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If Apple Can do it, Why Can't Adobe?

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Jim Wiseman
If Apple Can do it, Why Can't Adobe?
on May 31, 2013 at 4:30:31 am

Walter Soyka: > FCPX has had 8 dot releases in 2 years, most of which were feature-bearing, some of which offered really huge, workflow-changing features.<

That's an average of four/year. I'm not tied to annual updates. If FCPX and Apple can do so many point releases without a schedule, why can't Adobe? What is it about Apple's model that is superior to Adobe's that they can do this for a single price and Adobe can't? With a perpetual license. I'm sure we'll hear something about SOX limitations now, but surely Adobe has the legal minds to get around that if Apple can. Or is there just something really lacking with the Creative Cloud model?

And paying once a year is hardly indefinite extension of revenue. It works for most software companies.

Jim Wiseman
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Walter Soyka
Re: If Apple Can do it, Why Can't Adobe?
on May 31, 2013 at 4:47:53 am

[Jim Wiseman] " I'm sure we'll hear something about SOX limitations now, but surely Adobe has the legal minds to get around that if Apple can."

Of course, I'm neither a lawyer nor an accountant -- but Apple has charged for iOS updates and laptop firmware updates, citing SOX. These are products that are critical to their business. I think they can afford to defer FCPX revenue indefinitely since it is not.

Adobe could never do that with Creative Suite because that revenue is critical.

In other words, I don't think it's that Apple has "gotten around" it -- I think they're complying by taking revenue deferral on the chin, which no company could reasonably do with its primary product.

Please note that Adobe is not alone here. Autodesk is careful to comply, and Avid might be in a heap of trouble for being maybe a bit less careful.

I'm not trying to make a value judgment here -- just trying to make sense of the state of affairs at the moment.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
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Jim Wiseman
Re: If Apple Can do it, Why Can't Adobe?
on May 31, 2013 at 5:02:09 am

I see the logic. However there are a lot of us here who are also not ready to take it on the chin for Adobe if it means losing perpetual licensing or some form of usable software security without paying forever. There has to be some compromise, or we all might take it on the chin. Including Adobe.

Jim Wiseman
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Walter Soyka
Re: If Apple Can do it, Why Can't Adobe?
on May 31, 2013 at 5:33:17 am

[Jim Wiseman] "I see the logic. However there are a lot of us here who are also not ready to take it on the chin for Adobe if it means losing perpetual licensing or some form of usable software security without paying forever. There has to be some compromise, or we all might take it on the chin. Including Adobe."

Or it might turn out to be a big success for Adobe, with or without some of us here -- a good foundation for the next generation of their creative apps. These are early days for CC, and I think there might be something really interesting and valuable in that vision letter that everyone else says is filled with buzzwords.

I don't agree with every decision that Adobe is making, but I'm willing to go along for the ride because I think the potential is huge and my downside is low.

If I feel they've mucked it up, I'll find new solutions. I've done it before, and I'm sure I'll do it again. Apple seems to be doing just fine without me.

Of course, everyone draws that line differently, and none of us have a good grasp on what the real numbers are. Nearly everyone I talk to in real life is excited about CC; nearly everyone I talk to online is down on it.

Interesting times!

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Andrew Kimery
Re: If Apple Can do it, Why Can't Adobe?
on May 31, 2013 at 6:19:37 am

[Walter Soyka] "Interesting times!"

To say the least...




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walter biscardi
Re: If Apple Can do it, Why Can't Adobe?
on May 31, 2013 at 10:17:29 am

[Walter Soyka] "In other words, I don't think it's that Apple has "gotten around" it -- I think they're complying by taking revenue deferral on the chin, which no company could reasonably do with its primary product."

Bingo, we had this very discussion yesterday with some colleagues and it's Adobe's compliance with being a publicly traded company that is why the cycle of releases is handled a different way with perpetual licenses vs. the Cloud. The Cloud opens up a lot of freedom for Adobe and actually gives them a competitive advantage over the other NLEs.

http://walterbiscardi.com/why-the-cloud-frees-up-adobe/

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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walter biscardi
Re: If Apple Can do it, Why Can't Adobe?
on May 31, 2013 at 12:26:43 pm

Further update, and thanks to Ryan Holmes for pointing this out to me. The law I refer to in my blog post is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (I'm updating the blog now) and both Apple's App Store and Adobe Creative Cloud get around the law.

