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Adobe bets that Creative Cloud, not the desktop, is the future

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Talk about a sign of the times. Adobe Systems(s adbe) is ceasing development on its Creative Suite of desktop tools to focus instead on Creative Cloud, a $50-per-month subscription service.

According to the release, Adobe’s popular desktop tools — Illustrator, PhotoShop, InDesign, Dreamweaver and Premiere Pro — will be rebranded as part of the new Creative Cloud SaaS offering and carry a CC label (e.g. Illustrator becomes IllustratorCC).

For anyone in the media business –including yours truly — this is a huge milestone. Nearly every publication relied on Illustrator to create artwork, and PhotoShop to tweak and touch up (occasionally rebuild) photographs. InDesign contended with Quark as the page layout and production software of choice.

According to a company statement:

“While Creative Suite 6 products will continue to be supported and available for purchase, the company has no plans for future releases of Creative Suite or other CS products. This update to Creative Cloud includes the next generation of Adobe desktop applications — including Photoshop CC, InDesign CC, Illustrator CC, Dreamweaver CC and Premiere Pro CC.”

Adobe Systems is not facing this cloud dilemma alone. Microsoft is trying to ride the wave while offering Office 365 subscription while continuing to update its legacy Office desktop versions.Who knows how long that will last.

9 Responses to “Adobe bets that Creative Cloud, not the desktop, is the future”

  1. Read Alex’s comment carefully — this ‘Creative Cloud’ version is not software as a service; it is an application that you download and install on your machine. The only thing that’s different is that you will now have to pay for this every month and when you stop, you lose all functionality.

  2. Danox

    F Adobe, Like Autodesk their programs are not getting better, but their hand is always out, in your pocket after some tiny upgrade.

  3. FrankM

    Internally at adobe, I’m sure they call this “CC” initiative “Cash Cow”.

    Consumers should RUN AWAY from this Saas-only product. This is just another company trying to license something to you at a monthly fee, instead of selling you a product that you can use (potentially) forever.

    With a monthly fee (yearly contract required for best price), they make money regardless of the quality of the product. With a “boxed” product, each new version has to make a compelling argument to earn your money.

    Let’s not forget that not all software releases are improvements over their earlier versions. With “CC”, you are stuck with whatever adobe thinks is a good idea.

  4. Jared White

    One of the big challenges in the design industry where Adobe is concerned is file format and capability compatibility. I used to use an old version of Illustrator, for instance, and had problems opening up files created with newer versions. A major benefit of Creative Cloud is now most Adobe users will all be working with the latest, up-to-date versions of the products, thereby reducing compatibility issues. I’m a very happy Creative Cloud customer and think it’s one of the best things Adobe’s done.

    (And no, I’m not astroturfing. Of course, by saying that, you’ll now think I’m astroturfing. I was a big Corel user years ago on the PC, but then I switched to Mac and to the Adobe world, and frankly wasn’t that excited about it all until a couple of years ago or so.)

  5. This is great, as long as you have high speed internet access. Low density population areas of the US are still underserved for speed, and will make Adobe’s latest and greatest largely inaccessible for those of us in remote areas still counting arm hairs while we wait for our DSL to up/download a 5MB file.

  6. realjjj

    Killing desktop products could be fatal long term. Piracy allowed PS to remain the default photo editing tool . The vast majority of consumers won’t or can’t pay but they can learn to use CS by pirating it, if you take that away they’ll just have to use something else
    Same for M$ ,if there was no piracy Windows would have 20-40% less market share if not worse.For Office there has been no reason to use it for quite some time but somehow they managed to keep it very much alive, so far.If they go (payed) cloud only they would be far more vulnerable to losing share.
    Maybe some 20% of the world’s population can actually pay for PC software ,at least at current prices (not including products that cost a few hundreds of dollars or preinstalled Windows). Everybody else has to manage as they can. You can’t be the default if you don’t address 80% of the market. Niche players can try anything,giants must trade carefully…

    • Piracy will still remain, as I stated in my comment above, Creatvie Cloud still needs to be downloaded and installed. Meaning pirates can still hack the code locally.

    • “Piracy allowed PS to remain the default photo editing tool . The vast majority of consumers won’t or can’t pay but they can learn to use CS by pirating it, if you take that away they’ll just have to use something else.”

      I think that this is a small view of history and says nothing of the quality of products that Adobe has put out over the years. Piracy, as argued, is the great equalizer in that it levels the playing field by eliminating a product’s cost which acts as a barrier to entry in the market. However, it is very reasonable to suggest that the “majority of consumers” don’t fit within Adobe’s target market since they develop tools for Professionals. Yes, Photoshop has been pirated by a huge number of consumers for their personal use. But I think that likely pales in comparison to the also huge number of designers, content providers, schools/universities, and other businesses that all have legitimate distributions of the software.

      However, even if those numbers are completely upside-down it doesn’t make the case. Because, at the end of the day, the designers and content providers are the ones who ultimately drive the market, not the average consumers.

      Most designers that I come across, like myself, have received some sort of formal training in school or on the job. And the vast majority of institutions make these products available to their students in the classroom.

      Do you agree/disagree?

  7. Just a disclaimer on this. Creative Cloud apps are still full versions of the product. They aren’t browser based. You still have to download and install them. They’ll need to come out with a cheaper tier though if they want people to shift over.