Adobe Creative Suite: Long-term plans?
October 17, 2013 8:46 AM   Subscribe

So, Adobe has abandoned retail versions of Creative Suite (and its component apps) in favor of Creative Cloud. This terrifies me.

I've disabled auto-updates on all of our Adobe stuff, because it seems every time Adobe software tries to update itself (Acrobat Pro in particular), it breaks itself. This happens with our Win7 Pro 64-bit, and our Mountain Lion-based desktops. At least with the retail version of CS6, I have the option of disabling updates. With a Creative Cloud membership, it is my understanding that the apps will auto-update themselves. Is there still a way to disable the updates in Creative Cloud? Given our experience with CS6 and Acrobat, I just don't trust Adobe to not break things with their constant updates.

Every time this happens, a simple "repair" does not fix the problem, I have to completely uninstall and reinstall, which takes an hour or so of babysitting. Not the end of the world, sure, but it always seemed to happen right at the worst possible time. I realize that running older, unpatched software may leave us vulnerable to certain exploits, but we run a tight ship network-wise, and really we have no choice: Run risky software that works, or keep it fully patched and never be able to launch it.

Photoshop and InDesign are still pretty much the industry standard in our area, so there's really no getting away from it completely. But I'm trying to develop a long-term strategy. How are other graphics pros handling this?

We're trying to stay relatively current on app versions, so I know I'll have to deal with Creative Cloud at some point. But if anyone has any tips or tricks, or ways to prevent CC apps from updating themselves, I'd love to know!
posted by xedrik to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Tell you the truth, auto-updating has been the least of my problems.

My big issue with CC is that every few days, it decides that it isn't registered and reverts to trial mode unless I re-authorize it. Mostly, that's just an annoyance (primarily since, if the app thinks it is in trial mode, it will forget what it was doing, like opening a file). But if I'm traveling, it means I can't use the app until I get an internet connection back.

The Adobe response is basically "It just does that sometimes."
posted by kaszeta at 9:02 AM on October 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I get the feeling that the pros will keep on using CS6 for the foreseeable future, rather in the way that lawyers still use old versions of WordPerfect. (If it ain't broke...)

Unfortunately, with each passing week of this nonsense Adobe digs themselves deeper and deeper, and makes the chance that they might move over to a more sensible model, (like, for instance, having a subscription rolling release program that lets users 'get on and off' at milestone releases and which falls back to the last milestone release rather than a trial version,) slimmer and slimmer. I had hoped that this would be the next Qwikster, but they seem to be sticking to their guns.

My advice would be just to stick with CS6. If enough of us refuse to "upgrade," then that remains the industry standard. Adobe can do whatever the hell they want with Creative Cloud, but it's irrelevant if the pro users don't adopt it.
posted by fifthrider at 9:08 AM on October 17, 2013 [13 favorites]

I know this isn't very satisfying (and I will be looking forward to other answers here), but the way I'm currently handling it for my organization is not upgrading anyone past CS6, to the extent that I also won't do any OS upgrades if they would break CS6. At some point we're going to be forced to make the change, but I'm hoping to hold it off long enough that others have worked out the kinks first, and I don't think we're anywhere near that point yet.
posted by primethyme at 9:08 AM on October 17, 2013

LA creative professional here...the shops I contract at are all sticking with CS6 for now and likely will for the next year or two. Not sure what happens after that. I know of no serious studio using the CC yet...
posted by jnnla at 9:13 AM on October 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

I work in the photo industry and a lot of times we are on location with spotty/no internet. Every single person I have talked to about this issue is simply going to stick it out with CS6 for as long as possible.

I have yet to hear of anyone who has upgraded to CC, or plans to any time soon.
posted by bradbane at 9:20 AM on October 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have retail versions of both CS5 and CS 6 (pre-CC) Master Suite installed on my Mac, and I expect those to be the final versions of the Adobe apps I'll ever use. I'll never jump to CC.

When you really think about it, there's not been any serious, mission-critical reason to upgrade Adobe apps for several years now, other than if you updated your computer's operating system and that caused parts of your Adobe apps to stop working.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:31 AM on October 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Photo university tech here. No way to move away from Photoshop as a tool, and I'm already dealing with auto-updates breaking some of the stations in our labs — installing the CC application manager and not recognizing the CS6 installs for example — so once I get around to it I'm going to reinstall CS6 and manage all updates through Apple Remote Desktop and Adobes package creator.

The film department wants to move to CC because of some of the features available there, so I imagine we'll move to CC next fall.

