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Author Topic: Adobe moving to the web  (Read 85169 times)
Tim Gray
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« on: October 19, 2007, 11:43:03 AM »
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Certainly we've already seen the beginning of this trend.  FWIW I like this direction - may take a few years to mature, but I think "Software as a Service" is going to be the way of the future.

http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews....BE-SERVICES.xml
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2007, 12:01:11 PM »
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I like this direction

I can't understand why. Who wants to be restricted in their use of software by internet availability ?
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sbacon
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2007, 01:12:48 PM »
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I can't understand why. Who wants to be restricted in their use of software by internet availability ?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147228\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Take, for example, a small advertising company with maybe 10 graphic designers using PS. They maintain a PS subscription instead of buying 10 copies of the latest version (each time a new version is released). Perhaps they get a small discount for maintaining their group subscription. No time and expertise needs to be spent on installation, configuration and upgrades - just sign on and use the product. Sounds pretty good.

Of course, this is over-simplified. There are many other pros and cons and other factors to consider. But software as a service makes a lot of sense for some applications in some environments. And as the article implies, it is not a "one shoe fits all" type model. It will probably never work for some. And will probably not be feasible as a profitable large scale business model for many years to come.

Adobe has a wide range of customers - not just the individual photographer processing digital images late at night (like me)...    
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The View
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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2007, 12:54:19 AM »
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Not interested.

Internet connections can have instabilities once in a while, and that's when you lose data.

I also have no interest putting my data on the web, which I'd have to do when the software is on a website, not on my hard drive.

I also have the impression that Adobe would like us to pay not once for the software, and then for the upgrades if they are worth it...

... but all the time, constantly, like a subscription.

This is bad. I don't want to put my work on other people's hard drives. I don't want to constantly pay through the nose for software, instead of just buying it.

If it is just an alternative, that's OK.

But when you have to do it, and can't choose to own the software, then it really starts to become a big brother relationship, where you are completely dependent on this website software, its maintenance, on the internet connection...

...instead of just working independently on your own.
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2007, 08:18:05 AM »
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Well, here are a couple of thoughts:

1: large corporations would dearly like to run "personal computing" in a centralized environment.  Having an operating system as complex as even XP on 60,000 machines it becoming less and less sustainable as complexity of OS and apps increase.  As the technology to virtualize the desktop (and I'm not necessarily talking about a MS OS here) becomes more and more mainstream it will be harder and harder for MS to sell the 1,000,000's of liscenses it needs to keep their economic model sound.  They might focus on developing a multiuser "enterprise" OS, but that still leads to the same end result.

2: On a personal note, the trials and tribulations I've had with Vista would make me an eager consumer of an outsourced OS.

3: Bandwidth and reliability of both hard wired and wireless networks is continuing to increase.

4: Web 2.0 tools such as Ajax (which will also continue to improve) are making web applications much more user friendly with rich functionality.

5: It won't be a switch that get's flipped overnight, "SaaS"  (software as a service) will have it's own adoption trajectory, but anyone who thinks that the model under which software applications are delivered, consumed and maintained will be same 10 years from now will most likely be wrong.
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sniper
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2007, 10:29:26 AM »
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Personally I won't be signing up to an online service, there are allways other companies willing to take over if theres a gap in the market, I'll just use something else, if Adobe don't want my money...... someone else will.  Wayne
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HiltonP
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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2007, 10:45:04 AM »
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I’m not happy with the shift underway in pc software licensing. I recently upgraded my desktop pc, including a fresh purchase of XP and Office 2007. MS did not want to sell me a disk of the software, instead offering a loading/maintenance “service”, with the catchy sales line of “come into ANY of our stores and we will re-load, fix or upgrade you for free”. Sounds good, except that I am 500km from their nearest office!  It’s like striking a deal with your local greengrocer to pay him a monthly retainer in return for a regular supply of veggies. Nice try, but no cigar!

The computing world is becoming increasingly “portable”. I know more folks with laptops than desktops. Problem is that they are often used in areas where Net links are poor, or non existant (country districts, foreign countries, etc), so any software-via-the-web would be useless. Acquaintances of mine are constantly complaining that their Internet and eMail do not work correctly when they travel to the USA, imagine then their problems elsewhere?

