Adobe competitors pounce after subscription backlash

Adobe Systems' competitors smell blood in the water.

Having seen the torrent of criticism that greeted the company's move last month exclusively to subscription sales for most of its software, many are launching promotions and otherwise scrambling to win over the disaffected.

"We've put in place our outreach program to users, saying, 'Hey, come and try us,'" said Nick Davies, general manager of Corel's digital media and productivity software group. Corel launched a promotion that lets Adobe CS4, CS5, and CS6 users buy Corel software for the upgrade price rather than the full price.

"… Read more

Unhappy with Adobe subscriptions? QuarkXPress offers upgrade deal

Users of the InDesign layout software who are disgruntled by Adobe's move to sell its software solely through subscriptions might be interested in a promotion from rival Quark that just arrived.

The Denver-based company announced Wednesday that those who buy or upgrade to its QuarkXPress 9 software will get a free upgrade to QuarkXPress 10.

"Until June 30, 2013 anyone who purchases or upgrades to QuarkXPress 9 from any previous version will receive version 10 for free. After June 30, 2013 only QuarkXPress 8 users will be eligible to upgrade to QuarkXPress 9 for a free upgrade to … Read more

Dislike Adobe's Creative Cloud subscriptions? Tough beans

Anyone disappointed with Adobe Systems' switch to sell most of its software exclusively through subscriptions will have to remain disappointed.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company will make some changes to its $50-per-month Creative Cloud subscription to accommodate photography hobbyists and those who need access to files after they stop paying monthly fees, David Wadhwani, general manager of Adobe's digital media business, said in an interview Tuesday. But it won't turn back the clock to sell perpetual licenses to its software alongside the subscriptions, he said.

"We understand this is a big change, but we are so … Read more

Survey: Creative Suite users loathe Adobe's subscriptions

Adobe Systems still has a lot of work to do convincing its customers it was a good idea to switch its Creative Suite software to its $50-per-month Creative Cloud subscription.

That's one of the messages from a poll of 1,642 readers conducted by CNET and analyst firm Jefferies. Of 740 people using the CS6 generation of Creative Suite products, 76 percent said they planned never to move to the Creative Cloud. And of the 612 respondents using CS5.5 or earlier, only 8 percent said they'd decided to move to the Creative Cloud.

"You should be … Read more

Adobe unplugs Creative Cloud sync tool during transition

Unexpected instabilities forced Adobe Systems to hasten a planned outage for its Creative Cloud Connection, a service that keeps files made on mobile devices or uploaded to the Web in sync with customers' PCs.

Adobe launched it a half year ago in a preview version, and had planned to take it offline this week to update the interfaces the software uses to communicate with Adobe's servers. However, the company said in a blog post on Friday, " some updates...have caused instability in the service. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you."

As a … Read more

Google Play Music All Access vs. Spotify

New music services are great at making me feel old.

Opening Spotify is like opening the door to some hip cafe where a mustached 20-year old barista takes my order with folded arms and a stamp on his hand from last night's secret show. I feel not just a little lame. But instead of running for the door like the curmudgeon that I am, yearning for the comfortable embrace of my iTunes collection, I stay.

I stay because even in these days of free apps, free video streams, and free e-books, I'm still totally enthralled by the idea … Read more

Survey: Is Adobe Creative Cloud subscription worth the price?

Are you happy or horrified by Adobe Systems' announcement last week that the Creative Cloud and other subscriptions will be the only way to get new versions of its broad array of software?

Now's the time to weigh in with your opinion.

CNET and analyst firm Jefferies are again surveying Adobe customers to gauge their response to Adobe's different sales approach.

Click here for our newest Adobe customer survey. In it, you'll find questions about whether you plan to move to the Creative Cloud or not, upgrade from earlier versions of the Creative Suite to CS6, and … Read more

Adobe mulls Creative Cloud tweaks for long-term file access

Adobe Systems is trying to address one complaint about the company's decision to sell its major software products only through subscription plans, the fact that designers can't do anything with their files if they stop paying for access to the software.

"You should never lose access to your work, period," wrote John Nack, a principal product manager at Adobe, in response to criticism that the Creative Cloud subscription is in effect an "Adobe tax."

He wrote on Thursday:

Your work is absolutely your property. Adobe fully agrees, and that's why we've worked … Read more

YouTube begins paid subscription pilot

YouTube on Thursday launched a new service for video content makers that lets them charge users to subscribe to their channels.

What Google calls just a "pilot program" for the time being, lets video makers charge users a monthly fee for access to their videos. The subscription plans start at 99 cents a month, but can be set higher. All paid channels offer a 14-day free trial and can be sold at a discount if users subscribe a year at a time, YouTube said in a post announcing the program.

The service is launching with 53 paid channels … Read more

How greedy is Adobe's Creative Cloud subscription? Not very

Plenty of people are outraged that Adobe is moving to subscription plans and scrapping perpetual licenses. But should they be?

To shed some light on the situation, CNET broke out the spreadsheet software, dug into pricing information from Adobe and retail outlets, and put together some actual comparisons to see whether that wrath is deserved.

The answer, as with all things complicated, is that it depends. But at least in some reasonable situations -- not just power users but also middle-end customers who upgrade to Adobe's latest releases -- the Creative Cloud isn't a bad deal at all. … Read more