Review of Adobe Creative Cloud – It’s the Worst
Recently I decided to signup for the adobe creative cloud monthly subscription plan available from Adobe at http://www.adobe.com/products/creativecloud.html. I have older versions (CS3) of Photoshop and Dreamweaver and wanted to try getting the latest copies of each on my system. Also thought it was a nice deal as it would allow me to have a full version of Acrobat and I could play with Illustrator in case I ever had clients send me AI files that I needed to work with.
So in theory, it was a pretty good deal…$50 monthly for three/four solid adobe products, two of which I use on a daily basis. In practice, it turned out to be a pretty bad deal due to the fact that Adobe makes really buggy products and their customer service is terrible. After two months, I’ve cancelled my subscription and am going back to using my old version of Photoshop. And instead of going back to Dreamweaver, I’ve decided to go with Aptana Studio 3 since it has several excellent features such as the ability to synch projects with Git, Subversion and automatically upload via FTP when saving a file.
The main problems I ran into with my Adobe Creative Cloud subscription that forced me to cancel it are outlined below:
- There is a pretty severe bug with Dreamweaver CS6 that would pop up at least once every fifteen minutes. It seems like if you have a project set up to sync with Subversion that Dreamweaver would constantly be trying to check their synch status with subversion every time you make a change. As I would be editing files, Dreamweaver would freeze for 30 seconds or so and then prompt me that it had experienced an error trying to communicate with the subversion repository. This was annoying as the activities that I was doing at the time did not required subversion in any way, so it was a needless problem and seriously slowed my work down.
- When setting up a subversion project, Dreamweaver asks you whether it is http or https. If you choose https, Dreamweaver will automatically set the port to 443. This is nice and good, but it also sticks the port number in the url of your repository url. It took me a few minutes to understand why nothing was working when I tried to synch with subversion. My repository doesn’t listen on 443, so having 443 in the url was breaking the process. Some might not think this was a bug, but the fact that the error reporting didn’t indicate what the problem was is definitely a bug in my opinion.
- You can only activate a creative cloud subscription on up to two machines and there is no ability to buy an add on activation. I would gladly pay an additional $15-$25 per month to be able to activate an additional machine, but Adobe doesn’t give you that option. You can only buy two activations at a time.
- I made the mistake of activating my Creative Cloud subscription on my two desktops and on my laptop without realizing that you can only activate it on two machines. I then deactivated one desktop and tried to deactivate another so that I could start over by activating the software on a desktop and a laptop. The problem is that you can only deactivate once per 72 hours. So rather than being able to deactivate my installs and start over, I had to wait three days. There was no exception to this and customer support was unwilling to help me. Here’s a portion of my chat transcript with them:
Peter Holcomb: I am still getting the error 194:110
Peter Holcomb: it tells me activation failed
Shivashankar: Are you getting the above error while activating the software or deactivating the product?
Peter Holcomb: activating the software
Peter Holcomb: I can walk you through what I’m doing.
Peter Holcomb: 1) I click on Dreamweaver CS6 icon to open it
Shivashankar: In this case, please try to activate the product within 72 hours.
Peter Holcomb: 2) It tells me “Maximum Activations Exceed” and gives me the option to “License this Software” or “Continue”
Peter Holcomb: 3) I click continue
Peter Holcomb: I log in
Peter Holcomb: I can’t wait 72 hours
Peter Holcomb: is there anyway I can activate it now?
Shivashankar: Peter, this is a known issue, A backend problem is preventing your product from launching. Wait three days and attempt to launch the product.
Peter Holcomb: I can’t wait three days
Peter Holcomb: This is not a viable solution
Peter Holcomb: If I have to wait three days, I’ll cancel my subscription
Peter Holcomb: to creative cloud
Shivashankar: I am sorry to hear that.
Shivashankar: Please click here:
Shivashankar: Please click the above link for the confirmation to wait for 72 hours.
Shivashankar: If you wish to cancel the subscription, I will be glad to check that for you.
Peter Holcomb: Okay, this is the last time I buy anything from adobe. This is pretty crappy service
Shivashankar: I am sorry for the inconvenience.
Shivashankar: Our Technical specialists are check this concern and this issue will be fixed at the earliest.
So, in summary, it only took two months for me to understand what a poor deal the Creative Cloud offering from Adobe is. I’ll most likely never buy an Adobe product again due to the buggy nature of their products and their poor customer service.
Update, September 5, 2014
I originally published this back in September, 2012. This post is now 2 years old and got some incredible responses because of Adobe’s eventual decision in 2013 to go to a subscription model only. I think it’s currently at spot #4 on Google if you search for “Adobe creative cloud review”.
At the time, I was incredibly disappointed with the service and cancelled my cloud subscription. I now no longer use any Adobe products other than an old copy of Photoshop CS2 I bought years ago. I’ve since switch all of my development to using IntelliJ. It was the right decision and I’m happy I made it. The worst part, for me, was the fact that I had originally agreed to a 1-year contract with Adobe, so I was never able to cancel my subscription until the following September of 2013.12
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