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Adobe Buying Guide: Creative Cloud (CC) or CS6 - Which to Get?

[UPDATE (Jan. 2017) – Adobe just stopped selling CS6 entirely – here’s why.]

When Creative Suite 6 arrived in 2012, there came with it a new way to buy Adobe software that the world had not seen before: the Creative Cloud.  Traditionally, most Adobe products had only been sold with “perpetual” licensing that doesn’t expire. The flip side is that these best-in-class tools often come with a steep price tag that is out of reach for many folks – though there have always been substantial discounts when upgrading from recent older releases, plus much lower pricing for some market segments like students and teachers

Trying to Decide Between? Read the Reviews Creative Cloud Has Been Getting from Customers

When Creative Cloud first entered the scene, there was (and still is) some uncertainty about what it meant and where it was going… But despite that skepticism, the Cloud has since gained strong adoption to become the company’s dominant product line with most customers choosing it over CS6, which Adobe still continues to sell for people who want it.  With Creative Cloud you receive the newer “CC” release that succeeds CS6 as the latest and greatest toolset, and generally gets high ratings from users.

Related: Compare Features – What’s New in Adobe CC vs. CS6?

Adobe CC is available only via a subscription model which, yes, is cloud-based in some ways – but the name has been called confusing and misconceptions abound because in fact the major applications are not online or web-based, but still run locally on your computer as before.  What’s more, the company has been clear that powerful tools like Photoshop may add some online capabilities but will never run completely in the cloud.

So at its core, this is primarily a different way of buying and using all the Adobe products you know and love (plus more). Creative Cloud membership is served as an “all-you-can-eat buffet” of the best software out there for any creative purpose, for one affordable monthly price ($29-$49/month standard in the US). The central premise is you can continue to use the same applications and services you always have – plus many more available at your disposal – with a term-based membership that includes ongoing product upgrades and new feature additions over the period.

What’s in Creative Cloud?

Creative Cloud Is Growing Fast – How Many Millions of Paid Subscribers?

Creative Cloud contains new CC versions of all applications that were part of Creative Suite 6 (effectively the entire Master Collection), as well as others like Lightroom, Adobe Muse, Adobe Edge, plus a host of professional publishing services for getting your work out there.  As noted, most of these components do not run over the network – they download and install on your system desktop just like normal, and only need to be connected to the Internet once every 99 days for annual membership revalidation.

That said, however, there is an online collaborative Cloud component envelop­ing it all which allows easy web-based file storage, sharing, browsing, and syncing between computers and devices. For those who don’t have a paid subscription, there is a free level of Creative Cloud membership that provides the same commu­nity features but with 2GB of free storage instead of 20GB… The best part about this cloud storage is that your colleagues or clients do not need to have any of the actual Adobe tools installed to view or comment on the files you upload.

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

CC or CS6 – Which Is Right for You?

So there have been a lot of changes in recent years – and with all these developments in mind, how do you decide which one to buy?  The answer depends to a large extent on how you use the software, with these questions to ask:

  • How long will you be using the products?
  • How frequently do you usually [like to] upgrade?
  • Which Adobe programs do you want or need to use now?
  • Which tools would you like to expand to using in the future?
  • How nice is it to always have the latest releases and best features?
  • Do you own a prior product you can upgrade from, or would you buy full?
  • What will your regular annual costs be when comparing the two different options?
  • How important is it for the software that you use to be supported long into the future?

Before we get to some cost comparisons, it’s important to note that it’s not just about price. Adobe says they are supporting CS6 on the current releases of Windows and Mac OS, but do not have plans to support it on the next releases coming out from Microsoft and Apple… In other words, within less than a year it’s likely that CS6 will not be supported to run on newer operating systems. By contrast, Creative Cloud is a service as much as a product and will always be supported and updated for the latest platforms, devices, and technologies.

See Hundreds of Customer Ratings & Reviews for Adobe CC

The cost of Creative Cloud is $US49.99/month for a yearly plan, or $74.99 when purchased month-to-month with the ability to turn it on and off as needed. It’s $29.99 per month for the first year for those upgrading from a prior Creative Suite product with Adobe’s introductory offer, and $19.99/month for current students and teachers. Doing the math that’s about $600/year for regular customers, $360 for CS upgraders, and $240 for education customers… In sum it’s around $1-$2 a day. So when you look at these plans versus the tradi­tional CS6 price sheet or the cost of upgrading your current tools, which is more attractive?

