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

What's in the Adobe Creative Cloud?

With over 10 million customers having already signed up in the five 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 built around the new CC 2017 release of desktop products, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere, After Effects, Acrobat, Animate, Muse, 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 for the new versions sounds like it might be more expensive than the previous perpetual licensing, so maybe it’s not worth it?”

When you add up the price tags of all the individual products you can use in the Creative Cloud, the total value is over US$10,000.  The Master Suite by itself historically sold for $2,600, and that’s just part of what you get with the much newer CC 2017 release… All ongoing 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, so CC’s upfront cost is far less than CS6. And you can install and run the apps on up to two of your computers (including both PC and Mac).

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. As one prominent customer recently said, “As someone who’s been using Creative Cloud now for a little over five years, I can tell you that this is the best service that Adobe has ever offered, and I would never switch back to a perpetual license even if I was given the option.”

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 creative products for over a decade, 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 introduction of a $9.99/month plan. The bottom line is raising to unaffordable rates would be counterproductive. But if you’re still worried, 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 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 all from within their browsers [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 gives over a dozen 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 offers 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 3-4 months. And IT administrators can use the new Creative Cloud Packager utility to fully control all aspects of deploy­ment on any group of computers.

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!

What is Adobe Creative Cloud? (In Under Five Minutes:)

See Also

Get New CC 2017 Direct Download Links: All Free Trials

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Available Worldwide! Get New Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 plus Lightroom 6/CC for Just US$9.99 a Month (Regular Ongoing Price)
  1. Mark



    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

    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

    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

    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


    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.

  7. freakqnc


    1) iTunes killed Napster argument is nonsense.

    2) Adobe had other reasons for pushing the subscription model and removing any form of permanent licensing.

    And if you care to read more:

    The merely mathematical 14-years-value argument isn’t a solid one. For starters, it fails to take in consideration the mounting pressure caused by available free or fee-based alternatives (some of which Adobe bought from Macromedia to Aviary or Mixamo to name a few) which were and still are driving software prices down. Furthermore ending a subscription after 14 years would you’d leave you with a zilch suite!

    Instead with a permanent licensing, you would have bought CS in 2003 as I did for about $700 (promo price via adobe campaign) then could skip all upgrades (unless you must get one midstream) and buy a non-existing CS version (whatever would’ve been available 14 years later) at a similar amount adjusted for inflation. probably getting to the same ~$1700. Provided of course in 14 years competing alternatives didn’t manage to drive the price even lower. After all before CS was available one had to shell out nearly the same amount to just buy Photoshop alone! Photoshop 1 (1990.01) came 14 years earlier than the CS release in 2003. The price at the time $1,000 (when competing Letraset’s ColorStudio, was $1,995). And that’s sure more expensive given that $1k would be equal to $1,407.80 in 2003 (see:

    So between buying a CS suite, upgrade midstream, get a CS”n” 14 years later spending some 2K (where one would end up with 2 old and fully functional CS suite versions that can still install and use, plus the most recent version of the same creative programs), VERSUS paying subscriptions for 14 years to end up with a Zilch suite if not continuing to shell out money, then I’d personally go with the permanent licensing option if it was available because it would still be totally worth it.
    And no, the argument of adding each overpriced and underwhelming upgrades has no legs to stand on. Software production where a program is considered an upgrade worth hundreds just because “editable type, the history palette, color management, and the magnetic lasso tool” were added (introduced in Photoshop 5), is no longer applicable.

    I am not going to argue if the subscription model did not help reduce piracy since there making such claim is just not possible (no matter what Adobe’s CFO claims). There is no data gathered on the mount of pirated copies in use, no study done on how many started on pirated software and based on that experience they decided they would buy it for production/business. Hence there’s no way to meaningfully quantify the impact (both positive and negative) that pirated software has had on Adobe’s products and no way to gauge if said impact has decreased, increased or remained unchanged.

    But one thing must be commented on since perception is everything and some of us might feel the record should be set straight, or at least provide a different point of view which users might consider (and are certainly free to agree or disagree based on info and personal experiences).

