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Adobe to abandon mobile Flash and raise prices on Creative Suite

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 10 Nov 2011 13:57 User comments (24)

Adobe to abandon mobile Flash and raise prices on Creative Suite Yesterday Adobe announced they are giving up on Flash as a mobile platform and concentrating their efforts on HTML5 and Javascript alternatives.
The announcement came during a meeting with industry analysts as part of a presentation about a company wide change in product strategy.

Beginning with the launch of the original iPhone, Adobe has tried unsuccessfully to find a place for Flash in the mobile device space. Resistance from Apple, detailed in numerous statements from Steve Jobs, kept Flash from the iPhone.

When a full version of the platform was finally released for Android last year the performance problems experienced by many users seemed to confirm Jobs' assessment of Flash as unsuitable for low powered mobile devices.

At the same time, HTML5 has been embraced across the full range of mobile operating systems, making it the obvious choice for a cross platform development solution. It was only a matter of time before Adobe would be forced to give up on mobile Flash.

Adobe signalled their new direction last month when they acquired a mobile development company called Nitobi whose apps tie together web standards like HTML5, Javascript, and Ajax with SDKs for various mobile platforms using an app framework called PhoneGap.

Under Adobe's ownership, Nitobi has submitted PhoneGap to the Apache Software Foundation where it will continue to be developed as Apache Callback.

Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch explained the company's new strategy, saying:

We believe that HTML5 is a significant catalyst for growth for Adobe. And it's a multi-year vector of innovation for most of our products. HTML5 is great for Adobe and great for the industry.

The key phrase I just used, and I people to make sure we all recognize this, is that most of our products - absolutely HTML5 is going to result in the substrate of the web undergoing a major overhaul - but it's much bigger than just web pages. It's the foundation of how content is going to be delivered in the years ahead.

Web, video, publishing, gaming are all going to increasingly rely on HTML5 across PCs, phones, TVs, and tablets. That is the foundation that we're building toward and that's the foundation we're going to take a leadership position in.


Changes in their mobile strategy weren't the only part of yesterday's announcement. In fact the big announcement, and a much riskier move, is a plan to phase out traditional software sales in favor of licensing through their Creative Cloud service.

The Creative Cloud was announced last month, along with an initial offering of stripped down mobile versions of various legacy Adobe products.

Once you get past all the buzzwords like Cloud, Collaboration, and Sync, the bottom line comes down to saving money on sales and support, increasing the cost of ownership, and reducing piracy. Those are a shaky foundation to build a business around.

While Adobe won't be dropping the traditional software you pay for once and own forever right away, they plan to make it more expensive for many customers by eliminating some upgrade options. Upgrades for Creative Suite products, which include Photoshop, Premier Pro, and Dreamweaver will now only be available 1 version back.

Their preferred product, Creative Cloud subscriptions, will cost even more with options for $49 or $69 per month. And some products will only be available through Creative Cloud.

Ultimately they plan to charge customers more for renting software than they currently pay to buy it. And eventually they intend to phase out purchases completely.

If you use Creative Suite products and upgrade every year, you will end up paying more under their new rental model. If you don't upgrade every year it will be a lot more whether you buy or rent.

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24 user comments

110.11.2011 17:56

This saddens me. I was rooting for them while Apple went all Hittler on Flash and Android.

They should have more regard for their consumers, but that hasn't stopped so many other companies from doing this exact same thing with their hardware and software.

At some point I guess I'll just be swearing off capitalism and markets altogether.

210.11.2011 19:15

Originally posted by buxtahuda:
This saddens me. I was rooting for them while Apple went all Hittler on Flash and Android.

They should have more regard for their consumers, but that hasn't stopped so many other companies from doing this exact same thing with their hardware and software.

At some point I guess I'll just be swearing off capitalism and markets altogether.
I agree with you, I was rooting for Flash to be on the iPhone and with the passing of Steve Jobs I thought we were finally going to get it.

311.11.2011 0:27

I smell another HP coming...they want to raise the prices and get rid of their strongest product, and that is downright suicidal.

Photoshop is a great product, but it isn't worth $69 a month...and nothing else they offer is really special...other than their flash tools of course, which they will be killing off.

Good riddance to Adobe; I can't wait for their current grip on the internet to fall away. Perhaps flash will no longer be needed by the time the devices steve blocked it on are no longer used.



411.11.2011 7:22

Steve Jobs smiling from the grave.

511.11.2011 8:44

Adobe CS has always been heavily pirated or 'borrowed from work' (often by people who don't actually use it as part of their job), simply because the average consumer can't afford it, moving it to the cloud is an easy way to stop that, but I can't help but feel that's going to do more harm then good, because how else are you suppose to learn how to use it? It's something that takes a lot of practise to reach it's full potential.

611.11.2011 8:50

Originally posted by keith1993:
Adobe CS has always been heavily pirated or 'borrowed from work' (often by people who don't actually use it as part of their job), simply because the average consumer can't afford it, moving it to the cloud is an easy way to stop that, but I can't help but feel that's going to do more harm then good, because how else are you suppose to learn how to use it? It's something that takes a lot of practise to reach it's full potential.

