Adobe Creative Suite Goes Into the Cloud

Love your Adobe Creative Suite? Then learn to love the cloud.

Adobe Systems will no longer sell its Creative Suite software. All upgrades and new usage will be offered through Adobe’s cloud-only, subscription-based plans. Say goodbye to the familiar CS logos. It’s now Adobe CC (Creative Cloud).

Why the transition? Adobe claims that it was based on customer enthusiasm for Creative Cloud, combined with slowing sales of traditionally licensed software. The move is part of the company’s larger move to a recurring revenue approach.

While the transition may be difficult for some designers, it is too cumbersome for Adobe to maintain both business models. Adobe had always planned to go to cloud-only offerings, and it claims that its customers’ embrace of this model was stronger than expected. This gave the company the confidence to move away from traditional offerings earlier than planned.

To sweeten the transition, Adobe has made some major updates to what is now called Creative Cloud (rather than Creative Suite 7). Among them:

  • Photoshop will now correct some camera shake in photos.
  • Illustrator will allow designers to edit elements with multitouch devices.
  • InDesign now supports high-resolution monitors like Apple’s Retina displays and the new Refine Edge tool for selecting particular regions of video in After Effects.

Currently, Adobe allows users to pay between $20 (single app) to $50 per month (full suite) to access the latest versions of the software. Special pricing is available for current CS3 users (40% discount), schools and educators, and team users.

Apps are downloaded and installed on your hard drive. Although you will need to connect to the Internet once a month to verify your subscription, you can run the apps offline. Customers can also access older, archived versions if desired.

While some designers may balk at paying up to $600 per year to stay current on the full suite, you don’t have to buy an annual license. You can license just one app at a reduced price or, based on specific project demands, license a specific app for just a few months.

Top 3 Questions About Adobe Creative Cloud
Here are answers to the top three questions that seem to be popping up around this transition.

Do I have to be connected to the internet to run Creative Cloud?

No, the apps are downloaded to your hard drive, and you work with them the same way you would traditional software.

Will my downloads reside in the cloud?

No. They will stay on your hard drive the way they always have. However, Creative Cloud membership does give you access to 20 GB of space in the cloud for storage, access by other devices, and file sharing with other members of your team.

Will I have to upgrade if I don’t want to?

No. You only upgrade when you choose, so you can continue working on your current version of the applications as long as you like. If you upgrade and want to revert to an older version, Adobe provides archived versions for you to download.

Not everyone is comfortable with the change, and it may take some time to adjust. In the meantime, you can continue using your old Adobe Creative Suite as long as it suits your needs. When you’re ready to upgrade, it will be as easy as sitting on a cloud.