I really have to step in and say that what we are all forgetting is that to use the other Topaz products apart from the 5 recent or recently updated we must have a container application like photoFXlab, Photoshop etc to use them.
I personally think that this is a great idea for the following reasons:
1, I have the base application for FREE with all the basic adjustments I need;
2. I can run ALL of my existing Topaz Filters directly from Studio, don't need Fusion Express, PhotoShop etc, etc.
3. The technology is going to remain current, unlike some of the filters that are struggling under the new OS's; and,
4. Most important of all, modifications, error fixes and new functionality can be pushed out immediately.
It is both a bold and innovative way to address image processing workflow.
And you have seen in the market place where applications as new as Photoshop CS6 are now failing under operating system updates ... the promise we have here is of faster, cleaner delivery of effects. Giving us less down-time and greater satisfaction.
I, for one, will use it much more than specific available Photoshop filters which, by the way, if you look at the statistics out there in the market have mostly come to the end of their life-cycle.
Be warned! Many filter makers are now turning away from Photoshop because of the high cost of maintenance and low returns. You can see that with the general trend of previous filter producers writing integrated products (Alien Skin, On1 etc) and NO innovation in plug-ins for Photoshop.