Adobe has announced that its Adobe Stock Photos service will be discontinued from April 1.

The service enables users of Adobe's Bridge software to purchase royalty-free images for use in their work. It was introduced in 2005 when Adobe rolled out Creative Suite 2.

"Adobe has decided to concentrate its efforts in other areas," said the company in a statement posted to the Adobe Stock Photos Web site. The service will remain fully operational until March 3, 2008. From then through the end of March, comp images will still be available for download.

Comments by the director of the service, James Alexander, suggest that the service hasn't been used as much as Adobe hoped.

"We thought we went to market with a set of features and functionality that were going to improve workflow," he told stock library StockAsylum. "It was just not as compelling as we thought it was going to be."

The Adobe Stock Photos tab within Bridge currently shows a warning about the end of the service, with a countdown to its eventual shutdown (below).

Adobe has posted instructions for users interested in purchasing or downloading images after March 31, 2008. An image ID converter is being provided so users can purchase images directly from the image providers who have supplied content to Adobe Stock Photos in the past.

Adobe has also posted Mac and Windows uninstallers for users who want to remove the service. The Mac version can be found here, while the Windows version can be found here.