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Upcoming CS5 will be 64 bit, no port to 32 bit Plugins (Customer Service Comments)

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Martin JordanUpcoming CS5 will be 64 bit, no port to 32 bit Plugins (Customer Service Comments)
by on Jan 3, 2010 at 1:36:48 pm

I was just reading in a blog about the upcoming CS5 AE and all the 32 bit plugins that we all enjoy will not transfer over seamlessly. They will all have to be upgraded. Now some companies will upgrade to 64 bit and some will not. I won't discuss all the ramifications of what that means here, but I would like to comment on the Customer Service side of big companies (one being Adobe) and the specific comment that—Michael Coleman—made who I believe works for some division within Adobe development.



Michael Coleman stated on "http://www.minning.de"…
This means that the question facing After Effects was not whether we should support 32-​​bit plug-​​ins. It’s a question of what we can get done in a limited amount of time.


Martin's response...
In my business our job is to create video for our clients that is a smooth and enjoyable experience and obtains the results. When we're done we want them to say, "WOW, great job...we're very happy". It's all about customer service.

Users of AE (for the most part) are also users of a lot of other software / hardware & other expensive equipment. One thing that plagues the design / video business is configuring workstation systems and a workflow that works and works smoothly. There's always a ton of time & money spent to get things working right for a production team.

In Michael Coleman's comments he said it was, "It’s a question of what we can get done in a limited amount of time."

This is what happens when companies get so big. They forget how they got there. Adobe has made some big strides in the past few years. We all know their strengths...but their weaknesses are beginning to show. Being more interested in what the cost would be to them, "instead of the cost it would be to their customers".

Customer Service by it's nature means, "what can we do to best serve those who have chosen us". Sometimes it does mean you take a hit in the short term but it almost always maintains loyalty with your customers. Forcing your customers into frustrating and expensive situations isn't good customer service.

The thought of all the 32 bit plugins we have on multiple workstations that will not be compatible in CS5 is sickening. All the time to research, emails what will be updated, what will not, money spent on updates, working out new bugs and so on would not be worth it to us. We have enough on our plates without worrying if any of our tools are going to work anymore. For us, we just won't upgrade to CS5. It's that simple.

Adobe (or any other company) should not put their time constraints to roll out new products as their priority over taking the time to make a smooth and enjoyable experience for their customers. Then we would all be able to say to Adobe, ""WOW, great job...we're very happy".


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Todd KoprivaRe: Upcoming CS5 will be 64 bit, no port to 32 bit Plugins (Customer Service Comments)
by on Jan 3, 2010 at 3:52:37 pm

I recommend that you have this conversation with Michael Coleman himself. He's the product manager for After Effects.

Here's a link to his blog post about the 64-bit version of After Effects:
http://blogs.adobe.com/keyframes/2009/10/our_next_release_64-bit_native.htm...

In Michael's responses to comments on that post, he addresses some of the concerns that you've stated here.

FWIW, I daily see many instances of the After Effects team working hard to do what's right for you, the After Effects customer. I hope that when you read Michael's blog post and responses, you'll see that the goal is to make something that will help you the most to get your work done as effectively as possible.

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Martin JordanRe: Upcoming CS5 will be 64 bit, no port to 32 bit Plugins (Customer Service Comments)
by on Jan 3, 2010 at 6:55:23 pm

Todd,

Ya know, I told my partner when I made this post this morning that Adobe would defend their position and this post could start a fire storm.

We all understand the benefits of 64 bit. But let me elaborate more.

It's my guess that you don't shoot or edit video. To produce professional video it takes a lot of capital. Camera's, lenses, lights, hardware, RAID drives, cards, cables, P2 cards and on & on I could go. And then there is all the tools to edit, output and so on. 10's of thousands of dollars to create a smooth, professional workflow. And then the hassle, research and working out all the bugs to make it all work right.

AE is obviously a main component concerning editing for most of us. Thousands of dollars are spent for ONE workstation to equip it with all the extra tools to create what our clients want. Then Adobe comes along and says, "oh, by the way, your tools (32 bit plugins) will now no longer work with our new version because we didn't want to take the time or resources in development to port to it. We could have...but we didn't. So now we want all of you to take the time, your resources, your money and retool.

