Adobe abandons Creative Suite in favour of cloud offerings

Ten years on from launching Creative Suite, its flagship collection of digital editing software, Adobe has decided to abandon it entirely in favour of its online subscription service, Creative Cloud. In the past, the company offered standalone versions of each program, offering incremental upgrades at discounts if users owned previous versions. Now, however, Adobe will force you to subscribe to a $49.99/month service in order to continue receiving major updates.

The Next Web notes the situation is much like Apple encountered when launching Final Cut Pro X, its video editing software aimed at the "prosumer" market. Naturally this approach offers easy-to-use professional features to all, but in the process alienates truly professional users.

Adobe says Creative Suite 6 (the current edition) will continue to be available for online purchase only, as the company halted sales of boxed copies back in March. Whilst the software will continue to receive major features and incremental performance upgrades, it will not appear in the form of Creative Suite 6.5/7. Instead, all apps will be newly branded as "CC" editions. This includes: Photoshop CC, Dreamweaver CC, Illustrator CC, Premiere Pro CC, Illustrator CC, InDesign CC, and so on.

Whilst the new monthly subscription package is likely send many people running a mile, existing Adobe users with CS3 or later will be pleased to hear that their first year with Creative Cloud will come at the discounted cost of $29.99. Single app licenses for new users will come in at $19.99/month or $49.99/month for the full suite. For teams and businesses, Adobe offer a number of comprehensive pricing plans, all of which can be viewed over on the Creative Cloud site.

Existing Adobe CS applications have also received a number of new features in light of the announcements, all of which were announced at Adobe's Max 2013 conference and can be explored in full over on the Creative Cloud site. At the time of this writing, the site appears to be having technical difficulties but should be back online soon.

All existing Creative Cloud apps will be replaced with the newly upgraded iterations after their release on June 17. 

Source: Adobe via The Next WebImage via Adobe

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Next year it'll maybe be $100 per month. The $49/month is only for the first year. Adobe doesn't tell you what it will be in a year or two.

Developers: please make an InDesign killer!

wow this is surely going to make allot of backlash; for prosumer (first time i heard that "word" lol) market this can be good because you can have your favorite suite/app for a controlled price; full blown suite for a 61,49€ annual subscription (737,88€ per year) or just for an app (say photoshop cc) is 24,95€ annual subscription (299,4€ per year) and it's good to go; as an example Photoshop CS6 on Amazon is for sale at 478.96€. And the subscription gets you free updates and upgrades (next version of software) and depending on the plan, storage, support, new stuff (plugins, edge and touch tools, etc.) and new software.

The problem starts not on the low duration renting, but on the long duration rentings; the price isn't right: just for photoshop, again as an example, in two years the Photoshop CS6 bought on Amazon (478.96€) is going to became cheaper then the Cloud based Photoshop (299,4€ * 2 = 598,8€); it gets worse in the suit: Adobe CS6 Master Collection, on Amazon, for 1612.40€; it will take you three years for the complete CC suite cost you 2213,64€, more 601,24€ then the boxed version (actually less then 3 years, anyway).

Now this Cloud business model works great for the prosumer that wants the latest software and doesn't mind paying for it; alas, with this economy, lack of jobs and work and enterprises cutting costs, this can be a big shoot in the foot; many enterprises buy the boxed version of an app or the suite and use it far more than 3-4 year; in fact some of the clients i have still have CS2, CS3 and such. Why? It works great for the tasks they do and the investment is already pay off. Paying 737,88€ per year for the suite doesn't make sense especially if only using a couple of apps or just for the occasional work (hobbists more than likely will still use a pirated version, no doubt about that because paying that ammount of money just to use an software once in while is nuts); creative agencies and freelancers are the ones that got screwed in this deal, the Pro market; the enterprises and educational environments also got screwed with this: 1033,08€ per year for a team subscription, 239,88€ per year for a educational plan (price just for the first year, then jumps to 339,3€ per year) or 516,48€ per year for a educational team plan, so the idea for setting a lab or classroom starts to get very pricey. Also one can not forget that each license is tied with a email, limiting more the access to the apps/suite.

anyways, just some math and rant.

Well... that's disappointing. And I was planning on getting CS7 after it came out... but I guess not. Lol.

I wish they kept the Creative Suite. For Office 365, I use Word and Outlook on a daily basis, so I'd be okay with paying a subscription for that. The Creative Suite, I don't use on a daily basis, but often enough that I wouldn't want to get rid of it. So paying for a subscription for that, I'd think, is more of a waste for me. Disappointing.

I guess we will need to stick to CS6 because our department does not allow us to pay monthly (subscriptions). We already told them the cloud subscription would actually be cheaper in the longrun for us but they are not allowed.

