Adobe's move to the cloud: What it means, and why it isn't so bad

Engadget by Steve Dent

In case you haven't heard, a chapter in the history of Adobe's venerated Photoshop (and other Creative Suite applications) has just snapped shut. That's because all future versions have been moved to the Creative Cloud and renamed "CC," meaning that the only way to grab anything after CS6 will be to sign up for an internet-only subscription. Now, many of Adobe's customers for those apps (at least those who actually pony up for it) are pros who use it for paying gigs, and as Apple discovered with Final Cut Pro X, they're a vocal bunch when they see any threat to their livelihoods. You may not be sure whether to get angry and look for an alternative (good luck with that), or to just go with the flow and regard the whole thing as inevitable. Luckily, we've been using the Creative Cloud since it came out and Creative Suite before that, so our rundown after the break should help you make up your mind.


Photoshop's been around since 1990 when version 1.0 came out exclusively on Mac, and Adobe's Creative Suite launched 10 years ago, bundling apps like Premiere, After Effects and Acrobat together for an attractive sum. The CS6 Master Collection suite, which contains virtually all of its content creation software, runs about $2,600 on Adobe's site (see the difficult-to-find purchase page at the More Coverage link). However, starting last year, Adobe began touting the Creative Cloud model for $50 per month (with a minimum 12-month commitment) to access nearly every app it makes on a Mac or PC, while still offering users the possibility of buying a traditional permanent license for all its suites and individual programs. Once fully downloaded, each app runs fully on your computer (you can have it installed on two, but only run it on one at a time) and the cloud itself is only used for updates and cloud storage -- no processing is actually done on the cloud. The cloud bundle also includes software not available in the hard-copy suites, like Adobe Edge, and in December, Adobe added the $70 Creative Cloud for Teams option with more flexible licensing and 100 GB of cloud storage per user.

Starting with the just-launched CC versions, future apps will no longer be available by permanent license. If you're okay to stick with Creative Suite 6 and all its apps, Adobe said you'll be able to buy full copies "indefinitely," either through downloads on its site or via other resellers and partners. The caveat is that you won't be able to update to a new permanent license as you could in the past, and you'll miss any of the goodies that Adobe will pass along to its Creative Cloud clients, apart from bug and security fixes. The price for a stand-alone copy of Photoshop CS6 will still run $700 for the foreseeable future, while the latest version of Photoshop CC through a subscription is now $20 per month -- meaning it would take just under three years to pay off a full-license version. read more...

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.