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  • Enterprise IT, News - Written by on Thursday, February 14, 2013 13:43 - 81 Comments

    Farce: Adobe CEO flatly refuses
    Australian price questions (video)

    news The chief executive of global software vendor Adobe, Shantanu Narayen, has refused to directly address questions regarding price markups that can see Australians pay up to $1,400 more than US residents for the company’s software, in a press conference in Sydney this morning which at times threatened to descend into a farce.

    Narayen was in Sydney this morning to attend the official opening of Adobe’s new local offices in Sydney’s central business district, at an event attended by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell. However, the event was overshadowed by the news this week that the company, alongside Apple and Microsoft, had been legally summoned to attend hearings held by Federal Parliament into the high local prices charged by a number of technology vendors in Australia. Adobe has previously declined to voluntarily give testimony at the hearings.

    Adobe has long marked up its products for the Australian market. For example, in April 2012, it revealed that locals would pay up to $1,400 more for the exact same software when they buy the new version 6 of its Creative Suite platform compared to residents of the United States, meaning some Australian residents can afford to fly to the US to buy a US version of the software and fly back, for the same price they would pay in Australia for the software.

    This morning in a brief press conference, Narayen was asked how Adobe could justify charging up to $1,400 more for the exact same software delivered in Australia, given that the software can be delivered over the Internet with no boxed retail copy involved.

    However, Narayen flatly refused to directly address the question, instead repeatedly emphasising that the company saw the future of its products as being its leased version of Creative Suite, termed Creative Cloud, rather than the traditional Creative Suite software which still makes up the vast majority of its revenues. Adobe harmonised the Australian pricing of some versions of Creative Cloud with its US pricing this week.

    “When we look at the Creative Cloud, and where the future of the Creative Cloud is, and the future of where we’re headed with the company, we think that’s the best offering for customers,” said Narayen. “We really believe that if you look at what we’ve done with pricing there, it’s actually a great value to our customers, and we think that’s the future of the company, and I think that’s a very attractive offering in terms of pricing.”

    When it was pointed out to the executive that most customers still preferred to buy the traditional Creative Suite software from Adobe, Narayen replied:

    “Again, the Creative Cloud — I think it’s important to remember that the Creative Cloud is not just for individuals. We recently announced the Creative Cloud for teams, we think that the collaboration features that you have, with Creative Cloud for teams is the better opportunity even for teams, and for enterprises, when you think of the combination of what we’re doing with the Creative Cloud and the Marketing Cloud.”

    “I think the message that I’m trying to send all of you, is that the Creative Cloud’s the future of creative,” Narayen added, “and when you look at the value that customers, whether they be individuals, all the way to large enterprises, are getting through the Creative Cloud, we just think that’s phenomenal value for our customers.”

    Narayen was further asked why Adobe didn’t feel confident reducing the price of its other products, if it felt Creative Cloud was the future for customers. He responded: “When Adobe thinks about how we want to attract the next generation, again, the future of the creative is the Creative Cloud.” Delimiter stated to the executive that he was not answering the key question of Australian pricing on the company’s Creative Suite products. “All I can say is what I think about what’s the best offer for customers, and we think about the Creative Cloud, we think we have a great offering at a great price for customers,” Narayen responded.

    Narayen’s answer to the question of Australian pricing on its products was markedly different to the response the company gave in 2010, when the company revealed its Creative Suite 5 pricing, which was similarly substantially higher in Australia than it was in the US.

    At the time, the company’s senior director of APAC marketing Mark Phibbs pointed out that the majority of Adobe’s software in Australia was sold through channel partners — and so the prices listed on its online store may not reflect competitive pricing in the market. In fact, the price through its own online store would reflect a price towards the upper end of the range which its channel partners were charging.

    “We don’t want to undercut the entire channel in Australia,” the executive said, noting that if price parity in Adobe’s online store existed between Australia and the US, it would destroy the company’s local channel market. “The fact is, the channel is not as efficient in Australia as it is in the US,” he said.

    Asked what potential there was for Adobe to avoid selling through the channel and provide a more equal price direct to consumers, Phibbs said there was “some scope” for that, but stated also that many consumers wanted more of a complete package than could be bought through Adobe’s own store, which only sells its own software. In addition, at that stage Adobe stated the issue wasn’t one for the technology industry alone — claiming it was a wider problem affecting other areas such as the automotive sector as well.

