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

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


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434 thoughts on “The 10 Most Frequent Myths About Adobe's Creative Cloud (CC)”

  1. @ProDesignTools

    Well, as nothing else in my life works this way, it is a deal breaker. The creative work I do for a living can be done with the tools I have now. My advice to anyone else in a creative business is that you are the product. If the technology you have now does what you need, there is no reason to buy into a new paradigm if it is a negative one. Writers own their typewriters, painters own their paints. It is the writer and the painter that is central, not the tools.

    • Sure, but if you’re still using a typewriter, then in general, you’re probably not as competitive, or efficient.

      Similarly, you could technically create most any image in the world using MS Paint, working pixel by pixel, but not many people would recommend it over Photoshop CC.

      So we would argue that the tools absolutely do matter… Technology rolls forward, whether you participate in it or not. And in the software business, there are always costs associated with keeping your tools and system current, even with Adobe’s old model of static perpetual releases plus paid upgrades. Pretty much all software will eventually grow obsolete and unsupported over time, if not upgraded.

      In fact, some in the industry wonder and ask if the new software tools will get so powerful and capable as to make humans obsolete… This is a persistent theme at MAX, as Adobe continues to introduce and demonstrate new ways to do old things that used to take much longer:

      AI and Your Business: Questions and Answers from Adobe MAX 2017

  2. And that is the sort of comment that turns people against you. It isn’t the tools that make one competitive in a creative industry. It is the creator and what is created. A book written on a typewriter is no more or less competitive due to what was used to write it. And as far as electronic art tools are concerned, my old versions of Illustrator and Photoshop may not have all the bells and whistles, but they are adequate to the task. While I would be more than happy to play with the newer, better, faster stuff, I do not choose to create images that I cannot access and edit if I should run out of money.

    • Please, competitive and efficient are referring to the time needed to produce your desired output, or time spent to generate your required deliverable. It’s preposterous to claim that the sophistication and productivity of your tools don’t matter in that context. In most people’s lives and careers, the amount of time spent is important and/or time is money.

      Sure, there’s the rare case of the prodigy who can tap out the next War and Peace on his/her old Selectric typewriter. But the vast majority of us would do better (and faster) to use the best-available word processor instead.

      If you don’t care and have all the time in the world? Well then, good luck and more power to you.

      As for how to open your files without a CC subscription? Well, the free level of Cloud membership (which you retain permanently at no cost) will allow you to open, display, and manipulate files in some of the most common Adobe formats (types including .PSD, .AI, .INDD, etc).

      Similarly, you can use the preview and display capabilities of Adobe Bridge CC, which is free for everyone, for life.

      There also exist third-party utilities like XnView (free), which will read and write Photoshop .PSD files, and also opens Adobe Illustrator .AI files. ID Util (also free) will read and display any InDesign or InCopy file. Like Photoshop’s published .PSD format, Adobe PDF is another publicly-documented specification, and various programs can read and write those files.

      Adobe will also be resetting a new round of free CC trials at least once or twice every year that will work fully and open your files for 7 days. So if your paid membership has expired, then short-term opening or editing your files down the road could be as simple as just grabbing the latest free trial and firing it up.

      And then there’s always a Creative Cloud month-to-month membership available if you want to do more intensive work, for as long or as short as that is. You would pay only for the months you needed to.

      Bottom line, there should never a case where you are denied access to open your work or files – it’s just that it may not necessarily be 100% free guaranteed, depending on what you want to do with them. But obviously the maintenance of all professional software in working order has costs and tradeoffs, even for standalone perpetual tools.

  3. OK. You obviously believe what you’re saying. You believe that being able to see my work is the same as being able to open it and manipulate it using the tools that created it. When I sell a painting to a gallery, I can always go see it. But I can’t change it. The paintings in my studio remain mine to work on for as long as I own them.

    Adobe should sell their CC plan on a continuing basis. But after a reasonable investment, when a customer stops participating, he or she should have perpetual access to the tools at whatever state they are available at that time. This would be fair. Your arrangement simply is not.

    • No, what we said is that keeping technology up-to-date always has costs, no matter what the model. And there are options available to open and work on your CC files after a subscription has ended. But you seem to be protesting quite a lot for somebody who says he is okay using his old tools. Nobody is forcing you to upgrade.