    The concept expressed by CFO Mark Garrett and reported here that “kids downloading on Napster stopped” thanks to Apple is utter nonsense, those who agree with it, might want to do their due diligence and look into relevant info themselves before being quick to claim he’s got a point… obviously I invite anyone reading this to do the same due diligence to verify the opposite for themselves, data and info are out there for anyone to gather and evaluate so they can make their own decision on the matter.

    First and foremost there is a massive amount of free content that is legally obtainable on the web today, that’s not even up for debate… there are so many little and unknown artists who share their truly amazing talents. So one could really listen to music for free all day long and not pay a penny for it. Thankfully though, there also are many ways that enable each single listener or “content consumer” to support artists, performers, content producers and delivery platforms when one enjoys their content. From supporting via Patreon, to donating to web radio stations to crowdfunding creative work or just sending a donation via Paypal, those are but a few of the several ways to offer direct support and show financial appreciation to a content producer, artist, etc. without needing iTunes or similar closed-ecosystem services.

    And you’d be amazed at how many people today use this kind of honor system to support those who they genuinely like. As a matter of fact Patreon was the brainchild of Jack Conte (a musician himself, among other things) who, together with his now lovely wife Nataly Dawn, went viral with their original video creations showcasing arrangements of famous tunes as well many original compositions which they shared for free on platforms like Youtube ad social media as the Duo band by the name of Pomplamoose.

    Once such “lateral” market starts to become predominant bringing to fruition user-created content that is free or donation-based, the lamestream music industry starts to worry (and look for ways to exploit that same vehicle) as they can only use mind-shaping so much on young teenagers and it starts to become less profitable in some instances. But the herds of marketing gurus are always hard at work so they will always come up with new tricks from using reality shows and contests to create new shooting stars to steering trends through “key influencing areas” and “opinion leaders” and straight media gossip/buzz.
    Therefore whomever is consuming the music-industry-manufactured products today, would have been the very same who would’ve purchased the Vinyls, CDs or DRM’ed downloads back in the days. That demographic moved to iTunes, Amazon, Spotify etc. and will continue to do so.

    If those kids’ young mind will have been successfully “programmed” into thinking they love Bibier, Miley Cyrus or other contemporary pop/rock cheap “plastic” stars (be it via the usual influencing means, peer pressure or both) and provided they are not savvy enough to “get tapes” from a friend, as those who were around when the internet wasn’t, might remember it was done, then you’ll head over iTunes, Amazon and the likes to purchase the songs you’ve been bombarded with to the point you now truly believe you really like them by choice.

    The music industry model makes the most money for the music industry itself, not the artists (I know as I’ve seen it from the inside a few years back). While in the past they could’ve justified it with being the only outlet able to popularize an artist, that’s long gone in today’s hyperconnected world. And so it’s the exclusivity on being able to offer recording engineers and studios able to create a professional grade master.

    Nowadays with so much access to affordable production tools, publishing outlets and crowdfunding, artists are increasingly able to spread and capitalize on their talent. Artists can become stars (even in large niche format) and have thousands if not millions of followers worldwide who discovered them not thanks to the music industry, but by word of mouth, shared links, social media, local gig posted on youtube… you name it.

    While different logistically, it’s much like it used to happen when a few friends jammed in a garage and made tapes of a gig, then got liked by a small crowd who shared the demo tapes which started to circulate with more and more people liking them as they also started to show up to their performances. Eventually they made it so big they caught the eye of the music industry (only then the vulture deemed the prey’s meat worth the effort!) that then produced them squeezing out as much as possible from their 5 minutes of fame with ironclad contracts that will maximize revenues and prevent the “RollingStones effect” which, if you’re unfamiliar with that, is when an artist becomes so big that they will dictate fees, tour dates, etc leaving the label unable to be the party in charge. No more of that will ever happen again, the music industry now has tons of lawyers making sure of that and not a note will be played until everything is in order. It’s far more profitable to produce a one or two hit wonders and manage the selected few high-revenue-generating names with solid contracts.

    The music industry will hurt far more if the “lateral independent market” will become mainstream and one of the main source of entertainment. And it’s heading that way with more an more people spending time on Youtube, Vimeo, Facebook, Soundcloud, even Omegle… and the tools just grow exponentially in time, featuring more and more user-generated content.

