Adobe has always lead the industry when it comes to graphics software. Photoshop is the defacto standard in image editing, to the point of being a verb. Their video editing software, Premiere, and their vector graphics editing tool, Illustrator, are equally as influential in their respective markets. But Adobe’s software has always been expensive. A suite of their products can set you back $1,500 to $2,000 easily. The result has been rampant piracy of the software among those who refuse to plunk down a month’s pay for some bits and bytes. The lost sales must be incalculable; the damage to Adobe’s bottom line, irreparable. Or is it?
Throughout this period of, what Adobe would likely describe as, “villanous treachery”, Adobe has been doing just fine. Despite the fact that the “app” mentality brought into the market by smartphones is utterly destroying the dominance of Flash on the Internet. This same mentality, however, seems to have forced Adobe, at long last, to rethink their pricing. At long last. The result? You can now get *all* of Adobe’s products for $50 per month.
Ok now that you’ve gotten up off of the floor and sat back down. Let me repeat that. $50 per month. Go on, call your doctor. I’ll wait.
Back? No, you’re not having a heart-attack, or a seizure, or a break with reality. You’re seeing the impossible: reasonably-priced Adobe software that’s accessible for every small business owner for less than the price of a few lattes and a pint. The possibilities boggle the mind. The technology to make dreams come to life is now available at a price point that starving artists can afford. What will this do to transform the creative scene? To me, it’s the equivalent of what the Model T Ford did to for automobiles, or what the iPad did for tablets. It’ll bring this software to every home on Earth before the decade is out.
So what does it all mean? For starters: every public school may finally be able to afford to put applications like Photoshop and Illustrator into their students’ hands. Imagine a world where every kid that wants to can learn graphic design, typesetting, video editing, and web publishing, all before high school. Open source software goes a long way towards making this happen on a budget, and should be taught alongside commercial software, but it isn’t a replacement for professional tools.
Widespread access to advanced software like the Adobe suite of products is bringing the world into a new renaissance. One with billions of creative minds at work, across the disciplines of science and art. As podcasts, video sharing, and e-books gradually replace radio, television, and libraries, the demand for user-generated content will only grow. Adobe has risen to meet the challenge.