    Communications Minister Stephen Conroy was asked whether it was appropriate for him to attend Adobe’s office launch, given the ongoing parliamentary hearings regarding local prices of Adobe and other vendors. In response, the Senator pointed out that Adobe had cut some prices in Australia (the Creative Cloud pricing). “We welcome that,” he said. “One of the reasons I signed off on this committee hearing was that so we could get some transparency, get some debate going.”

    “Don’t misunderstand; I signed off on this hearing. We’re very pleased to see some very pleasing results for Australian consumers. And we continue to say, the parliamentary committee is wanting information, wanting to know why Australians pay more. And that is a very good thing.”

    opinion/analysis
    I encourage you to watch the video above of Narayen ‘responding’ to the very legitimate questions which Delimiter and other media outlets put to the Adobe chief executive regarding its Australian prices. Frankly, and I think most other journalists in the room would agree, the press conference quickly descended into a farce as this global technology sector leader — in charge of one of the world’s most venerable software vendors, a company which makes many billions of dollars every year — refused to answer the most basic questions about why his company charges significantly higher prices in Australia compared to the prices set in its home country of the US.

    I’ve interviewed thousands of executives over the past decade in which I’ve been a technology journalist; and this morning’s effort by Narayen would have to be one of the poorest.

    You have to wonder why the executive didn’t at least attempt to make the smallest effort to placate angry Australian customers. He could have, as senior Adobe executive Mark Phibbs did in 2010, give a reasonable answer about the dynamics of the local market (also, here’s some other Adobe comments from 2010 on the matter which went further than Narayen’s). He could have apologised to customers, but said that due to Adobe’s business operations and the higher cost of selling products in the Australian market, the price needed to stay where it was. He could have simply said that the problem wasn’t one for Adobe alone and that it needed to be discussed on an industry wide basis.

    However, he said none of these things. Instead, Narayen treated Adobe’s Australian customers with complete contempt, flat out stating that Adobe didn’t want Australian customers to buy Creative Suite; it wanted them to buy Creative Cloud instead. The reason why is probably obvious to many customers … if you buy Creative Suite, you pay Adobe once and can use the same software for years — products like Photoshop don’t go out of date that quickly and remain functional years after you bought them. However, if you sign up for Creative Cloud, you’ll be paying Adobe, month in, month out, year in, year out, to use the same software forever, on a subscription basis. And you won’t own the software at the end of that point.

    Listening to Narayen today, I was reminded of a comment Apple founder Steve Jobs made that was published in his recent biography.

    At the time, 1999, Adobe had declined to support the Mac by bringing its video editing software to the platform. Adobe founder John Warnock had retired before that. Jobs’ comment was: “The soul of Adobe disappeared when Warnock left. He was the inventor, the person I related to. It’s been a bunch of suits since then, and the company has turned out crap.” Watch the video above. And tell me you don’t agree.

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    1. James
      Posted 14/02/2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink |

      Adobe has become an industry standard, so they can afford to treat their customers with contempt. What else are you going to use?

      • Adam
        Posted 14/02/2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink |

        mspaint

      • Fred
        Posted 14/02/2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink |

        Use open source.

        • nonny-moose
          Posted 14/02/2013 at 2:55 pm | Permalink |

          yep, certainly for me….. im no professional photochopper, mind, but ive found for my uses the GIMP has been more than adequate. far better than ancient old paint (which i only use for prtscr dumps these days).

    2. Matt
      Posted 14/02/2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink |

      Are Adobe going to come out with a ‘media training 101′ cloud sometime soon? I think Narayen could use it stat!
      Maybe Adobe should hire Ian McDonald and Moses Obeid as their new mediaspokesmen…

    3. Tom
      Posted 14/02/2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink |

      +1

      A small correction:

      And you won’t own the software at the end of that point.

      I’m quite sure you don’t ever “own” the software, only “license” it from the company, hence EULAs.

    4. Liam
      Posted 14/02/2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink |

      It would be interesting to see whether the desktop version is marked up to compensate for piracy vs cloud where presumably their DRM is stronger/foolproof?

      • Harimau
        Posted 14/02/2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink |

        Because of higher rates of piracy in Australia?

        Not that I would be surprised, if they’re going to charge, what, 52% more for the exact same product at the exact same distribution cost?

        It’s a catch-22 then, isn’t it.

      • Karl
        Posted 14/02/2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink |

        Implying there’s no piracy in the USofA?

    5. Daniel
      Posted 14/02/2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink |

      Biggest problem I have with this “But we dropped the pricing on the cloud offering!” spin is it’s still next to useless for Australia.

