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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 over 9 million customers having already signed up in the 3½ 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 2015 release of desktop products, Acrobat DC Pro, Adobe Muse, Lightroom 6/CC, 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 2015 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.

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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 using the cloud storage is not required. 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 saving a copy to the online Cloud storage 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 2017 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 CC (the full desktop and mobile releases) 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 65,000 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

Get New CC 2017 Direct Download Links: All Free Trials

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Available Worldwide! Get New Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 plus Lightroom 6/CC for Just US$9.99 a Month (Regular Ongoing Price)
  1. Mark

    @ProDesignTools

    Hi,

    I’ve just finished reading all of the foregoing comments so thought I’d throw in my 2 cents worth.

    My area of interest is purely photography and I’m not a pro, more of a very enthusiastic amateur. I was however an IT pro for over 40 (count ’em) years.

    I’ve been using Photoshop since version 4 so about 20 years I would say. I currently use Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom 6 perpetual versions. I have no desire to invest in a CC subscription. If I am “stuck” with the current capabilities of those two applications that’s fine by me. I’m still learning even after all these years lots of things about photoshop. I have never been in a situation where I had a problem that I could not find a way to solve with what I’ve got.

    Over time I’ve seen Adobe’s pricing model change significantly and never in a good way for customers. For many years it was possible to upgrade from any version of Photoshop to the most current one for the same price. That was slowly tightened such that it was restricted to one or two versions back otherwise you had to more or less buy it again. That was pretty severe in my opinion as Adobe products have never been cheap. Having said that, I actually got my first copy of Photoshop 4 free as it was bundled in with a laser printer I bought.

    Anyway since then I have purchased versions 6 then CS3 and finally CS6 all as upgrades. This is over a period of 20 years. I hate to think what that would have cost me on a subscription basis. Instead, I was able to pick my moment to upgrade. A moment that fitted in with my budget and my requirements. Adobe have had 9 releases of perpetual plus 4 CC (CC, CC2014,2015 and 2016) during the last 20 years. Given that CS4,5, and 6 extended versions were 1000 bucks a pop, that 2 year life cycle seems very short especially when tied to the increasingly punitive attitude to upgrades.

    The decision to freeze all upgrades to CS6 relatively quickly, was petty in my opinion. I would have thought that they could have continued to update ACR.

    So, in a nutshell, Adobe gets no more of my money. They may release a permanent LR7 and I might upgrade to it if an upgrade is offered but NEVER a CC subscription. There are viable alternatives to Photoshop out there now.

    As a last resort, rather than bother about retouching and all that jazz, I’ll simply take perfect photographs:-))

    • Like you said, the previous perpetual versions of Photoshop CS Extended were $999 to purchase. Then upgrades were $349. So to purchase it outright once and then upgrade twice would cost $999+349+349 = $1,697. That’s quite a large amount of money.

      By contrast, with the new CC Photography Plan, you get the latest versions of both Photoshop and Lightroom, plus related services and ongoing upgrades & support, for $9.99/month, with no huge upfront costs… At $120/year, that’s over 14 years of use compared to the above scenario with the old model.

      Because the new model is more budget-friendly, Creative Cloud has been attracting many new customers that could never afford the software before. The total number of CC subscribers continues to grow rapidly.

      Finally, Adobe actually continued upgrading the CS6 version of ACR until last summer, which was in fact over 3 years after CS6 came out – and finally discontinued support in order to evolve the platform and pursue further innovations in image processing and workflow technology. See:

      Update to ACR and Camera Support Policy in CS6

  2. Philippe

    ProDesignTools:
    If you only have a month-to-month subscription, then the system has to check every 30 days to see if you’ve paid for the next month and haven’t cancelled. But even in this month-to-month case, you still get another 30 days grace period on top – so that is two months total offline.

    What I sense here is that ‘the system’ has to check every 30 days, what means that ‘the system’ decides when this check is made. To travelers (among others) it would be more convenient if the user could trigger ‘the system’ to check at a self-chosen moment. Than, if paid for the next month, the new deadline for the next check is set to the new ‘paid until’-date. This prevents the situation that you’ve been online on day X and ‘the system’ wants to check on day X+1.

    So would a function like this help to cope with the mentioned problems?

  3. Tim

    @Philippe
    In my case, I was certainly not offline for 2 months! The Macbook shows that a few days before I was cut off from use of my Adobe software, the Creative Cloud app had silently updated my Typekit fonts.

