Adobe has been observing the desktop application market and specifically seen Google challenging Microsoft with its online Google desktop suite (spreadsheet, text processor, agenda, etc.). They determined that they want to go the same way in order to ensure a bright future for the Photoshop line.
Currently, Adobe has already split its market niche between entry-level Photoshop Elements and high-level PhotoShop CS suite. From what has been told this week, they wish to go one step further by introducing online version of their image editing tools. It should be free even if limited to a subset of functions.
It is definitely interesting. Do not expect that to translate into free professional-level tools (no free CS4 suite). However it means that, depending on your needs, you will be able to choose from the widest possible spectrum:
- Free online
- Low cost (PS Elements)
- Pro-grade (PS CS suite)
The user (you and me) get maximum choice, the software company (Adobe) covers all bases and reduces the risk of being out-sold from the lower level and provides a consistent upgrade path from $0 to $1000 products. This is the way technology innovation should be used by companies willing to protect their market while serving user needs.
Others, please, take notice.
PS: You should also notice that Adobe is already ben starting this kind of move in relation with video edition announcing Remix, an online video mixing/remixing tool.
PPS: According to Monkey Bites, it would be launched within 6 months and supported by ads.