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Author Topic: Weasel words from Adobe on Lightroom  (Read 13478 times)
dreed
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« on: May 15, 2013, 08:59:55 PM »
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From DPreview (http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/05/15/adobe-lightroom-5-beta-google-hangout) comes this:

What did Adobe say about Lightroom and CC subscription?

Predictably, the first question at the hangout was about the future of Lightroom. Hogarty tried to ease concerns about Lightroom's future: 'Basically we have no plans to make Lightroom subscription-only at any point in the future. We have plans to make Lightroom available in its current form pretty much indefinitely.' And, while he wouldn't use the word 'forever,' he confirmed that he meant 'for the foreseeable future.'


How long is the foeseeable future? Depends on what part of the IT world you live in. For the long term thinkers, 3 years. For the short term thinkers, 3 months. Nobody can see or predict what the IT landscape will be in 5 years although many would like to think that they can. Even beyond 18 months is pushing it in some quarters.

My take on this is that LR 5 will be delivered and used as LR 1, 2, 3 and 4 have been but LR 6, well that could be CC as is the next release of PS.
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Schewe
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2013, 09:59:39 PM »
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My take on this is that LR 5 will be delivered and used as LR 1, 2, 3 and 4 have been but LR 6, well that could be CC as is the next release of PS.

Well, that may your "take" but it ain't mine...I think both Lightroom and Elements will continue to be perpetual licenses...and in the case of LR also available in CC.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2013, 12:34:31 AM »
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Well, that may your "take" but it ain't mine...I think both Lightroom and Elements will continue to be perpetual licenses...and in the case of LR also available in CC.

I agree.  Tom seemed pretty adamant that a perpetual license for Lightroom is the stance he's taking.  He also said that there would be no differences between the two versions, although there may be cloud features added to Lightroom.  My understanding of that is, for example, if I make an image with my phone I can process it some in PS Touch on my phone then save the file to the cloud and open in it PS or Elements on my computer.  While Tom didn't say so, linking a LR catalogue to the cloud somehow would make a lot of people happy, especially since he's already opened the door to the possibility of a tablet version of LR down the road.  You can see the entire hangout here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWgRz4fEGSQ

It may be that one reason LR will continue to be sold standalone is that there's a lot of competition from Aperture, Capture One... and the list goes on.  Doesn't matter to me.  As long as it's for sale, I'll buy it.

Mike.
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sunnycal
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2013, 12:55:20 AM »
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Any word from any company is really only applicable to the present, and maybe past.

What Adobe is doing is to improve its long term revenue outlook. It is getting harder and harder to add meaningful new features to CS products, and as a results users will not have as much incentive to upgrade as they did in past. So what is a company to do to survive in a mature market? Subscription pricing is Adobe's answer. This way Adobe is guaranteed long term revenue even if they do not introduce any meaningful new feature. The problem, as far as I am concerned, is that Adobe is being greedy. Subscription pricing offers them guaranteed revenue. When profits are guaranteed, net margins must be reduced to balance the equation for users. Adobe, on the contrary, is increasing its net margins.

Lightroom is a different story for now as there is lot to come in future (lots of features can be and will be added). So Adobe is relatively confident that people will continue to upgrade to Lightroom in the "foreseeable" future. Besides, Lightroom is a negligible piece of Adobe's revenue stream so it will not impacts Adobe's bottom line either way.

Photoshop Elements is the lowest common denominator, it has features that were hot 10 years ago in Photoshop. So, once again, this is not strategically important for adobe. However consumer photo processing needs are ripe for online, on-demand, tools and Elements will not be relevant in coming years anyway.



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Rhossydd
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2013, 01:01:17 AM »
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How long is the foeseeable future? Depends on what part of the IT world you live in. For the long term thinkers, 3 years. For the short term thinkers, 3 months. Nobody can see or predict what the IT landscape will be in 5 years although many would like to think that they can. Even beyond 18 months is pushing it in some quarters.
At the Adobe digital marketing summit in London earlier this month, they made a HUGE deal out of how fast their new marketing and web building tools (this includes their little imaging utility PS) could change companies product offerings to meet changing demand and expectation.
The marketeers start talking about things changing in minutes, not years or even weeks.

