Adobe needs cheaper local pricing

I should make it clear, that I am against software piracy, and do not support it in any way, shape or form. However, I want to provide some context to my tweet earlier:

RM8,599 for Adobe Creative Suite 4 bundle, at machines. I’m sorry Adobe. I’ll limp with open source alternatives, and others will pirate you

I have an inkling to play with, and use, Photoshop CS4, as well as Illustrator. So I started calling around and finding out a little more about it. Only to be shocked that the entire “bundle” of Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium would cost me a meagre RM8,599 (then again, it might be the Master Collection – I was just told it was a bundle). I called elsewhere, to find that the Standard Edition is RM5,500, but I can get a discount for a mere RM5,300!

I prodded around the Adobe website further, to find that they had some offers, like bona fide students can for a mere RM399, get Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium (normally US$2,313). So that’s a good deal, if I were in an educational institution.

However, Adobe doesn’t seem to understand Asian economics (something, even Microsoft is getting with lower priced software, including for their flagship Office products). I can go to my friendly neighbourhood software retailer, and for a mere RM10, pick up RM5,300 worth of value. Heck, I won’t be surprised if I can pull in RM8,599 worth of value, even.

On Twitter, I was advised that its cheaper to buy an older version, then upgrade from there. I cannot imagine many a Malaysian wanting to pay this much for software.

Adobe is a member of the Business Software Alliance. Doesn’t the organisation dole out advice to members, to keep software prices in check?

How many legit users of Adobe Creative Suite are there in Malaysia? Please stand up. Remember, you could get a MacBook, a MacBook Air, a MacBook Pro, or even an iMac for less than the entire bundle.

Me? I’ll just happily limp on with using The GIMP, Inkscape, Scribus, and the like. For others that don’t grok open source software? They’ll shell out RM10 (or fire up their BitTorrent client).

Long live proprietary software license fees, and ridiculous prices that go with it.
(and I hope that the open source alternatives eventually force Adobe to rethink their business model)


  1. Leon Brooks says:

    > I’ll just happily limp on with using The GIMP

    Colin, not all will agree here, but I find that GIMP generally offers more choice & more useful ones. There is a not-broadcast advantage in FOSS, which is that the authors themselves use it “in anger” rather than merely for show.

    Adobe will refuse to admit that free (as in $/RM) software could possibly be better than theirs, particularly because it is Free (as in not proprietary) as both ideas oppose their own religion.

  2. drizad says:

    8,599??? It’s even more expensive than the new Nikon D3X!!! Heck, I am happy with my D40+GIMP+Picasa…

  3. Leon Brooks says:

    Since at AUD$3,573.88 (today’s rates) that is nearly _double_ the cost of my latest toy (a Canon 40D with a decent Sigma lens), in fact more than half as much again as that plus a zoomie lens (18-200), yes, I would say that Adobe are being outright greedy there.

    Which is more important to the photographer? Good gear, or BrandX software? Which won’t even run on any of my systems. Not a difficult choice for me, at least…

  4. William says:

    Hey Colin,

    I went to the Apple store at the curve the other day to ask about the Adobe Suite (although I don’t have a MAC) and you’re right, the guy really did ask me to pay nearly 10k for it.

    And he didn’t mention how many people are allowed to use it… one person? A whole office? A whole school? If it’s for a whole school then it would be almost reasonable… but I’m guessing it’s not.

    Oh well, there’s always bit torrent.

    But on the bright side, Adobe Lightroom would only set you back around RM1k right?


  5. drizad says:

    8,599??? It's even more expensive than the new Nikon D3X!!! Heck, I am happy with my D40+GIMP+Picasa…