      In any event, if you’re talking about Photoshop, then millions of customers don’t think getting the latest full desktop versions of both Photoshop CC + Lightroom CC (plus all related mobile apps and workflows) for $10 a month is too much to ask, considering that these two best-of-breed professional tools used to cost $1,150 upfront just to get in the door, not including upgrades. That equates almost 10 years of use of CC compared to the old model. It’s like someone still using Photoshop CS3 from 2007 for ten years, rather than getting to use the latest Photoshop CC version all that time. How much is your time worth?

      In fact, the pricing is low enough on the CC Photography bundle that you’ve got longtime Adobe users calling it a “no-brainer”… like here:

      But when all is said and done, if you only use Photoshop and Lightroom, the Photography Plan is an unbelievable bargain. A total no-brainer, and I can’t, for the life of me, see why people grumble about it.

      Sorry Eric, but Adobe says it’s moving forward and not going to change the way things work. Creative Cloud has been a real success for them with very strong customer adoption, higher than they or most people ever expected – so the chances of them changing or going back to the old model are basically none.

  4. I am perfectly happy with the CS6 set of apps. The problem is that they will not run on the next generation Macintosh operating systems. As I do not expect my current machine to last forever, that means that I will be at the mercy of Adobe’s new model in order to continue using the apps I have been using since Illustrator and Photoshop versions 1.0.

    And before you iterate what a good deal it is, I believe that in the event that I no longer have access to the web, it will not seem so good a deal. As you may or may not be aware, the current government has every intention of stripping away internet equality. The price I pay today may make an additional $50-$75 a month seem like a “good deal”. The price I pay for web access tomorrow will undoubtedly cast a pall on this halcyon era. Adobe’s policy is not good for many of the people who have been responsible for her success. At $50 a month, that will be $3000 in 5 years, $6000 in 10 years, $9000 in 15 years providing Adobe never raises its prices and never goes out of business.

    I will most likely be forced into this unholy bargain but Adobe will have lost 30 years of goodwill for it. /

  5. @ProDesignTools

    I think you are missing the point a bit. It isn’t (for me anyway) the cost that is the issue. It is the principle. I have been supporting Adobe for decades and happily handed over the hundreds or thousands of dollars during that time.

    I understand the business reasons by Adobe made the switch to CC, but what I fail to understand is why that had to be done in the way it was done and at the expense of the more casual users.

    As a holder of perpetual licences, I had totally unfettered access to my software at all times, I had the freedom to choose whether and when to upgrade. I did not always need to be at the leading edge in terms of features etc. Adobe removed that freedom at a stroke. Any of your “casual user” CC plans all have strings attached.

    I know that cloud storage isn’t mandatory and that you can choose to not upgrade to the latest version of CC, but that removes immediately two of the “strengths” of the CC offering.

    Given that the CC software (as I understand it) runs locally in so far as you could use it without an internet connection – at least for a several-month period – it surely would have been possible to continue to offer perpetual licences for a product like Lightroom. For CC fans it is great, but for others, myself included; we want the freedom that perpetual licences allowed, back. It would be relatively easy money for Adobe. You don’t even have to ship anything. You don’t really have to have two versions either. CC users would get new features right away, perpetual people would have to wait until a new release when they would be able to decide if they wanted to update or not.

    Lightroom appeals to non-professional as well as professional photographers who have no need of the entire Adobe suite. I know that there is the Photography Plan, but to have the freedom previously available with perpetual licences, you basically have to sign up for life. No matter how you want to portray it, when you unsubscribe you lose part of what you paid for possibly for many years.

    I can go back and revisit any previous work I have done and modify it or completely redo it. I simply could not do that in a similar fashion if I was an unsubscribed CC user.

    Incidentally, when you talk about upgrades etc. it is worth pointing out that LR6 since it’s launch has not been upgraded at all. Bug fixes and new camera raw support do not count in my opinion. No new features have been added. Another attempt to bludgeon people into the CC program.

    As well as CS6 I also still have CS3 Design suite. Somewhat to my surprise, Photoshop CS3 runs quite happily under High Sierra. I don’t use it. But I could :-))


    • Mark, you mentioned about Lightroom 6 and no new features. But Adobe’s perpetual product have never introduced significant new features between major releases… So that is nothing new. In fact, it’s one huge reason why the company switched to a subscription-delivery model.

