On Wednesday Adobe announced a special “Black Friday Deal” where for a VERY limited time, they’re letting pretty much everybody in on the photographer’s $9.99 a month Photoshop/Lightroom bundle deal that was originally only for folks who owned some previous version of Photoshop (from CS3 on up), but now everybody can get in on the deal for the next few days (only until Dec 2, 2013).

When I posted this on my Facebook page, it was seen by over 140,000 people, and of course there were a ton of comments — lots of happy people taking advantage of the deal, the usual amount of mis-information, and of course we heard from the same people who aren’t happy no matter what Adobe does. I thought I’d address as many of those comments as I could here in a short Q&A. Here we go:

Q. I had the full Creative Suite, and I wasn’t able to take advantage of the $9.99 deal, but now I can?
A. Absolutely.

Q. But I called Adobe Customer service and they said I couldn’t.
A. They’re wrong. Try calling again.

Q. But what if I already subscribed to Photoshop alone? Can I downgrade to this and save the money?
A. Yup!

Q. But I called Adobe customer service and they said I’d have to pay a cancellation fee?
A. You don’t. Try calling again.

Q. But what if I never ever owned Photoshop. Can I get in on this deal?
A. Yup.

Q. Really?
A. Really!

Q. I didn’t see that one coming.
A. Me either. 

Q. What if I already have a Creative Cloud subscription that costs more?
A. They’ll let you switch to this cheaper plan as long as you do it by the cut-off date.

Q. No way!
A. Way!

Q. But I called Adobe Customer Service and they said I can’t downgrade
A. Call back until you get someone that has actually read the memo.

Q. “They must be hurting for revenue.” (direct quote from Facebook)
A. Adobe had hoped to have one million subscribers by the end of year. They hit their goal nearly four months early, and now Adobe’s stock is at an all-time high. Yeah, they’re hurting’ ;-)

Q. Should I form my opinions of how Adobe is doing financially based on a hunch or what I read from strangers in online forums, or should I actually read the official business reports?
A. Ummmmm.

Q. I heard I have to run Photoshop in a Web Browser. Is that true?
A. For the love of God, please let this one go. No. No, no, no for the millionth time no. You do NOT run Photoshop or Lightroom in a Web browser. They work just like they always did.Ugh!

Q. Yeah, but then I lose access to all my images, right?
A. You do NOT have to store your images in the cloud. Please let this one go, too!

Q. You sound like you’re frustrated.
A. For a year or so I’ve been reading the same “You have to run it in a browser”…”You have to stay connected to the internet all the time” and “you lose access to all your images”  and all this same old misinformation is just starting to wear me down. Sorry.

Q. It’s OK. I know you’ve taken a lot of heat, and we appreciate you helping to cut through the clutter [obviously not a real Facebook comment].
A. Thanks for understanding.

Q. I know Adobe says they’re going to try to keep the monthly price at this level, but they don’t guarantee it. What if it goes up?
A. My understanding is they are not planning to raise the monthly subscription rate. I imagine it’s because if they did after a year or so, they would lose a lot of customers, right? But nobody is “locked into” this thing — if they raise the price at some point down the road, you can always just not renew and go back to whatever the last version of Photoshop you owned is. That being said, just for fun let’s  pretend that they decided to raise the monthly subscription by 10% at some point. That would mean you’d have to pay (wait for it….wait for it…) $12 more a year.

I seriously doubt even that will happen, but I would pose this: find me something whose price just never goes up: Gasoline? Milk? Bread? Electricity? Coffee? College Tuition? Eggs? Anything? 

Q. Why does it cost more in the UK and in Europe?
A. I ask myself this exact same question every time I visit the UK or Europe. Why does my hotel room cost twice as much there? Why does a can of Coca Cola cost twice as much there? Why does the exact same microphone that I rent here in the US cost triple when I rent it in London? It’s the exact same mic! In fact, pretty much everything over there costs at least double of what it does here or more, even if it’s the exact same product? Why is that?

