Photographers who use Photoshop have been enjoying the non-destructive editing features for a while. The fact that you can edit an image without destroying a pixel, then in the future come back and make small changes if and when needed.
Although there have always been some filters that you have not been able to use non-destructively for example lens blur and liquefy.
With the most recent software update to Photoshop 13.1 these two filters can now be applied to a smart object making them non-destructive. This sounds great. This new feature though will only be available to subscribers of Adobe Creative Cloud and at present to no other Photoshop user.
Adobe Creative Cloud is new for CS6 where for a monthly subscription you get access to the full Adobe Creative suite as well as access to the Ipad apps for a monthly payment of £46.88. If you were to by the whole creative suite outright it would cost £2,858.40. So the subscription based model would save you money in the long run as it would take 5 years for the subscription to mount up to the cost of the total suite. In that time there would probably be another version of the suite.
I do not use these two filters in my work flow a lot as I prefer to do selective focusing in camera and the liquefy tool is not really for the photographic photoshopper. As a consumer though I think Adobe is doing a disservice to their customers who bought their copies of Photoshop outright. Why should it matter how you have purchased your copy, if you are a subscriber to the creative cloud or not. If something is part of the software update it should be available to all. Personally I do not use the creative cloud service as I don’t need it. Most of my work is done from my man cave but I have a cloud storage system if I need to share files across several platforms. I don’t use or have an Ipad so I am not interested in the apps. The subscription model offers nothing for me as a user but yet I am penalized for not taking it up.
For me this is comparable to what is going on in one of my other interest, video gaming, where the game industry is using DLC (Downloadable content) as an extra money spinner. In some cases gaming companies even sell the endings of the video games separately to the game it belongs to. In recent times this has happened with Mass Effect 3.
If you buy software I believe that if it is updated all people should get the update no matter your purchasing method. If something is a plugin or an expansion then I understand the added cost.
In Adobes case I have been feeling that a lot of people have been having a bad taste in their mouths for some time. There are other options out there as I wrote previously. In this case I hope Adobe think about this and change their mind.