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Home > Tools November 7th, 2014

The 10 Most Frequent Myths About Adobe’s Creative Cloud (CC)

What's in the Adobe Creative Cloud?

With nearly 3.5 million customers having already signed up in the 2½ years since it launched, Adobe’s Creative Cloud (CC) product line has been a success exceeding even the company’s own expecta­tions.  Still, there are a lot of misconceptions out there that we see from time to time, or that some folks seem to believe… (do you?)  Here below we dispel and debunk the top 10 most common myths we’ve heard – and hopefully even if you already know the scoop or use Creative Cloud you’ll pick something up… read on!

Myth #1: “‘Creative Cloud’ sounds like cloud storage only – which is just a way to store your files, and I already have Dropbox which is free.”

Some say the name is misleading – but the Creative Cloud is actually a comprehensive collection of creative tools and services including the new CC 2014 release of desktop products, Acrobat XI Pro, Adobe Muse, Lightroom 5, Digital Publishing Suite, Behance ProSite, Adobe Edge, and more – the full working versions…  You do also get 2-20 gigabytes of online storage space for syncing and sharing your files, but that is only one piece of of the big picture.

Myth #2: “I don’t want to be constantly connected to the Internet to start and run my creative apps; what happens when I’m on a plane?”

You do not have to be continually connected to the Internet.  After the CC applications are installed and running on your desktop, online access is only required once every 4 months for revalida­tion of your annual membership. Plus there are solutions in place if you’ll be offline for an extended period – like traveling for six months without web access… just contact Customer Service.

Debunking the Myths About Adobe Creative Cloud

Myth #3: “The applications can’t be very powerful if they are running in a browser – trying to run Photoshop over the web is going to be really slow.”

None of the the tools mentioned above are hosted or web-based versions… These are the genuine desktop products that you download and install right on your computers, and work just like usual – these are not web applications, it’s not “software as a service” (SaaS), and your CC programs like Photoshop will run as normal.

[ Related: Photoshop Will Always Run on the Desktop ]

Myth #4: “The subscription model sounds like it might be more expensive than perpetual licensing, so it may not be worth it to me.”

When you add up the price tags of all the individual products you can install and use in the Creative Cloud, the total value is over US$10,000.  The Master Suite by itself historically sells for $2,600, and that’s just part of what you get with a newer CC 2014 release… All ongoing updates and upgrades are included, as well as free professional training.  You can access these leading products for $9-$49 a month, one year at a time, and install & run them on up to two of your computers (including both PC and Mac) – compare the two options in detail here.

Myth #5: “So I can have the entire latest Master Collection and more for $1-2/day, and do anything with it – it must be too good to be true, no?”

There’s no catch. It works exactly as described, you can imagine and create without bound­aries using all of the world’s best tools for photo, image, video, audio, graphics, illustration, web, print, mobile, publishing, gaming, animation, development and design – and so far the overall user reviews and ratings are close to 5 stars out of five.

Myth #6: “Well, then Adobe is going to entice everyone to the Cloud – and once we are all hooked, they are going to jack up the prices.”

Adobe has offered subscription-based CS products for seven years now, and over that time their prices have only fallen, never risen… You’ve got elasticity of the demand curve – the lower the monthly rate, the more people sign up, the greater the cost is spread out, and repeat.  It’s a virtuous cycle in our view – and if anything, no guarantees but we think prices will continue to drop as the Cloud grows… The most recent evidence (and price cut) is Adobe’s new introduction of a $9.99/month plan. The bottom line is raising to unaffordable rates would be counterproductive. But if you’re still worried about it, then you can always choose to lock in your pricing in advance.

Special: Legally download dozens of free Adobe books for a limited time!

Myth #7: “If my friend or client or colleague isn’t a Creative Cloud member, I can’t share my files with them.” …or… “But I don’t want to share all my work publicly/online.”

If you’re concerned about sharing files with people using older versions of the CS tools, check out our CC File Compatibility Guide. And for any files you choose to store online in Adobe’s Cloud, you can easily set different levels of sharing – from keeping them completely private to sharing them publicly with anyone at all. Viewers will be able to do many things like see thumbnails and larger previews, change layer states of PSD files, step through Illustrator artboards and InDesign and PDF pages, and see file metadata from within their browser [watch video demo here].  But you can also keep your files entirely offline on your local disk as normal, because using the online storage in the Cloud is completely optional.