Software-via-the-web might sound good in big city USA, but it doesn’t work in Santiago, Mumbai, Johannesburg, or Madagascar, and won’t for decades to come.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2007, 10:46:16 AM by HiltonP » Logged

Regards, HILTON
Rhossydd
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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2007, 02:25:37 PM »
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While we're ripping the idea apart....
Have you considered the difficulties of working on large images ?
Using software on central servers is possible with the sort of little files word processors and spreadsheets use, not often more than a few Mb. It only takes a short time to upload the data to work on.
 It doesn't scale to image files in the 100mb zone (which many people here work with). Just consider how long it would take to upload a modest memory card of RAW data, say 4gb, to a remote server ? hours

Just say no and keep it local.
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2007, 03:03:04 PM »
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While we're ripping the idea apart....
Have you considered the difficulties of working on large images ?
Using software on central servers is possible with the sort of little files word processors and spreadsheets use, not often more than a few Mb. It only takes a short time to upload the data to work on.
 It doesn't scale to image files in the 100mb zone (which many people here work with). Just consider how long it would take to upload a modest memory card of RAW data, say 4gb, to a remote server ? hours

Just say no and keep it local.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147917\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

OK, so I understand I'm a minority of one at this point   but just to respond to the above - SaaS isn't necessarily predicated on moving the data UP to a mainframe, rather it would call down small discrete chunks of application code, as required, to run on the local machine.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2007, 03:03:29 PM by Tim Gray » Logged
feppe
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« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2007, 03:33:49 PM »
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Moving to the web is any business-man's wet dream moving closer to perfect price discrimination. Adobe CS3 with its several different reincarnations are just some of the first baby-steps towards charging each person what they can afford to for the software.

In the olden days everybody paid the same for a widget. Then an Englishman Arthur Cecil Pigou realized that different people value each good differently - CS3 is worth maybe $50 for a college student, but a pro could and would pay, say, $10000 for the same software. Early attempts at price discrimination in the software world included selling "pro" versions with all the bells and whistles at a "premium", and the "lite" version with the rudimentary features.

The reality is the other way around: the bells and whistles have already been developed, so including them in software doesn't have any additional cost in software world. But since not all people can afford the full version of PS, they came up with Photoshop Elements which sells at a discount compared to the full version. Adobe could sell PS at Elements' price and still make a killing, but price discrimination allows them to extract more money from their customers. Beautiful. At least for Adobe.

(It should be noted that price discrimination isn't some nefarious plot despite the unfortunate term. Nobody is paying any more than they want to pay for it - that would be extortion or coercion. Price discrimination does allow companies to extract more marginal revenue from their customers, which in turn leads to increased revenues, and increased shareholder return. And perhaps even more and better features in the future. It also means that those people who would normally not be able to afford the full product can enjoy many of the benefits of the product without breaking the piggy.)

If (when) PS moves to the web, Adobe can not only charge per usage, but they can also charge per feature or plug-in. Then those who use only the curves and healing brush would pay, say, 50 cents per hour of usage, but those who want multiple layers, CMYK color and HDR would pay $2.50. The possibilities are endless, and it's only the market (us) who get to delineate how far Adobe et al can go with such tactics. Amazon tried price discrimination, but pulled out soon after people recoiled. It is much easier to justify price discrimination with software due to differing versions, though.

Price discrimination is a very interesting economic topic, but I won't bore you any more.
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sniper
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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2007, 01:59:39 AM »
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Does that mean people in Europe will pay the same as the US, not around twice as much as they do now? difficult to find a good excuse if it's online!  Wayne
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feppe
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2007, 11:54:40 AM »
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Does that mean people in Europe will pay the same as the US, not around twice as much as they do now? difficult to find a good excuse if it's online!  Wayne
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=148042\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

VAT is still the same. Granted, that's not the only, or even the main, reason for the ridiculous price discrepancies.
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John.Murray
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« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2007, 09:39:15 PM »
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A good example of both being successfull would be Intuit's Quickbooks.  You have the option of purchasing a software license and running it locally on your computer for a flat one-time rate, or you can run it online for a monthly fee.  Both methods have advantages.

Being able to access your business billing and sales information from any computer is a compelling idea - not to mention not having to deal with payroll tax updates, etc.

Intuit wisely allows you to download/upload your data file which can then be imported or exported to the alternative version should you choose to switch!  Smart.

IMO Adobe would be wise to offer a similar solution - especially to those that seldom use some of its more esoteric features.  Like Tim, I feel the approach would be the exact reverse to what some are assuming:  Adobe's relatively compact "modules" and "plugins" would be selectively downloaded to process on demand a given Image on the user's local machine.  The large image files themselves would never need to traverse across the internet.  Imagine - renting PKS at 10 cents a whack
« Last Edit: October 23, 2007, 09:53:13 PM by Joh.Murray » Logged

Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2007, 02:54:36 AM »
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"Software as a Service"
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147223\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Given a hundred fold increase in bandwidth and a tenfold increase in conectivity reliablilty I think this is a great concept.

I know it is a bit big brother but I like the idea of having a a key or dongle or code or eye recognition system to to log on as me on any computer anywhere

My MAC needs a service right now but to live with that downtime I need to 'build' a second computer

This means installing all my sorftware actions etc on another machine

AND licenensing all of that software or at least finding the key, usernames, registrations etc

I would much prefer a centralised system where the desktop machine in front of me is irrelevant

It also could mean different pricing structures that would actually be fairer

The user who uses a complex filter or plugin (like alienskin) has to pay if they use it once a month or for 1000 files a day has to pay the same price

It would also incentivise software developers who could create thier own applications/filters/plugins and bring them to market on a use based fee structure with a lower cost to bring to the market

It is simlar to the costs of getting a 'record label' and recoding an 'album' versus the cost of publishing your own music on a per to play website

S
« Last Edit: October 28, 2007, 03:01:16 AM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2008, 08:43:16 AM »
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My original post wasn't a year ago, but there's been some intresting developments.