Well, if you’re a solid user of Creative Suite and a happy upgrader, then the Creative Cloud could be a good deal for you. The CS6 Master suite, for example, sells for $2,600 full, or $1,050 to upgrade from CS5 – and that is for an older static version that will never evolve or improve.  So paying $1,200 spread over two years for CC (and $240 less for upgraders) could work out well considering that all upgrades and future support are included, and you can run the latest releases of all the top tools Adobe makes.

Or as Bloomberg Businessweek says, “One benefit is not having to lay out $2,500 every few years. It would take more than four years of monthly $50 subscription fees to reach the cost of an all-at-once software purchase, and the programs will always be up to date.”

But what if you don’t want the complete package? If you only use Photoshop (normally US$700-$1000 full, $200 upgrade) and Lightroom ($150 full, $80 upgrade) and don’t see yourself ever growing into other tools like Illustrator, Premiere Pro, Muse, or Acrobat, then there’s another choice: the new Photoshop Photography Bundle which includes both PS + LR for US$9.99 a month.  And if you need any other single standalone application (like, say, After Effects CC), then see the next section below for a final possibility.

The Creative Cloud FAQ: See Your Top 90 Burning Questions Answered

It goes without saying that the Cloud option is absolutely ideal for situa­tional and tempo­rary needs like project-based work, contract employment, freelancing, and so on – you only pay when you need it. It’s even possible to start out with a month-to-month membership if you want to see how you like it, after your 30-day free trial is up.

Single-App Membership – The Lesser-Known Option

If the complete Creative Cloud is too much, there’s an additional choice that many people aren’t aware of – Adobe also offers subscriptions for just a single tool like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat Pro, Premiere, and others for only $14-$19/month, and that low pricing is available to everybody… The sign-up and download is all online so you can get going right away – and all upgrades are included, so you’re always running the latest version.

Any of the new CC tools are available on an annual as well as month-to-month basis (start-and-stop) in all languages for both Windows and Mac together, so pretty flexible. And if you happen to decide later that you want to upgrade to the complete Creative Cloud package to access all applications (at any time), then Adobe will credit back your account for the remaining amount due on your existing membership.

So when you compare that pricing of $19/month versus $1,000 to buy (say) After Effects CS6, it’s definitely worth considering – and you’ll find all the details here:

  » Don’t Need the Full Cloud? Get Any Adobe Product for $9-$19 a Month

Creative Cloud vs. Creative Suite 6 – Pros & Cons

For a complete side-by-side analysis, check out our detailed Adobe CC vs. CS6 Comparison Chart with all the pros and cons to consider for each option.

Do you have any further questions about the comparison or your decision?  Just ask them below and we’ll get you answers fast!

See Also

Get the New Creative Cloud 2021 Direct Download Links

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295 thoughts on “Adobe Buying Guide: Creative Cloud (CC) or CS6 - Which to Get?”

  1. I am not currently working and have been placing applications everywhere. I am using CS5 and will continue until I can no longer make it work. When I buy your software I use it until the wheels fall off.

    I am not happy about paying a monthly fee and and will not go on this program. When I can no longer use your products I will definitely look for alternatives and keep my money in my pocket and not yours.

    Sincerely,
    Rick Vaughn

    Reply
    • Hi Rick, thanks for your thoughts. As mentioned in the customer examples in the article, the Creative Cloud is not for everyone and your mileage may vary… But it is a new option – and an important one that will make Adobe software more affordable and accessible for a broad variety of customers.

      If you prefer owning your products permanently and using them forever, that is certainly still offered. If you upgrade infrequently, then you might weigh the productivity gains from upgrading more often the regular way, or from getting upgrades free with Cloud membership.

      Bottom line, it depends on your individual situation and product usage profile. Since both buying options remain (Creative Cloud vs. traditional), this offers more choice for all – and you simply can do a little math to see which works out best for you given your product(s), upgrade habits, term of use, growth desires, and so on.

      On the whole, the availability of the Cloud is additive, not subtractive.

  2. RICK VAUGHN : I am not currently working and have been placing applications everywhere. I am using CS5 and will continue until I can no longer make it work. When I buy your software I use it until the wheels fall off.

