Adobe, you promised: “future versions of Lightroom will be made available via traditional perpetual licenses indefinitely”

With the announcement of the new Adobe Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic and the elimination of the standalone Lightroom version (more info here), I want to remind everybody what Adobe has been repeating over the years - Lightroom will continue to be available as a standalone version:

Q. Will Lightroom become a subscription only offering after Lightroom 5?

A. Future versions of Lightroom will be made available via traditional perpetual licenses indefinitely.

You can try some of the new alternatives to Lightroom:

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  • Jeffry De Meyer

    I hope the photography plan will remain available.

  • br0xibear

    They could still have a stand alone one, without the latest bells and
    whistles of the subscription version, and charge people a small amount
    for a RAW update to support future cameras.

    Why do they have to make life so difficult for photographers.

    • A. F.O.

      because they do not care about photographers!???

      • No company “cares” about you. Likewise, you would do well not to “care” about a company. A business entity either offers you something you want, or not. Adobe have ceased to offer me something I want, because the terms on which I was willing to access it have ceased to be useful to them. So we all move on.

        • PhilK

          That’s absurd nonsense.

          If a company reaches a point where it is clear that they do not ‘care’ about their customers, they will eventually fail.

          The problem is, lots of people are gullible and easily tricked by companies that claim to care about them but don’t.

          By “care” I mean:

          – Provides products customers want/need, at a competitive price point

          – Deals with customers in a good faith manner

          What does “good faith manner” mean? Here are some key concepts:

          – Does not either intentionally deceive customers or the market in general, or unintentionally deceive (eg via incompetence)

          – Does not have a pattern of failing to live up to claims or promises for the product’s features, functionality or reliability

          – Provides effective and accessible support for the product

          – Treats customer data with due diligence, does not pass it on to 3rd-parties without notice and consent, and maintains industry-standard data security practices to minimize unintentional breaches.

          • monocolor

            How is what he said absurd nonsense? A company isn’t family. They are there to make their owners money… bottom line.

            So they owe us, the common customer, nothing.. unless we’re shareholders or somehow owners in/of the company.

            Adobe is free to conduct their business as they see fit (within the law). Sadly, us standalone Lightroom customers were casualties in a larger shift to the cloud. They didn’t PROMISE us anything though. What Peter is showing in the ‘article’ is that, 4 years ago, Adobe in a blog post was comitted to standalone LR. Four years later the market looks different and they have changed their plan going forward.

            I wanted a Lightroom 7 standalone as much as anyone, but these companies really don’t owe us anything. Especially when there are enough people willing to accept what they already offer in the format they (the company) want to offer it.

            We either accept it or move on.

          • @monocolor – couldn’t have put it better myself.

            @PhilK – persist in thinking that business entities “care” about you if it makes you happy.

          • Piooof

            Well, as in a human relationship, us photographers have invested quite a lot of time and effort to work with LR. When your wife/partner/business associate leaves you in the dust, you feel cheated. That’s human. Same here. It doesn’t boil down to “just moving on”. It’s spending a lot of time and effort again to find a replacement workflow that maintains (or improves) the quality of your work (while getting over the nasty feeling that the next software company you’ll entrust your images may betray you the same way).

          • PhilK

            See umeshrw’s comment above, he clarified the usage of the word “care” in this context for you.

            Don’t let your ideologies lead you to find invisible adversaries lurking behind every corner. 😉

          • I don’t consider businesses to be “adversaries”. They are simply entities that I can either transact with on mutually agreeable terms, or not.

            In this case, Adobe have changed the nature of the service and the terms of trade such that the terms are no longer mutually agreeable.

            The “care” does not extend beyond the transaction (or its possibility) and associated consumer protections. When most people think of “care” they are imagining something deeper, involving warmth, empathy, loyalty. Some companies attempt to evoke a sense of those things through marketing because it will help them milk more money (or more data) out of you. But this is rarely more than a veneer.

            Your definition of “care” is simply one convenient to your argument.

          • PhilK

            Your determination to find excuses to spout your economic ideology blinds you to what people here are actually talking about.

