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Adobe Creative Suite Gives Way to Creative Cloud

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 21 comments

The Suites are Dead, Long Live The Cloud

At Adobe MAX 2013 in Los Angeles on Monday, Adobe let loose with a pretty earth-shattering announcement...

Creative Suite 6 is the last Creative Suite release from Adobe. Though it will continue to be available for sale and supported, Adobe is moving its focus to the Adobe Creative Cloud.

With this shift, the Adobe applications are being rebranded using the Creative Cloud name, becoming the new set of 'CC' desktop applications instead of 'CS'. Presumably, this also resets the version numbers again.

The 'CC' release of Adobe desktop applications includes a host of new collaboration features, extended project space on the Adobe Cloud servers, and features for collaboration with and viewing on mobile devices. It also features integration with the Behance online creative community.

The updated Adobe 'CC' products, Photoshop CC, Indesign CC, Illustrator CC, Dreamweaver CC, and Premiere Pro CC, will only be available through creative cloud subscriptions. This represents a major shift from Adobe to a software as a service model as opposed to the more traditional Suites packaging. Really, it means there will be no 'packaging' at all, just downloads.

Tue Creative Cloud installers themselves will be slightly revamped to support the installation of either the CS or CC revisions of the applications in order to meet the user needs. No word as to how long the prior version will be left available -- in two years, when CC 2 comes out, will you still be able to install and use CS? Only time will tell.

Plans and Prices

Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions come with a variety of plans. There is a 'single application' plan, for $19.99 a month that allows you to download and install one application- they even figure most people will use it for Photoshop. The normal Creative Cloud membership is $49.99 per month with a one-year contract, and allows you to install all of Adobe's major applications, giving you the equivalent of the Adobe Master Collection, which retails for $2599 for a full copy and $1049 as an upgrade, for $599.88 a year. People who own CS 3 to CS 5.5 can get their Creative Cloud membership for $29.99 per month for the first year. Teachers and students can get the membership for $19.99 per month. There is also promotional pricing (at a rate not mentioned) for CS6 users.

Above the individual memberships is the team version, which improves on the individual membership by giving 100GB of storage instead of 20 GB, and centralized administration abilities. Team membership to the Creative Cloud costs $69.99 per seat, with a reduced rate of $39.99 per seat for users of CS3 or later. There are also more specific plans aimed at enterprise and educational customers.

Adobe expects the new Creative Cloud and new CC versions of their applications to be available June 17.

