Will Adobe Offer a “Regular” License of Photoshop Again?

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe recently released a statement acknowledging some of the major complaints surrounding Creative Cloud and Photoshop CC.

In the statement ,Adobe gave particular attention to photographers, who have apparently been the most vocal group among Adobe’s customers dissatisfied with the Creative Cloud offerings. Adobe alludes to an option for the photography community that will be different from what’s already on the table for Creative Cloud apps (i.e., Photoshop and Lightroom subscriptions).

. . . . we have heard some concerns around our move to Creative Cloud. Three main themes are coming through:

  • File access. Customers want to be sure that, if their membership to Creative Cloud lapses, they will still have access to their files.
  • Photographers, particularly photo-enthusiasts, are looking for a more tailored offering that focuses on their particular needs.
  • Some customers are not convinced that Creative Cloud is right for them and would rather continue to purchase desktop applications as before.

We want to start off by reinforcing that we continue to believe that the move to Creative Cloud will benefit the wider creative community because of the constant stream of innovation that we’re able to deliver. Creative Cloud also allows us to explore new areas in mobile apps, helping you collaborate better and build a meaningful worldwide community to share work and find inspiration. Because of this we have no plans to change our focus on Creative Cloud. We understand this is a big change and for customers who are not yet ready to move, we will continue to offer CS6 products through our reseller partners and Adobe.com.

For photographers, we are looking at potential offerings that recognize the photography community – because it is so broad – has some unique needs.

With regards to file access, Adobe completely agrees that customers should have access to their files if they choose to stop their Creative Cloud membership. Our job is to delight our customers with innovation, but there are a number of options open to us here and we expect to have news around this issue shortly. (emphasis added)

To be clear, Lightroom remains available as a regular license option, as well as a product available through Creative Cloud. Photoshop CS6 also remains an option for regular licensing; however, new features will no longer be added to Photoshop CS6. Currently, Photoshop CC is the only way to get the new whiz-bang Photoshop features.

Of course, the “potential offerings” that Adobe references could be something other than giving a perpetual license path to Photoshop users. Previously, I suggested offering past versions of Creative Cloud apps to users who have subscribed for a minimum time period. I’ve also heard of a Lightroom and Photoshop combo subscription being tossed around by others.

However, I don’t know if the photography community as a whole will be happy with anything less than an option to actually purchase a licenses. That certainly seems to be the trend based on Photography Bay readers’ comments on this previous post discussing Creative Cloud.

What do you want to see as an offering for the photography community from Adobe? Is a combo license for Lightroom and Photoshop enough (at what price)? What about CC subscribers getting access to full licenses for older software after they have been a subscriber for long enough? Something else?

[Adobe via Phoblographer]



  1. Tim L says

    I just don’t see myself renting software. I’d rather just have the option to purchase the previous version outright. Having said that, I’ve spent over two decades learning how to use PS so once CS6 becomes unusable the decision will really depend on the alternatives available at the time. How will the prospect of losing functionality and learning a new piece of software stack up against the repugnant concept of renting software (with an option for a perpetual license down the line)? There’s no way to answer this question until the time actually comes for a decision. The alternative choices could be very appealing by then. I will say this: I’ve owned every Master Collection since it was offered. I expect to stay with CS6 until I’m absolutely forced to make a change—assuming Adobe doesn’t alter their policy in the meantime.

  2. Jared says

    If all you use is Photoshop and Lightroom, the cloud isn’t really that great of a deal.

    Gone are the days when you could continue using your copy of CS3, see announcements of ‘new features’ in CS4, but decide it’s not worth upgrading; save your money, and wait until you saw value in the ‘new features’ of CS5.

    Gone are the days when Adobe had to innovate and compete against their previous releases, in order to actually EARN your money.

    Now, once you join the cloud, Adobe is GUARANTEED to get your money every month, with little or no incentive to innovate (at least not like before).

  3. G Taylor says

    I’ve used Photoshop and bought upgrades since the early 90s. I love Photoshop, not Adobe. I will use CS6 till the wheels falls off… or another product. I will NEVER rent PS.

    Adobe keeps saying the freaking “Cloud” will offer them the ability to offer innovation blah blah blah. I thought that’s what upgrades were for. How can something new be added any more quickly to their cloud (which has to then update the functioning rental ware on my computer) vs me downloading an update for purchased software. I call BS on that Adobe argument.

    It doesn’t appear they are talking ongoing instant rollouts of new features. What I see already is they don’t release new things immediately so they can spend months advertising it and holding it back and saying “Hey, if you rented our software at twice what you use to pay, you could have this carrot we’re dangling”.