            I was not using the term ‘adversary’ here to refer to businesses, I was using it to refer to others here you think you are ‘debating’.

            Additionally, your attempt to speak for others here about what they mean when they write “care” (a word I did not use first here) fails hard. Several others here have already reiterated my same point about the meaning of “care” in this context – you ignore them and continue on with your off-topic ranting.

          • Oh, so you came up with your own definition of “adversary” too? Well done. You ‘win the internet’. Now, do you feel better about yourself?

          • PhilK

            Troll detector confidence rating: 99.52%.

          • Phil, I want you to know that I “care” about you.

          • monocolor

            That is the way it goes in such ‘discussions’… if you don’t agree with their view, they call you ‘blind’ or ‘ignorant’ or ‘hateful’ .. whatever the term to shut you down and dismiss your own view.

          • By care he means good and honest business practices. Not what the word “care” means socially.

          • PhilK


          • PhilK

            No one here wrote anything about a vendor being ‘family’ but you.

            No one here wrote anything about a vendor ‘owing’ customers any sort of product or service.

            I did write that if a company makes claims for their products or services, they should not be fraudulent. And a complex product should be supported to a minimum level, eg. repair parts should be available, etc. All of those things are required of companies by law here in the USA and most other developed countries. Basically: don’t cheat your customers.

            I know that may be a hard pill to swallow for the anarcho-capitalists of the world. 😉

          • Reminds me of one other company that we all care about.

          • PhilK


            I’ve seen some positive signs over the last year. I hope they continue and expand.

      • Very true. Just check pricing of PS+LR vs other adobe softwares. Shows photographers are also poor and hence insignificant compared to other customers.

  • TurtleCat

    Some of the alternatives I know of: On1, Alien Skin Exposure, Capture1, Dark Table, Raw Photo Processor, Iridient Digital, Photo Ninja, Capture NX-D, Affinity Photo, MacPhun, Light Table, Corel, ACDeeSee (or however it’s spelled now) and probably a dozen others.

    Ill stick with my LR 6 perpetual for now but will not go back to Adobe.

    • A. F.O.

      I have the: Topaz Studio; the RawTherapee5, Affinity Photo…

    • Piooof

      There’s DxO Optics too.
      But most of the cited apps have a rather limited cataloguing system, or none. There lies the rub. I’ll probably end up using two
      different apps for image manipulation and DAM.

  • I also remember seeing multiple tweets on this topic over the years – all promising that LR will continue to be available as a standalone version…

    • TurtleCat

      And the various “industry” shills for Adobe who produce Adobe-oriented content.

    • Rodrigo Portes

      And now they are promising that “folder based version” will continued be developed…. Should we trust? I don’t think so…

      • simple answer: no

    • Just Me

      Not everything stated is a “promise”. Grow up!

      • exactly, that’s why I am complaining…

    • Visions

      Precisely, but sadly it was all Bullsh*t basically.

      • yes, and people are arguing about the meaning of the word “indefinitely” ridiculous…

        • Visions

          Those people can’t even see the crap in front of their face so it’s useless. lol
          I’ve been preparing my self to get rid of Adobe BS for good. Affinity Photo was the first step, and now it will be either Capture One or something else as good. I’m still searching though.

  • Adam Ottke

    “Indefinitely” means for a “non-definite” or unspecified or undecided amount of time, not necessarily for an infinite amount of time. Usually, the word should be used such that the “unspecified” part is in the context of being unspecified because the amount being referred to is so large, unlimited, etc., that it’s hardly worth counting (i.e. the amount of time something should be available is so long that it’ll just “be around” for as long as you can imagine). But more and more companies and people are using it to mean quite simply, “uncertain.” :-/ The ambiguity of the word is really something people love these days…

    • 24×36

      Um, no. Synonyms for “indefinitely” are “endlessly,” “forever,” and “without end” – nowhere is a synonym for “indefinitely” listed as “one more iteration.” Stop being an apologist for Adobe.

      • Thom Hogan

        A synonym has either “same or nearly the same meaning”, it is not an exact substitute. Indeed, most of the synonyms in dictionaries of them are not even “nearly the same.”

