Last week, Adobe teased one of the many new features they will be unveiling this week during their launch event in New York (and online). A question that I saw asked in the comments of that article, as well as again posed during a recent Adobe briefing I attended, asked that since we were promised fast and regular updates as a part of the Creative Cloud model, why then are we waiting for a major hyped release? Well, I have an answer for you.
So firstly, if you are a CC user you literally can't ignore that Adobe has done a lot in terms of releases and bug fixes since the last major announcement (which was the CC model back at Adobe Max 2013). I mean that actually literally, since their application pings you every time there is an update, making it nearly impossible to miss them. But knowing that, were there really enough substantial updates since MAX that fulfill the promise of regular, faster improvements? I spoke to Scott Morris, senior director of product marketing for Adobe Creative Cloud, and asked what updates we have received since the original CC model release at Adobe Max of 2013:
* July 2013: New features for Premiere Pro and Prelude
* August 2013: New features for Adobe Muse, InDesign and Dreamweaver
* September 2013: New features for Photoshop
* October 2013: New features for Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, SpeedGrade, and Prelude
* November 2013: New features for Muse
* January 2014: New features for Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign
There have been others besides these, but those are the big ones. So ok, Adobe has indeed continued to push updates over the last year, but it doesn't explain why they would still do a big, press-filled release. The reason? It actually has nothing to do with Adobe's product at all... but the ecosystem that depends on it.
Morris told me that before CC, educators and preset makers had a pretty decent schedule they could plan their ancillary products around. They knew when a new version was coming and when they needed to have their content prepared. But with CC, when is there really a new "version"? The idea of the version would basically die if Adobe just sporadically released updates throughout the year.
When would the right time be to release a new educational book or video series? When would preset developers need to make sure their software was up to date with the most recent "version"?
Adobe needed to find a way to signal to the market that there is a “new version” for which to prepare these side products that depend on the Adobe ecosystem. Doing a large release like this, even if it is interlaced with releases through the rest of the year, allows educators or plugin developers to produce better content that is sure to work with the latest "version."
The annual marker has made sense in the past, so Adobe is honoring that pattern to allow for that very large ecosystem to continue to thrive.
For me, this was a big "the more you know" moment. Interesting to say the least.