    The dangerous difference is that today there are viable alternatives for those who want to consume content while keeping it legal. Something along the same disruptive lines has happen in the software sector, which has had the power to shake the monopoly that Adobe has had on creative software which they’ve maintained by buying off company after company (Macromedia should suffice to mention on such buy-offs), and not by a competing company, many alternatives have come about in the form of free or affordably-priced software.

    In the case of both music and software one could also make the argument that, if anything, pirated content made artists/apps more popular in less time. That happened in many instances and it’s very similar to how an unorthodox promo campaign would work. First serving it’s free, then if you like it you won’t just get more for free, because those who love the artists/apps they’ve genuinely grown to like, will support them financially too. I’ve seen it and done it many times and that’s not the exception, but the rule. And despite cheapskates and leeches will always be present in any demographics, luckily they are a very small minority.

    So, no, the comparison made by the clueless (or at the very best misguided) Adobe’s CFO is most definitely not a valid one.

    What he should have stated instead was the true intent, which is that in order to compete with the several online web apps, and the growing affordable alternatives offered for free (GPL and the “other” CC as in “Creative Commons” licensing) or for low subscription fees, Adobe had to change model to enforce a subscription that could create a predictable revenue stream and forgo the permanent licensing so that even companies who used CS4 or earlier versions of it when CS6 or later CC came out, would no longer represent a loss of revenue when upgrades were skipped or delayed. If that wasn’t one of the actual intentions, the permanent licensing model would have been kept in place. Adobe could’ve offered a model where anyone willing to stop a subscription would get all updates frozen to the day they ended subscription and would be left able to use whatever apps they had in their subscription but getting no updates, no storage or other CC services. That could’ve done perhaps even done for a small “freezing” fee.

    Back when CC came out, myself and many others complained to Adobe on their forum (at the time we happened to be Edge beta tester… which now evolved as a part of Animate). One such proposal was made by a numerous group of users, not just me, where customers would pay the equivalent of X months of subscription allowing to either not continue paying and keep a frozen permanent version indefinitely (needing to re-start anew in past those X months), or re-open their subscription while within that X-months period to continue for the full year and onward. With such an option in place, at least those who would need to end a subscription for whatever reason would’ve been legally able to keep their Adobe programs and use them if they’d need to do so later although they would be outdated… instead of being left with nothing in their hands.

    I can still use my original Adobe CS version of Photoshop today and it’s still a very respectable and powerful program that can work on photos and other graphic materials. That in itself is a better value than having paid years of subscription and be left with nothing when unsubscribing. By the way, that’s not just my opinion but an undeniable fact as on one instance a customer will retain a product and continue to use it, while in the other one is merely “renting” the ability to temporarily be allowed to use said product.

    It’s like a farmer renting a plow to sow its fields by being a member of a coop of farmers that has and maintains equipment, vs a farmer who continues to use the equipment purchased years ago and upgrades it as needed for the same cost as being a member of a coop of farmer renting tools. The significant difference is that once getting out of the coop a farmer would have no tools to work with therefore he’s forced to remain a member no matter what in an endless subscription cycle, while the non-coop farmer can manage his resources as he pleases and sees fit, according to his own financial priorities and budget, but most importantly remaining free and always be able to use equipment no matter how old it gets in between upgrades.

    Therefore no matter the uninspired “official” justification that will be brought forth to support the subscription model and the lack of permanent licensing alternatives is just a rather weak excuse pulling wool over the average user.

    • That’s the longest comment ever in the history of this blog.

      All in all, you seem to be arguing that your overall cost of Adobe’s products went up in the transition from perpetual licensing to subscription licensing. If that’s the point you want to make, then that’s fine, so be it.

      Each to their own. Most customers don’t think $10 a month for the latest full desktop versions of both Photoshop CC + Lightroom CC (plus all related mobile apps and workflows) is too much to ask, considering that these two best-of-breed professional tools used to cost well over $1,000 upfront just to get in the door, not including upgrades. And people who previously upgraded only once every 5-6 years are probably not the customers Adobe targeted with the new model.

      Sure, some folks weren’t happy about the transition from perpetual-only to subscription-only products – but as a Pulitzer Prize winner once said, “I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.” Adobe took a risk and it could have flopped or flown. They may have lost some customers, but at the same time gained many new ones because of the far-lower cost of entry than before.