You probably won't like this example but...
That would be like I own a construction company and equip my van with thousands of dollars worth the tools and then new laws & restrictions come down the pike and it says I can't use those kinda tools anymore. I have to buy a whole new van full of new tools.

I remember several years ago QuarkXpress ruled the roost when it came to Page layout programs. They had a HUGE market share in that area. Quark got very cocky about that, made upgrades that were very pricey and basically had the attitude of, "hey you don't like it, go somewhere else." Of course there was no other place to go. Adobe's "Pagemaker" was the only kid on the block and was a joke and they knew it.

So Adobe took a long time AND a lot of resources to develop what is now known as "InDesign' to take Quark head on. They made sure that moving over to InDesign would be as seamless and as painless as possible to Quark Loyalists. They did a remarkable job and literally put Quark on their heels. Quark has since gotten off their high horse believe me.

So, yes 64 bit is great, processing power and RAM and all that...but it forces loyal Adobe & AE users to make a decision. Do I stay with AE, do I pay for all the upgrades of my plugins (or some of my favorites that will not be upgraded at all) and go through all the bugs & fixes and other compatibility issues that will certainly be there.

Customer Service in my view is not throwing your clients under the bus or making their lives more complicated. Adobe choosing not to "take the time OR use resources" to make the transition to CS5 easy for 32 bit plugins...like the way they did to make it easy for Quark Loyalist to switch to InDesign is a sign to me that their growth, their long range vision of where they want to be is more important than making their current LARGE base of clients life less complicated.

We've been a design firm now for 20 years and we've spent a fortune over the years in keeping up with technology and equipping our studio with some of the best stuff that's out there. So I have a little experience knowing what I'm talking about. It's not just about the money even though it includes that. It's all the hassle of what it took to get where we are and now this. Another thing that we have to jack with, pay for, maybe do without, work out the bugs etc, etc.

I just feel that this is a big blunder by Adobe and the impact of what it does to so many people & companies. They need to consider that a whole lot more in my opinion when they roll out new stuff.
Is this going to cause a sunami to those who chose us to be their partner in production or just some small ripples IN THEIR CLIENT'S LIVES.

All they had to do is port to 32 bit also and we wouldn't be having this conversation.




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Todd KoprivaRe: Upcoming CS5 will be 64 bit, no port to 32 bit Plugins (Customer Service Comments)
by on Jan 4, 2010 at 12:02:44 am

> Ya know, I told my partner when I made this post this morning that Adobe would defend their position and this post could start a fire storm.


My response was not intended to be a defense or any part of a firestorm. I was just trying to direct you to a place where the conversation would be more productive: the blog of the product manager---the person who actually makes the decisions and who is already having this conversation on that blog.

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
putting the 'T' back in 'RTFM' : After Effects Help on the Web
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Alan LloydRe: Upcoming CS5 will be 64 bit, no port to 32 bit Plugins (Customer Service Comments)
by on Jan 3, 2010 at 4:01:39 pm

How many of these plugins are Adobe products? Realistically, how can they take responsibility for supporting someone else's product?

Third-party plugins are the responsibility of their developers.


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Itamar KoolRe: Upcoming CS5 will be 64 bit, no port to 32 bit Plugins (Customer Service Comments)
by on Jan 3, 2010 at 5:50:42 pm

Now this is a strange statement. Who's talking responsibility here? The only question raised is whether Adobe is operating in a 'client-friendly' way and if a big part of the customers of Adobe is using third party plug ins, that is a very legitimate question.

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Alan LloydRe: Upcoming CS5 will be 64 bit, no port to 32 bit Plugins (Customer Service Comments)
by on Jan 3, 2010 at 7:44:04 pm

And the question is legitimately asked of the third-party developers. They know there is a 64-bit only version coming down the road. Why are people saying Adobe is leaving them in the lurch when they did not develop the outside plugins? How is it Adobe's problem?


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B.J. AhlenRe: Upcoming CS5 will be 64 bit, no port to 32 bit Plugins (Customer Service Comments)
by on Jan 3, 2010 at 8:53:17 pm

Third party developers are always behind.

