The Future's So Dim I Have to Take Off my Shades


One problem for Adobe is that the more people think deeply about the change to the Creative Suite with the (faux) cloud offering, the more they discover some substantive underlying issues. 

Let's just say for a moment that I'm at a University and teaching future media students (this isn't a moot point for me, as I've been approached several times to be an adjunct professor lately). What software do you teach and train students on? 

The file lock-in potential on products such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere, and After Effects now becomes a tangible issue in answering that question. You'd essentially be committing your students to a life of having to pay software fees to access their work. Not a good thing, and not really a decision you can morally justify easily. You do want to train students in products they're likely to encounter in the field, but you don't want to promote lock-in to any particular brand, let alone suggest that, once trained, you'll have to pay a monthly tithe to continue to use those skills. That's especially true if there are alternatives. 

A similar thing happened when Apple moved from FCP 7 to FCP X (Final Cut Pro). In that situation, the product changed incredibly overnight (which would change what and how you teach), features disappeared, and while the pricing went down, the way in which licenses were handled changed. This caused every department teaching video production to rethink it's commitment to FCP. Some switched. The same thing will now happen with Adobe, I think. It's difficult to predict how it will play out, as Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign don't have great teaching alternatives at the moment. But Premiere does. 

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