      The average home (or even small business) connection in Australia is not, as yet, really suited to this sort of intensive cloud offering. Ever tried using Photoshop via the Creative Cloud on the average DSL link? Merely uploading the initial 40Mb+ RAW file is painfully slow and heaven help you if it hiccups even a little bit -bam- work gone. Redo from start.

      With better networking and time the Creative Cloud will become a suitable replacement but as it stands it sure as hell isn’t right now and as far as I can tell there is no reason for the disparity.

      If they can provide evidence that doing business in AU is oh so tough they need this sort of mark up I’ll happily read the evidence and hey if it’s true then sucks to be us. Giving us the bullshit bingo not really an answer thing like this indicates no such hurdles really exist,

      • Brad Allen
        Posted 14/02/2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink |

        Hi Daniel,

        I’m not sure that you understand the full Creative Cloud product. The Creative Cloud doesn’t mean you can only use your files in the cloud. It’s a license to all the Major pieces of Adobe Software + 20GB of cloud storage if you want to use it.

        I myself have been a user of the Creative Cloud since day one as I upgrade my Creative Suite every year anyway. I realise that is not the case for all users and so appreciate that many users still prefer to upgrade every couple of years with traditional licensing schemes.

        Price gouging isn’t fun for anyone but I’m surprised to see so many people complaining about the price of Adobe’s software (not aimed at your comments Dan). For any serious professional using Adobe’s tools day in day out, $50 a month for use of the entire creative suite is quite economical. It’s 1hr of work – if that – per month to cover the tools you are using every single day.

        • Brendan
          Posted 14/02/2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink |

          Brad, I think you’re missing the point.

          If the software can be sold near parity via the ‘cloud’ option, why is the ticket price for the digital download, such a dramatic difference to the US?

          This isn’t a case of whether the software is fit for purpose, or the relative value proposition (or what it effectively equates to in billable time, either) it’s the obvious disparity in pricing for what is an identical product to that sold in the US.

          • Brad Allen
            Posted 14/02/2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink |

            Oh, don’t worry I hear you on that point Brendan – no argument from me on that. I agree the disparity is far too big for non-subscription based licensing (Hence my comment that price gouging isn’t fun for anyone).

            I was more referring to a general attitude which seems to think that Adobe products are overpriced (even if their was no pricing discrimination between regions)

            • Brendan
              Posted 14/02/2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink |

              That really stems from the (long) history of price gouging. It’s just become increasingly more transparent over time. This isn’t a new sentiment.

        • midspace
          Posted 14/02/2013 at 4:27 pm | Permalink |

          Right, so the Createive Cloud 12 month subscription costs (AU & US)$599.88
          This give you access to all applications, and it’s the same price if you are upgrading from an existing CS product.

          But, the Creative Suite 6 Master Collection Upgrade price is US$525.
          So you are paying more to continue using the Creative Cloud, instead of taking the upgrade price.

          But…. that’s not what Adobe charge Australians. They charge us AU$879 for the CS6 MC upgrade.

          And, all these prices are for the digital editions which you download.

          So, which price would you rather be paying?
          Admittedly, some of their Cloud pricing is cheaper (single product), and it makes sense if you don’t already have any Adobe products. But if I already owned some, I’d much rather be paying that US$525 for an upgrade (which btw, would be AU$524.03 on an Australian Credit Card including exchange rate and conversion fee right now, if I was allowed to use it).

          On the flip side, Adobe have been ranting for years about their partner pricing and not competing with them in Australia. Cloud pricing is significantly different from their normal prices, which to means tells me they don’t care about partners any more.

          • Brad Allen
            Posted 14/02/2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink |

            Ahh interesting – did not realise this as I had always been comparing the upgrade price in my head with the Australian price

            To be fair, that scenario only works if you are starting with a copy of Master Collection CS5.5. If you are just jumping in for the first time then it would be $2.5K for the latest edition and then that $525 each year to keep it up to date using traditional licensing.

            Depends on the user and where they are coming from I suppose. I know for myself, I was using Production Premium, so jumping over to the cloud also gave me access to a whole lot of extra apps I didn’t previously own + apps that are exclusive to the cloud + includes 20gb of storage + webfonts + updated product features as soon as they are ready to go.

            Whether these are worthwhile selling points, I’m sure varies on a case by case basis. Either way, though, whether the cloud or traditional licensing, I would fight against the mentality that Adobe products are poor value for money (excluding the current regional pricing problem)

          • NPSF3000
            Posted 14/02/2013 at 9:07 pm | Permalink |

            “So you are paying more to continue using the Creative Cloud, instead of taking the upgrade price.”

