Renting software? No thanks!

A few weeks ago, someone about to make his first foray into photo editing asked if I would recommend Photoshop. Money was no object and the enquirer was technical enough to have found Photoshop intuitive to use, but in all conscience I could not recommend Photoshop.

Don’t get me wrong: in the past, I have been a big fan of Photoshop and I still think it is the best image editor available (capable of doing anything you could possibly want to do with a photo) but I stopped endorsing the de facto standard of image editors when Adobe introduced Creative Cloud and stopped issuing perpetual licences for all their products.

This means that if you want to use Photoshop and all other Adobe products, you will have to pay a monthly subscription (currently $19 for a single application or $49.99 for the complete suite). For as long you subscribe, you can install and use the application(s) on two computers and avail of any updates. The sting in the tail is that if you cancel your subscription, you will no longer be able to use the programs no matter how long you have subscribed.

Compare this to the old licensing system: you paid the full retail prices for the programs (which were admittedly hefty) but you got to keep them forever.

As a student, I can subscribe to Creative Cloud for a reduced rate (currently $29.99) but I refuse to do so. I refuse to “rent” applications on principle. When I cease to be a student, I would either have to pay the full rate or lose access to the programs. I think that this is extremely unfair. It’s almost like being held hostage by Adobe.

I am thankful that Adobe do not have the monopoly on photo editing software. There are numerous alternatives out there that are much cheaper and you can actually own. My top recommendation is Serif PhotoPlus X7. It looks, feels, and works like Photoshop and costs just £79.99. PhotoPlus does not pretend to have all the high-end features of its Adobe equivalent but it has all the power that most users would need from a photo editor.

Serif has an alternative for all the major Adobe products including the excellent desktop publisher PagePlus X7 and web designer WebPlux X7. If you’re still not convinced, Serif offers free starter versions of all their programs while the full programs come with money-back 30-day guarantee. Go on, take the plunge and discover a world outside Adobe.


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