With Adobe CC, We Were Promised Regular Updates... So Why a Big Hyped Release?

With Adobe CC, We Were Promised Regular Updates... So Why a Big Hyped Release?

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.

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26 Comments

I bet this is also a Marketing strategy to get new CC subscriber. If you look at each Feature individually, it is probably not worth upgrading, but if you Combine 10 of them in one Major release, it might convince you to upgrade. And this is the conflict between the CC model, which promises updates as soon as they are ready and the Marketing. I guess probably half of the new Features have been developed for a while and saved for this big release. But this is a bussiness and they want to make Money ;)

Jaron Schneider's picture

This too!

I still use CS6 and probably will for the next 10 years as long as it still runs on my OS.

@fstoppers:disqus - Stop defending Adobe on this. It's nonsense! They should have released this update weeks ago instead of a big hyped event! They have always updated their programs throughout the year. They're buggy and always have been - it's called patching their software. Those aren't updates.

Noam Galai's picture

In order to get new clients they have to make these events and announcements. They always update and fix their programs, but the major updates they keep for their hyped event. After all they need to make money...

I disagree with your premise. CC was marketed as the end of versions. They are holding back features because they want to have their cake—their bogus rental scheme—and eat it too, marketing it and creating releases that make the process substantially similar to the perpetual license model.

Jaron Schneider's picture

Seriously? There are at least three legitimately new features they have added to Photoshop alone in the past year. Plus they had a ton of other updates to Premiere for NAB.

olivier borgognon's picture

@JaronSchneider1219:disqus the question IMHO is not really what they have released in 1 year, but if the type of feature for the CC suite was really worth the "upgrade" if we had still been on the CS business pattern.

This can only be answered on a personal basis, but I must admit that, for me at least, using the tools as a photographer and as a webmaster/webdesigner trainer, CC has not brought such impressive features to the Pro/Business world worth the switch to CC at all,and the pattern is a loose loose for businesses and for standalone business owners at this stage after 1 year.

This could be an interesting FSTOPPERS Poll to ask. For the Pros or seasonal Pros on the site, who have passed on CC after being on CS5 or CS6, do they feel like the CC features have improved their Return On Investment, sped-up their workflows, or helped them grow as more skilled professionals bringing new sets of customers. If the answer finally is "no" or "not really" Adobe has not fulfilled their share of the contract but have cashed in on their customers don't you think ?

Jaron Schneider's picture

This is a very fair assessment.

how much adobes pays for ads on your site that you crawl into their backside?

Jaron Schneider's picture

$0. If anything was paid, it would be marked as so. Man I wish we got paid as much as people thought.

That doesn't excuse anything. They should release updates as they write them. That was the CC promise. You know this as well which is why you posted that link bait title of a blog post.

Remember way back when adobe added an actual major feature like the healing brush? Feels like forever ago.

They need to roll out that 'de-blur' filter already, thats pretty much all I'd need now

Isn't that the Shake Reduction filter that takes the motion blur out of photographs? That's already in CC under Filter>Sharpen>Shake Reduction (it works out the movement of the photographers hand as the photo was taken and attempts to "de-blur" the image. Works quite well, but it's really just a novelty.

Man. That is a whole lot of corporate language. TPS reports and whatnot.

In short. Hype. :)

What have I done?!
I think that the content providers have a pretty good idea, because they use the products, when it should be time to produce new tutorial content. Most tutorial content these days come with a subscription model as it is so they release new chapters when new features become available. I totally agree that they should do elaborate feature announcements after they've collected and finesse the features currently available to cc members and if that drives subscription rates that is even better. I just see a lot of false justification for something they could have done simply by omitting the end user. They have staff I'm sure who push special material to content producers. This particular announcement though hit all cc or Adobe
Com members. There was no specific targeting of educational content. Which is why there is so much more confusion than anything else. Having said that I am a CC subscriber and will get the update inevitably. Clearly I'm not dependant on new functionality. I just don't like the game they're playing with their customers.

great more hyped "in beta stage" features that are useless for 99% of your work.
how many really use shake reductions here?

it works on 1 out of 10 images.. and only if you are satisfied with facebook quality.

most of the features that are new in CC apps are so buggy or only usable for very specific task that you rarely will use them.

im curious how this focus mask will disappoint me... but im pretty sure it will.

Gregory Davidson's picture

I'm probably wrong on this, but could "everything new" be a new pricing structure that makes sense... like make your own bundle and save. You can get 1 app like Photoshop for $20 or you can get Photoshop and Lightroom for $10... so maybe they will let you pic and choose apps at a lower price? Maybe a reinvention of every interface or better interaction with apps. It may not just be new features... or maybe... just maybe they are bring Fireworks back from the dead and upgrading it to CC!

I've always seen the "consistent and quicker updates" talk to simply be hype speech. They would have/could have had the same updates with perpetual licenses. Updates are always downloaded anyways. There is zero benefit in that regard to having the subscription model. It's just their way to get people to rationalize paying them every month for the rest of their lives. I can't understand investing into a system that will cut you off from all your projects if you ever cancel your service. I hope they keep having system outages and issues so they'll add back the perpetual license option. We're probably not that lucky though.

It is more stable to do things this way. They can do better quality control across applications that need to work together.

Adobe used to release all updates at once, for example CS6 (that usually included some kind of update to everything (some apps got very minor updates, some big).

Now they do just the print updates together like the Photoshop, later (but way sooner than before) the video updates are released like Premiere Pro, etc. So, they are releasing the updates faster than before.

No matter what they do, bloggers will complain, even if they released it for free. "Oh gawd, I've been paying all these years and now some noobs has the same tools I do that I paid to have developed..." Haters gonna hate. :)

That said, I understand why people legitimately hate the subscription model, I’m not one of them. It is much cheaper for me and my business now.

Price is going up

Your arguments sound valid but if you think about it, they really aren't. Content produces and big names will have some kind of access to new features before they are released and they will get beta access to make sure their stuff works.

All they do is delay a release in order to host a big event and get some media attention. Also, what great features have they released since the start of CC? Shake reduction? Doesn't work on most of the images and also Photoshop should be a tool for pros. I think if you call yourself a pro, you should be able to take a sharp picture. So what they did was making Photoshop SEEM more affordable and include features that sound cool in the ears of none-pros, in order to make even more money. Just as everyone suspected when CC was announced.

Complete BS.

Daniel Pryce's picture

And I can't even update my CC apps, the update downloader thing suddenly stopped working as soon as I got the notification for the update.