            Did you factor in the 40% CC discount for upgrades?

            • midspace
              Posted 15/02/2013 at 9:09 am | Permalink |

              I checked for that 40% discount, and it would make it $29.99 per month. ($359.88 required for annual subscription).
              As it is a discount, I wouldn’t rely on that to be there going forward normal price.

              It does sound like they are trying to suck in as many customers as possible onto the platform with these prices.

              It makes me wonder what sort of DRM they have on the cloud version of the apps.
              Does it require an internet connection every time you start up to validate your licence?

              • Posted 15/02/2013 at 10:38 am | Permalink |

                “It makes me wonder what sort of DRM they have on the cloud version of the apps.
                Does it require an internet connection every time you start up to validate your licence?”

                No, it doesn’t require an internet connection to use the software, but it does if you require support, and obviously also if you want to download updates or use the online storage.

                There *could* be something there that it may occasionally try to ‘phone home’ to verify the validity of the license, but I’ve never seen a problem with that, undoubtedly because we’re online more often then not.

    6. Mitch
      Posted 14/02/2013 at 2:34 pm | Permalink |

      This is why we pirate software. Because of people like this.

    7. Harimau
      Posted 14/02/2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink |

      Daniel Myles called it.

      http://delimiter.com.au/2013/02/12/adobe-harmonises-aussie-creative-cloud-prices/#comment-577516

      “I can see Adobe using this very small token gesture as an example of how the company doesn’t price discriminate when asked hard questions by the committee in March.

      OK you’ve fixed your cloud product, now what about all your other software products?

      It’s a start however I can’t help bit feel it’s all a ploy to soften the blow of 22nd March.”

      • Daniel Myles
        Posted 14/02/2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink |

        :)

    8. Brendan
      Posted 14/02/2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink |

      “The chief executive of global software vendor Adobe, Shantanu Narayen, has refused to directly address questions regarding price markups…”

      Think we could all see that coming.

    9. Wakie
      Posted 14/02/2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink |

      I’ll continue pirating it then!

    10. Liam S
      Posted 14/02/2013 at 2:58 pm | Permalink |

      Adobe say they don’t want to undercut their channel partners by charging a similar price to the US.

      What effect would pushing Australian customers on to the cloud based service have on those same partners?
      Either way, the channel partners are screwed.

      It’s quite clear this is about price gouging. I hope the parliament hangs them out to dry (although I don’t know how they will).

      • Paul Thompson
        Posted 14/02/2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink |

        Simple.

        They pass a new piece of legislation making it legal to pirate Adobe products. :)

    11. Adam Nelson
      Posted 14/02/2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink |

      Why not go down the path of saying “Okay so your basically encouraging more people to pirate your software?”

    12. Posted 14/02/2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink |

      Renai: – “MR Narayen, Can you please Justify price Gouging your Australian customers”
      MR Narayen: – “Because Purple is really good for Business, Dont we.?”

      • Posted 14/02/2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink |

        You’d be surprised how often press conferences go along these lines, but this was one of the most extreme examples.

      • RyanH
        Posted 14/02/2013 at 4:19 pm | Permalink |

        An adaptation of the Chewbacca defense.

    13. Brendan
      Posted 14/02/2013 at 3:42 pm | Permalink |

      One wonders what the local authorised resellers are being charged to on-sell the Adobe product range. You should perhaps seek to find that out, Renai. :)

      It might paint the situation a little differently if said partners aren’t actually the only culprit here.

    14. Adam
      Posted 14/02/2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink |

      The guy in the background looks rather uncomfortable. Probably thinking “I am about to get smacked because I didn’t brief Narayen enough on this local issue”.

      How could they not know that this question would come up given the current circumstance is beyond me. A major PR stuff up. Would be very interesting to see how others from Microsoft, IBM, etc respond to similar questions if the opportunity arises.

      • Brendan
        Posted 14/02/2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink |

        Quite the contrary; based on the very ‘canned’ response, the CEO has clearly been briefed to fall back to “the cloud” for any awkward question. He’s simply selling the company line. TO THE CLOUD!

        • Richardw
          Posted 14/02/2013 at 10:29 pm | Permalink |

          Yes he had an answer prepared.

          He stayed on message at all times.

