As much as I appreciate working on my images with Aperture, its lack of layer capabilities makes Photoshop a more adequate choice to save time and indeed I have been using it for quite some time.
Earlier this year there has been quite a bit of ink spilled on Adobe’s change of business model with the launch of Creative Cloud. This might need some clarifications for some: previous to Creative Cloud, users of Adobe’s product would purchase the software and install it on their computers, they could later purchase an update at a reduced price or opt to keep their current version. With Creative Cloud users rent monthly the use of the software which become inoperative the month they stop renting the software. As a business model it offers Adobe with a more stable revenue stream, it reminds of the IBM model of old, and lock in its clients. On paper, it gives users the advantage of always having the latest version of the software but also it strips them the choice of either keeping their version or upgrading. I won’t elaborate further on this as there are many pro and con pieces available on the net, personally though I am not against the principle as long as the company can be trusted, but there are not so many company which can be trusted to work for the benefit of the users always and at all times (asks what some people have thought of Final Cut Pro X when it was released: even Apple cannot be trusted at times).
Now a couple months ago, Adobe was again the object of a controversy, this time a much bigger one: it had suffered from a large security breach. For at least a month, Adobe did not officially admit it and only contacted its clients a couple of months after the breach took place. What looked like a large breach soon became a security failure of massive proportions: the information, including their password, of 150 millions was stolen from the hands of Adobe.
Not only Adobe failed to publicly communicate promptly, to alert its users, it did not take elementary security measures to protect user information and their password (see this thorough piece for more details). There are indications that this breach might lead to a bush fire because, unlike what I recommended here, many users are simply reusing their passwords.
Obviously this did not give much incentive to buy into the new Creative Cloud, still I also suffer from naiveté from time to time, and returning from Switzerland I decided to go for it. The trigger: money, Adobe was offering until December 2nd a “Photography plan” for USD 9.99 per month (it has in the meantime been extended until December 8th). My reasoning was also that now that the blunder was made, it became less likely to occur again soon, also I bet that Adobe is offering low cost plans to convince users like me to register despite its damaged reputation.
But boy, was I wrong.
Friday, November 29th, I bite the bullet and register to the program. Giving a strong and unique password to my Adobe ID, entering my credit card details and after a few clicks I receive a confirmation email: I am in! Next step, installing Photoshop on my computer, signing in with my Adobe ID, everything seems fine. I even go ahead and install it on my laptop. Of course, doing so I also removed the previous version of the software.
Time to work: I edit my first images, published with my last post, but I noticed something photoshop mentions about a “trial version” but I dismiss the message without thinking further. However next time I launch photoshop, it tells me that my “trial” version is expired. Time to get some help.
You may have noticed that most companies are difficult to join, in that respect except Apple which has definitely the best phone support available, in the case of Adobe, I had to dig a bit to find their web chat support. So Friday evening I contact them, explain the problem and they are able to confirm my order and that there is something wrong with my account. I am told to expect an answer and resolution within 2 days: not convenient but better than nothing.
Come Monday: still nothing, no progress at all. I recontact the support, go through the same process of description of the problem and again I am promised that I will get an answer within 48 hours, this time because my ticket is given priority. Again I am told how sorry Adobe is and how much they understand my frustration. Nice to hear but not making thing progress.
A day after, I have not heard anything back and rather that sitting idly, I recontact the support, go again through the same description and confirmation process. I am told this time that my ticket is prioritised much higher and that I should expect an answer within 5 to 6 hours. That’s good news: it means starting the next day I can use what I paid for.
The next day comes, we are now Wednesday and 12 hours after I was online with the support, and no email has been sent nor solution found and my software is still unusable.
I contact the support for the 4th time, Adobe now swears that their expert team has been working on the problem since it was reported, that no solution has yet been found and that they will contact me as soon as they can. Again, very politely, the support rep apologies and understands my frustration but there is nothing more they can do.
At this moment, 5 days after purchasing the plan, I am still unable to use Photoshop and have no indication as to when I will be able to use it, because somewhere on a system an order has been paid by me but it couldn’t be applied to my Adobe ID, from my point of view this is a highly complex problem requiring a team of highly qualified engineers working 24h for 5 days to solve. I’ll admit it, the last sentence is the result of my very real frustration but I can only wonder what sort of problem is Adobe facing with me: is it structural, due to yet another breach or simply the lack of willingness to support a client who has just started to pay only 10 bucks a month?
Or are these the signs that Adobe is losing itself and that creatives must seriously consider opting for alternative software before they realise that their trust and investment in the Creative Program is made in vain?