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Adobe scraps Creative Suite software licenses in favor of cloud subscriptions

Jackie Dove | May 7, 2013
In a move that should surprise no one, Adobe announced sweeping changes to its Creative Suite software line and year-old Creative Cloud subscription service. Signaling a new focus on integrating creative services in the cloud with its professional desktop software, Adobe launched a new cloud-based Creative Suite--with a new CC moniker, for Creative Cloud. But it will look familiar. Significant upgrades to all current Creative Suite 6 apps are coming soon, but they will be available only by subscription to Creative Cloud, not traditional software licenses.

In a move that should surprise no one, Adobe announced sweeping changes to its Creative Suite software line and year-old Creative Cloud subscription service. Signaling a new focus on integrating creative services in the cloud with its professional desktop software, Adobe launched a new cloud-based Creative Suite--with a new CC moniker, for Creative Cloud. But it will look familiar. Significant upgrades to all current Creative Suite 6 apps are coming soon, but they will be available only by subscription to Creative Cloud, not traditional software licenses.

Ten years after Adobe corralled its disparate creative apps into a cohesive interoperable suite with a common launch date, the company is propelling those apps into its Creative Cloud subscription service. With updated versions of 15 professional creative applications--for photographers, graphic and Web designers, and video and motion graphic artists--Adobe announced the rebranding at its Max 2013 Creativity Conference keynote. While this transition and collective suite upgrade was announced today, the apps will not be shipping until June 17.

"This is the decision of our company--to focus on Creative Cloud--and it is huge," said Scott Morris, Adobe's senior marketing director. "It's an even bigger decision than when we moved to Creative Suite years ago." And it is sure to be controversial. However, Adobe considers the response to its Creative Cloud strategy more than respectable so far, expects some pushback from customers, and is prepared to deal with the fallout. "In the same way [as Creative Suite], there will be customers who have a hard time with it at first. But today our customers are on Creative Suite--they got over it; they saw the benefit of it; and that's exactly the type of transition we're going through." Adobe says Creative Cloud has more than half a million paid members, and more than 2 million total members since it launched in April 2012.

With this update, you can store, sync, and share files via Creative Cloud, on the Mac OS, Windows, iOS, and Android platforms and on Behance, an online creative community Adobe purchased last year that is now integrated with Creative Cloud. Behance lets users exhibit work, get feedback, and generate exposure. With Creative Cloud, Adobe seeks to tame chaotic creative workflows and direct communication conduits away from email and Dropbox toward Behance.

This move comes on the heels of Adobe's recent acknowledgement that it will cease selling shrinkwrapped boxes of its creative apps.

More coverage on Adobe's updates to Photoshop, as well as its publishing, Web design, and video software accompany this news story.

You say CS, we say CC

The new software carries a new name. Instead of Photoshop CS and a version number (CS6, for example), it will be Photoshop CC in the new cloud-based version. It's unclear at this point whether future updates will adopt a new numbered version system. Apart from the cloud venue, Adobe Creative Cloud is the same lineup of professional creative art, design, and photography apps that it's always been, except the subscription adds a significant number of software services designed to transform the Creative Cloud into a creative community.

 

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