          Turned every awkward question into a promotion of the latest ‘product’, and associated that product with the category ‘creative’.

          Perfect messaging whilst annoying everyone.

          Adobe used to make great software. Photoshop was one of my favourite programs. Adobe messed the UI up badly though with the whole ‘PC’ style wrap-around interface that dumbed down the product and yet made it harder to use.

          Now do you see why Apple has issues with them over Flash?

          Mind you I still think Photoshop is the best image editing software and may very well sign up to cloud.

          For all of the faults they now have with their UI design their software is very useful.

          • SMEMatt
            Posted 15/02/2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink |

            Apple have a problem with Adobe over Adobe holding them to ransom when they wanted to remove some APIs from Mac OS, Adobe said fine we won’t release Photoshop for the mac if you remove the API; Apple would have been screwed as they didn’t have much going for them at the time (pre iPhone and the iPod really taking off). When it came to iOS apple didn’t want to have a key product like flash or the Adobe development tool to get in a position where they could dictate what API they need to keep. Although the flash thing I think is mostly just spite and money, as the flash run-time for MacOS is developed by Apple the API issue isn’t a problem.

    15. NPSF3000
      Posted 14/02/2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink |

      Is it just me… are you getting your panties in a twist even though he answered your question?

      He see’s CC as the future… and the pricing is equitable for it. If you have a problem with CS pricing… that’s great – move to CC already!

      • Posted 14/02/2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink |

        He didn’t answer the question :)

        • NPSF3000
          Posted 14/02/2013 at 5:10 pm | Permalink |

          “He didn’t answer the question :)”

          He did, by rendering the question irrelevant. As far as he cares, it doesn’t matter how much CS costs because he doesn’t want you buying CS – so why waste time trying to make it attractive?

          Whether this be an actual change in marketing strategy, just deflection I’ll let others judge.

          • Karl
            Posted 14/02/2013 at 5:19 pm | Permalink |

            It’s not irrelevant until nobody is buying CS.

            • Richardw
              Posted 14/02/2013 at 10:31 pm | Permalink |

              Ecactly – some people may very well prefer to buy rather than rent their software – and for them it is overpriced.

              The only reason rental makes sens is because the buy price is way too high.

              In a time where Apps and the App store are introducing much lower software prices Adobe is trying to stay high return by bucking the trend and charging by the month more than you can buy whole apps for outright.

              • NPSF3000
                Posted 15/02/2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink |

                “Ecactly – some people may very well prefer to buy rather than rent their software – and for them it is overpriced.”

                Which is only relevant if Adobe wants to cater to the market – their CEO just made strong indications that they no longer care about that market.

          • Neil McLachlan
            Posted 15/02/2013 at 12:38 am | Permalink |

            Sure, next time you have a cop lean into your window and ask if you’ve been drinking, instead of saying anything just let out a long stream of vomit directly onto the front of the officer’s shirt.

            Then say ‘Your question has become irrelevant’ before speeding off in a cloud of blue smoke.

            See how far you get with that style of ‘answering’.

            Of course, the real problem in this case is the fact that Adobe doesn’t really have any competitors, and there aren’t even any in sight. This is the real problem; if there was a genuine alternative product and *it* was selling at a reasonable price, Adobe would be giving their crap away for nothing.

            You can’t regulate or have some PR exercise of a ‘commission’ if you want to fix this. You need competition. I would love for someone in government to suggest we substantially fund the development of a genuine alternative to Photoshop, made here in Australia. it’s not *that* difficult of a job, but unfortunately with our thieves in government the whole project would turn into corporate welfare and then be called a failure.

            Anyway, unless they intend to cart the CEOs off to jail in handcuffs, this whole commission will turn into an advertisement for subscription cloud models, which are mostly the last thing any of us need.

          • Brendan
            Posted 15/02/2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink |

            He did not answer the question. He simply responded; two entirely different things.

            The answer isn’t irrelevant until the company stops shipping the product, that the question refers to.

            • NPSF3000
              Posted 15/02/2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink |

              “The answer isn’t irrelevant until the company stops shipping the product, that the question refers to.”

              But, from what the CEO indicated, this is exactly what is happening. Their keeping it there to ease the transition and keep ‘local partners’ happy… but consider it obsolete and wish to stop shipping it.

              Regardless of international pricing, there’s every incentive *not* to decrease prices.

      • Adam
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 8:47 am | Permalink |

        Good crack at shilling, NPSF3000, but really, give up now. Unless Adobe is paying you more than I imagine, in which case go nuts.