      By virtually every measure in the industry, their transition to Creative Cloud has been widely hailed as a major success, surprising a lot of skeptics and even exceeding the company’s own original expectations. Never before (not even with CS6), have so many millions of customers upgraded and been running the same single release of Adobe software, which makes the platform all the more powerful. There are thousands of improvements and new features in CC 2017 as compared to CS6… If you haven’t missed what you don’t have yet, that’s fine – but if the latest releases can help millions of people get better work done faster, then time is money.

      Looking back to 2012, it’s clear now that Adobe didn’t do this to make anybody upset but rather made a business decision on what would be best for the future of the company and the sustainability of their franchise. The subscription model is more flexible in many ways and allows them to keep the tools current with fast-moving technology, as well as make record investments in their product line and advance the state of the art in creative software.

      Bottom line, you are quite free to stay in 2011. By all means mutter darkly about how you personally don’t like the transformation but that really isn’t going to change anything. The train has left the station but of course you don’t need to be on it – it’s a personal choice whether to remain competitive as a provider of creative services or not. Either way, the CC adoption numbers are pretty impressive and pointing unambiguously to the future, and the company is clearly not looking back. So why shoot the messenger?

  8. Um. CC is STILL such a massive rip off. I have continuously tried to give it a chance and I’m disappointed every time I research it. I have been buying CS since before CS was a package thing. Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign …and to a lesser extent, Acrobat Pro for file previewing before sending to clients, etc. I would pay roughly $499 for each update and would do that every 3 – 4 years. If I was waiting on clients to pay their bill, I could wait until I was good and ready before I paid the upgrade price (full price vs upgrade price was a huge difference, like $999). …so if you break all this down, $500 every 4 years was roughly $125/yr or $166/yr for 3 years. So now, I DO NOT have the option to buy just one program because I use at least 3 (not including Acrobat Pro) so I would be forced to do the $50/mo full version, with ZERO “upgrade” breaks like they used to offer for people who already paid them thousands over the years to own their copies of CS. Many people commenting and writing this article say “It’s only $9/mo or $108/yr” for a basic subscription. But that’s really misleading because basic just means ONE program. And graphic designers need more than one. It said in the article that you can do the free subscription forever, but it says there is an expiration on the free 3-month trial, so I don’t see how you can get that 2 GB storage for free and continued free use “forever”. …maybe I’m still just not understanding how that could work but if I’m wrong, I would love to hear more details how to keep the free subscription, until I can more stably afford the monthly or yearly subscription. …and one other important detail, if you actually can keep using the FULL suite for free with the 2GB storage, can I periodically remove files from the cloud and store on my Mac until the point where I may need to re-upload a file here or there as clients resurrect older projects? …and only store a small number of files at a time on the cloud? They don’t “lock” them on the cloud?

    • Here are the details on the free level of Creative Cloud:

      What’s Included with Your Free Creative Cloud Membership

      Some basic apps and services are free for life (including the online storage), and the most of the core CC desktop tools come with a free trial.

      No, your files are definitely not “locked” on the cloud. You can delete or upload anything you want at any time. It’s completely up to you whether and how to use your online storage.

      And, as mentioned in Myth #7 above:

      Viewers [of the files uploaded to your Creative Cloud storage] 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 all from within their browsers [watch video demo here]

      As for the $9.99 CC Photography Plan, you get TWO major desktop programs with your subscription: Photoshop CC plus Lightroom CC.

      Finally, regarding the pricing: Again, this debate is five years old now, and we’re not sure why it’s still happening. It is what it is, and Adobe is not going back.

  9. Kaleb Slater

    The thing that really messes with me is the lack of ownership. Nowadays everyone is so happy with not owning their things. Perhaps I’m old fashioned (I’m 18), but i grew up in a time where you wanted to buy your music. now it seems like everything has a monthly subscription and people are so willing to give up ownership. But adobe is the first company I’ve seen that is forcing this monthly “service” as opposed to giving us an option to have OUR OWN software. What happens if i am still using cc after several years and i manage to pay more total with the monthly payments than i would have buying the full version. People don’t even buy their own phones. they will instead buy a monthly plan that instead of just buying it up front. If you don’t have the money, don’t invest. Yeah that sucks for everyone who doesn’t have the money but there is some pride to owning your own things. The pleasure of working to get something you really want. As opposed to getting it the cheap and easy way. If it’s mine its mine and no one can take it away from me. I’ve made software before and while it was miles away from the power that Photoshop or other Adobe products provide, $1000 is really steep. I’d really appreciate it if adobe could read and address this issue. I just graduated and I’m off to college and all of my friends are afraid of going into fields where, to be competitive, they need to spend so much money to not even own software. A carpenter doesn’t pay a monthly subscription to use his/her hammer. It makes no sense. Adobe provides amazing stuff and Making it a monthly subscription is not the way to entice incoming adults like me and my peers.