    I am not happy about paying a monthly fee and and will not go on this program. When I can no longer use your products I will definitely look for alternatives and keep my money in my pocket and not yours.

    Sincerely,
    Rick Vaughn

    I agree with this 100%. Also, if you stop paying the monthly fee, Adobe will cut you off and you are left with no software. With the traditional license, you can keep using the software for many years. I know people that are still using Photoshop CS3 with no problems and are happy with it (and no EXTRA payments).

    Reply
    • Hey there Willie, it is true that if your membership stops, then your access to the programs will cease as well… However, on the flip side you can pay only $30-$50 per month for full use of all the latest top Adobe products and services (the $2,599 CS6 Master Collection plus more) with no upfront cost.

      Which choice is right for you will depend on your individual needs and user profile, and determining your best option is exactly the focus of this article… There is no single answer, but more possibilities now. Thanks for your feedback.

  3. Yes, but not everyone needs to use all the apps. It can be overkill. Also, the folks that already have any of the suites are at a disadvantage. The cloud is not for everyone.

    The people that want TEMPORARY access to the apps will be fine and TEMPORARILY benefit from it (until they decide not to pay or can’t justify the payments for one reason or another), but for the rest of us is not such a good deal to get into a payment plan.

    I can’t begin to tell you how many people in the business that are not and will never consider cloud payments. A lot of unhappy people out there. Again, some people may benefit and some people won’t. But for what I have experienced after talking to a lot of people, the cloud is not the way to go.

    Good luck with it.

    Reply
    • That’s interesting that you’ve encountered a lot of unhappy people… Curious why that was the case – did those folks not realize they could still purchase all the same products the traditional (permanent) way? As discussed above, the Creative Cloud is an additional option – but not a requirement.

      And you’re right it’s not for everyone, as we outlined in the article’s example of someone who just uses one or two applications and doesn’t wish to upgrade regularly. But for customers who would like ongoing broad access to the latest and most productive tools, the math is more attractive.

      Would love to hear more on why the people you’ve talked to are unhappy about it… or perhaps it’s Adobe’s recent change in upgrade policy that they’re less happy about?

  4. Let me explain and clarify…

    I did not mean to say that they were unhappy with the traditional license. This we want always.
    We are not happy with the direction Adobe is going with renting software for a monthly fee.

    We all see this as an attempt from Adobe to make this a permanent way to deliver software, which we all do not want. This is what people I have talked to, including myself, don’t want to happen. This is not the way A LOT OF PEOPLE want to purchase software.

    However, if Adobe’s intention is to try to push people into cloud subscriptions (either thru favoritism to cloud subscribers or any other way), then we are gone and look somewhere else. If Adobe keeps the traditional license going, we will still be fans and continue to use the products.

    I can see Adobe keeping both options open and while being fair to everyone. Some people will benefit from one and some from the other. That’s fine by me. As long as people on the cloud understand the terms and like making monthly payments and are OK with the plug being pilled if they stop monthly payments, more power to them. As long as they are happy, that’s what counts. But myself, including many others, will always prefer the traditional route.

    Sorry for the misunderstanding. I hope this clarifies what I was explaining.

    Reply
    • Thank you for clarifying Willie – that helps more in explaining your previous comments. So what you’re saying is you don’t have a strong objection to it now, but could in the future if the Creative Cloud became the only option – because you will always want to buy the perpetual products instead.

      Hey, that’s fair enough – but from everything we’ve heard, Adobe has no plans to stop selling or ‘phase out’ the permanent versions – for exactly the reason that there will always be people like you… See:

      Is Creative Cloud a replacement for Adobe’s traditional creative products and suite editions?

      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

  5. I have to say, I’m with Willie on this one. I can see the attraction to having access to all those programs especially if you’ve got a hefty income and tons of time on your hands. But $50 a month is pretty steep… (which you’ll be paying after the $30/mo deal is done). I find it disheartening that in this crappy economy, Adobe is finding another way to sock it to people who are most likely artists and creative sorts… We’re getting paid less these days, believe me, we are… and now have to pay more and more for our tools!? Apple’s not doing us any favors either by the way…..

    Rumor is that once CS7 comes out, it’ll be available only on Cloud. If that’s not true, someone needs to squash that rumor soon!