      For more details, see:

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

      Guys, this ship has sailed. Adobe is not going back and they’re not changing the model. Creative Cloud was launched six years ago this month – and the current offering still looks remarkably like it did back then at its introduction in November 2011. You have to hand it to the company for having a different vision and then following it through now with 30 million paid subscribers, despite skeptics. So if you’re still having this debate now, then we’re convinced it’s just barking at the moon and not going to accomplish anything.

      Some people are arguing that their overall cost of Adobe’s products may go up in the transition from perpetual licensing to subscription licensing. If that’s the point you want to make, then so be it. For others, it will go down (or already has).

      Adobe closed the last door to turning back last month when they stated there will not be a Lightroom 7 perpetual offering, as you referenced. It’s done.

      Finally, note that even after a subscription has lapsed, you can still start up Lightroom CC to access your catalog and have limited use – see:

      What Happens to Lightroom After My Membership Ends?

  6. Nor I you. But actions tend to have reactions. There may come a time when customer loyalty is an issue and Adobe may not have it. Good luck to you./

    • Not to worry, we won’t be holding our breath for Adobe to change the model either. There are millions of customers out there who are very happy with it, and more every day.

      As renowned illustrator Kyle T. Webster of KyleBrush said recently:

      “Many people I don’t think are aware that you can subscribe to Photoshop and Lightroom for $10 a month. That to me is an incredible opportunity because you know you pay more than that for Netflix and Netflix doesn’t make you any money – but Photoshop, if you’re a designer or illustrator, that software is making you many, many times more in your revenue stream.”

  7. @ProDesignTools
    For professional users CC is probably a no-brainer provided they fully understand the implications of unsubscribing.

    For non-professional users it is a different kettle of fish. A check in my local camera club which has about 90 members showed that a significant number of them use (and have been using for some time) Photoshop or Lightroom perpetual versions. Not a single one will consider switching to CC. Not one. When asked if they would buy a newer version of LR if it was available, the majority said “yes.”

    I have no way of knowing how members of other camera clubs view CC, but it is interesting that in ours there were no takers.

    • A similar survey was done at the MAX 2017 conference last month, which had record attendance and virtually the exact opposite results…

      Meaning, almost everyone was subscribed to a Creative Cloud plan of some form.

      The “sniff test” is that if it didn’t make sense for enough of their users, Adobe would never have changed the model and proceeded down this path… They’re not stupid as to create a product that nobody would buy. Clearly, many millions have. So arguing about people who don’t have it is not really going anywhere. This debate is over five years old, and it doesn’t make much sense to have it anymore.

  8. I use Illustrator, Photoshop, and Dreamweaver. No $10 a month there.
    There are apparently millions of customers who are very happy with Trump, too. Happiness has nothing to do with quality or fairness.

    • Um, OK. Beg to differ. Creative Cloud has several times as many customers than its predecessor (CS6) ever did. And that would have never happened if there weren’t quality (i.e., excellent tools) or fairness (e.g., budget-friendly pricing). In fact, the goal of affordable cost of entry has put Adobe’s creative tools in reach for many more people.

      But trying to somehow compare software to politicians is getting rather silly and off topic, so why don’t we leave it there.

  9. @ProDesignTools
    I’m based in France which possibly explains the difference in attitude.
    I quite agree that it doesn’t make sense to have this debate. TBH I’m not sure why this blog ever existed. With the roaring success of the CC model it wasn’t really necessary.

    It was fun though:-))

    Over and out

  10. “Roaring Success” for Adobe, not for the people who can’t afford monthly payments. It’s sad that you don’t even SEE WHY some people would have trouble paying for this monthly and even if they can afford it, perhaps all they want is to continue using the program as it was AND would be willing to pay for the technical upgrade to make old versions keep working. Personally, CS3 does all I need and I like it better than the newer designs which hog my screen space and don’t allow me to configure the interface elements as I want to configure them. There is so much extra stuff around my photos now, that it’s distracting. I used to be able to see only the image I was working on and the particular functions I was using for it. Now I am presented a plethora of features that I have no interest in using, nor, in many cases, knowledge of what they are, since Adobe does not follow the Mac system which allows me to choose if I want to see the name of an icon under it or just the icon. So I am criticizing both the Adobe financial model as well as their aesthetic one.

