Adobe Kills Creative Suite, Demands Monthly Subscription

Adobe Creative CloudAt the Adobe MAX conference this week, Adobe announced that they will be discontinuing their Creative Suite products (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.) in favor of their subscription-based “Creative Cloud” service. Instead of purchasing the software outright, and upgrading at your leisure, the new system involves paying a monthly subscription fee in order to continue using the software. It costs $50/month for access to the Creative Suite products, or $20/month for a single product (e.g. just Photoshop).

If you’re someone like me, who doesn’t purchase every version, waiting years between upgrades, this is a very unpleasant development. (I just moved from CS1 to CS5 during the past year, and the impetus behind that decision was the lack of support for legacy PowerPC software on newer versions of OS X. I upgraded to a newer MacBook Pro, and had to pick up a newer version of Photoshop to go with it.)

The move shouldn’t make huge difference if you already upgrade annually, as you’re basically paying the $600 upgrade fee perpetually, but it’s not great if you prefer to skip versions or buy secondhand.

Existing users for Creative Suite 3 or higher can get a reduced rate of $30/month for their first year, but will have to pay full price thereafter.

  • Rolando

    what a huge risk Adobe is taking, personally I don’t like their new pricing model. There are good alternatives to come up with your own creative suite for cheap

    • Matt

      Indeed it is. I pretty much only use Photoshop myself (I just can’t learn to like GIMP, and Pixelmator just isn’t as capable). Most of their software has decent competitors.

      Apple’s Final Cut Pro is on the same level as Premier, and cheaper to boot. (Then there are tons of other consumer-level alternatives, from companies like Avid, Sony, Roxio, Pinnacle, etc.) After Effects is harder to find an adequate replacement for, though.

      As for Dreamweaver…do people actually still use Dreamweaver? I hope not.

      • Laura

        DreamWeaver and the other site building software got a bit left behind when people decided to stop building sites and run a weblog instead. Weblog software means you don’t really need an HTML editor any more.

        What do you have against Dreamweaver? It’s funny because I used to hear so many people bashing MS FrontPage when I used that for HTML coding. At that time Dreamweaver was the hero, MSFP the bad guy.

        I do so little HTML now that it is simple enough to just type it into a text editor myself.

        • Matt

          I highly recommend using a text editor like Sublime Text, TextWrangler, Notepad++, Coda, vim or something similar. Dreamweaver is major overkill if you’re not using the visual editor, which is a bad idea in itself. Even in the ’90s, it was frowned upon.

          Speaking as someone who has made plenty of themes for blogs (including this one) from scratch, there is plenty of market for quality tools for wrangling HTML/CSS or scripting languages. Dreamweaver just really isn’t a tool I would recommend for doing that. A good syntax-highlighting text editor and a browser is all you need.

  • Laura

    A greedy move on their part. I think this is trying to catch the people who don’t upgrade every time Adobe scratches their ear. I still use my very old MS FrontPage software for making simple images. I like not having to take time to deal with software changes. If it works, it works. If Adobe had come out with something I could see myself adding to my budget I would have bought their Suite. At this rate I never will. I’m not a big graphic making professional though. I just want something I can DIY for my own web graphics. If I want to try something new I will go with Gimp.