Myth #8: “The Creative Cloud isn’t free (is it?), so if I leave then I will lose all my files.”

No worries – there is a totally free (for life) level of Creative Cloud membership which provides ten terrific benefits including free products & services, that anyone can sign up for… If you cancel a paid membership then you’ll have a 90-day grace period bring any cloud storage down to the size of 2GB free (or can buy additional storage separately if you like).  You prob­ably also saved your files locally on your computer as well, before sharing online.

Myth #9: “Even if I only use one or two applications, I have no choice but to buy the complete Creative Cloud membership, right?”

Worldwide Offer: Get New Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 plus Lightroom 6/CC for $9.99 a Month (Regular Ongoing Price)

No, this is false. Just like it was with the previous suites and point products, you still have the option to buy either the discounted bundle of everything or just a single program if you prefer. If you only want to use an individual tool or two, then you can sign up for a Single-App Membership at a lower price ($9-19). For example, Adobe is now offering a special Photography Plan worldwide that gives both Photoshop CC + Lightroom 5 (the full desktop releases) and more for $9.99 a month.

Myth #10: “With the Cloud you can’t ever stay on or run previous versions if you want to, you are always forced to update to the latest release, right? I might not always be ready to do that, plus some plug-ins might not yet work with the newer version.”

No, in fact it’s optional – and your call. Creative Cloud makes updates avail­able for those who want to install them, but the applica­tion manager will not automati­cally update your system without your go-ahead… You can continue using the versions you have already downloaded, and then choose if and when to install the new releases, whenever is convenient and best for you. On average for each CC tool, the pacing of available upgrades has been every 2-3 months. And IT administrators can use the new Creative Cloud Packager utility to fully control all aspects of deploy­ment on any group of computers.

Bonus Myth: “If for some reason Adobe decides to stop offering products in the Creative Cloud, then I’ll be stuck.”

In the event that Adobe decides to discontinue any products in the Creative Cloud, then they will make the most recent full and permanent version of the software available free of charge to active members on an as-is basis. But that seems unlikely to happen, because with the brisk adoption the offering has been receiving – almost 50,000 new customers each week – the future of Creative Cloud appears bright.

“In the event that Adobe decides to discontinue any of the products in Creative Cloud, we will make the most recent version of the product available for download free of charge to active Creative Cloud members for a period of no less than 90 days. Such downloads will not require a subscription and will be licensed on an as-is, no warranty basis …”

Do you have any questions, thoughts, or other myths you’ve heard about the Creative Cloud?  Check out our extensive Creative Cloud FAQ, or just post them below and we’ll get you answers fast!


See Also

New Adobe CC 2014 Direct Download Links: All Free Trials

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Available Worldwide! Get New Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 plus Lightroom 5 Desktop and Mobile for Just US$9.99 a Month
  1. Dean Kirschner

    I am interested in creating pdf’s that can be completed by the end-user. I am not clear on whether to buy the program? Subscribe to the program? Can I run it from the cloud? Where do I go to set up the use of this program if I can run it from a cloud?

    Thank you.

    • Hey Dean, for Acrobat XI Pro (Adobe’s PDF editing program), you can choose either to buy it a perpetual license or to subscribe with a far-smaller monthly payment. In both cases, the same software downloads and installs locally on your desktop (it doesn’t run “in the cloud”) – the difference is simply in the type of license and how you pay for it.

      Acrobat XI Pro is also included as part of the Creative Cloud – meaning that all complete CC members receive full use of it as well. In other words, you can choose if you want to get just Acrobat by itself (standalone) or the full suite bundle. And again, as stated in Myths #2 and #3, it is not a web-based application.

      In either case, you can get started immediately by downloading the free Acrobat Pro trial and see how it works for you.

      You should be able to run that at no cost for up to 60 days and then can purchase and convert it to either a perpetual or subscription license without having to reinstall.

      UPDATE (April 7th): The next major version – Acrobat DC – has just been released by Adobe, and is automatically included in the Creative Cloud… You can download it here now.

  2. Brad

    @ProDesignTools

    Agree that Adobe may not own your work but essentially they control your work. Once a subscription has ended, all the work an individual did (i.e. the individual’s IP) with the licensed software is not able to be accessed unless there is backward compatability (and this won’t last over time). The CC model is an addiction that is not worth the risk. And please, Adobe is doing CC for the money stream and not just to be nice to people – they are a profit-maximising company after all.