Adope released a baby Photoshop as SaaS in Photoshop Express

Microsoft has just released a SaaS subscription model for Office - Office Live, a subscription model at $70 per year.  But I suspect they will have a tough time competing with Google Docs, which is free.

and tools are getting better:  Adobe has Flex/Air and Microsoft Silverlight.

I wonder if the negative response to this model has tempered at all...  It will be interesting to watch the tipping point happen.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2008, 09:05:12 AM by Tim Gray » Logged
sniper
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« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2008, 08:13:35 AM »
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Photoshop express was nearly stillborn due to it's copywrite clause, it was only AFTER adobe modified and explained it people started using the service, even now I only know one pro who is using the service to show customers images, none of the other will touch it, it certainly didn't catch on the way adobe expected.  Personally theres no way I'm uploading any business documents to anybody, who knows who will read them?  This coupled with the broadband "issues" means for now none of this stuff is really practicable, it takes me long enough to FTP images to the printer, never mind trying to work on a 150mb image on line!.
I also know a few pros who won't use computers linked to the net for the serious stuff, they don't want the risk of viruses etc.  Wayne
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Panorama
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« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2008, 08:52:01 AM »
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Certainly we've already seen the beginning of this trend.  FWIW I like this direction - may take a few years to mature, but I think "Software as a Service" is going to be the way of the future.

http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews....BE-SERVICES.xml
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147223\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Couldn't disagree more.. unrealistic and very poorly thought out if you ask me...

I for one don't want any company forcing me to use their software over the net. I may want to sit in my studio, my car, my hut, or where ever,  without being connected to the internet, and if Adobe tells me it's not an option then I'm gone as a customer..
« Last Edit: July 05, 2008, 08:53:29 AM by Panorama » Logged
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2008, 08:16:54 PM »
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Certainly we've already seen the beginning of this trend.  FWIW I like this direction - may take a few years to mature, but I think "Software as a Service" is going to be the way of the future.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147223\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Software vendors would clearly want to go in that direction, and it is probably valuable for casual users. Sotware vendors want to go that route because some analysis shows that it has the potential to increase their revenue.

The concept itself is understood differently by different people, but there are clearly 3 aspects that need to be distinguised:

1. Licensing model

SAS is based on charging the user according to the actual usage of the software. You can charge per session, per click,...

2. Application type

For technical reasons, it is difficult to implement SAS without a web connection, and most SAS proposals are therefore based on web based application. This is part of the reason why many pro users have serious doubts about the model.

Web applications are easier to maintain, upgrade and distribute,  but this very characteristics is also a major issue for authoring software like PS where many people want above all stability of behaviour. Web applications are also typically slow and interfaces that are still less flexible.

You could think of ways to implement SAS with regular (non web based) applications too.

I would not be against it for applications that I use rarely, like PS plug-ins etc... but I would not be interested in having PS itself licensed that way. It could be a win-win situation for plug-in vendors since many people today are not willing to spend big money on a tool they might use once every 6 months.

3. Data storage

A consequence of many of these applications being online apps is that the storage of the data is typically done off-site in the DB of the application provider.

This is also a problem for many users who are concerned about performance, confidentiality and dependency on the provider. There is also a lack of visibility about the format used to store the data.

I believe that nobody today is really clear about what customers are willing to accept and Adobe is just testing the grounds here.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: July 05, 2008, 08:20:43 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

A few images online here!
Tim Gray
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« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2008, 07:15:01 AM »
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I believe that nobody today is really clear about what customers are willing to accept and Adobe is just testing the grounds here.

Cheers,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=205821\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I agree that today, nobody is clear...  on second thought I think it's clear that today the CS3 kind of professional functionality would not be adopted by the market.  But tomorrow will be a different story.

Another reason the vendors are interested in SaaS is the much simpler support and update release process.  SaaS vendors can release incremental upgrades as often as they want.  

Bandwidth and reliability are increasing and at some point a networked connection will be more reliable than a desktop with operating system crashes or hardware failure.
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cgf
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« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2008, 09:24:24 AM »
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I wonder if this isn't the direction of all (most?) software very soon?

I work for a government department with 10,000 + pc's. For the past three or four years all our applications have been slowly migrating to web-delivery. MS-OFfice hasn't gone there (yet) but Outlook has, as from Office 2007 our emails are in the web version of outlook, not the desktop.

As soon as all our old (some still in dos) applications are converted to run over the web, all our pc's will only have XP-Pro and a browser installed.
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