    Something will eventually take the place of Photoshop. Can’t someone who left Adobe craft us something even better? Corel? Hello, Corel? Here is your chance. Change the name of Paintshop and tweak it! Seriously, “Painstshop” for a photo editing program?

  4. Jared says

    Google bought NIK Software.

    I hope they use that as a springboard for a Photoshop alternative.

    • Tim L says

      I’ve had similar thoughts. NIK has some amazing engineers working for them. Having said that, how long would it take to create a comparably-equipped PS alternative w/ similar features from scratch? It would be a huge, resource intensive undertaking that is likely at odds with the reason Google purchased them. Google already killed Snapseed for the desktop.

      • Hersch says

        I must say that I like Photoshop CS6 as well but would not pay a monthly fee to use it. OnOne Software have launched photosuite 7.1 which has layers as well and a combination of photography specific modules. Suite 7.5 is due this month with even better enhancements. Their spot healing brush and blending modes surpasses Photoshop spot healing and content aware and blending technology. The more familiar I become with OnOne the less I become reliant on CS6. Their software is brilliant the only thing I’m not sure about is how effective it is for professionals working with large numbers of images. But for me it works very well. Topaz labs has a similar stand alone product with layers which incorporates all their modules or programs for developing images. Also a great option. So things are moving and Adobe have created a huge opportunity for an innovative software company to perfect a photography specific program and capture a global market.

  5. Douglas J Louden says

    I believe that Adobe has already laid down the gauntlet as far as their customer loyalty is concerned. Any future offerings from them will all be suspect in my mind. Can I trust them to not leave me in the dust at some point in the future after I have spent hard earned dollars investing in whatever flavor of appeasement they may choose to foist upon us?

    Call me a cynic if you will, but the old adage comes to mind: Burn me once shame on you, burn me twice shame on me.

  6. Jim Kendall says

    What troubles me the most about this whole (or should I say hole) CC thing is that from what I’ve read so far is that they have stolen all my previous work. Apparently, “Any & All” of my .PSD files will not be available for me to access without an active CC subscription??? I can’t quite wrap my head around this. How would they prevent me from opening a PSD photo if I have a earlier/former PS program?

    My sense is that any PSD files & PS editing work prior to their CC versions would remain accessible to those previous/earlier programs, but work created under the new CC format would only be accessed via the new CC protocols. This would be similar to new versions of software not being compatible with some older versions, while the newer versions can most often still process the older versions.

    Somewhere, someplace, someone has got to be screaming that this is a perfect opportunity for them to step up & kick Abobe’s ass, even while Adobe is bending over & saying “Please Kick Me”! We have some great secondary software providers already proving much of what PS lacks, now here’s their chance to grab it all. A ready made customer base crying out for relief, what more is needed?

  7. Steve H. says

    Well, that’s great, but the link to CS6 is only for the full version… there no longer appears to be an upgrade path to CS6 from CS5, which is what I have. I would pay $200 to update to the last non-CC version of Photoshop (if they keep upgrading Camera Raw for a while), but $600+ is ridiculous. I’ve been a loyal customer for 8 years, I deserve better. Has anybody tried Corel’s offerings?

    • Douglas J Louden says

      Steve: I found a deal last week on Dell’s site for Corel Aftershot Pro for ab0ut $26.00 or so. I’ve played with it some already. It has a similar Lightroom look and seems easy enough to move around in thus far. I haven’t had time to really work with it on a project. I did find its’ printing function to be a bit funky and the web is full of comments about this. If they really want to get in the game, they need to step up to the plate and fix this.

      I downloaded Paintshop Ultimate over the weekend as Corel is offering an upgrade price to Adobe users. Can’t pass along any comments yet. Also looking at CaptureOne Pro as a possibility.

    • Tim says

      There is an upgrade price of $199 you just have to click on the full version on the Adobe site and the next window shows an option for upgrade

  8. Darren Kelly says

    At this point, I couldn’t care less what Adobe does.

    I subscribed to CS6. The reason – I would get new innovative features faster. WHAT FEATURE DID THEY DELIVER IN THE PAST YEAR! NOTHING, NONE, NADA.

    When this stupid announcement came out, I upgraded from my full version of CS5.5 to CS6 for an additional $375.00. That means I spent nearly $800.00 on software that should have cost me $375, if I had been smart enough to just do the upgrade last year.