Change isn't good is it ? lol
I suppose that depends now doesn't
I hope all the people here commenting defending changes with Windows 8 can see the middle finger i am giving you LOL hypocrisy much ?

This is a late joke????? Is Adobe not seeing the economy falling behind at full speed!!!! Piracy is only going to get better and send them to huge losses.

What marketing executive team came up with such a dumb idea....

Nothing for the consumer here just utter scraps from Adobe..

No thanks i'm off to join the MS Global culture

I simply don't like handing over control to a company like Adobe that I don't trust or even like. I'm a video producer/editor and use 3 apps so I'm in the $49 camp right off. As time goes on, the price will increase and your control over usage will decrease. Those that cheer this on should keep that in mind, when everything is cloud based and you're cut off or someone "decides" you don't get access or use, you'll change your tune. These companies don't care about their customers, they only care about how much they can fleece you. Mass exodus in the works and I just hope it's enough to hurt.

I can only see this as a good thing. The industry is moving not only towards the Cloud but also Subscription services. A lot of the software that I use have already been on this for a while like Solidworks, Rhino and Keyshot. People that are saying its pricey, you do realize that Adobe CS is an Industry standard right, and also has some of the best features out there including new ones added recently. Adobe is gearing the software towards the industry and companies not individual consumers. Its also going to help curb pirating on the newer versions. Though Adobe could benefit towards a consumer/student copy of CS that is lighter on price and features.

Meph said,
At least with Office 365, Microsoft have actually thought about it.

Microsoft got it right by keeping the perpetual license as an option.

I have not check in a while, but you can by the apps separately, but not as discounted for the Creative Suites of the past.

Adobe is the most aggressive of the content creation enablers with subscriptions. It's the pressure of how our financial system works. Companies have to grow-grow-grow. We are seeing that after decades it is become unsustainable, and the struggle controlling content and content creation enablers is getting more intense. The market matures here in the states and Jobs move to other markets.

I'm already looking over alternatives and I will have to make use of CS6 for a long as I can. Fortunately this is more of a hobby for me (an expensive one). I feel for the professionals though. Maybe it would not be so bad if they let you keep using the software after completing an year subscription, it would ease the tension.

As others and yourself have stated, Adobe is going to die in just a few years. Their pricing model only makes sense for exploiting the prosumer market -- which grows, but the assumptions of growth are based on [most likely] flawed research... notably, that a reduced customer retention rate can be "made up" by force-bundling software packages.

Adobe won't die in a few years. No way, no how. They have a monopoly on desktop publishing and vector creation. Nothing else in the market comes close to InDesign and Illustrator (not to mention Photoshop, of course).

Oh, and before you even think countering this point, go take a look at a magazine or newspaper on your counter. Pretty sure it was done in InDesign (or Illustrator if they decide to use that). QuarkXpress (which used to be the leader) is becoming less common these days... in fact most firms I've worked with were surprised I had any experience with Quark as most had moved to InDesign 5+ years ago with CS or CS2.

One of the largest advantages Adobe has is the common interface. I spend most of my time in Photoshop or InDesign. The few times I've needed to use Premiere or Illustrator for small projects, I was able to find my away around with little help. You can't do that when you get products from multiple manufacturers.

Edited by Brandon, May 7 2013, 2:36am :

You can make more if what you make is good. I see tons of people now days that think they are web designers and it looks like they are making things from 10 years ago. This might be a bit rash.

Make a portfolio and sell yourself. Target Mid-Size Companies and not Mom and Pa to Small companies. Its up to you to make the money no one else. If you can't sell yourself for what you need, then you might not be in the right place to do your dreams (if they are).

The problem with monthly subscription for Adobe products is that it's over price. No I know that is in the business will pay that much when they are not making the money like they did 5 years ago. Only companies will do it.

In reality, you are already 'renting' the software that companies lie to you and tell you that you 'own'. You don't own the software, what you 'own' is a license to use the software.

It's stated in the EULA, and if you read in there, more than likely, there is a clause that says <Insert Company Name> has the right to 'change' this EULA whenever they please.

To be fair the sheer amount of products that the creative suite offers $49.99 is a cheap price to pay adobe cs6 makes you the money back in no time if your a web designer and dreamwever speaks for itself

Who in their right minds would pay $600-$1000 for 'hobby' purposes.

I think the original pricing model was insane for hobbyists. I don't understand why Adobe never does a free version for hobbyists, like what Microsoft does. They just have in their EULA that you can't 'sell' anything you create in it, unless you pay for it.

scumdogmillionaire said,
1) it's 19.99 for single app
2) if it's a hobby, 239.88/yr is a lot cheaper than a golf hobby would cost per year.

and alternatives are WAY cheaper..

