Creative analysis, Design

Failure to communicate? What’s happening with Adobe Creative Cloud?

The big news about of Adobe’s MAX conference this year was obviously the revelations surrounding Creative Suite 7 or rather that there wouldn’t be a CS7 and that the next iteration (rolling out in June this year) would be contained within Adobe Creative Cloud under various subscription options. To say that this news was not taken well by the world’s creative communities is an understatement.

Now, I’m not a designer but I am a user of CS4 (I make posters in InDesign, do some stuff in Photoshop, sometimes get to do comic layouts) and had been considering an upgrade depending on the news to come out of MAX this year. Of course, when I heard about Creative Cloud being the next thing rather than CS7 I too was quick to jump on the, “I’m not going for it, I’m just going to upgrade to CS6 and stick with it bandwagon.” And then my partner jumped on it too, because he’s in the process of getting a new editing PC and wanted to get his hands on Adobe After Effects. Then I started planning this piece and began asking for people’s opinions on the matter… and now I’m not sure what I should do.


Many people were pretty peeved at Adobe’s news, with opinions ranging between issues of compatibility and cost, but others did see it as a far more cost effective way of accessing Adobe’s creative software:

“My concern is that those who don’t want to upgrade to cloud will end up incompatible with those who can afford to, which will cause problems.”

Rob MacKay

“I’m not saying $600/yr is unfair for what you get. I just don’t need all that, and I haven’t had to pay that much to use the few apps I need in the past. CC is a great deal for lots of people, but it’s more than I need and costs more than I can pay.”

Sam F

“I think it’s great Adobe CS is pretty expensive – especially for creatives who aren’t making a large revenue. It’s a monthly fee and you get all the updates including new applications – which get installed to your platform. There’s also the ability to share your work via the cloud with others. Again, I think its great for us creatives who are – how do you say? – poor It’s $49.99 and month. If you already have CS3 installed on your device – its only $29.99. It’s a bargain verses spending $2-3000.00 for CS6 – that will be out of date as soon as you buy it.”

John Drew

(NOTE: In the UK it’s £46.88 a month if you’re not upgrading, which is around $71.47 (US). UK price guide. In the US it’s $49.99 a month for a non-upgrade, complete package subscription.)

Adobe Creative Cloud MAX 2013 1

“This should not be the ONLY way to get the programs. This is fine for design houses that can afford the monthly fee, but for the small independent designer like me, who doesn’t upgrade every time, this will be cost-prohibitive. The initial fee for present users of CS6 is $29.99/month, which is almost affordable (the student fee of $19.99/month is about right), but this is billed as an “introductory” fee. It’s pretty obvious that once you’re in the fee will increase to the higher amount after the first year. And it also appears that you don’t “own” the software, if you cease paying the fees the software becomes unusable. If this is an attempt to defeat piracy, it’s doomed to failure and will only encourage folks to hack a way around it or move to other software that will come along to fill the void. In my opinion this is a bad, bad move and a serious raspberry at small digital creators. I’ll be looking at alternatives unless this changes. Sad, since I’ve been a happy user of Photoshop since the 90s and Design Creative Suite since CS3.”

Rob Davis

“[…] Personally, I find it easier to budget for a big ticket item once, and then factor it into overhead than shell out every month. Also, for those of us who apply for funding, grants and loans, it may be harder to justify a purchase that has an expiration date. People who give us money like that money to go as far as possible and last for as long as possible, not simply evaporate a few weeks after a project is done.

“I think larger companies will be fine with it, but a lot of independent users are going to find it tough. I’ll be using my software as long as I can to avoid the change, and I wonder how many will try to find alternatives. I’m sure Adobe will do well enough in this venture, and I don’t really see it causing enough of a stink with freelancers to make them change their mind, but I’m really displeased with the idea.”

Kat Sicard


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