As reported by CNet and elsewhere, Adobe is make a dramatic move to “cloud-only” versions of its famous Creative Suite of software applications. Creative Suite includes such programs as Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator, among others. Suffice it to say that most creative professionals rely on Adobe software on a daily basis. And it’s quite possible that for creative professionals who keep up-to-date on the latest Adobe software that this move makes quite a bit of sense.
But for the rest of us it’s a disaster. This is why.
Those of us who don’t have an employer to buy the software are usually hobbyists or freelancers. We might be a hobby photographer who appreciates the power of Photoshop to make our photos look their best. Or a starving artist using InDesign to do flyer or poster design on the side. For folks like us we would typically buy a copy of the program we couldn’t do without and then wait for a couple updated releases to pass before catching up again. The thing is, we could barely afford it to begin with, and now they want to charge us a monthly rental fee? It’s not happening.
At $20/month for one application, that means you would spend around $240 a year. Not $240 every once in a while, but yearly. Constantly. Forever until the end of time. Or until you died or stopped using the software, whichever came first.
For we librarians, this refrain is all too familiar. First it was e-journals, then e-books that we were forced to rent, not buy. As soon as we stop paying we have nothing, so we pay and we pay. Well, I’m not buying it — literally and figuratively.
Now before someone comments that I’ve said good things about cloud computing in the past, so what’s up with this screed against it — I’ve always said that cloud computing can make a great deal of sense for certain situations and applications. I just don’t happen to think that the situation described above is a good one for me or others like me. And apparently we will not be offered a choice in the matter.