        • Pc

          So, given that a subscription model doesn’t suit my needs, what piece of software or softwares comes close to the DAM and editing features?

          • Thom Hogan

            Realistically, none at the moment. The possible exception to that is Capture One, but it does DAM quite a bit differently than LR, and some people don’t like its UI.

    • jojo

      While “indefinitely” has a certain vagueness, and could conceivably
      have been chosen to deceive, the general usage usually implies a significant amount of time. The reference to future versions (plural) implies at least versions 6 and 7 will be available, a possibly others. I’m sure no one was expecting the software to be available “forever.”

  • Ok, so now I keep using LR6 ’til I get a camera not currently supported by it (probably a few years off at this point). Then I’ll look at alternative standalone solutions.

    Adobe have evidently ‘done the math’ and realised that the CC model is better for their bottom line. They are making a rational business decision and I don’t imagine for a microsecond that those of us who will now ‘leave the camp’ will have any significant impact on them.

    • Moomin

      Still, there will be a substantial market for competitors coming up here.

      • Thom Hogan

        Maybe. Maybe not.

        It seems to me that the new Lightroom CC is targeted at Apple iCloud Photos and Google Photos. That customer base is far bigger than the dedicated camera user base.

    • Florian K.

      I will do the same. There will be a Lightroom competitor, similar to Affinity photo as a photoshop competitor. They already started the development, but all they could say till now is that development will definitely last longer than summer next year.

  • A. F.O.

    “via traditional perpetual licenses..”; the word that’s important here is “perpetual”.
    Seems Adobe does not know the meaning.

    • dredlew

      Versions 5.5 & 6 have perpetual licenses. You don’t know the meaning of “future versions”. They never said “all future versions” or “forever”.

      The same goes for LR Classic CC. If you don’t want to have all your files in the cloud, that’s only going to be possible for the next year or two until they have ported over all the features into the new LR CC. At that point, LR Classic CC will be killed off and all your files live in the cloud whether you like it or not. There’s a reason it’s called “Classic”.

  • Piooof

    English is a very convenient language to mislead people. “Future versions” can mean both “The future versions” and “Some future versions”. Well it was the latter: v. 5.5 and 6. No lies. Too bad if you understood it the naïve way. 🙁

  • Piooof

    or Mac OS.

  • J L Williams

    Okay, so we can all chant “Liar, liar, pants on fire” and agree that Adobe is a bunch of poopy doo-doo heads and all switch to that software that’s so heavily advertised on your site… or the rest of you can. I’m not — Lightroom is a good tool for me, and the subscription model saves me money vs. periodic upgrades. Thanks, Adobe.

  • King of Swaziland

    I said Adobe’s business model was holding images hostage for profit, y’all laughed…

    • Chaitanya

      Now they have really taken the meaning of ransomware to whole new level with CC.

  • monocolor

    “indefinite” in this case simply means “until we decide otherwise.”

    They have now decided otherwise. It is frustrating, I agree, but it is the way it goes.. we’ll be ok but we need to just move on..

  • David Shepherd

    Here is the issue that many photographers have not identified…They are just a small number to the bottom line. Adobe software is the industry standard for commercial usage with general users. So when you send content to a printer, they have the Adobe CC software to print your files on their ecosystem, but thats basically it from a publicly accessible perspective. There are very few alternatives that a commercial vendor will accept, so Adobe holds the cards on content creators. Photographers, like other creatives, are viewed as a commodity. Adobe is shaping their offering to easily funnel content to them for revenue.

  • J-Man

    I will not be buying anything from Adobe going forward, they can shove CC up their_______

    “Lightroom 6 is the last standalone version of Lightroom that can be
    purchased outside of a Creative Cloud membership. There will not be a
    Lightroom 7 perpetual offering. Lightroom 6 will remain for sale for
    an undetermined amount of time, but will no longer be updated with
    camera support or bug fixes after the end of 2017. Lightroom 6.13 with
    support for the Nikon D850 will be released on October 26, 2017.”