        • NPSF3000
          Posted 18/02/2013 at 1:13 am | Permalink |

          Meh, I’m just happy Adobe are finally offering a affordable monthly licensing option. Sure, it comes a few years too late for me [decided to move platforms] but it’s still a decent move.

    16. Mark M
      Posted 14/02/2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink |

      No cloud for Photoshop elements Aus download price(full product) 131.25 – US download price 99.99. Not huge dollar software but its still 31% (approx) markup.

    17. Adrian
      Posted 14/02/2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink |

      “The way we look at it, holistically, we’re very happy to gouge Australian businesses and users. We at Adobe don’t really care about your productivity we’re more interested in our share price and our investors. Australia is doing very well when you look at the global economy. We have a number of cash cow, almost monopolistic applications that seem to sell just fine at the current price point. We’ve protect these applications with patents so that the competition cannot get close to the same level of quality without being taken to court and destroyed. We also have some complete garbage applications like Flash client and Acrobat Reader which are FREE and are full of bugs, security holes and bloatware that slow down the whole internet and break users PC’s which you should be thanking us for. Also did I mentioned that the government has no power to set our prices. The most effective thing they could do would be to not enforce our copyright and let Australian companies pirate our IP then we’d have to cosy up to the government for their help or spend a lot of time and effort chasing these pirates at our own expense. However thanks to US trade agreements that’s not an option. And finally; Creative Cloud, Creative Cloud, Creative Cloud. Thanks for coming today and don’t bump yourself on the gold plated doors on the way out.”

      • Posted 14/02/2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink |

        Gold-plated is about right; their new office cost a bomb.

    18. Stephen
      Posted 14/02/2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink |

      I don’t understand why journalists treat these people with respect when frankly all you get in return is contempt. If some one avoids your questions, talks about another subject and flat out lies then you have no obligation to treat them with kid gloves.
      Even the courts have the concept of hostile witnesses in these situations.

      • Posted 14/02/2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink |

        It’s a progression, which you can see in this video live. You start polite, then respectfully but firmly bring them back to the point; if they still don’t answer and go off into la-la-land (especially if it’s being broadcast on video), you flat out tell them they’re being evasive.

        At that point you usually have to give up.

        After a few years as a journalist the cycle is dramatically shortened as you lose all patience very quickly.

        • Stephen
          Posted 15/02/2013 at 10:43 am | Permalink |

          Thanks for the response Renai – it’s got to be stupidly frustrating dealing with lying weasels like this guy.

          Seeing your follow up on the verge and engadget brings me a little smile.
          Perhaps you should forward all this to Ed Husic for the enquiry to put to Adobe.

    19. Posted 14/02/2013 at 6:03 pm | Permalink |

      This was an amusing end to my Thursday – and shocking too. I love Adobe products, probably because there’s nothing out there currently that can really compare to the power of Photoshop, Illustrator etc, so it’s really disappointing to come across how terrible his “answers” were. It’s a mighty shame!
      The interesting thing though is that Amazon sells Adobe products as well, you have the choice for the thing to be sent over or just a download link – and the prices for both are significantly lower than the prices charged on Adobe. Not quite sure how/why that is the case and if there’s any difference.

    20. Duke
      Posted 14/02/2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink |

      sooooo… sometimes you don’t pay peanuts but still get the monkeys? This one apparently likes throwing faeces at its visitors too…

    21. Joel Webb
      Posted 14/02/2013 at 9:54 pm | Permalink |

      In this case Renai, you have the scoop (in terms of the amusing video) you just need to get all the other ‘mainstream’ tech writers to follow up the story and get this gag onto the front of fairfax and news limited publications as well!

    22. Posted 14/02/2013 at 11:18 pm | Permalink |

      Aaaaaand the video has made the front page of Engadget and the Verge:

      http://www.engadget.com/2013/02/14/adobe-ceo-dodges-pricing-questions/

      http://www.theverge.com/2013/2/14/3987706/adobe-ceo-avoids-questions-about-high-price-of-creative-suite-in-australia

    23. Richard
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 1:35 am | Permalink |

      Thanks for asking the tough questions. What a slimeball.

      I think I’m going to buy Adobe products in future from a shop in Sweden. You know the one with the old fashioned sailing ship as the logo?

    24. joe
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 8:23 am | Permalink |

      There’s no clearer way to say it:
      What a complete load of bullshit from Adobe.