    Reply
    • Where did you hear that Susan? We haven’t heard that rumor – and we’re very close to Adobe… CS6.5 will be due out in mid-2013 and CS7 a year later in 2014 – and we highly doubt Adobe would switch over to a Creative Cloud-only model so soon, if at all. There remain many people such as yourself and Willie who want to purchase under the traditional model, and as you read on the FAQ page linked just above, Adobe has said they will continue to develop and sell individual CS products.

      On paying more for your tools – not sure how you would be, because you now have more choices, not fewer. And if you do the math, for many customers who use multiple products, paying $50/month for four years still comes out less expensive than the $2,600 Master Collection bought once – and over those four years, all future upgrades would be included with membership: CS6.5, CS7, CS7.5, and CS8. Yes, at the end of the term you don’t own the software outright, but again the Creative Cloud adds a new option that wasn’t there before, at a lower price point and no upfront cost that can be attractive especially for first-time customers.

  6. Thanks for this article.
    I am curious about whether or not the subscription would work like an extended payment plan, but I couldn’t find anything about it.

    For example: After paying for the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription for the one-year plan, would it then qualify as a Full-License purchase, or at least a credit towards one?

    I can’t find any mention of this on Adobe’s site (probably because it’s not an option), but it would be great if the paid monthly fee can be applied to a software purchase at a future date. I wonder if Adobe is considering this option at some point?

    Let’s say you sign up for a year’s commitment at $30 per month for students. In a year, you’ve spent $360 “renting” the software. If you then decide purchase the license for a similar software package (CS6 pricing for Design & Web Premium = $450 for a full education license), the $360 you’ve already spent could go towards that purchase.

    As a student this idea is more palatable to me, as it would make it easier to afford in the long term.

    Reply
    • It’s an interesting idea, but no – the Creative Cloud is definitely not a “rent-to-own” type of plan…

      It’s renting, but if/when you stop paying the monthly fee, then you don’t own the CC software – and are no longer able to use it, most of the tools stop working.

      Upon cancellation, your account would be downgraded to the free level of Creative Cloud:

      What’s Included with Your Free Creative Cloud Membership

      Essentially Adobe is offering the option of a different model with its own pros and cons: the upfront cost of the Cloud is zero, and you get access to an impressive line-up of applications with all upgrades included, but it’s a subscription so your access stops if your monthly payment does.

      Bottom line, it works sort of like your residence does: you can either own it or rent it. If you own your home then you pay a large amount up front and are responsible for any upgrades yourself, but it’s yours and you own it forever with full control. If you rent your house, then you pay a much lower amount regularly and someone else takes care of all the maintenance for you, but you can only use it only so long as you keep sending the rent.

      And just like in real estate, there are plenty of folks doing both – because neither way is right or works for everyone… So having the choice is good, because the market is opened and expanded for more people to participate… In the U.S., about two-thirds of people own their home, while one-third rents.

      Ultimately, which option you go with depends on what your particular needs and desires are, what your overall costs look like both ways, and which you personally prefer.

      Thanks for your question!

  7. I was thrilled to discover the Cloud option. I had CS on my work computer and did some work for a small non-profit (with my employer’s blessing.) After the company downsized and I was laid off, I no longer had access to Creatve Suites and thus could not open or work with any of the files for the non-profit. As I am looking for a job, buying CS is out of the question. The small monthly fee, however, is perfect until I find another job and have the software through my employer.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing your story Sue… Yes, in a case like that the Cloud can be a great solution. With the month-to-month plan, you can even turn it on and off as necessary – so it definitely provides flexibility and a price point that were previously unavailable.

      We wish you best of luck in your job search! In the meantime, be sure to take advantage of Adobe’s offer of a free copy of Flash Builder (permanent) for students and unemployed people.

    • Hi Jamey, just like with the regular student editions, you have to prove your eligibility at the time of purchase. There is a difference after that point though.

      With the Creative Cloud for students & teachers, you have to revalidate your status at each annual renewal to retain the lower $29.99/month pricing. The contrasts with the traditional education versions, where you own them forever with no further validation after the initial confirmation.

      Your upfront cost will be higher with the perpetual licenses naturally, even after discounting up to 80% off the standard pricing. There are some other limitations with the perpetual licenses that you should be aware of as well.

      Bottom line, it again comes down to what your products needs are, what your purchase habits are likely to be, and comparing the cost of the two options over the long term.

