On one level this is surprising simply because, well, this is 2006 and for a lot of companies, their web store is a major source of revenue.
But this is Adobe. They’re a software company. They own what are probably the two most common pieces of web site authoring software, Golive and Dreamweaver. They own the standard application in digital imaging, Photoshop. They are the mighty force behind the ubiquitous PDF document format.
So it’s doubly important for them to maintain their web store, if not for sales, at least for appearances.
At first I thought it was just a minor glitch. I was considering upgrading Photoshop to CS2 and trying to get a sense of cost. I gave it a couple of days but eventually caved and decided to do it old school — over the phone.
The Adobe sales rep I spoke with was friendly. When I asked her about the web store she pretty much gleefully explained how Adobe was suffering from the “domino effect”. They were doing massive internal system upgrades, and every time they updated one system, another one broke.
A chill went down my spine. The esteemed Adobe is that lame?
I got out of the call without making a purchase.
Suddenly I was very afraid. Not for myself, but for Photoshop. This is the piece of software that changed the world for a lot of people. It changed my world when I first bought version 2, that’s for sure. And now it’s in the hands of a bunch of nincompoops who can’t manage their own internal systems? Somebody save Photoshop!
I have noticed a general decline in the quality of Adobe software since the versions just prior to CS. Golive is a joke. Illustrator crashes every 20-30 minutes inexplicably. Even Photoshop crashes on me from time to time (!).
Is this why they bought Macromedia? Did Adobe’s own engineering team screw up their software so badly they had to go out and buy replacements? And now they’ve screwed up the day-to-day internal systems at the company, too?
Okay, maybe this is borderline paranoia. But I present my line of reasoning as an example of what might go through a user’s head when a company’s web site fails to deliver on expected services.
Come on, Adobe — get your shit together!