So the Apple Store is what legally allows Apple to update FCP X for "free."

So the answer to the original question posted in this thread, "If Apple Can do it, Why Can't Adobe?"..... Adobe IS now doing what Apple is doing.

Here's the wiki for the actual law that governs what companies can and cannot release for "Free."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarbanes%E2%80%93Oxley_Act

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

Foul Water Fiery Serpent, an original documentary featuring Sigourney Weave...
MTWD Entertainment - Developing original content for all media.
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"Science Nation" - Three years and counting of Science for the People.

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Steve Brame
Re: If Apple Can do it, Why Can't Adobe?
on May 31, 2013 at 2:12:04 pm

From Walter's blog post -
"within 5 years we’ll see all the software on subscription only basis."

Or, we'll see an addendum to SOX to close this loophole. I certainly wouldn't put this past them.

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walter biscardi
Re: If Apple Can do it, Why Can't Adobe?
on May 31, 2013 at 2:13:39 pm

[Steve Brame] "Or, we'll see an addendum to SOX to close this loophole. I certainly wouldn't put this past them."

By the way, we can all thank Enron for this law in the first place.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

Foul Water Fiery Serpent, an original documentary featuring Sigourney Weave...
MTWD Entertainment - Developing original content for all media.
"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.
"Science Nation" - Three years and counting of Science for the People.

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Jim Wiseman
Re: If Apple Can do it, Why Can't Adobe?
on May 31, 2013 at 7:45:23 pm

Apple doesn't take away your license if you quit paying. That is certainly different.

Jim Wiseman
Sony PMW-EX1,Pana AJ-D810 DVCPro, DVX-100, Nikon D7000, Final Cut Studio 2 and 3, Media 100 Suite 2.1.3, Premiere Pro 5.5 and 6.0, AJA ioHD, AJA Kona LHi, Avid MC, Hexacore MacPro 3.33 Ghz 24Gb RAM GTX-285 120GB SSD, Macbook Pro 17" 2011 2.2 Ghz Quadcore i7 8Gb SSD, G5 Quadcore PCIe


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Herb Sevush
Re: If Apple Can do it, Why Can't Adobe?
on May 31, 2013 at 2:12:46 pm

[walter biscardi] "The Cloud opens up a lot of freedom for Adobe and actually gives them a competitive advantage over the other NLEs."

So one question to ask is whether having a quicker release schedule is worth the uncertainty of not having a perpetual license. I believe the answer to that differs for everyone, yet Adobe has taken away one of those options. While quicker release schedules may be a side benefit to the Cloud, let's not for a moment make it seem like that's why Adobe eliminated perpetual licensing. They could have continued with the "best of both worlds" scenario they've had since the Cloud began and they chose not to - and that choice had nothing to do with any benefits for the user.

Along with that is the flip side of flexible release schedules - Adobe is now free to take longer, as well as shorter, to get new features out the door. As much as a yearly release schedule might delay improvements getting out, it can also spur a development team to get something out for this year's NAB, as opposed to taking more time. In my production experience "hard" schedules act to expedite releases at the cost of higher quality, they don't act to slow release schedules down.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
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Tom Daigon
Re: If Apple Can do it, Why Can't Adobe?
on May 31, 2013 at 2:14:10 pm

[Herb Sevush] "So one question to ask is whether having a quicker release schedule is worth the uncertainty of not having a perpetual license."

And the answer from thousands of loyal users is "HECK NO" !

Tom Daigon
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Rainer Schubert
Re: If Apple Can do it, Why Can't Adobe?
on Jun 1, 2013 at 1:07:34 pm

I even don´t want a developer living in freedom.
I want him in a real market with real competitors (like me and mine).
The only way innovation is driven.
The knowledge of getting payed anyway is not the best motivation (I will not take me out of that).


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