Exactly right. People who can't afford it obviously will just stop using it and people who might buy it in the future will have an incentive to find an alternative. If you wanted to sell an alternative to Photoshop, this is exactly the kind of opening you are hoping for.

Rich Fiscus
@Vurbal on Twitter
AfterDawn Staff Writer

711.11.2011 9:00

As to mobile Flash, it was a useful product when there weren't viable open web standards to do the same thing. Now that there are, I'm not sad to see it go at all. In the end the potential for buggy code and security holes doesn't justify the use of a product which essentially duplicates functionality most devices already have.

In fact, Callback/PhoneGap seems like a much better alternative for mobile apps given its use of web standards and integration with OS APIs. I just question whether the API hooks will be important for much longer.

Then there's the question of more advanced APIs. HTML5 based apps are nice and all, but as apps become more sophisticated, tablet apps in particular, it seems like more advanced frameworks will be necessary. That was one advantage both Symbian and MeeGo had over iOS and Android. As I understand it they both use a modified version of Qt. Tyzen (MeeGo's replacement) replaces that with HTML5. Not sure how the framework for Windows Phone, or potentially for Ubuntu in the future, compare.


Rich Fiscus
@Vurbal on Twitter
AfterDawn Staff Writer

811.11.2011 9:12

A lot like M$ Excel you can spend a lifetime learning all the functions when most people use very few. The basic functions can be had for free using proggies like FastStone.

Far as Excel goes, learning and using Boolean Algebra is not one of my favorite pastimes.

Jeff

911.11.2011 10:33

Adobe now has one foot in its self-dug grave. Flash was one of the main things that attracted me to Android over iOS, and I've never had a single problem with flash on my Evo 4G phone.

Photoshop is all but dead to the average consumer and it's been that way for a decade. Most just go for Paintshop at a fraction of the Photoshop price, and Paintshop can run Photoshop plugins.

Bye-bye Adobe. You're shooting yourself in the foot.

1011.11.2011 10:39

Originally posted by GernBlan:
Adobe now has one foot in its self-dug grave. Flash was one of the main things that attracted me to Android over iOS, and I've never had a single problem with flash on my Evo 4G phone.

Whether it's problematic or not, Flash was a dead man walking no matter what Adobe decided. From a developer's point of view, there is nothing to be gained for excluding iOS devices when it's just as easy to include them. And Flash support was inconsistent, to be generous, on Android. Either way developers were switching to HTML5.

Quote:
Photoshop is all but dead to the average consumer and it's been that way for a decade. Most just go for Paintshop at a fraction of the Photoshop price, and Paintshop can run Photoshop plugins.

Bye-bye Adobe. You're shooting yourself in the foot.

Don't forget GIMP, which is free and can do everything the vast majority of people need. I even use it for certain video editing operations.

Rich Fiscus
@Vurbal on Twitter
AfterDawn Staff Writer

1111.11.2011 10:49

Originally posted by vurbal:
Don't forget GIMP, which is free and can do everything the vast majority of people need. I even use it for certain video editing operations.
GIMP is very powerful software, I just wish they'd redo the UI, just throw the current one away and start from scratch. Having moved to Ubuntu, it's pretty much the only option for a lot of stuff and I just can't seem to get my head around it.

1211.11.2011 12:32

I love Photoshop quite a bit. There's not much I can't do with it. I am prepared to switch to gimp if necessary. I've been aware of Gimp for some time now. It seems like something turned me off from gimp. Don't remember what it was though. Guess I'll have to try it again. It's probably because it felt soo much different. I guess I'm spoiled to Photoshop :S I've come a long ways since I first saw gimp, I'm probably ready to adapt :)
How about Adobe Premiere pro? Are there any freeware programs like that? I suppose Sony Vegas is powerful, but it's also payware.




To delete, or not to delete. THAT is the question!

1311.11.2011 12:54

Originally posted by omegaman7:
...How about Adobe Premiere pro? Are there any freeware programs like that? I suppose Sony Vegas is powerful, but it's also payware.
There's a few decent free video editors I know of but they're all Linux only, however most of them are on AV Linux. A free, Debian based distribution designed for nothing but simple audio and video editing Link

1411.11.2011 13:11

Worth checking out! Thanks :)




To delete, or not to delete. THAT is the question!

1511.11.2011 13:22

Originally posted by keith1993:
Originally posted by vurbal:
Don't forget GIMP, which is free and can do everything the vast majority of people need. I even use it for certain video editing operations.
GIMP is very powerful software, I just wish they'd redo the UI, just throw the current one away and start from scratch. Having moved to Ubuntu, it's pretty much the only option for a lot of stuff and I just can't seem to get my head around it.
I agree 100%. There used to be a package with an alternate (Photoshop-like) interface called GimpShop, but I didn't try it out because it was so far behind the main code branch when I started using GIMP.

