When something stops working as well as it could, there is a certain threshold where updates become more caustic than helpful. Taking a broad look at the two major desktop environments you can see the two paths that companies can take. Windows can be problematic as MS continues to support most legacy applications, some of which are written with decades-old code, and Apple on the other hand, will ‘retire’ applications and machines that do not meet their modern standards.
Evidence of this ‘retirement’ tactic can be seen in how the transition of Final Cut Pro 7 to Final Cut Pro X was handled – a new application was created and refined, the old one became unsupported, and finally, the old application is no longer able to run on the latest OS. With the introduction of new Adobe Lightroom CC and the demotion of the standalone product to ‘Classic’, Adobe tried to follow in Apple’s marketing strategy. As with the majority of their recent updates, the implementation of this strategy seems to have fallen a bit flat, and Adobe seems forced to eat the provable ‘crow’.
The thing is, there were a lot of unanswered questions, questions our friend Dan Watson, of Learning Cameras, recently asked Adobe in a published interview with Tom Hogarty, Director of Product Management for all things photography, and Sharad Mangalick, Adobe Lightroom Product Manager. In it, they discuss the future of Lightroom Classic and the future of the ‘Cloud’.
There’s a lot to take in here, but note that within days, Adobe’s Tom Hogarty went from “Lightroom 6 will no longer be updated with camera support or bug fixes after the end of 2017,” to “No, we’re not phasing out Lightroom Classic and remain committed to investing in Lightroom Classic in the future”.
When Adobe publishes plans for the future one should take it with a grain of salt. Not too long ago, Adobe said there not be a Creative Cloud version of Lightroom nor would “traditional perpetual licenses” be phased away and would be offered “indefinitely.” The back-and-forth has cause more confusion and anger amongst photographers, with many of them on the search for more stable alternatives.