Tuesday, November 09, 2010

It doesn't improve

A week ago I scraped together the funds to buy Adobe CS5 (Web Premium, since you ask - it's going to keep me afloat in the HTML5 world). I managed to do this because I was aware the University has an education licence agreement with Adobe through a reseller. Unfortunately, the terms of this are of such Byzantine complexity they are beyond a mere PhD like me, so I asked my helpful colleagues to find the price for me.

The first response was the eye-watering full price - 4 figures - which is clearly wrong since there is an education licence, so I asked them to go back and try again. The second quote was half of the first quote, but still too much for me, so in the spirit of the souk, I asked them to try again. The third price was half the second offer. Tempting as it was to keep going, I'm a little too busy at this time of year, so I agreed.

Over the course of the next few days, I received a series of emails from Adobe, and the package containing the disc a few days after that. Today I installed my new software.

Retrieving my licence from the Adobe website took 15 minutes, including a compulsory 5 minute Adobe presentation on How To Retrieve Your Licence From The Adobe Website. Installing from the CD took 55 minutes (on a top end iMac). And I know that now I'm going to be constantly bugged by emails and compulsory software updates every time I try to use it until CS6 comes out and Adobe loses interest in CS5. It also installed several browser extensions without asking permission.

The Adobe customer experience sucks. But their effective monopoly as the market leader in this area means there is no real choice.