    YES, you can still upgrade. Click the buy button. A new screen will come out that allows you to press the buy button and select upgrade. It will cost you $375.00. You can feel as dumb as I do.

    We saw previews before CS6CC on the antishake work. It didn’t come in 2012-13. Now it’s promised in CC. We’ll see.

    This is just more Adobe BS.

    I teach Photoshop Elements – well, I taught it. My last scheduled class is later in June. For September, I will be teaching something else. I am already in negotiation with software developers with currently competing products to provide my customers with discounts, and deals. Believe me, there are lots of other companies who want to jump on board.

    As to my video work, I’ll be an AVID customer by the end of summer. CS6, will sit on the shelf beside Final Cut Pro Suite.

    As to my web work…. WordPress

    As to my illustration….. Corel

    Bye Bye Adobe. Your greed was your mistake. You and your shareholders can……. well you know

    • jim1061 says

      “video, web work, illustration” You have alternatives to all three that seem to satisfy you. Well, that’s great except what is probably the most used and most popular aspect of Adobe products is Photoshop and Lightroom which deal with photos. So what is the alternative to those two programs for photographers?

      Personally, I know of open-source GIMP but haven’t used it in a while,,, that is about to change. My problem is Lightroom. I have version 3 and will upgrade to 4 but if that is the last version out of the box, I have to find another option. Since I am on a Mac I can go with Aperture and may very well do so. Anyone have any other suggestions? Adobe will soon be extinct from my computers. This is a disgrace.

  9. jim1061 says

    “Creative Cloud also allows us to explore new areas in mobile apps, helping you collaborate better and build a meaningful worldwide community to share work and find inspiration.”

    What a load of garbage! Adobe is looking to end piracy and that is it, period. The only problem is that some of us who have purchased the product over the years do not necessarily use it every day. In fact, as a sports photographer covering only certain sports, I do not need the Adobe products 24/7 so why should I pay for that??? The Cloud is nothing more than an anti-piracy gimmick and I believe it will prevent many of us who want to own the product legitimately from having it in the future and that is a shame. Adobe has paid back years and years of loyalty and loyal customer spending with a “screw you if you don’t want to pay us monthly” attitude. This is a huge slap in the face and a huge disappointment. I guess it is time to go open source.

  10. dick ranez says

    As a photoshop user since 1993 and the registered owner of every version up through
    CS6, I have purchased my last version. I figure I only use thirty to forty percent of the
    capabilities available now and since I have zero interest in video, I can’t imagine what
    “enhancement” could entice me to lose control of my work into a “creative cloud” even
    if I trusted the bastards that run Adobe.

  11. jmick says

    Adobe should continue to offer a license for Lightroom, and a license for new versions of Photoshop, starting with the CC version. As a photographer, I prefer to have the software on my computer as an application I have purchased a license for and thatI I can use on an unlimited basis. These subscription offers usually start low ( I don’t feel the current Cloud program is), and the cost soon starts climbing . Buying a license is the way to go for many and Adobe should respect its loyal clients.

    • Douglas J. Louden says

      Adobe has stated that they will issue a perpetual license for LR5. The issue is, at what point will they decide that they want us to belly up to the Adobe feed trough and pay monthly to use Lightroom also? I agree that LR is a nice product, but I’m not willing to continue to commit my time to a product that might in the near future leave me in the dust.

  12. Paulus van Aken says

    I have to say that I agrre absolutely with most of the writers that were here. My photographic work has nothing to do with a cloud, and iI don’t want to pay for things I don’ t need, want to have PS on my computer and work with it whenever I want, and if thats for a day or a week I dont want to pay every month. Not even mentioning tht I have got no creditcard, and living abroad, so I can” t even pay for it…..

  13. JimmyDranox says

    This is a big step forward for all photo programs developers, and probably, in the future, a big advantage for all photographers. With Adobe going in the dust – hmm, Cloud, there will be a lot of room for competition! Good job Adobe. We will remember you.

    • Jim says

      Agreed. This is great stuff. i hope Adobe burns in a ball of fire. They are a disgrace.

  14. Terrence Smith says

    Unbelievable!!! I am a Photographer, and only use LR3 and PS 7, and i’m good with those. I have used the CS5, and Love the Content Aware feature and would like to try the new Anti-Shake feature (not sure what version it will be on yet) Though I sometimes use GIMP to correct minor flaws in my photos, I refuse to get on board with another MRC (monthly recurring charge) company. The only way, and I mean THE ONLY WAY they will get away with this is if people submit to their demand. I for one, will Not be a part of this.