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  • 7 Hide
    Raid3r , May 6, 2013 11:13 PM
    Always trying to "fix" what's not broken to keep the wallet as phat as possible. Have fun with that crooks.
  • -4 Hide
    Fill F , May 7, 2013 12:25 AM
    Doing the math, it seems like a pretty good deal. Makes me wonder if the pirates are the ones having the most problem with this... just say'n.
  • 4 Hide
    razor512 , May 7, 2013 12:27 AM
    seems crappy. How often does adobe release new software and how often is it worth upgrading. it will likely cost you more in the long run to pay a monthly fee to use their software than to just buy a full license which will last a few years, especially since all of their software is not updated every year and depending on your industry, most of the updates (if not all) will not benefit you each year.
  • 1 Hide
    Fill F , May 7, 2013 12:44 AM
    @razor512 Master Suite CS6 costs $2,500. At $50 per month it takes over 4 years to break even with the subscription vs. the 'boxed'/one-time purchase of CS. At the end of the period you still have the most current software. To answer your question about how often they release new software, they have historically released a new CS a little under 2 years.
  • 1 Hide
    JackFrost860 , May 7, 2013 1:49 AM
    yes true, but after 4 years you only pay for an upgrade; so renting will cost more for the 4+ time frame. I guess thats why Adobe and Microsoft are moving to the subscription model.
  • 1 Hide
    hetneo , May 7, 2013 3:51 AM
    @JackFrost860, razor512
    People I know of are pretty much split 50/50 between adopting every edition and adopting every other.
  • 0 Hide
    ankhnext , May 7, 2013 4:01 AM
    Adobe, slip into your own shit that you force us to eat.
  • 1 Hide
    Someone Somewhere , May 7, 2013 4:18 AM
    Main thing I'd like to know is whether I can use it as entirely local (aside from validation etc)?
    Will they try to force you to upload your work, or store/render on their servers etc?
    My internet bandwidth wants to know.
  • 1 Hide
    morstern , May 7, 2013 4:44 AM
    I like to own my software. That said I bought the Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection. At 2600 and full version update costs of 1049 (every two years) it would take 20 years for me to pay more with the subscription. (Note: using simple math no inflation costs) For me the price is not a problem. For all other users it takes from 3 to 7 years depending on version and single app vrs suite.
    I found this useful
    Still mixed on this... but hoping with a solid revenue stream they can innovate even more, update more often and otherwise just serve up even better products.
  • 0 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , May 7, 2013 6:18 AM
    Considering Adobe's software is some of the most-pirate software online today, it only makes sense why they did this.
    I'm not a fan of cloud-based / cloud-DRM software anymore than the other person, but I truly believe they did this because of the amount of piracy in their software. Hate to blame the pirates, because honestly I was one of them in my college years. But... now that I work for a software company I can see how damaging piracy can be to the bottom line.
    Anyway, I have educational license of CS6 left over from college. Wonder if I can take part in the new CS6 subscription licensing or if I'll have to start from scratch. I'm guessing probably the latter.
  • 0 Hide
    razor512 , May 7, 2013 7:24 AM
    that also brings up another issue, not everyone needs or wants the entire adobe collection of applications, eg where I work, we only use Photoshop, Adobe premiere pro, and adobe audition, so comparing the cost of the subscription, to the master collection will not work for us and I am sure it will not work for many other people also.
    Due to the level of video editing done, other than the mercury plaback engine it was nearly 7 years since the last time an update offered anything truly beneficial.

    The creative cloud is only useful for the person who has to have the latest versions at all time whether they directly need it or not.
    I also do not think it has much to do with piracy since the creative cloud was cracked within a week, and even then I do not think they care too much since most of the people who will pirate the application, will not use it for commercial purposes and likely could not afford it either thus making it very hard to argue that they would have purchased the application had they not been able to pirate it.

    overall, In a professional (non educational) setting, when you use an adobe application in your industry, you will likely end up only using a small subset of the programs functionality, and upgrades are judged based on what they specifically do for the subset of the application that you actually use, thus an upgrade cycle can be anywhere from 5-10 years, and I believe that this is what adobe is trying to stop, (users buying a version of the application and not giving them more money through the purchase of upgrades because the upgrade did not their specific work flow.

    So if they can offer a specific relevant upgrade and make it a cloud exclusive, they are hoping to get those customers to switch to the cloud and and thus make more money off of them compared to them only upgrading when there is an upgrade that is directly relevant to their workflow.

    This switch will likely cause adobe to to become less innovative and less likely to to put any effort into upgrading all aspects of the application since they will no longer have to entice a wide range of industry professionals, and instead only upgrade minor things that are easy for them to upgrade for upgrades sake (kinda like how some shady firefox extension makers will have an ad filled page letting you know they just updated the extension, and if you extract the file and compare the before and after side by side, in many cases the only thing changed was the version number and the goal of the update was to just get you to view the update page)
  • 0 Hide
    webbwbb , May 7, 2013 7:43 AM
    What if they have server issues? When your livelihood depends on the use of software, you don't want to be at the mercy of some companies server, you don't want to be at the mercy of a home internet connection. What if Adobe has Sim City type issues? What if your cable modem dies during an important project? Both of these could potentially cost a creative professional thousands of dollars with this new subscription-only model.
  • 0 Hide
    razor512 , May 7, 2013 7:54 AM
    What if they have server issues? When your livelihood depends on the use of software, you don't want to be at the mercy of some companies server, you don't want to be at the mercy of a home internet connection. What if Adobe has Sim City type issues? What if your cable modem dies during an important project? Both of these could potentially cost a creative professional thousands of dollars with this new subscription-only model.