Just look at the belated support for Snow Leopard, FCP7, as well as all the versions before that.

Even Adobe, when they are a third party developer, is taking years to put support for new ProRes versions into AE for example.

Adobe made a brilliant move when they added support for FCP import into Premiere Pro/Encore, because it made it easier to justify a buying decision (for those who needed to author full BD media).

If Adobe wants to save money by not implementing support for existing 32-bit plug-ins, they have to weigh that against the lost revenues from users who won't upgrade to CS5 for this reason until the plug-ins have caught up some time in 2011.

CS4 didn't exactly take the world by storm, and now they will make it difficult to justify getting CS5?

Wouldn't seem to be real smart. Should this be brought up at their next shareholder's meeting? :O)


My plug-ins are as important for my work as the applications they are plugged into. If Adobe thinks otherwise, they will see another lean CS4-like year, with far fewer users upgrading than in years past.

I certainly can't upgrade to AE CS5 until the plug-ins that I use have been working for others for at least a few months, and that will in most cases be a lot of moons after CS5 is released, especially considering the issues that will arise in going from a 32-bit architecture to 64-bit.

Caveat editor.


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Paulo JanRe: Upcoming CS5 will be 64 bit, no port to 32 bit Plugins (Customer Service Comments)
by on Jan 3, 2010 at 8:59:29 pm

When Apple decided to switch to Intel years ago, people blamed Adobe and other third-party software houses for not having Intel versions of their software right out of the gate.

Now Adobe decides to switch to 64-bit only, and people are blaming Adobe, instead of third-party plugin vendors.

I'd say that what Adobe needs is a reality distortion field.



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Jimmy BrungerRe: Upcoming CS5 will be 64 bit, no port to 32 bit Plugins (Customer Service Comments)
by on Jan 4, 2010 at 12:22:37 pm

Yes, but when Apple switched to Intel they still kept Rosetta, so PPC apps could carry on being used on new hardware (albeit slowly and inefficiently) until all the software developers could finish fully Intel versions. THAT is thinking ahead and serving the customer well.

What is being talked about with Adobe (of course assuming this is all true!) is that there will be no 'halfway house'. It will be "if you're not 64-bit yet then tough". This will mean all us customers will pay a premium to upgrade AE and then pay again to upgrade ALL our plugins (and gone knows when in the future after CS5 is released)

All that said, I am sure that all the plugin manufacturers will have already had this conversation with Adobe long ago, so imagine it's already being worked out somehow!.....

...I hope!

Another thing to mention is the increasing support of OFX plugins (64 and 32bit) in many other vfx/compositing apps. Notably Nuke, Fusion and Toxik (now May Composite) Will Adobe be developing any OFX support for CS5?

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Joe MoyaRe: Upcoming CS5 will be 64 bit, no port to 32 bit Plugins (Customer Service Comments)
by on Jan 3, 2010 at 10:46:48 pm

This is what happens when companies get so big. They forget how they got there. Adobe has made some big strides in the past few years. We all know their strengths...but their weaknesses are beginning to show. Being more interested in what the cost would be to them, "instead of the cost it would be to their customers".

Excellent observation... the total disregard for a 32bit and 64bit compatibility is representative of your statement.

It seems, if anything strikes a cord with Adobe is when someone brings up this 32 to 64bit compatibility issue. Costs related to this are being transferred to the customer and/or the third party venders who produce plug-ins. If anything, this weakness is where the competitors could capitalize significantly on Adobe's market share IF they had the fortitude to explote the plug-in 32/64 bit incompatibility issue.


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Michael ColemanRe: Upcoming CS5 will be 64 bit, no port to 32 bit Plugins (Customer Service Comments)
by on Jan 4, 2010 at 8:33:20 pm

Martin,

Do you know of any specific developers that are not planning on creating a 64-bit compatible version of their plug-ins? The developer's blog that you refer to (http://www.minning.de) indicates that it would be 'no big deal' to convert, should he choose to do so.

If you do know of any, I'd appreciate it if you could send them my way and we can do what we can to encourage them to move forward. I haven't talked to any, but if you have specific info, please let me know.