  8. Do you get to choose when you do the cloud upgrades? For example if you are running an OS or hardware or a version of Suitcase that isn’t up to the task, or if you are in the middle of some huge project and you don’t have time for the learning curve of an upgrade, can you hold off until you are ready (even if it is six months later, which is often how long the upgrade-in-a-box sits on my desk)? And if you load it, and squirrelly things start happening, can you immediately go back to the previous version to get your work done until you have time to troubleshoot the problems?

    Second question: if I purchase a license-in-a-box option now, is moving to the cloud always going to be an option for me in the future (as opposed to the reverse, when a move to the cloud has you on the cloud from this point forward…)? Will there be a financial penalty to move to the cloud for version CS7 or CS8 instead of now, for example?

    Reply
    • Really great questions Julie. Typically Creative Suite releases allow you to install them side-by-side, rather than one on top of older versions. This goes for both the standard CS6 as well as the Creative Cloud.

      But still you may not have time to upgrade as you mentioned, or want to remain on the same version for consistency and format reasons (commonly an issue with InDesign). If you check the extensive Creative Cloud FAQ, Adobe says you can continue using the prior release for up to a year.

      On your second question, we can’t say what Adobe’s policies will be going forward, but currently there is no path to move back to a new perpetual license from the Creative Cloud as you point out – in other words, there is no discount on the permanent release or credit for what you’ve paid in total membership fees.

      Going the other way – from boxed software to the Creative Cloud – Adobe is currently running some specials to reduce the monthly rate for your first year of membership, and it’s anybody’s guess what they’ll do in the future.

      Hope this helps!

  9. I think the Software for rent model is great concept. For us, a studio with multiple CS 5.5 licenses it is a huge cash flow drain when we have to upgrade all those licenses. We can manage cash flow better as we know we have a fixed monthly software expense. Also when we hire new team members it is a huge saving by adding a new subscription vs shelling out $2,600 for the Master Edition.

    I do think the Creative Cloud name is a bit cloudy. There is a perception that it is SAAS and it is not – you can store projects in your cloud account though – you still install the software on your computer.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts Marcel, and we agree that the Cloud provides some new interesting options and flexibility. And as commented above, it’s a bit like the choice between owning vs. renting your home.

      You’re right that the “Cloud” name can be confusing though, as all of the standard CS6 applications will still run locally on your desktop… The Creative Cloud does offer storage, sharing, syncing, and other online services, but at this point it is more a different way to pay for the same programs as before.

      It can be especially helpful for temporary or changing needs in a business as you mention. On that note, stay tuned for Adobe’s Creative Cloud Team product coming out soon for volume licensing with multiple users and flexible seats.

  10. If I decide to sign up for the Cloud membership with the discount (I own CS3 Design Premium today), and in a year decide that I want to go back to buying the traditional licensing way, am I then eligible for a discount when upgrading?

    I ask because I am trying to decide if I should upgrade to traditionally licensed CS6 Design & Web Premium, or try the Cloud. Since my last chance to upgrade with a discount from CS3 expires Dec. 31st, it’s a big deal for me if I have to pay the full price for the bundle anyway if I decide to go back later…

    Reply
  11. @ Sue

    Sue – sorry for butting in, but if you’re using Adobe for non-profit work, please check out TechSoup.org – they are an organization that has non-profit licenses donated by software companies such as Microsoft and Adobe to resell their products at an affordable price for qualified non-profits. Our United Way organization was able to get several Adobe Creative products (current versions) for less than $50. It has been a useful resource for other non-profits I work with as well.

    Reply
    • Yes indeed, that is legitimate case where libraries and non-profit organizations can really get a break on acquiring Adobe software. Thanks for the mention there Christie!

  12. Adobe is playing a very dangerous game, alienating its long-time customers by offering certain functionality only to cloud subscribers. This arrogance and lack of appreciation toward the customers who have helped a company grow is, sadly, all too common in today’s business climate. After being a loyal Adobe fan for over 15 years, it is time to start searching for alternatives. I will not be upgrading my CS5.5, nor enrolling in your software rental scam.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your thoughts Kip. Every so often we read comments like yours and wonder where is the harm done. Adobe continues its perpetual licensing as before, it’s just they now offer a rental option in addition to the buying option that’s always been there.