    • Sure, like every other for-profit company in the world, Adobe hopes for successful products that delight users and will grow its sales and profits over time. But if you’re truly a good customer, then you’ll want to help them in that effort – why?? Because growth (rather than stagnation) will enable them to make even better software and tools for you in the future.

      But that’s not the whole story, as you know. Operationally, Creative Cloud is a better and more modern way to deliver software than the old static monolithic releases that didn’t get updated for 18 months and cost a small fortune upfront to buy and then even more to upgrade! CC is regularly improved and kept current at no extra cost – and is more accessible and open to a broader customer base who is voting “yes” with their support.

      Just look at all the different positive attributes in this side-by-side comparison chart:

      Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) vs. Creative Suite (CS6): The Pros & Cons

      Finally, regarding to how to open files after a Creative Cloud paid subscription has expired or been canceled, please see our previous reply to Pete here.

  3. Brad

    @ProDesignTools
    I have no problem with companies making a profit in a competitive market environment. I admire your belief that the company is just doing the business to help us folk have better software in the future – very charitable!
    I disagree that CC is a better delivery system for customers. It is certainly better for Adobe as the customer is now hooked ad infinitum as distinct from the customer having no hooks by buying the software bundle outright. If Adobe was REALLY interested in the customer they would offer both the CC and direct software purchasing and let the customer decide. However, that scenario still depends on whether Adobe will price the purchased software fairly. As they obviously favour CC, they would price the purchased software very high to advance their preferred CC solution. Adobe has the market so they can do what they want, so please don’t make out that the customer is king in such an envirionment. There is no soft sentiment in business.

    • Brad, the purchased (perpetually-licensed) software is already priced very highly – and always has been… It’s $2,600 for CS6 Master Collection (plus over $1,000 per upgrade), which you can still buy from Adobe today – but that actually comprises significantly less that what you receive now with Creative Cloud, in terms of the tools & services included, and many new features since then.

      Regarding your other comments: Adobe is definitely in the business to reinvest in innovation and make their software better over time; to argue otherwise is folly. If they didn’t, they’d be out of business in a relatively short period of time against someone who consistently did that. In over 25 years of history, it has never been Adobe’s style to just rest on their laurels. And in the three years since CS6 came out in 2012, Adobe has already added over 1,000 new features, performance improvements, and other enhancements to CC.

      Finally, you say you think they should or could offer the new CC platform with both subscription-based and traditional perpetual licenses. While that might be a nice wish, sorry to say that it’s simply not possible, as explained here:

      Why Adobe CC (Creative Cloud) Gets Free Upgrades but CS6 Doesn’t

  4. Mary Beth

    So I may be asking a repeat question, but I am wondering if you purchase the Creative Cloud Subscription do you also have the ability to download the Adobe mobile apps? If I make this purchase am I also able to run the Adobe CC Mobile apps on my iPad when I am meeting with clients?

    TIA

  5. Drew

    READ THE FINE PRINT

    I downloaded Creative Cloud in order to work on a resume in InDesign with intent to cancel my subscription after I found a job. However, when you download the software you sign terms that bind you into paying a fee of 50% of your remaining months of the annual subscription whenever you cancel your subscription. For me that was $80. I got hired after 3 months, and getting charged $20 a month I basically paid about $140 just to make a resume.

    I love InDesign but I would not suggest downloading Creative Cloud for a short-term project. Adobe should have made the cancellation fees very clear from the beginning. Looks like pretty shady business if you ask me.

    BE CAREFUL

    • Wrong. They absolutely do make the terms very clear from the beginning – it’s just that you must have ignored them.

      As soon as you click «Buy Now» for any Annual (One Year) CC plan, the very first thing that comes up (before payment) – put simply and in a large print:

      Review membership details

      One Year, Paid Monthly plan — US$19.99 per month, plus applicable tax
      with a one year contract

      Payment
      Each month during your one year term, we’ll collect payment of the fee stated at the time of purchase. As soon as you’ve successfully completed this sign-up process and your payment is confirmed, your membership will begin.

      Renewal
      The price is valid for a full 12 months. After that, we’ll renew your contract automatically unless you cancel. The price is subject to change, but we will always notify you beforehand.

      Cancellation
      We’d hate to see you go, but if you cancel within the first 30 days, we’ll give you a full refund. Otherwise, you’ll be billed 50% of your remaining contract obligation. If you ever need to cancel, just call Customer Support.

