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Photoshop Reigns Supreme: How the Software Has Maintained Market Dominance editorial staff editorial staff

In Celebration of Photoshop World Conference & Expo 2015

The year was 1988 and the internet was still in its infancy—to say the least. It was then that Thomas and John Knoll created Photoshop.

In the early days, Photoshop was known for being one of the top graphic editing software solutions in the world. And guess what? This still holds true today, despite the fact that technology continues to advance at a rapid pace.

If you are hesitant to believe that Photoshop remains as powerful today as it was in the past, consider the following:

If that doesn’t convince you that Photoshop is still relevant after all these years, nothing will.

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But Why Is Photoshop Still Popular?

These types of statistics prove that Photoshop is still relevant. It proves that people are still interested in using the software. But this doesn’t answer one very important question: why does it remain a top choice despite a variety of other options, some of which are often considered more technologically advanced?

Here are some reasons to consider:

1. Remains Easy to Use for Beginners

When Photoshop was introduced more than 25 years ago, it was applauded by design professionals for being simple to use. This held true both for beginners as well as those with software experience.

Nothing has changed over the years. Even if you are new to the world of design, it is easy to get started with Photoshop. As your skills develop and you gain more knowledge, Photoshop will grow by your side. From beginners to seasoned professionals, Photoshop has all the tools and features that are expected, all of which are simple to understand and use.

2. Versatility

The success of Photoshop has spawned quite a few competitors. While some have grabbed hold of a small piece of the market, none have been able to take the top spot from this giant. One of the primary reasons for this is its versatility.

Let’s put it this way: you can take any image, regardless of the subject and format, and turn it into anything you want. Crop it, edit it, blur it, color it. It doesn’t matter what you want to do. It doesn’t even matter if you know how to do it. Photoshop has you covered.

3. Fast, Faster and Fastest

Some people don’t mind dabbling in Photoshop for hours on end. They upload images, edit them, delete them, and start all over. They enjoy learning. They enjoy the creative process.

And then there are those who are in a hurry. After all, “time is money.” If you are a design professional, for example, you don’t typically have a lot of time to edit a photo. Instead, you are in a hurry to get the job done so you can move onto the next one.

Photoshop allows you to edit images in a fast and efficient environment. The more experience you have, the faster you can move.

4. Photoshop Courses

You can learn Photoshop in a formal or informal environment. Can the same be said for its competitors? Definitely not.

For example, many colleges and universities throughout the United States offer Photoshop courses. Central Piedmont Community College defines its Adobe Photoshop course as follows:

“Redefine digital images with breakthrough tools for photography editing, superior image selection and realistic painting. These hands-on courses start with the basics and progress through the use of fantastic effects. Topics include filters, optimizing web images and more.”

If attending an institute of higher education doesn’t suit your style, budget, or schedule, there are many online resources that can help you learn this software. Here are a few to consider:

  • Udemy (more than 117,000 students enrolled)
  • Lynda
  • Kelby One
  • Photoshop Cafe

These types of courses help to keep Photoshop relevant. The more people who understand and fall in love with the software, the better chance there is of it remaining popular well into the future.

5. Professional Results at a Fraction of the Cost

As noted above, Photoshop can turn a beginner into an expert in no time at all. Just like anything, there is a learning curve. And just like anything, you will eventually catch your breath and realize that you are on the right track.

There will always be individuals and companies that have the money to hire a professional design firm. Even so, there will always be more people interested in doing the job themselves. This generates a greater sense of accomplishment, while also saving money.

As long as Photoshop allows users to produce professional results at an affordable price, it will remain popular among a large group.

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Technology has Changed, Photoshop Remains Relevant

Some technology companies don’t have what it takes to stay current with the times. Photoshop is not one of them.

In the late 1980’s and 1990’s, Photoshop was available on a floppy disk. The younger generation of today doesn’t even know how to use one of these. Fortunately for them, Photoshop has advanced over the years, ensuring that its technology is never outdated.

There may be alternatives to Photoshop, but none have the same history of success. Photoshop has been going strong for nearly 30 years, and there is no reason to believe it will fall off the map over the next 30. It remains relevant and is here to stay.

Image Credit: NanoStockk / Getty Images editorial staff editorial staff Member
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