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December 16, 2012

Adobe releases Lightroom 4.3 and ACR 7.3 with more new cameras supported

Prepare your computer systems for a new update! Adobe has released Lightroom version 4.3 and Adobe Camera RAW version 7.3, adding support for more of today's new hot digital cameras du jour. It also offers "Retina" support for iPhotographers.

See the complete list of the 20 digital cameras supported and 21 bugs fixed at Lightning Mods. More at dpreview and Pixiq and Sans Mirror and Engadget and The Digital Story et al.

Opinion + Rant
So here we are. Just like the last few hundred years, Adobe releases a new sub-version of one of their popular digital imaging programs, and all the legitimate owners of the latest version get the latest updates for free.

Lightroom is a software package that costs $150 or less. And you continue to get updates and bug-fixes and new features. Yet, the people who were the cornerstone of Adobe's success, the ones who spend thousands and thousands on their flagship Photoshop and CS product suites, are clouded out of some of the latest updates.

Now, keep in mind, this is not to say that Adobe should not pursue the Cloud. It is everything to the cloud these days and the convenience of the cloud often overweighs all other concerns. By all means, cloud away Adobe. For new buyers.

But why did you have to screw up your best customers Adobe? The existing and loyal and deeply invested in Photoshop and CS? If you are indeed interested in moving everything and everyone to the Cloud, why not give as many of the legitimate CS/Photoshop owners free access to the Creative Cloud?

Because the best way for people to love the Creative Cloud is when they use it. If you try to antagonize them or force them or herd them to the Creative Cloud, you will meet resistance.

Can you imagine how someone who paid thousands and thousands in CS over the years feels when they don't get the latest features, yet some random dude who signed up for the Creative Cloud free trial gets the latest and greatest?

Maybe you could do something like this: owners of the latest version of CS, get free access to the appropriate level of the Creative Cloud until the next new major version of CS comes out. Owners of the previous CS version, get shorter free access, and owners of previous-previous CS version, get an even shorter free access, with options to convert to a Cloud subscription at appropriately discounted rates based on their CS version/level.

So your most loyal and highest paying customers would have the best of both worlds. You are in the business of making money, are you not? Screwing up your most loyal and highest paying customers is rarely a recipe for future success!

The above should bother you not just if you are a long-time Photoshop/CS owner. It should also bother you if you are an Adobe fan or an Adobe employee or an Adobe shareholder. Especially if you are a shareholder.

When a company spits in the eye(s) of its best customers, that's often a sign of a troubled and non-prosperous future. Or are you just interested in the next quarterly results and screw everything else? Or do you think you have a captive audience? You don't even have Reality Distortion Field technology like Apple does, and even Apple doesn't try to pull things like this.

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