I am done wasting money on Adobe software

I first discovered Photoshop in high school when my friend showed me a doctored photo he had created, and it was a life-changing moment. Photoshop took something supremely boring to me (taking photos) and turned it into something supremely interesting (modifying photos in unexpected ways). Photoshop has enabled me to make countless websites, turn designs into reality, and just generally do awesome things.

But I will not be buying another upgrade, because I am sick of Adobe and their bullshit. I have grown increasingly disenchanted with Adobe for several years, but the last straw for me was my recent attempt to update to Photoshop CS5.

I have purchased the CS3 Web Premium bundle and the CS4 Web Premium upgrade, but since I barely use anything except Photoshop anymore I decided this time around to upgrade Photoshop only. I went through the Adobe store checkout process, ordered my CD, and it arrived recently.

When I went to install it, however, I ran across a hitch: the installer wouldn’t accept my CS4 Web Premium registration number as my license to upgrade.

Turns out that Adobe only offers upgrades on single products if you have purchased a previous version of that single product in the past. You cannot upgrade a bundled copy of Photoshop. Of course, they don’t tell you this anywhere in the store that I noticed while checking out.

So I’m done. I had been planning to upgrade Photoshop to CS5, and then likely the whole bundle to CS6 when it came out. After this little stunt on Adobe’s part, though, I think I would rather make a public promise not to spend money on Adobe software anymore. Adobe is a classic example of a company who doesn’t give a shit about their existing users, and I am fed up with it. I will make do with Photoshop CS4 and let them go alienate someone else.

The classic Adobe experience for me was when I was upgrading CS4. I called their sales number because the web store was being wonky on me, and the guy I got into contact with was great. Wonderful speaking voice on the phone, extremely helpful, clear, and concise. It was a great experience. At the end of the call, he transferred me to their technical support (I had some account management issues that he was unable to deal with), and I spent a good 45 minutes wading through the classic outsourced tech support experience. Low speaking voice, heavy accent, apparent inability to understand my non-accented English, unhelpful, and ultimately did not do what they said that they would to help me. That dichotomy stuck with me as the perfect example of how Adobe approaches its customers. If you are a potential buyer, they will treat you great. After the fact? You should consider yourself lucky that Photoshop crashes every time you quit, and leave them the hell alone.

I have tried writing to Adobe. It doesn’t work. The only thing that I can do is vote with my feet.

Good-bye, Adobe. For a company that made software that really lit a creative fire under me years ago, you certainly turned into a disappointment.

3 responses to “I am done wasting money on Adobe software”

  1. Marc says:

    I can relate to this. My adobe relationship is certainly love-hate. My main gripe is adobe won’t let me create my own collection. What I mean by that is only purchase the software I will use. I purchased the master collection because I make websites and do video editing but will never use half of it. Purchasing each program separately that I will actually use worked out more $$. Adobe could have customized packages with discounts for additional products and then they would find out what programs people want and then can put more resources into those products.

  2. Darrin says:

    What will you be using as an alternative? Pixelmator?

  3. Ian Beck says:

    I keep buying indie Mac graphics software, and it keeps not quite doing the trick. Pixelmator has the most features that I needed from Photoshop, but its JPEG slice compression is awful, and there’s a few other niggles that keep me from being able to use it effectively for web design. I also hate its interface with the passion of a thousand suns. Palettes must die. Life is too short to waste it on dragging a million palettes into position only to have them forget their position a few launches down the road.

    These days, when I need to make a small edit to an image quickly I usually pop open Acorn. I much prefer its single-palette interface, and for most minor edits it works great. Its image compression is also much better than Pixelmators. However, the lack of several key features (notably slices, a decent full screen view, and others) keep me from using it seriously for web design.

    Fortunately for me, Photoshop CS4 still works perfectly well, and given the rate at which Adobe improves its software (glacially) I suspect it won’t start to look long in the tooth for a couple more major revisions. I was looking forward to a couple of the features in CS5, but I’ve lived without them until now and will continue to do so. In the meantime, I’m sending feedback to both Pixelmator and Acorn developers about the things that keep me locked into Photoshop, and hopefully either one of them will implement enough of them to replace Photoshop for good.