

In the next couple of years it will be interesting to see if Adobe faces competition which makes them rethink this approach which many will like and make others feel left out in the cold.