December 16, 2003

Adobe's Demo Trap

Greetings. Adobe Systems produces some grade-A software. But when it comes to the sophistication of the demo/copy control systems they employ, and their customer service responses to related problems, Adobe rates an "F" without a doubt.

As I've detailed elsewhere, I discovered that a small clock adjustment (necessitated by an NTP problem) rendered a "30 day" demo of Adobe's new "Premiere Pro" program useless after a few hours (most of this time spent looking over the help docs and less than 20 minutes actually using program functions) -- and of course reinstallation is impossible.

Adobe's suggestions for proceeding with my evaluation? Either use another machine (I don't have another suitably configured system available) or reformat my disk and reinstall XP (thanks, but no thanks!)

Since my most recent experience with Premiere is my registered copy of 4.2, I had hoped to use the Premiere Pro demo to help evaluate the wisdom of recommending upgrades.

In subsequent communications, an Adobe spokesperson suggested that they had to consider anyone who touched the PC clock as a potential software crook -- too bad if honest folks get burned. This of course is an incredibly simplistic view -- there are any number of effective mechanisms to detect demo abuse that would not erroneously trigger "self-destruct" after a very short period of use and a single clock adjustment.

By the way, I've now also heard from other persons with additional horror stories regarding Adobe's copy control systems and their effects on honest customers.

I've been a fan of Adobe for many years -- it's unfortunate that their poor design decisions in this area, and their reaction to resulting problems, will so badly sour that relationship.


Posted by Lauren at December 16, 2003 09:29 PM | Permalink
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