The AE team knows you can't live without all the great plug-ins to After Effects, which is why we have taken additional steps to make this as easy as possible for our 3rd party developers. This includes early availability of our 64-bit SDK and access to members of the After Effects technical staff for guidance if necessary. This means that developers can start the conversion now. The ones I've talked to are either going to be ready at the time the next After Effects ships or shortly thereafter.

Also, Adobe is typically very tight-lipped about what's coming down the road. We've chosen to make this 64-bit information public and open in order to accelerate the transition. Of course, the down side is that it tends to cause a bit of concern, as has been expressed in this thread. In this short post, it's impossible for me to communicate the extents of what goes into a decision like this. In the end, we felt that moving forward with most advanced After Effects possible is better than the alternative. For example, I'm sure that if we had to delay 64-bit on the mac another year or two, this would be much more painful for our customers. I talk to a lot of customers and almost universally, people want us to push the product forward faster.

In any case, consider this like ripping off a bandaid. It's better to do it quickly.

--
Michael Coleman
Product Manager, Adobe After Effects
http://blogs.adobe.com/keyframes/


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Joe MoyaRe: Upcoming CS5 will be 64 bit, no port to 32 bit Plugins (Customer Service Comments)
by on Jan 5, 2010 at 2:19:20 pm

Nothing personal... but, I think the phrase is this..."don't pee on me and tell me it's raining"....

...the problem isn't that everyone knows about Adobe's decision to no longer support 32 bit... the problem eventually comes down to simple economics. From Adobe's standpoint the cost of conversion is being placed squarely on the backs of the customer and the third party plug-in developers.

It is not a question of whether or not the third party plug-in developers know about the is 64bit conversion ONLY road Adobe has choosen to go down... but, rather the question should be asked, "Do you know of any specific developers that are planning on creating a 64-bit compatible version of their plug-ins for free?" I doubt it (nor do I expect it)... and, so the fundamental issue is still the same. The cost of this lack of 32 bit compatability is being transferred from Adobe to it's customers and developers... end of story... no need to sugar coat this fact. I don't see how it is difficult to communicate this simple fact (even in a short post on a AE forum).

All this being said, I am happy to see Adobe communicate this key fact beforehand. It gives me and it's customer's the opportunity to evaluate my next upgrade in system applications. Which in code means this... since I am going to fork over a significant additional cost per station (because of lack of 32 bit compatibility). Then, the question becomes, "Why not just scrap Adobe applications all together and go with another compositing software?"

In the end, this decision will come when we look at stability of the applications and it's relative costs. In that respect, 64bit only application may save Adobe important development costs but may at the same time reduce revenue.

When I see these sort of decisions come into play... I can almost always find the accountants (or, the accountant mindset) running the business instead of the sales and marketing departments. Such decisions tend to be simple and shortsighted. It is always easier to cut costs than to sale more. It also tends to have negative implications to it's image and ability to market the products that keep the revenue side with a positive growth rate. At that point, enter the spin-doctors of marketing.... and, the resulting "kick me" sign pinned on the back of the Adobe customer.

As for the band-aid... exactly who's skin is being ripped off? Adobe customers already know who is doing the ripping and who will be doing the screaming. I really wish Adobe would at least kiss the boo boo with a significant cost reduction compensation or rebate system for upgrading plug-ins to a 64bit application.

So,... Adobe... why not implement a "proof of purchase" rebate system for those who have to upgrade to 64bit plug-ins and prove you do have the customer's thoughts in mind (...but, shhh... just don't let the accountants find out)?


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John DavidsonSlightly off topic...
by on Feb 26, 2010 at 10:31:19 pm

Michael,
Sorry to weight in on a older post, but has your team considered completely revitalizing the plug-in process? The major caveat to any new installation of an adobe product lineup for me is the excessive amount of time, effort, and homework involved in installing not just the programs, but the plugins. Invariably I end up losing plugins that sometimes cost as much as the program itself! Wouldn't it be fantastic to have a plugin manager similar to the app store? Developers would complain forever, but this is a concept that works. Suddenly, I'd know when Zaxwerks is updated, I'd be able to redownload all my plugins automatically on a fresh install, and gosh, I'd be able to write a review if a plugin sucked. There have been many times that I knew my main system needed a clean install, but Adobe products specifically limit my ability to do this - and crush my desire to even try.

