Adobe Creative Cloud: eminently unsuitable for New Zealand small businesses? | Apertura Designs

Adobe Creative Cloud: eminently unsuitable for New Zealand small businesses?

The reviews of Adobe's new “cloud”-enabled premier design product are arriving—and they're not pretty. By forcing customers dependent on the traditionally-licensed Adobe Creative Suite into a rental scheme, Adobe has released software that for many small businesses turns out to be more expensive than the outgoing product.

The following reviews are an excellent cautionary example for business owners caught up in the hype surrounding cloud computing. It's important to remember that Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office have historically remained the multi-billion-dollar cash cows for Adobe and Microsoft, respectively. As noted in the below links, Adobe reported record profits in 2012—despite the global economic climate. While the cloud model undoubtedly offers benefits over historical software delivery methods, these vendors are not about to sacrifice the huge profit margins stemming from their traditional boxed products. In the case of Adobe, it's hard to view their new rental scheme as anything other than a cynical exercise to extract a predictable revenue stream from customers under the guise of a cloud-branded product. Microsoft has similarly indicated that a rental scheme for Microsoft Office is on the horizon (of which Office 365 is the vanguard).

Some notable points on Adobe Creative Cloud from both Ars Technica and Gary Fenton:

  • For businesses that have hitherto purchased a perpetual boxed license and didn't upgrade every year, Creative Cloud is more expensive
  • Creative Cloud becomes the sole license scheme—businesses can no longer own a perpetual license (not even as an option)
  • Stop paying your monthly fee and you'll lose access to the apps you were paying for
  • For small businesses that fall on financial hardship, they will have to “. . . choose between buying food and electricity or your monthly Adobe licensing bill. If you choose the former then your Adobe software stops working and you can’t do any work at all.”


  1. Ars Technica review of Adobe CC
  2. Gary Fenton's blog on Adobe CC

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