Awful mess at the moment though. Really unhappy with how poorly it's been managed by Adobe…
posted by monocultured at 9:47 AM on October 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Joining the chorus. I'll be sticking with CS6 as well, and I'm glad to hear at least some other folks are planning to do the same.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 9:47 AM on October 17, 2013

I'm in the architecture industry, and I use Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Dreamweaver, and Aftereffects daily. (well weekly for the Aftereffects.) I love the CC. I haven't had the problems of it de-authorizing itself, and it works beautifully on my Desktop PC (Windows 7) and my Macbook Pro. No updates have borked anything; I've never even had to reinstall a single app. (I know my experience is not like that of a huge company, as I generally work alone...)

I even love the mobile apps and how I can sketch in the field on my iphone, then export a DWG from illustrator and use it in my CAD software (Vectoworks) pretty seamlessly.

I must be the only one using CC...they should be giving me a discount!
posted by Kronur at 9:51 AM on October 17, 2013

any serious, mission-critical reason to upgrade Adobe apps for several years now

Except for those of us with newer cameras who shoot raw. My new camera needed, I think, CS5 in order for me to use a version of the Adobe Camera Raw plugin that could open the CR2 files. Likely won't switch cameras again for at least 3 years (if it lasts that long...just had to send it in for some shutter issues) but there's a real issue in trying to open the pictures I take with each new camera.
posted by msbrauer at 10:13 AM on October 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

I work at a small, all mac, in-house shop and we're all on CC. We have an IT department that is hostile unfriendly to us and has network level firewalls pretty well clamped down. The only issue so far has been downloading the apps in the first place, due to those firewalls. Otherwise, tt has been great for the shop.

At home? Yeah, I'm not giving up my CS6 anytime soon. (Though I do have a copy of CC from my work AdobeID, which was a nice perk) CC, and the subscription based nature of it, is really just screwing over freelancers. Great for bigger groups, great for someone who needs photoshop on a whim for a month, terrible for someone who needs 3 or 4 core apps for the foreseeable future with varying income levels.

There are ways to roll back patches with CC. But like you said, take an amount of time and effort.
posted by fontophilic at 10:14 AM on October 17, 2013

Best answer: But I'm trying to develop a long-term strategy. How are other graphics pros handling this?

Figure out what you use the Suite for and whether you actually need to to open files from newer versions of Indesign. Photoshop isn't that big of problem as it mostly deals with pixels, but look into older versions opening up newer versions. Stay on top of that.

Otherwise, enforce a strict "We only accept PDFs" policy and make it easy for folks to preflight their Indesign files to your specs and create PDFs for what you need. This means creating a Preflight and PDF profile for Indesign and putting it on the web for people to download.

Do the cost benefit analysis. Which is cheaper, having someone patching CC or turning away a client?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:24 AM on October 17, 2013

Except for those of us with newer cameras who shoot raw.

In the commercial photo world we mostly use Capture One for processing. Not that Camera RAW isn't useful, but there are better tools that don't depend on CC.
posted by bradbane at 10:39 AM on October 17, 2013

Just hang in there until Adobe finds a way to kill it.

Working at a big Boston service bureau inthe 90s, I remember when PageMaker 4.2 hung on a looong time after PM5 came out, and how some designers kept using tools like QuarkXPress 3.x and FreeHand and FrameMaker waaay past their end-of-sales date. *shrug* The desktop software doesn't care what its publisher says, so why should you?
posted by wenestvedt at 1:25 PM on October 17, 2013

for cs5 - i have no idea if this works for cs6

software ('cloud' or otherwise) that isn't yours to control makes me want to scream.
posted by lalochezia at 4:33 PM on October 17, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks for all the responses. I was hoping to just hang on to CS6 for as long as possible, so it's reassuring to see so many other similar responses. We do primarily just take PDFs, but we have several clients that we work jointly with, and so need to be at least semi-current with InDesign and Illustrator.

Thanks, everyone! One less thing to worry about. (For now.)
posted by xedrik at 9:12 PM on October 17, 2013

I'm late to this party, but wanted to add that I'm a photographer who has upgraded Photoshop with every upgrade cycle since v 2.5.

I'm sticking with CS6, and hoping that Adobe reverts back to the traditional distribution model before I replace my cameras. If they don't I'll just add the unfortunate time consuming step of converting my raw files to .dng files and continue with CS6 for the foreseeable future.
posted by imjustsaying at 11:28 AM on October 18, 2013

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