    I think we’re agreeing that what happens is that when 30 (or 60) days pass since CC has checked the subscription, it then checks again — and it doesn’t matter at all if you’ve been online non-stop throughout those 30 days. It’s Day 31 that counts, and if you’ve got no Internet connection on Day 31 your Adobe software stops working, period.

    Since Macbooks cannot connect to the Internet without a live wi-fi signal (or special extra hardware), it can happen, and it happened to me, that you cannot use your Adobe software.

    What baffles me, though, is that Adobe support has no way of temporarily overriding this, to allow for a few days’ extra usage until you can reach a wifi hotspot.

    My only choice, when all this happened to me, was to rent a car, drive to a wifi hotspot and activate the Adobe software on my Macbook. And I repeat: My Macbook had been online with Creative Cloud syncing nicely a few days earlier!

    So, this does suck. Perhaps I should have signed off and signed on before leaving my last wi-fi hotspot — but how could I know there would be no wifi at the new destination?! Or perhaps I should have invested in some special hardware.

    Whatever the case, I innocently thought that my software would “just work.” But to whoever reads this, here’s my warning: Be aware that if you’ve got a current Adobe subscription to Creative Cloud, there are precautions you must take before going anywhere where there might not be decent wifi!

  4. Robert

    @Tim
    And let’s not forget that this validation process is COMPLETELY POINTLESS, as it has done nothing to prevent piracy of Adobe software which is still available illegally for the latest version. All this does is anger legitimate users (as does all anti-pirate protection) and it’s literally insane that anyone continues to try to justify the motives of these companies with their continued extortion and blocking of paying users from using the software they have purchased while those who have stolen the software and not paid a cent have installed and used the software continuously without ever having to have connected to Adobe’s servers even once.

    • Revalidation is completely pointless? Not true. The Creative Cloud software is sold via subscription only – and revalidation is simply the means by which the company determines that the subscription is current. It’s the verification mechanism, and without it, there wouldn’t be a commercially-viable service.

      Are there hacks or cracks peddled from the dark corners of the Internet? Perhaps, but it’s a really bad idea, because besides being illegal, you have no clue what it could do and how bad it can mess up your system (and take your personal data & privacy)… It’s the reason why computers in Asia have the highest levels of malware infections in the world.

      Incredibly, there are people who would never dream of giving a stranger the keys to their house who don’t think twice about giving a strange/untrusted program the keys to their computer system!

      But because of the far lower cost of entry than before, Creative Cloud has been able to introduce millions of new customers to Adobe, as well as reduce piracy. Adobe CFO Mark Garrett said this at the 2015 Global Technology Conference:

      The cloud for Creative Cloud and Document Cloud helps quite a bit against piracy. My analogy is kids who used to download music from say Napster stopped doing it when Apple and iTunes came out and they could buy it in a legitimate and affordable way. So now people who don’t want software downloaded off the web that may have viruses in it, that might be buggy, that isn’t up-to-date and isn’t current, that doesn’t leverage the ability to sync and store and share or use mobile – we’re seeing that really switch over and people being legit and subscribing to the service. And it’s a much lower price point now, because you’re subscribing as opposed to of laying out thousands of dollars upfront.

      In other words, why take the risk of trying to illicitly steal Photoshop, when you can have the real deal with full support and updates plus Lightroom CC and other related services for only $10/month?

  5. Philippe

    @Tim

    This is exactly why I SUGGEST TO ADOBE to make a change (or addition) in the checking system like I did before:

    “It would be more convenient if the user could trigger ‘the system’ to check at a self-chosen moment. Then, if paid for the next month, the new deadline for the next check is set to the new ‘paid until’-date. This prevents the situation that you’ve been online on day X and ‘the system’ wants to check on day X+1.”

    That would have prevented the problem you just described.

  6. Andy Blackmore

    I have Adobe Creative Suite 3 (Design Premium). I have recently signed up with Conestoga College for a number of courses. The requirement for the courses include the latest version of Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC2015 Release. What is the lowest cost to upgrade to the required software for the course?

    Further the two reference books required for the course are:
    ISBN-10: 0-13-430811-5
    ISBN-13: 978-0-13-430811-1
    Again, are these titles available from your library and at what cost?

    Thank you.

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