As for Adobe, they have offices in the UK and all over Europe, and staff in all those locations, and I imagine their offices cost at least double what they do here. So does their electricity, gasoline, staff salaries, insurance and of course their taxes have to be dramatically higher, and their overall cost of doing business has to be through the roof over there as well. Yet, their customers expect them to eat all those extra costs and charge the same amount that they do here. Unfortunately, that’s not generally how business works. Extra operating costs are passed on to the customers to offset the cost of doing business in that country. Just’ sayin’.

Q. What was your favorite comment over on your Facebook page?
A. This one from Robert Court

“10 bucks a month for professional software. I upgrade every 18-24 months both LR and PS. Hummmmm. So if I am doing the math correctly. $190 PS and $80 LR = $270 divided by 18 months = $15 per month. $270 divided by 24 months = 11.25 per month. So where exactly is ANYBODY being ripped off. Now they are letting everyone in on the deal even if you never owned PS. I still do not get what people are B!!ching about. I for one am all in on this deal and no I did not drink the Adobe cool-aid. This is professional software for $120 per year. Even if you are a hobbyist you should consider selling your gear if you if you can’t somehow come up with two Starbucks coffees per month. Really if someone cannot afford this PROFESSIONAL software they have bigger problems in life than Adobe. Thank you Adobe.”

It had 17 likes. :)

Q. What was your least favorite?
A. I deleted it.

Q. But that’s limiting freedom of speech!
A. It’s my Facebook page — not The Washington Post. I’m not the government. I don’t owe anybody the right to attack me, or other people who comment, or use foul language, or just plain hate on my personal Facebook page. If you want freedom of speech, you can go start your own Facebook page at this address: http://www.facebook.com (sign up today!).

Q. Should people who aren’t going to take Adobe up on this offer take their time to tell you that in the comments?
A. Sure. It’s fun. They are dying to tell me, yet again for the millionth time, that no matter what deal Adobe comes up with they’re not going to get on board. They think I somehow have control over the pricing policies of a multi-billion dollar global software company. It’s kinda entertaining at this point. 

Q. So, is Adobe going to switch back to selling the latest version of Photoshop?
A. No.

Q. Are you sure?
A. I’m more sure about that than anything else I’ve written on this page.

Q. Any other comments from your Facebook page that stand out?
A. How about this one from Armando Almada responding to Robert’s comment above:

…totally agree….a glass of wine in NYC is $12, and that’s no include the tips….

I also like this one telling “The other side of the story” from Karl Mathias Moberg who wrote:

Totally agree with this. As a part-time photographer, with not a very high income… I can’t afford the upfront cost for both photoshop and lightroom. This, and the normal CC deals are perfect for me. I have no problems what so ever with the subsciption models.

A lot of folks want to pretend that people like Karl just don’t exist. The fact is, there are a ton of people who can now use Photoshop and Lightroom that were locked out because they didn’t have $849 (the cost of Photoshop and Lightroom last year, and the only way to use it was to buy it at that price).

Q. So, what if I don’t sign up for this by December 2nd, 2013? Then what?
A. You don’t get the deal. That’s it. It’s a limited time offer (it’s a Black Friday Deal running before and after black Friday but not by much).

Q. Where can I learn more?
A. You can get the official details direct from Adobe’s deal page. Here’s the link. They also have an FAQ here.

Q. OK, if I don’t like this deal, or I live in Europe, or I live in Russia where this deal isn’t even valid, or I had a fight with my spouse, or I’m just generally angry, can I blame  any part of Adobe’s Black Friday Deal that I don’t agree with on you?
A. What the heck  —- sure. Why not? :)

OK, that’s the scoop as best as I know it, and of course as always I reserve the right to be totally wrong about any or all of this. Here’s wishing you a day where all your pixels move right where you want ‘em to.

Best,

-Scott

P.S. No football this weekend but I am shooting a wedding tomorrow in Orlando and hopefully I’ll have some shots to share here early next week.