Adobe gets Creative with the Cloud

Yesterday, Adobe officially unveiled Creative Suite 6 – the latest and greatest versions of their industry-standard digital media creation applications, promising a whole new user experience with speed and productivity enhancements across the board. I’m a long time user of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Dreamweaver, and whilst I’ve stuck with my copy of CS4 Design Premium, I’ve always known that there will come a time when I need – or even just want – to upgrade. With Adobe also announcing their Creative Cloud, I think the time has come…

I’ve never really embraced subscriptions (unless you count the fact I used to get Sound on Sound delivered to my door every month), preferring to purchase physical products. I do however use iCloud, share photos on Flickr, have a Dropbox account and it’s only a matter of time before I sign up for a premium Spotify account. I also happen to think that the Mac App Store is a near perfect way to purchase (and distribute) software.

Forgetting for a moment all the cool new features and productivity enhancements that CS6 will inevitably bring, there are a few things in Adobe’s FAQ about this whole Creative Cloud thing that caught my attention and made me sit up and take note…

You will have to make your own mind up as to whether “an ever-expanding membership that provides immediate access to Adobe’s latest products, services, features, and workflows the minute they are available” is of benefit to you personally, but it’s hard to miss the tone here – “Adobe believes that Creative Cloud is a better way to get your desktop tools because you get access to the latest updates and features as soon as they’re available, plus services that tie the new publishing workflows together“, or the fact that Adobe “plans to add new applications, features, and updates to Creative Cloud on an ongoing basis“.

If you still want to buy a boxed copy (or download) of a particular Application or Suite, that’s fine, and there’s no difference in functionality between the traditionally licensed version of Photoshop Extended and the one you use via Creative Cloud, but Adobe are keen to point out that “as we add more to Creative Cloud, like entirely new applications or software features that we deliver to Creative Cloud members first, it is possible that the functionality of Creative Cloud will be different from the software you buy in a box“.

It very much sounds like if you want to stay ahead of the game – and potentially not miss out – you’d better think seriously about switching to Adobe’s subscription model and sign up for your membership. The cost seems about right to me too. If you’re a Creative Professional who uses Adobe’s software on a daily basis to earn a living, £47 per month should be easily justifiable to keep those tools sparkling and shiny, even without considering the added features and benefits that Cloud membership will bring.

Even better – and clearly an attempt by Adobe to entice existing Creative Suite owners like me to adopt Creative Cloud – is that if you already own CS3 (or newer), you’ll be eligible to take advantage of limited time special pricing of only £27 per month for the first year. Considering a full upgrade to CS6 from CS4 would set me back £952, it’s a bit of a no-brainer really. Time to upgrade…..

Read more about Creative Cloud on the Adobe website.

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