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Adobe Photoshop now in the Mac App Store: Why it's significant

Erik Eckel hails the addition of Adobe's Photoshop software to the Mac App Store for its convenience and also as a sign that the era of boxed software is near its end.

Yes, it's the end of boxed software as we know it, at least for Mac users (Windows users will have to wait). And, I feel fine.

Why?

A few months ago, and on short notice, I needed to edit some photos and required more granular editing capabilities than come with iPhoto. I grabbed the dog and kids and chose to walk to the nearest office megachain. After nearly getting squished crossing the road, using the only available bridge for miles, I was asked to leave the shopping plaza because I had a dog on a leash.

Really?

Obtaining a new copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements needn't be that difficult. Fortunately, it no longer is. Now you can download Photoshop Elements directly from within the Mac App Store. As I've been writing for awhile, Apple's integration of its app store within its OS is a revolutionary change, which while seemingly subtle at first, is going to change the way users research, select, purchase, download, install, maintain, update and recover software.

Adobe's a milestone

Adobe's move to distribute Photoshop Elements 10 and Premier Elements 10 is momentous on a few levels.

First, Adobe is selling the applications for $79.99 each in the Mac App store. That's $20 less than Adobe sells the software for on its own website. And, when Adobe sells these packages through Apple, Adobe has to pay Apple a hefty commission (reportedly 30 percent).

Second, it's Adobe. Remember that these two companies don't like each other very much. Apple still won't support Flash on its mobile OS. So Adobe's embracing Apple's app store for its own distribution efforts suggests Adobe's seen the future and believes boxed software is about to go the way of the 56K modem.

Third, Adobe is releasing these applications, some of its most popular, via the Mac app store at a time it's reorganizing. The latest restructuring is designed to emphasize a tightened focus on digital media and marketing. Those actions suggest it may prove more profitable for Adobe to concentrate on developing and marketing software, instead of having to build and maintain a large distribution arm.

Windows to follow suit

The last several Mac apps I've purchased -- Mac OS X Lion, WriteRoom and Scrivener among them-didn't even require that I leave my desk. The convenience is significant, especially when seeking a specific version and you don't want to or don't have time to check a few stores or wait a few days for the software to arrive via mail. Windows users will enjoy the same convenience soon, too. When the Windows app store arrives, count on other major software vendors (including Adobe) to adopt the integrated OS distribution model. The time has come. No one should need risk life, limb, and hassle just to track down a simple app.

About

Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...

8 comments
eScoop
eScoop

I want to say BFD. One has been able to download MS Office for some time. If you upgrade/buy Photoshop for Windows, again downloadable. What is new or revolutionary about downloadable software? Golly, use the Internet much?

Aspiration Images
Aspiration Images

I'm disappointed it's not the full version, but it probably will be soon. This is pretty significant in the same week that Adobe announces it won't be supporting Flash on mobile devices to be announcing moving towards the App Store. As a photographer I would say Adobe and Photoshop is under pressure from it's own competing product, Lightroom as well as Aperture which sells for $79 on the App Store. Both of these provide full raw file editing and cataloguing. Now that onOne have released Perfect Layers it will be rare most people will need Photoshop. Putting it on the App store starting with "A" beside Aperture, also at $79 is a good move. They have a toe in the App Store wave. Element is 8 bit whereas Photoshop is 16 bit but most amateur guys with camera shoot JPG anyway, especially for the web.

Randy Hagan
Randy Hagan

You've been able to buy Photoshop Elements online for years. Adobe has offered all its software for sale through download as well as shrink-wrapped boxes for the last 7-8 years. Mac and Windows format. Straight from Adobe. And you didn't need to inconvenience yourself or risk your life or the local leash law to do it. Or use iTunes to buy it either.

Gisabun
Gisabun

Change the title and some text. As pointed out, it's Photoshop Elements and not Photoshop whgich is probabl6 6+ times the price. Misleading. That said, Apple doesn't mind. 30% of $80? That's $24 for every copy sold. [This assuming Adobe and Apple didn't agree to a different "cut" percentage.]

TNT
TNT

As the author mentioned, this is coming to the Windows desktop as well. And while Linux never really offered much software in the retain chains and in boxes, its still noteworthy that Ubuntu has offered a Linux app store for its OS for a year now. The more ubiquitous Desktop OS app stores become the better for all users. I welcome and embrace the brave new world of software sales and the death of purchasing through a box store.

Roc Riz
Roc Riz

For all intents and purposes, Photoshop Elements is Photoshop, only for RGB printing. Photoshop is for CMYK printing. Other than that, they are the same software. Menus are in different places, but once you figure all that out, they are the same. If you only want to do photos, Elements. For professional, pre-press graphics, Photoshop.

dogknees
dogknees

Do you also embrace a situation where many people will no longer be able to buy these products as they are not able to get decent internet services? Not "it's hard or expensive", but impossible. Like it or not, this is still a significant majority of the population. Looks like we heading to a split society, those that can participate and those who cannot. That is not something I could support or accept. Disenfranchising part of your society is never OK.

sperry532
sperry532

Elements is not Photoshop. Elements is to Photoshop as Reader is to Acrobat; a very limited version of the full product. Also, there is no RGB printing. All color printing is done with Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black (CMYK). Red, Green, and Blue (RGB) are the basic colors of light used to create a color image on a LCD or CRT screen. In all printing, the RGB colors are converted to equivalent or near-equivalent CMYK colors by the program you're using or, in some cases, a special driver. I do agree that Elements is best used for general household photo work. Cropping, removing red-eye, changing the overall color cast of the photo, and removing passed-out-drunk-uncles from the Thanksgiving party photos. Professionals and artists tend to use Photoshop for it's wider abilities.

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