    25. Paul Thompson
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 9:26 am | Permalink |

      I wonder if his nose looks like that because someone got sick of his BS and clocked him?

    26. Jeremy2
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink |

      Wouldn’t it have been great to see all the journalists get up and leave muttering comments about “being insulted” and “waste of time” ……

    27. Posted 15/02/2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink |

      Farce is an understatement…

      I’m actually pretty happy with the creative cloud as a product, but not answering some straight forward questions that many of Adobe’s core customers obviously care about is just dumb at best, grossly disrespectful as worst.

    28. Simon Shaw
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink |

      Paint.NET ftw.

      Main issue is PDF and vector graphics (Illustrator), there are no really good alternative PDF editors.
      Illustrator is also very hard to compete with.

    29. Posted 15/02/2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink |

      Nice how the guy in the background smirks the first time the CEO dodges your question. Creative Cloud sounds like the ‘best way to make money’ for Adobe … not best value for customers.

    30. DB6
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink |

      For God’s sake…answer the bloody question!!

      As a CEO of a multinational company it obvious the man has never taken a course in public relations, or in addressing the media by looking at his body language…101…never fold your arms when answering a question.

      Adobe won’t get very far when they front the Senate enquiry in April…Aussie pollies don’t like being answered using their own tactics.

      A shameful and contemptuous display by a CEO.

    31. Gunfight at the OK Corel
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink |

      “Good morning Mr Narayen…..”
      “Yes it is but a little cloudy, don’t you think, some clouds are good though like our new Creative Cloud which is best for cust……”
      “Ok, thanks, how are you liking Australia?”
      “I love Australia, it makes me so much money but this can sometimes cloud the real issues here. Speaking of cloud, Adobe Creative Cloud is the way to go, shatzy, don’t you think? You just log in, pay the subscription and everything is always updat…..”
      “Yes, fine; OK Mr Narayen – have you tried our Australian beer?”
      “Why yes; I love Cooper’s ‘Cloudy Ale’ the reason is……”
      “I thjink we might know the reason Mr Narayen….um…I’m trying to get a profile on Mr Narayen the person here; a human interest story on the CEO of a major software company….what kind of music do you like?”
      “Oh I’m sooo glad you asked that. I loooove Joni Mitchell. You know that beautiful song *sings* ‘I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now, from up and down, and still I’ve found….”
      “If I can just interrupt you there Mr Narayen…”
      “Bows and flows of angel hair; Ice-cream castles in the air ” *dances whirlingly*
      “Thank you Mr Narayen, I think we’ll leave it there.”
      *Narayen changes tempo, snaps fingers, taps foot* :”They paved paradise, put up a parking lot (oooooh bab-dab-da-doo-dah!); With a pink hotel, a boutique and a swingin’ hot – spot…(Yeeeeeaaaaaah!)”

      PR Flak: “I’d like to thank you all for your attendance and very informed questions here today, I hope you have enjoyed the Adobe spirit of openness and candour as much as we have.

      Senator Conroy: “Are there any free sandwiches after?”
      (Background: “And a big yellow taxi took away my old man…oooooooh!”)

      Barry O’Farrell: “Like I said last week. Politicians, like some CEOs, are akin to diapers….full of it and in need of regular change…..”

    32. Posted 15/02/2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink |

      Love your work Renai, though David Stratton would wish you’d brought a tripod. This is something our PR friends should use in media training classes for execs, and also in how-to-shut-down-the-loudmouth-journo classes.

    33. jingo
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink |

      great job Renai, should make this the front page/top story over the weekend

    34. Stephen H
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 9:25 pm | Permalink |

      Adobe has created some pretty insecure software lately. They either don’t care, or don’t have the skills they need.

    35. Spud
      Posted 16/02/2013 at 8:59 am | Permalink |

      Arrogant display by Adobe.

      Will reconsider any future purchase from them.

    36. Karl
      Posted 17/02/2013 at 5:17 am | Permalink |

      The YouTube comments for this video were predictably vicious. Did someone from Adobe ask you to remove them?

      Did they bribe you, ideally with a “When we think about the future what’s the best offer for customers and we think about the creative cloud we think we have a great offering at a great price” t-shirt?

      Or did they just comment on your remarkably healthy yet fragile kneecaps and leave it at that?