      If you prefer owning your software license outright, as it seems you (and plenty of others) do, then it’s no problem, you can continue to do that – and these new mid-release features will simply come in your next major version of Creative Suite, just as they always have. Adobe has said this.

      So really, customers now have more choice, not less… Just like buying a house is expensive and not for everybody, and renting your home is the worthy alternative. The costs and barriers to entry here are lowered, and more people can now use Adobe’s best-of-breed professional tools. Where’s the scam?

  13. ProDesignTools :Hi Rick, thanks for your thoughts. As mentioned in the customer examples in the article, the Creative Cloud is not for everyone and your mileage may vary… But it is a new option – and an important one that will make Adobe software more affordable and accessible for a broad variety of customers.

    If you prefer owning your products permanently and using them forever, that is certainly still offered. If you upgrade infrequently, then you might weigh the productivity gains from upgrading more often the regular way, or from getting upgrades free with Cloud membership.

    Bottom line, it depends on your individual situation and product usage profile. Since both buying options remain (Creative Cloud vs. traditional), this offers more choice for all – and you simply can do a little math to see which works out best for you given your product(s), upgrade habits, term of use, growth desires, and so on.On the whole, the availability of the Cloud is additive, not subtractive.

    I appreciate the comment, but this is not true.

    If Adobe is alienating its long-time customers by offering certain functionality only to Cloud subscribers, we are not getting more choices, we are getting LESS. The only reason Adobe gives priority to cloud subscribers is because Adobe wants everyone on subscriptions. It means more money for Adobe and the shareholders. Is that simple. It’s not more choices for everyone, but only the people that fall into the subscription trap. Whatever happen to the Adobe that cares and treats everyone the same?

    Reply
    • Hello again Willie, please see the previous reply. If you hold a permanent license for CS5, CS5.5, or CS6, your choices are the same as always – they simply have not been diminished. You can keep what you have forever, or decide to upgrade to a future major release like CS6.5 or CS7 when they come out. What you purchased will continue to work the same as it did the day you bought it, just like in the past.

      Just because someone who rents receives different benefits (and tradeoffs) than someone who owns, doesn’t mean less choice for the owners. There’s a place and importance for both – pros and cons, and different strengths to each model.

      Lastly, the reason Adobe can offer mid-cycle feature upgrades to subscription customers and not to perpetual customers is actually because of something more fundamental: Sarbanes-Oxley accounting rules. But the company has not been very clear in explaining this well to customers, unfortunately. We’re working on a new post to try to bring it to better light, because some folks see it as unfair whereas it’s really a question of U.S. financial regulations.

  14. ProDesignTools :If you hold a permanent license for CS5, CS5.5, or CS6, your choices are the same as always – they simply have not been diminished. You can keep what you have forever, or decide to upgrade to a future major release like CS6.5 or CS7 when they come out. What you purchased will continue to work the same as it did the day you bought it, just like in the past.

    However, Adobe WILL force customers to upgrade more frequently, or lose the benefit of discounts on upgrades. I find it very hard to see this as anything other than an effort to get more money off their customers.
    Disappointing, and arrogant in my opinion.

    Reply
    • Yes, it’s true that Adobe will be reducing the number of major versions back that are upgradeable. However on the flip side, they are balancing it somewhat by spacing out the release schedule with major (“milestone”) versions coming once every two years instead of 18 months. So this means that anyone who upgrades to CS6 today has up until 2016 (just before CS8 comes out) to consider upgrading again (to CS7 or CS7.5).

      Obviously that’s not as flexible as the current setup which allows upgrades from up to three full versions back. But arguably that has been a generous policy when compared to virtually every other major software company out there (Microsoft, Corel, Quark, etc). Those manufacturers are not going to give upgrade discounts from a product that is 5 or 6 years old.

      So while we wish it weren’t changing and understandably there are customers who feel disappointed, the new plan is really not out of line with peers in the software industry today.

  15. I’m sorry, but I find that a horrifically bad answer. I pay about $40 a year to keep my Symantec product (Norton Internet Security) up to date with the latest version at all times. If I was to buy the same product with no discount, it would cost $80. The full version of CS6 Design & Web Premium costs $1.899. How on earth do you compare those?? I’m not sure which Microsoft products you are referring to, but neither operating system or for example Office products come anywhere near the prices that Adobe have on their software. So comparing those is just not realistic.

