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Adobe Creative CloudAdobe is dropping the Creative Suite and boxed software. Instead the company will now offer users a A$50 a month subscription service to what it calls the Creative Cloud. New Zealand prices are in Australian dollars.

This doesn’t come as a surprise. The company’s boss hinted at the strategy during a recent visit to Australia. And Microsoft is heading down a similar path with its subscription-based Office 365.

Still, Adobe’s switch to Creative Cloud is a big step. And it changes the way those of use working in the media will use software.

For the monthly fee users will give PhotoShop, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Premier Pro and Illustrator.

Adobe has structured prices so that it doesn’t make economic sense to pick and choose. According to this price guide, individual apps cost A$20 a month and you don’t get full access to the services. That’s clever because it means you’ll get to use apps like Acrobat effectively for free – a move which puts pressure on Adobe’s competitors.

On the other hand, you have to commit to a full year to get Creative Cloud – that’s A$600 – a big commitment by today’s standards.

Strictly speaking Creative Cloud isn’t cloud computing in the sense that the grunt work is all done on giant remote servers – the apps download to your computer. Given that Adobe’s apps are some of the most demanding software tools most users will meet, that means you can’t realistically run these on lightweight machines or tablets.

8 thoughts on “Adobe’s unsurprising Creative Cloud move

  1. Hi Bill,

    I’m not sure what the ‘cloud’ component is it all to be honest.

    In search of a new (and presumably) more profitable business model they have angered and alienated this user. I for one will be determined to never give them another cent.

    I have zero interest in a subscription based business model, continuous updates for mission critical software, or storing any of my files in their storage (if indeed that is their cloud component)

    Seething is probably still understating my sentiment on this ‘upgrade’. After destroying Macromedia as their only real competition for many of their offerings they pull this stunt. I only hope that there is a huge consumer backlash and a renewed effort from the remaining ‘competitors’ to produce something truly comparable. The open source alternatives have a million miles to go and seem to suffer from developer infighting and lack of product management.

    I hope something comes along before my current versions stop working…

  2. I’m also no accountant, but surely for companies there is no longer the ability to claim the software expense as an amortisable asset but instead will be counted as overhead?

  3. The critical part that is in the cloud wil be the DRM. Good luck if it can’t phone home for a few days! Also it isn’t much of a leap for Adobe to try to check for ebooks that you have removed their DRM off, and closing your account if they think they find any.

  4. I have been using creative cloud for over a year. Considering the upgrade price for CS5 was $1800 and Adobe’s upgrade cycle is about 18 months, the cloud is an absolute bargain. An installment plan with a 50% reduction in price and a pile of extras thrown in. What’s not to like?

    • I have seen nothing that makes their software better today that it was say 5+ years ago, I use CS3 Fireworks constantly. I have played with cs5 + and they offer junk on top of what should be a usable simple tool. I started using Macromedia and Adobe software in the mid 90s.

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