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Adobe Creative Cloud: Why no 'Buyout' or Read-Only Option?

Adobe claims they want to do Creative Cloud to “focus”. But of course, the real reason is to force users into paying year over year even if they don’t want “improvements”. And so you must pay forever even if all you want to do is open your past files. Unless you are ready to throw away all your files ever created with Adobe software.

Note that I’m not asking for some free-upgrade deal, but I am saying that today I can buy (or could buy) Photoshop or whatever and keep it on my drive and use it three years or five years from now (at least on an older computer) to open files I have already created.

Because no mechanism is in place with this new Creative Cloud to allow even read-only usage, even with the oldest version you last used. That stinks. It’s viciously unfair.

You can’t just keep a version of Adobe software on your drive to open those files you already have. It just won’t run, and Adobe has made no allowance for that very reasonable purpose of opening older files with older software, which is the practice today that many users reasonably expect; buy the sofware (“license” it), install it and there it remains so long as the computer works and the OS doesn’t break it somehow.

The truth is that Adobe could offer a buyout option: after a year (or even two), offer the right to keep whatever the current version is—forever. No more upgrades, no Cloud services, but the version would stay on disk and exist just like any non-Cloud version always did. This I would find acceptable.

Alternately (and less appealing but better than nothing) would be that Cloud apps revert to a read only mode so that my investment in Adobe file formats is protected.

What I find highly objectionable is the idea that even if all I want to do is to be able to read prior files using some old version of the software—well that is not an option. This is a dramatic and viciously unfair departure from all past software experience. It speaks volumes about Adobe’s attitude towards its customers.

Mark M writes:

Regarding Adobe forcing users into a rental scenario and customer opinion about it, you have a demonstrated gift for understatement. The reaction demonstrates a pervasive mistrust of Adobe, admittedly much of it is based on misunderstanding of what this will mean, but I think it does not bode well for Adobe in the long run anyway (think Scitex and Quark).

I for one have not liked or trusted Adobe since the original principles retired.

MPG: and here I thought I was being more strident than just about any member of the press. :)

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