Stopping Fireworks ?
not cool !
And that last version is a buggy piece of crap !
Screw photoshop they got all the customers and bought out and killed off FW.

Funny thing is in their announcement they said there was "overwhelming customer demand" for this. I would love to see their source for that but I have a feeling they're just making that up.

Remember that Adobe decided a long time ago that it made more sense to charge 10,000 customers $1,000 than to charge 100,000 customers $100 dollars. It's the same total revenue but a LOT less customer support, etc. and thus far lower costs (= more profit!).

This forced their pricing model towards businesses that MUST have it and therefore must pay, while ignoring the rampant piracy among people who couldn't afford it anyway. They knew that these people would be learning the software, which would then force businesses to buy it for their employees, etc.

It should be interesting to see how this works for them.

Skyfrog said,
Funny thing is in their announcement they said there was "overwhelming customer demand" for this. I would love to see their source for that but I have a feeling they're just making that up.

I have to agree. The option was already there. What customers were "demanding" that they ONLY offer that option? LMAO

W32.Backdoor.KillAV.E said,
This is going to **** off a LOT of people.

and to some of them i say well guess what.. time to adjust and move forward into the future, change is needed and if you wanna be stuck in the stone ages forever then fine. And you guys just need to try harder how to learn how to work with the new subscription model.. get what i'm saying

As CeCe Peniston would say 'Finally it has happened to me right in front of my face and I just cannot hide it'.

Not really. You can try Pain.NET but it isn't all that advanced (depends on your needs). I've been trying to play with it lately because I can't justify dumping so much money for software I don't really use on a day-to-day basis but no viable alternative at this moment that I know about other than that. Hopefully with enough people getting upset someone will raise to fill the void...

Xenon said,
Might as well be the 1st one to ask. Anyone know a good alternative to Photoshop other than GIMP.

+1. Same for Dreamweaver. In my opinion it's a great deal better than the competition, but I would definitely consider switching.

GreatMarkO said,

Oooo... I'm always on the look out for new S&M sites(!) Ha! anyway, to clarify, it's Paint.NET

Paint.NET is a very nice product, I use it for the majority of my graphic work.

I just wish it had better .ico support...

Xenon said,
Might as well be the 1st one to ask. Anyone know a good alternative to Photoshop other than GIMP.

Corel used to be on par with photoshop back in its day with it's paint shop pro (prev Jasc) software. http://www.corel.com/corel/product/index.jsp?pid=OL_TS15

Unfortunately its not much better then Photoshop elements anymore, they seem to have opt out of the photo editing market and gone more into the photo touch-up and management side of things for "soccer mom" users.
Still, its not bad for the price but don't expect to be able to pull off anything like you can with Adobe's Photoshop.

Microsoft Expression Design 4 is now available for free. It works well for a large portion of Photoshop functions. Besides GIMP, Paint.NET is great. And for vector graphics/drawing, Inkscape is another good one. I like to use Liberkey (you can install it to a USB key or to a folder on your hard drive) for programs like these (it makes it much easier to update them), and GIMP, Paint.NET, and Inkscape are all available through it.

M_Lyons10 said,

+1. Same for Dreamweaver. In my opinion it's a great deal better than the competition, but I would definitely consider switching.

It really depends what features you're using in Dreamweaver? Then somebody can recommend an alternative, I don't know of any web developers or even web designers using Dreamweaver anymore.

In the Mac side of business Pixelmator is shaping into a nice Photoshop alternative FOR THE FUTURE. And for us Windows users... well, we're screwed.

While Expression Web 4 is a decent replacement for Dreamweaver (and is now free), I'm not sure it would work better than Visual Studio Web (which is also free). But I can't say that either would completely replace Dreamweaver for all people. Dreamweaver does make it a little easier to create pages with Fluid/Responsive UIs (ones that actively scale to different sizes/layouts depending on the device, for those who don't know).

"Dreamweaver" is a joke compared to the power of Visual Studio, the best IDE ever existed... but yeah, if you can't write a simple html tag, maybe dreamweaver is for you lol

For replacing Illustrator, check out Sketch. Again it's Mac only unfortunately. It has superior basic drawign tools and overall is a joy to use compared to the awful mess that is Illustrator.

Unfortunately neither Pixelmator or Sketch have the feature set Adobe's crapware does but for those who don't do graphics design for a living they are pretty great and far nicer to use than GIMP or Paint.NET. We use Sketch for website wireframes at work.