      • Posted 17/02/2013 at 9:20 am | Permalink |

        I haven’t removed the YouTube comments, but I have switched them off. Some were too vicious to leave up, so I tried to moderate them, but there are bugs in the YouTube moderation system; the comments would reappear after I deleted them. Eventually I gave up and was forced to remove the comments functionality entirely. It’s a shame; I had expected YouTube as a platform to be more stable by now :(

    37. Nathan B
      Posted 17/02/2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink |

      Have you seen his interview at the All Things D 2011 conference? I love how Walt Mossberg owns him with the comment “I have yet to test a single [Androit device] where Flash tests really well”.

      http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/03/adobe-ceo-has-no-beef-with-apple-no-answer-for-poor-flash-perfo/

    38. SMEMatt
      Posted 18/02/2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink |

      So what Adobe have effectively admitted now is that the price is justifiable because they have a product delivered by the exact same method and i expect using the exact same back end infrastructure, they they charge the same* price for. So the only reason they have left is that they are signaling to the channel that will not compete on price, isn’t this price fixing.

    39. JohnW
      Posted 19/02/2013 at 1:18 am | Permalink |

      What is with all this cloud bullshit and having to pay a monthly fee to access this stuff. If I was to cloud all my solutions and pay monthly it would cost me a couple of hundred or more per month to use them, bugger that, sell me a full desktop version only please at a fair and comparable price to the rest of the world including the US prices.

      What I got out of this guys replies is that Adobe ‘thinks’ what customers want, however I wonder if they have actually asked what customers want, that would be a first for Adobe.

      J

    40. Cam
      Posted 19/02/2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink |

      This was mentioned on TWiT Episode 393.

      I’m only disappointed that Leo didn’t know who you were.

      On a related note, I was looking at the Microsoft Technet subscription prices this morning.

      In America it’s US$199, but here it’s AU$337.

      Almost spat my coffee at the screen… so much for the strong Aussie dollar.

    41. Paul
      Posted 20/02/2013 at 9:16 am | Permalink |

      I thinik the “Cloud” Narayen refers to is the one where Adobe executives have their heads.

      I send clients who need Photoshop to the Pixlr dot com site. It has layers and does a darn good job for most simple graphic applications … for free. Wide berth Adobe where possible. I hope a software development company like Autodesk comes up with a program that eats CS.

      It’s about the cloud … the cloud of dust Adobe will see when people rush off to another product.

    42. Esteban
      Posted 20/02/2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink |

      Lets be honest the current suite you have already does the job. Adobe and their suits can go jump in the lake cloud lake. If they are going to treat us like idiots they can stick their proverbial endless useless upgrades and Cloud horse manure where the sun don’t shine!

      I am not upgrading my suite anymore. If we all did that it would send the strongest message.

      Plus what features do we really need that we are not already using. Software upgrade has become a silly game we all play. CS6 runs worse than CS5 !! – Its time we unhooked from the Matrix – the upgrading slaves we have become.

      I am plugging.

    43. joe
      Posted 20/02/2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink |

      Gone are the days when Adobe knew how to innovate, like http://pixlr.com/editor/ does. Adobe lost both connection with & empathy of designers.
      This cross-armed barrier to discussion is a clear message to customers. It says “we don’t care what you want to ask, we want you to buy x, not y, and will therefore ignore all your clear questions about y”, regardless of wether you think y is your better option, x is the way forward, according to what our shareholders like.

      oh, did I say shareholders? http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/adbe
      they’re happy….

    44. anonymous
      Posted 20/02/2013 at 8:17 pm | Permalink |

      I’ve been a paying customer since CS3. Now I will pirate out of spite. f**k you adobe

    45. GimpyGimpGimp
      Posted 10/05/2013 at 4:54 pm | Permalink |

      They seem to be blissfully unaware of the rest of the world. Bit like VMWare not noticing that there is at least one commercial Xen version now with good features that doesn’t cost limbs and firstborns.

      Gimp works fine now, the only problems it has are with Adobe products and those will be fixed shortly, see what happened with OpenOffice (ie., it Works now).

      For movie-making the arena is full of options now, I haven’t even heard someone *use* the term ‘After Effects’ for a long time.

      So what does that leave them with?

      Flash – dead. Deady dead dead, good riddance. Next.

      PDF – a Reader that has a ton of alternatives, a god-awful overcomplicated Writing suite that nobody, NOBODY, uses (when the accountant at a previous job tried to use it for distributed forms she was reprimanded, poor woman but she wasn’t aware of how useless it really was), and at least 2 Converters from other formats that work perfectly. Next.

      Photoshop – Adobe’s “Word”. The Cash Cow. Mhmm? Yeah? What else you got Adobe?

      Next.




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