  • ZMWT

    Adobe is a stinky company, they will feed you with atrocious solutions forever if someone does not say enough. To quote Steve Jobs, “We didn’t set out to have a war over Flash, we made a technical decision. And it wasn’t until the iPad that Adobe raised a stink… Flash has had its day.”
    Similarly, you users, simply stop using Lightroom. Make a technical decision in your favour, and support a better solution.

    • Shark


  • 1741

    Everybody should cancel their subscriptions as it will almost kill the company, they will have to have a rethink of their subscription model, if we all stand together we have the power to change things, just complaining on forums won’t do much to change their view

    • dredlew

      Lmao. Good luck with that.

    • Shark

      most people are stupid….

  • Phase one gets my future business to match any cameras I will purchase in the future. Adobe just lost me.

  • Daniel Shortt

    Capture one is better anyway

  • Jukeboxjohnnie

    Elements it is then!

  • MB

    Q. Will Lightroom become a subscription only offering after Lightroom 5?
    A. Future versions of Lightroom will be made available via traditional perpetual licenses indefinitely.

    Well … they did make future versions after LR 5 available via traditional perpetual licenses … the problem is it is only one version …
    And you can use it indefinitely … the problem is it will not be supported any more …
    But we are seeing the same or similar behavior everywhere … for example how long are cell phones supported .. a year or so … no matter what new security threats appear …

    • Thom Hogan

      I think people are getting hung up on that “s”. Versions to all of you seem to mean major number (e.g. 5, 6, 7). Versions to Adobe probably meant any number (e.g. 6.0, 6.1, etc.).

  • Originaru

    I think they understood that this type of business does not work, many will stay with the lightroom 5 or change to the capture one.

  • Eno

    RIP Lightroom!

    Now is the time to show Adobe that we photographers that pay from our wallets didn’t want or need this!

    It’s time to put a stop on this arrogant treatment from Adobe and move to something else.

    • TurtleCat

      Yes, but they really won’t care. We are a tiny percentage of their sales. Maybe a rounding error at most.

      • Eno

        Time will tell. 🙂

  • Rick Lunn

    Indefinitely, doesn’t mean forever.

    • this is what my dictionary tells me: for an unlimited OR unspecified period of time
      the keyword is “unlimited”

      • Shark

        and that they always said features from LR CC 6 will make it into LR 7 standalone.

        • yes, they did – I may actually spend time this weekend and find all the references Adobe made in the past…the meaning of the word “indefinitely” is clearly not the problem here… but I am sure that no matter what I post, there will be someone to complain about it

          • Shark

            wasn´t this nash guy (pr manager) still at adobe at that time.. too bad his blog is gone now.

            i think his name was nash.. and he did go to google i think.

  • ja_1410

    Follow the money. They supposedly are making tons of money by subscription model. In the long term corporations will not let such cash cow to pass by. The only hope is to get good standalone competitor.

    • Shark

      there is always 1103 my good old cracker friend….

  • Shark

    i posted it.. would be nice to give me credit…. 🙂

  • alvintoro

    for an unlimited or unspecified period of time.

  • TurtleCat

    I was looking up Capture1’s release dates and it looks to be major versions yearly. Expensive! But also seems like v11 will be out in two months. Probably not a good buy to get it now.

  • Remodelman

    I hope the sheep are happy.
    By “sheep” I mean those that willingly paid Adobe at least $9.99 a month for a product that was sluggish beyond words. Not only slow, but then they had the nerve to completely redesign the import workflow WITHOUT ADVANCED NOTICE and expect that to be OK.
    Yet, the sheep continued to pay for, in my opinion, a sub-par product and hope and pray that someday they would get something worth their $9.99/month that would run faster.
    I’m not a sheep. I haven’t been throughout this long, drawn out fiasco. I will use Lightroom 6 until it cannot serve my purpose any longer. Then I’m done with ALL OF ADOBE. I DO NOT RENT/LEASE SOFTWARE.
    I URGE YOU TO QUIT YOUR LEASE TODAY, and let Adobe know that they need to continue to offer stand-alone versions of Lightroom.

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