  11. Sorry – I meant Creative Cloud (current CC version applications) installed on a computer not/never attached to the internet. Is it possible? Other (more costly), more engineering related, applications (like AutoCAD) use a license software technology called FlexLM that passes a plain text but encoded ASCII file to the target computer that has a license expiration in the file. Why can’t Adobe do the same?

    • Yes, it is possible to install Creative Cloud applications on computers that are never connected to the Internet (in other words, with complete offline installation and operation) – but this is only available for Enterprise customers (e.g., government or military or business) via what’s called a “Serialized deployment“:

      Serial Number Licenses include offline activation files that allow the installation to operate in offline environments.

      Named Licenses require an Internet connection to license the logged-in user.

      “Named licenses” are what most of the world has, which use your email address as your login.

      However, even with the standard Creative Cloud subscriptions (meaning for Individuals or Students or Teams, rather than Enterprises), you can use the direct links to download standalone installers and then transfer & use them on another computer:

      Adobe CC 2018 Direct Download Links, for Windows and macOS

      Then, once installed and signed in, you should be able have that computer offline for up to 99 days + one month, for annual subscriptions:

      CC Internet Connectivity, Offline Grace Period, and Reminders

      Hope that helps.

  12. Hello, interesting debate above. Nevertheless, I have just received an enterprise install of Photoshop & PremierePro. And you are saying these types of installs are serialized. So therefore is it possible to un-install the third & unasked-for app CreativeCloud? I need nothing from it, nothing. Merely the two softwares above mentioned.
    thanks for any insight.

  13. Right now I’m paying $44 per month for what I think is almost the whole shebang but I don’t use a lot of the shebang. This Photo package (Photoshop, Lightroom, cloud storage and a Portfolio website) sounds like a good deal, but I also use InDesign. That’s about it.

    Can I do: $10 for Photo package plus $19 for Indesign, thereby saving about $15 per month? Does InDesign come with TypeKit?

  14. Old versions of Adobe software will never become obsolete? Why? Because you can and will be able to get emulators to run older versions of Windows at least on newer systems, allowing you to use the outdated versions on newer computers.

    Saying that people cannot afford CC is a bit silly. If they can’t, how would they be able to afford a much more expensive perpetual licence? Piracy, that is how. Adobe products are among the most pirated in the history of software, but the subscription model has actually allowed previous illegal customers who simply could not afford it to afford the small monthly fee.

    In terms of what you get, a CC subscription is amazing value for money, and there is no stopping anyone from keeping their old perpetual versions if they prefer. Why those who do whine can only be a sign of some kind of envy or misunderstanding what CC actually is. Several years on, you’d think that the whiners had stopped whining. Doesn’t seem that is the case yet.

  15. I haven’t used cc for a while, so was quite surprised when I went into my files to find 90% or more of my saves files marked as deleted? I can no longer access them and the only option I’m given is to ‘permanently delete’ them! Also for those files I have access to, I can only download single file and not batch download.

    Only problem may be that I’m now on Android.

    • Hey Jason, like many other websites, we’re official partners of Adobe – just like we’re partnered with numerous other companies… But we’re completely independent publishers, and nobody ever tells us what to say or write. Do you have a question, a correction, or anything substantive to offer regarding the actual content of article above? Thanks.

    • Sorry, not sure what you mean – as the article does exactly what it says, which is to address the most frequent misconceptions with facts and answers.

      And if you already knew everything on this page and didn’t learn anything at all from it, we’d be surprised.

  16. I buy software and if I feel the need to purchase later editions of the software, I do so. But if the software is sufficient, I don’t want to continue to pay a subscription every month. Adobe needs to be careful because I have found software that I purchase once that works just as good as many of their software products. People will wise up and stop paying these ongoing fees when they realize the updates and the new bells and whistles are ultimately superfluous. Take a look at Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word. I can’t think of one improvement over the past 10 years that would make me pay to update my 2007 version. Nothing.

  17. That’s fine, but I cannot afford to buy or learn how to use many of the Pro tools that Adobe makes.

    Thus, for the price of a single fast food burger meal, each month, (what a sacrifice?), I can use and learn the latest Photoshop, Lightroom, and a slightly different, special Lightroom, for phone and Tablet, on more than 1 device!!

    These also come with full-on, free Adobe tutorials, by the designers and teachers, which equal a college course, in using these products which are universally used in the business world!

    No Brainer! No contest, I’m IN!!


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