Personally, I've gotten around some of the UI ugliness by attaching a Nostromo Gamepad to use for my repetitive work. But that comes back to bite me when it's not available and I have to go back and figure out how to do something the normal way.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 11 Nov 2011 @ 13:44

Rich Fiscus
@Vurbal on Twitter
AfterDawn Staff Writer

1611.11.2011 13:36

Originally posted by omegaman7:
I love Photoshop quite a bit. There's not much I can't do with it. I am prepared to switch to gimp if necessary. I've been aware of Gimp for some time now. It seems like something turned me off from gimp. Don't remember what it was though.

Probably the UI. It's not pretty.

Quote:
Guess I'll have to try it again. It's probably because it felt soo much different. I guess I'm spoiled to Photoshop :S I've come a long ways since I first saw gimp, I'm probably ready to adapt :)

Speaking as someone who started using GIMP because I couldn't justify the cost of Photoshop at the time (probably could now), I would definitely say it's worth trying out at least.

Quote:
How about Adobe Premiere pro? Are there any freeware programs like that? I suppose Sony Vegas is powerful, but it's also payware.

Not really like that. I use a variety of free tools for the same functionality (and more), but there's nothing with that kind of unified interface to tie it all together.

However, I have read VideoPad is supposed to be pretty good for basic editing. There are 2 pay versions. One is $69 now (regularly $99) and another is $39 (regularly $60). The difference between the 2 is apparently support for more audio channels and plugins.

There's a 14 day trial available, and supposedly when you uninstall it gives you an option to disable some features and continue using it. Probably not what you want if audio features are important, but in theory you could demux the audio and edit it separately with audacity.

http://www.nchsoftware.com/videopad/index.html

Maybe I should try it out and see if it warrants an official AfterDawn review and guide.

Rich Fiscus
@Vurbal on Twitter
AfterDawn Staff Writer

1711.11.2011 13:46

That sounds interesting Vurbal. I bet my brother and sister in law would like that program! They like simple user interfaces. That program looks like their cup of tea. I suppose it doesn't get much easier than ConvertX though ;) But Videopad offers some interesting features. Definitely gonna check that out.

Thanks!




To delete, or not to delete. THAT is the question!

1811.11.2011 16:09

Well I guess steve jobs was right...



1911.11.2011 20:38

After Effects sucks.
I'll take NukeX.

2012.11.2011 0:30

Originally posted by biglo30:
Well I guess steve jobs was right...
It turns out flash is still useful after the first devices he blocked it on are obsolete...he was right about the belief that Apple users will buy anything with an apple logo no matter what, but if he thought that flash would instantly be useless simply because it was blocked on the iPhone, he was wrong.


2112.11.2011 10:21

Originally posted by KillerBug:
I smell another HP coming...they want to raise the prices and get rid of their strongest product, and that is downright suicidal.

Photoshop is a great product, but it isn't worth $69 a month...and nothing else they offer is really special...other than their flash tools of course, which they will be killing off.

Good riddance to Adobe; I can't wait for their current grip on the internet to fall away. Perhaps flash will no longer be needed by the time the devices steve blocked it on are no longer used.
Unfortunately, with the times comes products that will come and go, that what comes with the territory, but I don't think they need to pull a Netflix just yet. As phones come with better specs, then I think Flash would've been good, but it's not say that it didn't have its cons (namely buggy and memory taking) but I feel that could've gradually done this, and not cut cold turkey on Flash. To me it makes more sense to this, since HTML5 is still relatively new to most average Joe and Sally consumers who use video these days.

Chance prepares the favored mind. Look up once in a while and you might learn something. - BLUEBOY

2212.11.2011 11:56

Originally posted by KillerBug:
Originally posted by biglo30:
Well I guess steve jobs was right...
It turns out flash is still useful after the first devices he blocked it on are obsolete...he was right about the belief that Apple users will buy anything with an apple logo no matter what, but if he thought that flash would instantly be useless simply because it was blocked on the iPhone, he was wrong.
If it's still useful why is adobe abandoning mobile flash?

"Cable thief is a victimless crime."

2312.11.2011 13:23

I think it's important to make a distinction between useful and used. Mobile Flash isn't useless, but it is also not necessary. The disadvantages, compared to HTML5, outweigh any advantages of being able to keep using legacy technology.

The reason Adobe is abandoning it is because it's not widely used, and the writing is on the wall that it will be supplanted completely by HTML5, CSS, Ajax, and other standard web technologies. Developers are going in another direction, even some who might be more comfortable sticking with Flash, because that's what gives them the broadest device support.

Adobe has chosen to focus, instead, on software to convert projects built with those standards to apps which use hooks in the specific APIs in different mobile operating systems. This is essentially what they have been trying to do with Flash (or more accurately AIR which incorporates Flash) and iOS anyway.


Rich Fiscus
@Vurbal on Twitter
AfterDawn Staff Writer

2416.11.2011 6:26

They are abandoning the developer tools because people are not buying them anymore; and those tools pay for the free flash players. Why add features to mobile flash when you are not selling the flash composer anymore? Heck, how can you add features to the player when you are not creating new tools that enable people to utilize these features? They are still doing updates, so they are not actually abandoning the players...they just are not making new versions with new features anymore.



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