From what I've seen, if someone really high up at Adobe says "Everything we sell must be subscription based to comply with company policy" it will happen regardless of what the people lower down the company's chain like Tom want or have said in the past. One needs to remember that it's not the guys building the products that set the sale prices and policies, it's the sales executives. If CC succeeds, why wouldn't they apply the same success story to everything ?
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2013, 01:09:43 AM »
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Lightroom is a different story for now as there is lot to come in future (lots of features can be and will be added). So Adobe is relatively confident that people will continue to upgrade to Lightroom in the "foreseeable" future. Besides, Lightroom is a negligible piece of Adobe's revenue stream so it will not impacts Adobe's bottom line either way.
There's also another aspect to the LR story I haven't seen much comment on; No significant DRM on it yet, ie no authentication. It's trivially easy to pirate and pass serial numbers around. Why ?
A cynic may point out that this will create a very big user base quickly. Once the product reaches maturity and there's little significant development possible (as has happened with PS) how do you increase revenue ? Subscription, which will be easier to enforce because extracting your work from a big LR catalogue is currently very difficult. LR's development has now slowed down, based on what we've seen so far with LR5, so it's going to take a few years before LR is ripe for subscription, but can anyone seriously think Adobe won't do it eventually now ?
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Schewe
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2013, 01:38:37 AM »
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LR's development has now slowed down, based on what we've seen so far with LR5, so it's going to take a few years before LR is ripe for subscription, but can anyone seriously think Adobe won't do it eventually now ?

LR5's being "slowed down" is a function of the change in the upgrade cycle...LR4 shipped spring 2012...now LR5 is expected to ship mid-June 2013. The only way to do that is to cut down on the new feature development (although the ACR boys added some nice stuff) and try to ramp up processing speed, which they've done with LR5. And, while it's interesting to speculate and read tea leaves, doing so is not the same as knowing anything...and yes, I doubt LR will go totally subscription. Take that for what it's worth–pure speculation (but from somebody who knows some stuff).

:~)
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2013, 01:54:20 AM »
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(but from somebody who knows some stuff).
I'm sure you know far more about the factory floor of Photoshop and LR than most other people here.
BUT how much do you know about the other, bigger and more profitable, parts of Adobe ?
Having sat through days of presentations, key notes, sneak peeks and other stuff from the AMC side of Adobe, I get the impression there are VERY few people here who have a grasp of the really big picture of what's happening to that side of Adobe.
Frankly that side could just steam roller it's way over the small bit parts like LR & Elements, or just completely drop them if they seem not profitable enough.
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Schewe
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2013, 02:22:43 AM »
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BUT how much do you know about the other, bigger and more profitable, parts of Adobe ?

I know a lot...I hear a lot...not all of it "good" but not all of it "bad". I know what drove Adobe to abandon Photoshop CS7 (and the rest of the suite products) as a dual perpetual and subscription license. It wasn't pretty...but, in the grand scheme of things, I agree with the decision. Doing a dual code branch was impossible...and since Adobe has invested heavily in the CC, there was really only one choice. Drop CS7 as a perpetual and go all in for CC. Will that be a long term success? I don't know...what I do know is that the entire Creative Suite was a bad thing for Photoshop but a really good thing for Adobe because it went to driving integration (which since I use Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign and Dreamweaver) was a good thing, over all.

Yes, people got sucked into the Suite mentality...they bought what they thought was a great deal only to learn that they gave up their point product license to get a Suite license and were forced to upgrade the entire Suite they bought, not just cherry pick the apps they used.

Then Adobe went with the 3 version back upgrade policy which changed to the 1 version back policy. I really thought they would get much more push back...they didn't. Now we have the CC only as subscription.

But that's for the former CS products, not Lightroom. Lightroom is the first and only photographer-centric product Adobe has ever done (and they almost didn't do it).

But I do know that there are very talented engineers working for Adobe and as I've said before, in the case of Photoshop, it's been successful in-spite of anything Adobe has done nor because of anything Adobe has done.

Reading tea leaves is, well, problematic...some people can read them better than others. I'm pretty good at it...

:~)
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2013, 02:31:36 AM »
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I know a lot...I hear a lot.......
Reading tea leaves is, well, problematic...some people can read them better than others. I'm pretty good at it...
So far I've not read one mention from you about the AMC line (Adobe Marketing Cloud).
Have you any idea how important that is to Adobe ?
From what I've seen it totally dwarfs the imaging products.
Trying to extrapolate what happens to Adobe (and everything they do and offer) from just knowing the imaging products doesn't work. It's just one small room in a very big mansion.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2013, 02:44:04 AM »
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Not sure what was in that cloud - something more hallucinogenic than water vapour - but the marketing cloud is about a quarter of Adobe's sales, the creative suite almost 70%.
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Schewe
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« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2013, 02:48:31 AM »
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So far I've not read one mention from you about the AMC line (Adobe Marketing Cloud).
Have you any idea how important that is to Adobe ?

Well...the major apps–Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat are successful in-spite of what Adobe does, not because of what Adobe does. So, while it seems that "Adobe Marketing Cloud" seems to be getting a lot of marketing traction, that doesn't really mean anything to me, per se.

How well can you read marketing-speak?

To me, it comes out as blah, blah, blah-sex, blah, blah, blah-power, blah, blah, blah-money.

