Adobe Launches Creative Cloud, Moves to Subscription Software Model

| Product News

Adobe began shipping, in a manner of speaking, its new Creative Cloud design application package Monday evening. Creative Cloud was first announced in May and includes Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, and more. It does away with traditional perpetual software licensing in favor of a software subscription model.

Adobe releases its Creative Cloud app suiteAdobe releases its Creative Cloud app suite

The Creative Cloud apps are available only as a download, and all current subscribers have access to the new software versions without any extra fees. One of the features Adobe touts as a benefit of CC subscriptions is that users always have the most current app versions as soon as they are available.

Creative Cloud, formerly Creative Suite, includes Adobe's popular graphic design, Web design, and video editing applications. Along with Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and Dreamweaver, it also includes Flash, Premier, After Effects, Lightroom, Acrobat, along with several other apps, and for the first time, it includes InCopy, which previously was available only as a stand-alone purchase.

Adobe is also including online collaboration, publishing and sharing tools in part through Behance, TypeKit fonts, one-off app creation for the iPhone and iPad, and 2GB of online file storage.

Adobe customers that aren't ready to make the jump to the CC subscription model can still buy a perpetual licence for Creative Suite 6, although the company isn't promising any future support for the older versions of its apps. Creative Cloud users that aren't ready to make the jump to the brand new app versions have a year before they're required to upgrade, too.

Pricing for Creative Cloud starts at US$49.99 a month, or $19.99 a month for a single app. Traditional license CS6 users can sign up for the full Creative Cloud package or an individual app for half price for the first year.

The Mac Observer Spin The Mac Observer Spin is how we show you what our authors think about a news story at quick glance. Read More →

Subscription software licensing isn't a new idea, but it isn't something Adobe app users have dealt with for very long. Don't expect Adobe to back off, and get ready for other companies to follow suit.

Popular TMO Stories



We’re still waiting for our IT dept. and Purchasing office (at a University) to let us know if we can even consider getting into a subscription if we would want to (we currently do not). It seems unlikely in the near term as things move slowly around here (we just had our mail servers upgraded to Exchange 2010! boo yeah!).


I went to Creative Cloud on an introductory price last year. Doing the math, it was far cheaper than upgrading to the Production Bundle, once Adobe started jacking up the upgrade price for older versions.

The company I work for has since upgraded to CC for all employees, which gives us a little bit more flexibility. Employees now get easy access to the full CC suite at home for personal projects and overtime work, there’s more flexibility and less of a down payment when hiring new employees, and we get to stay on the current version of the software, instead of doing staggered upgrades as funds become available.

Looking forward to downloading Flash Professional CC tonight.


Meh…I have replacements for almost all of the adobe apps I was using every day, now. Fireworks CS3 is the last holdout.


A client worked hard for three years to get Cloud Computing to work. It didn’t. We finally brought servers back in-house. While Cloud Computing is getting better, so much depends on a fast and reliable infrastructure, which this country sorely lacks.

The sad fact is Adobe doesn’t want to bother with the creative professional or casual user who doesn’t use the entire Creative Suite range and upgrades every other version number. My business and workflow needs don’t fit into Adobe’s new model and the cost is prohibitive.

Goodbye, Adobe. I can’t say I hope CC subscription works out for you, because I don’t.


mjkphoto: Right. Let’s see Adobe tell any of their loyal customers who live whereever fast internet isn’t available how this is a service to them, and not to Adobe.

If Adobe were NOT blatantly milking every nickel possible out of their customer base, then maybe someone can explain the logic behind the $20 for a single app, or the suite for $50? There are a lot of folks who do the vast majority of their work within just a few apps: say, a print guy (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator & maybe Acrobat for example). If Adobe were really making this equitable for everyone and offering their customers true options, why isn’t the single app pricing more reasonable? They’re going to be effectively making the majority of their customers pay more than they should need to, for a lot of software that they’ll get little use out of.

Have some balls, Adobe! Make every software title ala carte for a more reasonable price - say, $7.50/month. Then we’ll see how much the whole suite is really worth, and how much you’re truly able to earn with an honest business model.

Dave Doolittle

I absolutely *hate* this new subscription model!! It may be fine for companies and for those with high speed connections but it mostly impresses me as a big money grab by Adobe. Some may take the bait, but I am betting that this move by Adobe will force quite a few users to find other options. In the long run, it may be a good thing as it stimulates the development of better competing apps, apps you can still download, install and use locally.

Suggestion: have you tried the latest version of Graphic Converter yet? It now does layers and most all of what Photoshop does, for a paltry $39.95. You can even download and try it for free, with regular free updates for registered users. Comes with an actual manual; imagine that! See: I’ve been using it since it came on a floppy in 1993 smile

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter or Facebook) or Register for a TMO account