      By clicking this button you agree to the billing terms above:

      «Accept Terms & Conditions»

      They also provide the option to switch to a Month-to-Month plan immediately below. So the only thing “shady” is what was covering your eyes… Plus this is also detailed in the Creative Cloud Subscription Terms page.

      If you think you’ll only use the software for a short or indefinite period like 3 months, or are doing something that’s project-based with a temporary need, then simply don’t sign up for an Annual plan! Just get the Monthly plan instead, which has no contract and can be cancelled at any time without a fee.

      Basically, in exchange for a 12-month commitment, what you get is a lower monthly price. But what you get with the Month-to-Month plan instead is more flexibility.

  6. Louie

    Adobe should at least offer a perpetual license for those who wish to purchase in that manner. I have been a loyal Adobe user since CS and I, for one, can never find myself to buy into the “vaporware” subscription model. Once I stop paying, it disappears and I can no longer use it. No matter how much money I had been paying, it will cease to work once I stop paying. It is Vaporware and it is toxic. I am highly ticked off by Adobe’s decision to not even offer a perpetual license. People will begin to get ticked off when they realize their software no longer works when they stop sending the checks.

  7. Louie

    When you stop paying, it stops working. Period. I don’t need to be sent a reference to Adobe’s terms. If I pay for Creative Suite Master for 4 years at $49.99/mo and then quit after the end of the 4th year, I can no longer use it after shelling out $2,399.52. Screw that. That is ridiculous.

    • Well Louie, if you want a perpetual license then get CS6 instead – you can still buy it direct from Adobe.

      But CC offers a lot more than Creative Suite 6 ever did – many more tools and services added in, plus ongoing upgrades included as soon as they’re available.

      Just keep in mind that all technology marches on and no software or system is forever… Adobe has been clear that they will not update CS6 any further, not even for hardware or operating system compatibility – so that means that CS6 may not run and/or will not be supported on the next major releases from Microsoft/Windows or Apple/MacOS.

      All software has to be maintained and upgraded to keep it useful and relevant over time. Nothing is really a one-time cost if you want to easily keep your tools running “forever.” Many people couldn’t really afford to pay thousands of dollars upfront anyway.

      As we pointed out above, the new model of frequent upgrades and feature updates does not work with perpetual licenses… So in the fast-changing modern world where nobody waits 18 months any more between app versions, this is the only way forward.

  8. Louie

    It is the only way forward for you and Adobe. Not me. I have CS6 master suite, and that is where I will stay. I have been upgrading since CS, but not any more. My funding to / for Adobe has ended.

    Also, I never even implied I wanted forever upgrades for free. I am WILLING to purchase upgrades on my timeline and / or budget allowances. I am sorry you lack the ability to comprehend that.

    I am upset because they have alienated a good portion of their user base that will not capitulate and purchase the monthly subscription for software that expires.

    • It’s Adobe’s call. It’s their property and they did not feel the old model was workable for the long term with allowing the products to grow, nor adaptive and flexible enough for the today’s highly interconnected, fast-paced technology landscape.

      And clearly, all indications – including the CC customer adoption numbers & growth plus the subscription renewal rates – point to a successful transition to the Creative Cloud.

      And while you say you won’t be signing up, there are countless other customers who are – some of them folks who otherwise would never have been able to afford to use these world class tools at their previous nosebleed cost of admission.

      The train is leaving the station but of course you don’t have to be on it – it’s a personal choice as to whether you wish to remain current and competitive with those who are. So far, the skeptics have been wrong (even us originally!) and Adobe is proving their decision was the right one.

  9. Robert

    Nice to see some relevant comments on this thread again. It’s been what? Like two years on CC now? I still havent upgraded, nor will I ever pay a subscription for this product, even if CS6 blatantly stopped working tomorrow. To be honest, I would find another way to get it without paying and mail adobe a $2000 check in the mail to clear my conscience before I paid the subscription, but thats just me. Anyway, to the point, I tried the trial of CC, and neither CS6 nor CC scales correctly on 4K resolution. The software isn’t even usable. The QT or whatever they used for their GUI makes the icons so small the software isn’t usable, so at this point I dont even think CS6 nor CC is a reasonable purchase for anyone with a modern computer or planning to get one in the future. Unless Adobe plans to patch CS6 when they release the version of CC (2015? 2016? 2017?) that works correctly on high res monitors, CS6 will be stuck in the completely unusable category, and photoshop will be crossed off the list of software installed on my computer.

