It has been brought to my attention that there are some problems with creating ePUB documents with Adobe Indesign 5.0.
Apparently Adobe have fixed the problems but rather than allow users to receive an update they are telling them to upgrade to 5.5 to get the fix.
Is that a fair thing to do? Im sure there are people who happily pay for new products when the ones they have are faulty but it doesn’t seem right to me.
More to come
Adobe also plans to radically change the system where users of their software could upgrade to the latest version of the program for an upgrade fee. In the past you would have paid something like £160 ($248.00 US) for an upgrade from say Photoshop CS2 to CS5. Now the planned upgrade version to CS6 is only available if you own the previous release meaning that if you have missed out on the upgrade to CS5 but wanted to upgrade your CS4 ,3 or 2 to CS6 you will need to pay the full price of the program again.
This will mean that someone moving to Photoshop CS6 will have to pay the same as someone who hasn’t paid Adobe in the past. Currently Photoshop CS5 sells on the Adobe store for £548 excluding sales tax (VAT) – that is $851 US.
Clients who are not VAT registered will need to pay £657 or its equivalent for the upgrade (that’s over $1,000.00 US) when moving to Photoshop CS6 and assuming the price remains the same as current.
Adobe have offered a time limited plan for users of CS2,3,4 to upgrade to CS5 at 20% less then pay the separate upgrade to CS6 when it comes out, very generous of them to offer this?
Clearly we are in an unhealthy situation where Adobe are feeling strong enough to milk their customers. Once dominant companies such as Quark have in the past also gone through such a stage.
In a competitive market this does not happen, market failure is causing Adobe to move to a place it should not be. In the future we need to be cautious with dealing with this ugly aspect of the company, this means expecting the software to function as specified, if we are to pay (much) more then we need to demand more.
Here is the statement from a serious user of Adobe software who was kind enough to write to me detailing her story:
I was using InDesign CS5 to create an ePub of my new book, The Global Indie Author: How anyone can self-publish in the U.S. and worldwide markets
. (I am both a writer and a photographer.) The export to ePub utility in CS5 is full of bugs that are program-specific, meaning they are not the result of unforeseen issues with your OS or in conflict with another program. It was clear InDesign CS5 had been released prematurely: there was no way the programmers didn’t know about these bugs. To add insult to injury, Adobe didn’t release any patches; they simply “fixed” the problems for CS5.5 and told consumers to upgrade. It was outrageous. The analogy I made was to a car with a manufacturing defect: the company is forced by law to perform a recall; they can’t just say, “Oh, we fixed that problem in the next model; just go buy a new car.” Yet this was precisely what Adobe was doing. So I complained both publicly and directly to Adobe and they offered me a free upgrade to CS5.5. I have no illusions it was to neutralize the threat I posed, and fair enough. But I hope others will realise that Adobe is not so big that they are impervious to consumer ill-will.
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