Unfortunately I’ve missed the Adobe Max keynote last night and I don’t have the time to watch the loop provided by Adobe. So I must rely on the filtered news I read on the news sites. What I’ve heard so far makes me laugh:
Adobe kills the CS as a product and makes it a service.
We’ve seen this coming. They offered the creative cloud service alongside their regular products. It was obvious that they would enforce their efforts into this direction. But to cease the sale of the CS as a standalone product is like brain surgery while the patient has a heart attack. This will not happen without some consequences.
Adobes profits will increase from the moment on when the CS6 starts to disappear, because they force every professional to pay for their tools. We all know that there are a lot of illegal copies circulating among smaller businesses, schools and private users. That’s why Adobe is the industries standard, not because they are delivering interconnected software.
Adobes user base will shrink. If they really charge their users for the software there will be a lot of users who can’t afford the $50 per month. These users, may they be small businesses or private people, will look for alternatives.
The market pressure will decrease. IMO the market is structured like a pyramid. At the top you have the few agencies with the money and the bottom you have a lot of freelancers who work as graphic designers, writers, illustrators, web-designers etc.. The Jacks of all trades, masters of none. I assume that these people do not have the resources to pay a yearly subscription.
I expect that Adobe will offer schools and students special conditions for their services. This may be all right for some organizations but for most design students it is hard to pay for a Mac and for the software at the same time. The illegal copies students use are the warranty for Adobe to have a user base tomorrow.
If students don’t use Adobes software they will use other software. This will lead to a greater variety in the market. Maybe there is a competitor at Adobes doorstep and they haven’t noticed it yet?
Mentioning a competitor: Corel is still there and they have good software. They are associated with private users or semi professional usage but as far as I know their products can easily do the same job as Adobes. Maybe their software is not as comfortable as Adobes CS but it is definitely not as bad as most professionals think.
CS6 will be the Windows XP of Adobe.
Adobe will suffer from this on the long term. The concept of a subscription based model seems like a perspective for the future. On the short term they will suffer from the existing CS products. On the mid term, say about 2-5 years, they will make a lot of cash, but then a new generation of designers will appear. These designers will know other tools and alternatives.
There will be a crack and everything will remain the same.
Adobe will die, sooner or later. I’m not talking about the consequences of their new business model. I’m talking about their innovation potential. If you look at the publishing frequency and how much software Adobe is publishing you can see that this company does not have the slightest clue about where the market is going. They don’t have a long term perspective for their products. They don’t know what the next paradigm will be. They don’t even know how to use their market power to craft the next paradigm. Adobe is exhausted and driven by shareholders. The only reason why they are still here is because they are a monopolist. After they bought Macromedia there remains no other company who could offer something similar. I’m just waiting for the one competitor who has the potential to change this mono culture.
Oh, mentioning Macromedia: they kill Fireworks. After they have killed Freehand they finally kill Fireworks. I can’t say how pissed I am. The next thing they will kill is the Flash IDE. I have observed that a lot of the good features of the Flash IDE were included in Illustrator. Following their argumentation that Fireworks became dispensable because its features were included in other products it is obvious that the Flash IDE will be the next candidate.