It doesn't even have to be an exclusive installation process, the old installation format could still work, but the 'new' process would be so much sexier for plug-in developers. Honestly, finding plugins for AE right now is bizarre when you think about it. Finding and researching plugins for After Effects should be feasible from within the application itself.

Has there been any talk of something like this?


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Ed BangleDo you know when CS5 will be out to test?
by on Mar 16, 2010 at 2:34:20 am

I have a New Dell Precision Workstation running true 64 bit Windows 7. Got CS5?

Please let me know how to accomplish testing the software.

I have been waiting since I bought a 64 bit digital computer in 1997. Man, what a waste. It has taken more than 10 years but I guess it is worth it. The digital machine was emulating adobe software and running on a P3 500 mhz processor. Yuck!.

I appreciate your input on an ETA.

ed


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Dave LaRondeRe: Do you know when CS5 will be out to test?
by on Mar 16, 2010 at 3:12:26 pm

Sorry, but the only accurate answer to that one is, "don't hold your breath". The people who DO know stuff like that are under non-disclosure agreements, so they can't say anything about the release date, new features, etc.

It's like the old saying: those who tell don't know, and those who know don't tell.

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John SullivanRe: Upcoming CS5 will be 64 bit, no port to 32 bit Plugins (Customer Service Comments)
by on Jan 5, 2010 at 7:35:13 am

I for one know I won't be taking the plunge to get CS5. It should be obvious to dedicated users as to why. Much of it has already been said at this point so I won't bother going into that.

If you look at the transition we have seen in the video world, going from SD to HD, you could see it coming and you knew without a doubt how hard it would hit before it actually did. There was fair warning to start working towards HD at some kind of pace. Many are still working in SD with the intention to migrate to HD. They are the procrastinators and the lovers of the status quo. But its not too late for anyone.

Then look over at Adobe and their "grande" ideas. Turning their backs on technology that is still front and center of the consumer world is equal to turning their backs on consumers. They candy coat their new ideas. Imagine a new President of the United States trying to change the liberties of America and finding some clever scheme to trick citizens into "wanting" the change. We saw this with the last "prez". But I would like to think that consumers aren't so dumb. Fairly intellectual people edit video. Thinkers. The kinds of people that would look at Adobe and say, "How dumb do you think I am?".

To tell me that all my 32-bit plugins will not work is like coming into my house and stealing my software, and then trying to sell me something.

NADA.

WON"T HAPPEN.

I will be a CS4 user for some time. And it might just take some clever hackers to fix the bugs, since Adobe clearly will not. You couldnt ask for a better product without going with a different company. That's why I love Fusion.


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Paul UusitaloRe: Upcoming CS5 will be 64 bit, no port to 32 bit Plugins (Customer Service Comments)
by on Jan 5, 2010 at 7:22:36 pm

What specific problems are you having with CS4?

You've updated to 9.0.2, correct?

Paul


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Walter SoykaRe: Upcoming CS5 will be 64 bit, no port to 32 bit Plugins (Customer Service Comments)
by on Jan 5, 2010 at 3:43:10 pm

I am really happy that Adobe is making After Effects 64-bit. It will make a huge difference in my studio's workflow and productivity on HD and higher-res projects.

I'm also glad that Adobe is making CS5 64-bit-only, because it will force developers to update their plugins to stay current. If there were a 32-bit mode, I think you'd see fewer plugins go 64-bit, and the entire transition would be much longer and much more painful.

I really can't understand all the griping on this thread -- if you don't think the new features are valuable for your work, then don't upgrade! My studio is still on CS3, and we are still producing great work and keeping our clients happy. I'd rather see Adobe pushing AE and its entire ecosystem forward so I can work better; I'd hate to see them hold back development for any reason. I didn't see enough value in CS4 to justify the upgrade costs, but upgrading to CS5 is a no-brainer for me, for 64-bit AE alone.

My thanks to the Adobe reps for their thoughtful responses in this thread, as well as to the other posters who are keeping the discussion civil.

Walter Soyka
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