25 Nov 2013

Newest Adobe deal for Photographers (valid till 2nd December 2013) - take or leave it?

Adobe has a limited time offer, called Adobe Photoshop Photography Program (valid till 2nd December 2013), which offers a bundle of Photoshop CC and Lightroom via a Creative Cloud (CC) monthly subscription of 9.99$ (in Europe it is priced 12.29EUR per month). There was (and is still ongoing) a lot of discussion on Internet about the new business model of Adobe. I am not going to discuss pros and cons of such model. Instead I am going to present some considerations taking different user categories into account.

New users

For someone that does not have Photoshop and Lightroom it is probably a good deal. For 120$ (147.5EUR) per year one gets those two packets. CS6 and Lightroom 5 bundle if bought separately, would cost 848$ (699 and 149 for Photoshop and Lightroom, respectively). So the subscription price would exceed the purchase costs of the standalone version after 7 years. This of course under assumption that the subscription price remains the same.
The added value is that the upgrades of the software are included in the subscription price of the Creative Cloud. And in the period of 7 years one can expect 2-3 release updates of both products.
So for the newcomers it is in my opinion the interesting option.

Existing users

If someone (like me) has purchased Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom, then the benefits of such deal are not so obvious. Let's face it: Photoshop CS6 is very extended package and most photographers don't even need the updates (there are people still using CS2 and CS3 with a great success and pleasure). And update of Lightroom will be available as a standalone application for 79$. 
So for the sake of switching to CC I would not take this deal. 
But there is one more aspect that makes it interesting for at least some of us.

Users using two different OS platforms (Windows and Mac)

If someone has both a Windows and a Mac machine and wants to use Photoshop and Lightroom on both platforms, then he/she should seriously consider the offer from Adobe, in my opinion. Why? Because the licensing model of Photoshop (prior the CC version) does not allow to use the same license for two machines equipped with two different operating systems. In this case Adobe offers either purchase of two licenses (which means 699$ extra) or the so called platform swap. But platform swap is not an option since the usage of software is limited to one machine.

For the CC version the situation is different: one can install the software on two computers, disregard the operating system they run. More on that in this discussion thread.
So for 120$ per year one gets the software running on both platforms. For me this is a deal maker.