    They didn't make their cloud crap as bad as EA's since it only does a DRM check every 30 days, but it does mean that if adobe goes out of business, then your software will die shortly after. (how many people here use applications from companies that are no longer around? )

    Adobe just wants to increase profit margins by getting people to regularly pay for the software all the time instead of the current method of only buying an upgrade when they improve something in your specific work flow. This will mean adobe will have even less of a motivation to improve all aspects of the application or even update any of ti for that matter since people will be paying every month to use old software.

    Would you spend millions developing a new car each year if your customers were willing to pay you the price of a new car each year to continue using their old cars?

    Adobe makes professional applications and in the professional field, cost are closely examined to prevent waste. for adobe to make money without the cloud, they need to improve as many aspects of the application as possible to get a wider range of their professional customers to upgrade. if those users were to suddenly start paying a monthly fee, there will no longer be that push to improve when the bank account starts to run a little low.
  • 1 Hide
    newbie_mcnoob , May 7, 2013 8:01 AM
    Looking on Adobe's website, they don't even offer DVD-ROM versions of CS6 anymore. All their purchase options are download only.
    Sorry, but I like having a disc in my hand.
  • 1 Hide
    DRosencraft , May 7, 2013 9:39 AM
    Hate download-only software, hate subscriptions. There are very, very few instances where both together work well.
    If you're someone who does buy every CS program or suite when it gets its refresh every year or two, you are rich enough apparently where this does not matter much to you, but you will probably appreciate the savings nonetheless. If you're someone who only buys a new edition whenever you need to because new features are added, then this may or may not be so good.
    Assuming the license is tied to the account, not the program, I would think this would be helpful particularly for those who use multiple computers so they can avoid having to buy multiple copies of one piece of software as expensive as Adobe. Ideally there would be an easy means of reactivating your service if you decide you don't need to use it one month or something like that, thereby maximizing an individual's ability to save on this model.
  • 0 Hide
    yhikum , May 7, 2013 10:20 AM
    There is no information in article about availability of payment plans outside of USA.
    Why would software company invest heavily in cloud technology? And would moving all of its products to new platform benefit end user?
    At first cloud connection would make applications available on different platforms use same storage for files. This clearly benefits user who would not upload many files to cloud since retrieval would be a concern depending on connection to Internet.
    At second, subscription would allow small time users obtain products from Adobe at fraction of cost, which benefits small businesses who need particular tool to perform work on demand.
    Subscription model has double meaning to people who value investment of their money. Current, offline version of software, produced by Adobe is already riddled with activations and necessary checks to see if license is valid. Cloud version of software does not bring anything new except attached storage and different licensing costs. If Adobe decides to discontinue certain past versions of software, what would the effect be on current consumers? Most likely a new version would be presented with discount if possible, and reason being discontinued software maintenance costs. Be it a reason, it would simply shut off old versions from being activated/re-activated on Adobe servers.
  • 0 Hide
    d_kuhn , May 7, 2013 12:07 PM
    It's a good deal if you keep your Adobe products up to date... I was spending a grand every couple years just keeping a couple of their products current, this will end up costing a bit more but instead of having 3 Adobe products I now have access to everything.
  • 0 Hide
    rocknrollz , May 7, 2013 12:59 PM
    Adobe did not do this due to piracy, this will be cracked. Period. (I DO NOT SUPPORT PIRACY)
    The reason they did this was the fact that them getting chucks of money at a time wasn't enough, it wasn't going to last. Now they are getting a steady inflow of cash, and this will help them stay afloat. Piracy is a concern for Adobe, but not as much as you might think.
  • 0 Hide
    nitrium , May 7, 2013 1:11 PM
    I gather that you still have the entire software stored locally on your machine, and it forces you to check your licence with their server every 37 days if you're on the monthly plan, and 180 days if you're on the yearly plan. Sounds a lot like KMS on Windows 8, Office 2010 and 2013, and will be defeated in a matter of weeks.
  • 0 Hide
    dangthe , May 8, 2013 12:46 AM
    You forgot to mention the biggest issue of all - that there will be no more Fireworks.
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