    Reply
    • We’re simply pointing out that if you wanted to upgrade your old copy of Office 2003 then Microsoft wouldn’t offer any discount. In fact, you can’t even get lower upgrade pricing from one version back (Office 2007)! Microsoft, the world’s largest software company, has a much more restrictive upgrade policy (i.e., none) – full price is the only option.

      Note that in Adobe’s consumer-oriented Elements line of software, you can still get upgrade discounts to PSE 11 from all the way back to Photoshop Elements version 1 (circa 2001). The distinction here is in Adobe’s Creative Suite profes­sional products, where yes the pricing is at a different level.

  16. Researching the new option I see references to “low” monthly fees for the software… to me it’s not “low” at all. It’s a lot. The tools are good, I respect that. But I’m not working either, and I use Adobe to make art. The pricing only works for people profiting from the software. Cost just too high.

    Reply
  17. The problem here (besides the cloud model leaving you with nothing) is that Adobe is keeping the latest tech from their suite owners. I.e., the CS6 MASTER COLLECTION is no longer the master collection because it doesn’t include Muse, Edge and the other new offerings (it should, as well as Web Premium). Now it’s the ALMOST master collection.

    Being the owner a small business and of several CS5.5 MC seats I don’t have a problem with upgrading or a subscription. The problem here is Adobe doesn’t have a subscription model that works for current CS owners that lets them continue to be license owners. Consider the subscription model used for owners by Autodesk for their 3Dmax software…

    We bought (OWN) 3 seats of max which are ours to use as long as we can use them to do what we need, just like buying a seat of say “CS6 master collection.” Each year we also pay approx. $500 “subscription” fee per seat for which we get ALL updates and ALL new features as they are developed as well as any dot or new full releases upgrades as they become available. This “subscription” renews every year. We found that this model works very well for us because we know exactly what our software cost will be for the year and can budget accordingly. So you say well isn’t that the same thing that you get with a “Creative Cloud” subscription?? No it’s not. The major and most important difference here is the security of ownership and retained value in what we purchased to being with. With 3Dmax, we “invested” in the software seat purchase upfront and we pay for a yearly subscription to keep it up to date, but if at any time, for any reason we decide to stop the subscription what we have to that date will continue to work for as long as we can keep the supported OS working, i.e. it’s our to use as long as we want. This is a very very important feature for a small business person or freelancer. We all know that the tide can swing fast in this business and if you happened to be a current “Creative Cloud” subscriber and you stop your subscription for ANY reason you are DOA, Out Of Business.

    So as Suite owners where does that leave us if we are enticed into the “Cloud” model. Well since the majority of Adobe apps project files are NOT backwards compatible then after a year or two of development cycles spent floating in the “cloud” our investment in suite seats is worth $0! Think about it.

    All the features, updates, and advances offered to “Cloud” ONLY subscribers should be offered to Suite seat owners for the same price. The main difference being once our updates/upgrades etc are downloaded and installed they become part of our suite that we own. We paid for the suite and we will be paying for the updates/upgrades through the subscription, just as if we waited and paid for an “upgrade” so they are ours to use as long as we want. Adobe gets their money (which regardless of what they tell you IS what the Cloud thing is really all about) and suite owner retain value and security in their investment.

    Adobe, it’s the small business and freelancers that have PURCHASED your products over the years that have help get you where you are. Don’t abandon us.

    Joel

    Reply
    • Hi Joel, thanks for sharing your thoughts. You may not have been aware, but Adobe actually does offer something similar to what you describe for their perpetual software products – it’s called the Upgrade Plan… It’s been available for some time for their business/volume licenses.

      Alternatively, even without using the Upgrade Plan, it already works very similarly for permanent license holders… Each year Adobe will be releasing a new version of the Creative Suite software (for example, CS6.5 or CS7), and each year you’ll get the chance to buy an upgrade that includes all the new features and improvements. For example, in 2012 Adobe released CS6, which was an upgrade to CS5.5 that came out in 2011. For owners of CS5.5 Master Collection, you can upgrade the whole product for US$525. So basically that is ~$500/year to achieve the same goal – only it is optional and you get to see what the new product looks like before making the decision, versus having to decide and pay in advance with your Autodesk tools. But in both cases you continue fully owning the latest versions of the software.

      For more on the rest, see:

      Why Creative Cloud Gets Exclusive Features that Adobe CS6 Doesn’t

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