  10. David Dahlstrom

    I could never understand why pro’s (least of all) would ever go for this. Not only does it stop working and your rental fees are gone…but most importantly, your license to edit your psd’s is also effectively gone. That’s right, can’t even edit your own layered source files. I’ve always predicted that this would come back to bite people a few years down the road.

  11. Louie

    Adobe wanted to balance out their revenue stream. It had nothing to do with innovation. People purchased upgrades when *they* wanted to and it was an unpredictable revenue stream Adobe. Adobe wanted to level that out so they went to a subscription model. Good for them, bad for me. The decision has made me really despise Adobe.

    With the subscription model, Adobe can raise the price whenever they want. Sure you can choose not to renew, but, you can never use the product again. Once you choose, for whatever reason, to quit feeding the beast, permanently or temporarily, you can no longer use the program to open the art that you have spent countless hours creating. This is devastating. As time goes by and people have to cut back they will begin to see what evil lurks in Adobe’s subscription model.

    I will probably stick with CS6 Master for the next 5 or 10 years or however long I wish to continue graphic design and photography. I see photos being uploaded to popular photo hosting sites that were created this year (2015) with Photoshop CS3. Not everyone is running like lemmings to get stung.

    A few years down the road when you stop paying, it stops working. I can never agree to that. That is *MY* call.

    I decided to get back into photography after a 2 year hiatus. All I had to do was fire up the computer and load up my images and I was up and running. If I had an expired subscription I would not have been able to do that.

    As a software developer I purchase “maintenance contracts” with developer tools. I can choose not to renew my maintenance contract, but the software will continue to work. It will just have a freeze point on the new features, but It will remain fully functional. They do not kill the software when I stop paying. They just stop sending upgrades. Do you see the difference here? I certainly hope so. Adobe software stops working when you stop paying. I cannot deal with that. That is absurd.

    Photoshop is an awesome product with no equal and I have been a loyal subscriber for many years. Adobe’s business decision to force users pay indefinitely (or cease to function) is extremely arrogant in my opinion and I hope it bites them in the a**.

    Notice how Adobe doesn’t force you to buy a subscription for Adobe Acrobat? The business community would tell Adobe to go fly a kite. So what I see here is sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, business model. Why not offer ME the same opportunity to purchase a desktop version CC same as Adobe Acrobat?

  12. Callie

    Good article. I was unclear about some this stuff before but learned a lot, thanks

  13. Kate

    Nothing for Android?

    I was all excited until I saw that!

    Why not disclose that fully? Before signing up?

    I won’t be getting rid of my 12.2″ Note! I’ll be canceling the CC!

  14. Robert

    @ProDesignTools
    Well, thanks for that information, and confirming that Adobe now officially no longer offers any sort of perpetual license support on high res monitors. At least there was some hope that CS6 might receive the update, but if it came out last fall, guess we just bought CS6 for nothing since it no longer works in a usable fashion on modern machines.

    To be honest I’ve severely disappointed in Adobe now that this has become clear. People have been still directed to buy CS6 if they don’t want to pay subscriptions and don’t care about 3D and such other new features, but CS6 is lacking the biggest feature of all – being able to be used.

    Time to start seriously investigating alternatives. This is the perfect time for a serious competitor to enter the market.

    • Well actually CS6 does support Retina displays – it was in fact added as an update for perpetual license customers awhile back, though only for Mac OS because that’s where these displays started.

      On Windows, CC 2014 introduced HiDPI support to Windows as an experimental feature last year. Realistically speaking, 4K monitors have had only a tiny penetration in the Windows marketplace. For the vast percentage of people, CS6 is still usable. Because of the narrow user impact on Windows, and because rewriting for ultra-high-definition (UHD) displays is not at all a simple fix, the company did not go back and try to retrofit a version from years earlier.

      So whenever we mention that Creative Suite 6 is still an option to buy from Adobe, we caution that it is old software from 2012 and will largely be unsup­ported going forward, especially on future operating systems or hardware. It is also already missing over 1,000 new features and improvements (in functionality and performance) that CC has.

  15. Ryan

    I am an American living/working in Malawi, Africa. Can I buy the Photoshop lightroom photography bundle with my American Amazon account/credit card and download/activate here in Malawi?

    Thanks for any help or clarity you may provide.

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