Does that answer your question?
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2013, 03:11:31 AM »
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From DPreview (http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/05/15/adobe-lightroom-5-beta-google-hangout) comes this:

What did Adobe say about Lightroom and CC subscription?

Predictably, the first question at the hangout was about the future of Lightroom. Hogarty tried to ease concerns about Lightroom's future: 'Basically we have no plans to make Lightroom subscription-only at any point in the future. We have plans to make Lightroom available in its current form pretty much indefinitely.' And, while he wouldn't use the word 'forever,' he confirmed that he meant 'for the foreseeable future.'


How long is the foeseeable future? Depends on what part of the IT world you live in. For the long term thinkers, 3 years. For the short term thinkers, 3 months. Nobody can see or predict what the IT landscape will be in 5 years although many would like to think that they can. Even beyond 18 months is pushing it in some quarters.

My take on this is that LR 5 will be delivered and used as LR 1, 2, 3 and 4 have been but LR 6, well that could be CC as is the next release of PS.

I know little about Adobe's corporate structure and nothing about their planning, but what more could he have said.  "I guarantee that Lightroom will always be available as a standalone product".  That would be a very foolish thing for anyone in business to say in the software market, and I wouldn't believe it anyway.  To me the statement is quite clear.

Jim
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2013, 03:23:34 AM »
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Not sure what was in that cloud - something more hallucinogenic than water vapour - but the marketing cloud is about a quarter of Adobe's sales, the creative suite almost 70%.
Don't know where you're getting those figures from, but they don't fit with their last published quarterly report http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/pressroom/pressreleases/201212/Q412Earnings.html

That suggests AMC accounted for closer to 50% of their income with 35% annual growth.

This discussion isn't about what AMC has been, it's still a comparatively new product, it where Adobe want it to be.
Figures being bandied around at the digital summit hoped for tripling that revenue. It sounded highly optimistic to me, but it didn't surprise a lot of people there.

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Rhossydd
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« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2013, 03:25:17 AM »
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To me, it comes out as blah, blah, blah-sex, blah, blah, blah-power, blah, blah, blah-money.
Does that answer your question?
Yes, very well.
You're drinking in the corner with the engineers and not paying attention to the suits that make the big decisions and pay their wages.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2013, 03:35:27 AM »
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Don't know where you're getting those figures from
From the latest investor briefing notes - p3 shows what's in each line.

Even in your reference, Marketing Cloud is $777m out of total $4.4bn.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 03:37:56 AM by johnbeardy » Logged

Schewe
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« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2013, 03:46:49 AM »
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Yes, very well.
You're drinking in the corner with the engineers and not paying attention to the suits that make the big decisions and pay their wages.

Uh huh...well, you believe what you want to believe...I've seen a lot of stuff come and go at Adobe...the bottom line is it's the pro apps that make Adobe money, bit money. Do they want to expend their "service" revenue? You betcha...will it work? Well, we'll see (based on track record, I wouldn't hold your breath).

CC is a complicated play...Adobe is betting on the future, but the future is rarely what we think it will be.
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2013, 04:53:00 AM »
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From the latest investor briefing notes - p3 shows what's in each line.

Even in your reference, Marketing Cloud is $777m out of total $4.4bn.
The confusion comes in that the distribution of which product comes in which segment is changing with the new AMC offering, swallowing up parts that were considered Digital Media from what I understood of the Key Notes at Excel. The intention being to consolidate the mess of different products doing similar things into four or five main apps, all with new names.
I think the quarter after next will be rather different.
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Schewe
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« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2013, 05:01:18 AM »
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I think the quarter after next will be rather different.

Actually, with the adoption rate of Photoshop CS6, I think next quarter will be skewed...I think a better gauge will be 1 year from now...trying to read tea leaves on a quarterly basis is stupid...year over years is more reasonable.
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2013, 05:21:30 AM »
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Actually, with the adoption rate of Photoshop CS6, I think next quarter will be skewed...I think a better gauge will be 1 year from now...trying to read tea leaves on a quarterly basis is stupid
Except if they're changing the division each product is accounted under soon.
Quote
...year over years is more reasonable.
You're really not on message with all this. The guys running things now talk about measuring sales by the hour and responding fast.

I think it's crazy too, and I suspect a lot their data is being skewed by things they aren't fully understanding or admitting to either.
They gave a crazy stat that their sales on Adobe.com had increased by 37% by redesigning their sales site.
What they failed to mention was this coincided with changing their distribution policies so that independent dealers, Amazon etc became more expensive than buying direct (which previously hadn't been the case), plus it also occurred when the whole upgrade debarcle was in progress and people thought they need to upgrade now or wouldn't be eligible for future upgrades. Marketing spin ? ignorance of their own policies ? probably both.
They'll now go on to claim even greater improvements due to the site design, but will probably fail to mention that the only way of buying most Adobe products will now be direct.
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