Personally I've never seen the appeal of Dreamweaver. It's bloated and overly complex for most things in my experience. I'd rather have a really nice code editor (Coda 2 for Mac, Sublime Text 2 is a good option as well) and use additional tools for the rest.

Xenon said,
Might as well be the 1st one to ask. Anyone know a good alternative to Photoshop other than GIMP.

Fireworks.
it can also use photoshop plugins.

For .ico support (since someone mentioned it), there's a program out there called IcoFX, and I use that whenever I work on icons. It has every feature I could imagine needed for icon-making (or cursor-making, for that matter lol). It used to be free but the latest version became paid ($50). I highly recommend it.

Take a look at Australian prices. There was even a parliamentary hearing about why they charge so much here. $1000+ for CS6? **** off.

I just Dropped $15,000 for CS6 for my High School. With these pricing Plans, we will never upgraded, or cancel the Graphics Art Department.

Yeah that's what sucks about it. I've personally only bought CS2 and CS5 in my life. I'm a web developer but do a lot of design work, however, there hasn't been that much new stuff that I can't live without so never had the need to keep upgrading. Spending $1200 over 8 years for two full versions sure beats $1920 under the new model. Yeah you get the latest and greatest but I can personally care less...

CS5 etc will still keep on working, you can continue with the way you are happily doing it already, no change to you at all. Does it really suck that much?

I can't see this working for consumers. $50/month? That's $600/year. You can get the CS6 Student / Teacher edition for $400 on Amazon right now.

All this will do is push piracy even further.

Customer came in the other day, talking about how much better of an option it was having access to the whole Adobe collection. I disagreed, but some people do see it as a viable option. Whatever works for the consumer I guess.

dead.cell said,
Customer came in the other day, talking about how much better of an option it was having access to the whole Adobe collection. I disagreed, but some people do see it as a viable option. Whatever works for the consumer I guess.

Yeah, I don't see it as a viable option myself at all. What if you only use one product? I cannot rationalize "renting" Dreamweaver for such a cost if that is all I am using...

They really screwed over schools here. I talked to many product reps and they can't believe what happened. Even with educational pricing for 250 seats at @ 19.99 a month it comes to $60,000 a year. Compared to the $3,500 I payed every two years before.

Oh plus the management of user IDs tied to licenses and the fact this kills the idea of ever having a lab enviroment with access to Adobe CS.

For BUSINESS customers (and professionals) this is a good option because you can now write off the entire price of this software on your taxes as a subscription/rental fee/whatever.

But it really screws over everybody else tremendously it appears.

If you only use one product, you can get it for $20/month. Looking at retail prices, Photoshop is $700. So your paying $20 more to 'rent' it for 3 years.

In the end, if you only ever bought 1 Photoshop version, then you are paying more for the cloud. But, if you plan to upgrade your Photoshop version in 2-3 years, then the cloud actually is cheaper to do it this way.

Of course, you are now at the whims of Adobe's monthly pricing, which they can raise/lower to whatever they want.

M_Lyons10 said,

Yeah, I don't see it as a viable option myself at all. What if you only use one product? I cannot rationalize "renting" Dreamweaver for such a cost if that is all I am using...

Well, I mentioned that as well, since she was looking at photography, and Lightroom for example you can get a version for just over a hundred dollars, if I recall correctly.

Brandon said,
I can't see this working for consumers. $50/month? That's $600/year. You can get the CS6 Student / Teacher edition for $400 on Amazon right now.

All this will do is push piracy even further.

I get what you are saying, it sounds like they are doing a price increase. However, it is a little silly to compare the full price in one model to the student/teach price from another. We can assume Adobe will have student/teach pricing under the new system as well.

Studio384 said,
I'm going to be onn CS6 for a looooong time...

Yeah, I have no desire of entering into a monthly subscription for Dreamweaver... They are out of their mind.

Studio384 said,
I'm going to be onn CS6 for a looooong time...

Oh don't worry, if they are going to FORCE me to sign up for some bogus rip off subscription where I don't actually own the software at the end AND no actual benefit then I will be sure to use a cracked version of the latest software.

so would you pay the $49.99 for a month, download the whole suite, install it, and stop paying. Then when an update comes out, sign up and pay the $49.99 for a month. repeat.

or is there a year contract? or is it one of those things where it needs an internet connection each time it starts?

Buttus said,
so would you pay the $49.99 for a month, download the whole suite, install it, and stop paying. Then when an update comes out, sign up and pay the $49.99 for a month. repeat.

or is there a year contract? or is it one of those things where it needs an internet connection each time it starts?

You have to have an active subscription to use the software at all. And if you buy month to month it's $75/m