    Ownership think about the things you actually own.


    • You’re right, $1000 is a lot of money. So when comparing CS6 to CC, don’t forget the huge upfront cost paid in order to have something to fall back on with the old model. But, as with all static perpetual releases, they eventually grow obsolete and then having that fallback doesn’t mean as much or may no longer function properly on modern operating systems… Upgrades and maintenance are an ongoing necessity in order to maintain virtually anything in life, especially something that moves as technologically fast as computer software.

      With Creative Cloud, all ongoing upgrades, compatibility updates and product additions are always included – so becoming obsolete will never happen. The monthly payments are also more budget-friendly in the new model than in the old CS model – where the software used to cost many hundreds or often thousands of dollars upfront, and never evolved.

  10. Maciek S


    The point is that I prefer to update our Adobe business studio at points I see issues resolved. We cannot afford an outage with large customers we have that frequently need delivery for some publishing projects overnight. We are not talking about artistic corrections in photos, but industrial businesses. Can I control updates and stop them in CC until proven to work on secondary hardware?

    • Yes, you can absolutely do that. All Creative Cloud customers decide to update the CC applications on their computers when they want to, via a manual button. It does not happen automatically, nor on Adobe’s release schedule. It’s entirely up to you; you can wait until the right time for your business, and you can even keep the previous version still running on the same system if desired, and/or upgrade a test machine first and then the rest of your shop, etc. So bottom line, you can stay on any stable version as long as you like.

      (This is the question of Myth #10 above, which some people still believe.)

  11. Maciek S

    @Kaleb Slater


    While you have points on owning, it is not owning software. You never do. You are given license to use it. That has been like this for decades and I am telling you as an application developer that has more years running in IT software development than life years in you.

    Installing a binary on a computer does not mean you own it. You just purchase a license to use it and it could be perpetual (no need for periodic extensions). However, remember this: that all licences can be revoked by the companies that issued them.

  12. Mark

    @Maciek S

    While legally possible, I can’t see Adobe rushing to revoke perpetual licences. Then again…..

  13. ProX

    Put the blame on Adobe. Just use clear names for products, avoiding confusion! Boost sales that way!

    • Well, there is definitely a ‘cloud’ component to Creative Cloud – which consists of helpful integrated services such as Typekit, as well as collaboration features like Libraries for easily sharing assets between co-workers – but nevertheless, all the CC desktop tools (such as Photoshop etc.) do work fine on their own and without an online connection, as you’d expect historically.

  14. Dave

    I’m a occasional hobby photographer who uses only Lightroom (and very good it is, too). The permanent LR license is the only reasonable choice for an infrequent user like me, especially as there is no option of a low-cost subscription to LR alone, even if I wanted it.

    But what rankles is that I can’t just pay a small upgrade fee to get the latest LR features – I have to subscribe to LR *and* Photoshop to stay up to date with LR, and that full subscription is just not worth it for me.

  15. Michelle

    For an individual or club photographer, the subscription fee is heavy when you do not earn $. Also in regions that have a cap on monthly internet usage, the internet requirement may be onerous too. I would be quite happy with Lightroom CS6 and if RAW files are not up to date, use the DNG convertor. In fact I know of club members with Royal Society awards, only use LR and do not have PS.

  16. J BEARD

    How do I ensure I get continuous upgrades and am I being charged £9.99 per month please?

  17. Anonymous


    how can it be family-friendly when you can only use the apps on ONE COMPUTER AT A TIME?

  18. EL

    With the various subscriptions to CC (all apps), can i use one app on one computer simultaneously with another app on another computer?


  19. EL

    Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question and point me to the answers.

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