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

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Creative Cloud (CC) or Adobe CS6 – Which Should You Buy?

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

  1. I’ve worked with Adobe products for over 20 years, specifically Photoshop and Illustrator. There is no question that the software is outstanding.

    Over the years there have been a small handful of upgrades that have been useful for my needs. The latest version that I’ve worked on is CS2 and it does everything that I need. I’ve never reached a point where I felt like the software held me back. That being said, it doesn’t make sense for me to get a CC subscription with all the “latest and greatest” updates. However, it seems like a CC subscription is your only option if you plan on using Adobe software. I would very gladly purchase CS6, fully aware that there will be no upgrades/tech support/bug fixes, but it sounds like CS6 will not work with future OS upgrades rendering it obsolete. I completely get Adobe focusing on growth, and moving forward with new software and I know there is a massive market demand for it. I just wish OS upgrades didn’t kick earlier Adobe software to the curb.

    Reply
    • There’s no way around it Chris, because the previous CS programs were written long before the newer operating systems came out… Older system functions and APIs are often deprecated or become unsupported, especially on the Mac (which is notorious for suddenly dropping support in new OS versions).

      As for moving forward, there are countless new time-saving features and performance improvements added to later versions of CS and then now CC. For most professionals, it doesn’t make sense to use 5+ year old software when the latest products do so much more – and better/faster. Time is money, after all.

  2. Graphiste/maquettiste freelance je suis abonné à Créative Cloud annuel depuis 2014(59,99€/mois) après avoir abandonné CS2 à CS5 design Standard. CC est un coût un peu élevé pour n’utiliser que Photoshop/InDesign/illustrator/Acrobat – Une formule d’abonnement pour ce package n’existe pas, c’est bien dommage. Un grand nombre de freelance seraient sûrement intéressés par une telle formule normalement moins onéreuse. Mais le “business” passe par là ! pas le choix.

    Certes, d’après vos indications, adopter la formule CS6 Design Standard ne serait pas forcément plus intéressante.
    Votre étude comparative CC ou CS6 est intéressante et m’incite à poursuivre mon abonnement à CC et à “ramer” pour chaque mises à jour du fait de ma situation dans un pays ou mon débit internet n’est que de 4MO !

    Reply
    • Hi Michael, you can still download the CS6 Master Collection from the old direct download links here, but that is the free trial version and after 30 days will request the serial number or license key…

      However, Adobe stopped selling Creative Suite 6 standalone on their website last year… The reason is because CS6 is almost 5 years old now (from spring 2012) and increasingly unsupported; they stopped releasing updates for it last summer as the newer CC rapidly grew and took over.

      With the CS6 software EOL and end of support, there are no updates, no bug fixes, and no guarantees it will run on the latest or future operating systems. So at this point we’ve stopped recommending it as a good or viable option going forward.

      So really the only path forward for Adobe is CC, which are considered better tools anyway, or downgrade that to use CS6 instead – because Creative Cloud subscribers can choose either or both versions.

      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.

  3. @ProDesignTools

    Just thought I’d chime in here from my perch in the future. It’s obvious that many Adobe customers weren’t drinking the Kool Aid. Too bad the “professionals” we rely on to give us good advice tend to be so myopic.

    Reply
    • Snarky! At the time we wrote that, Adobe said they would continue to develop and sell CS products… That was in January 2012, which was well over a year before the CS product line stopped and the first release of CC came out.

      Here is what Adobe said publicly at the time (in early 2012, when CS5.5 was still the current version):

      Is Creative Cloud a replacement for Adobe’s traditional Creative Suite products?

      Adobe believes that Creative Cloud is a better way to get your desktop tools because you get access to the latest updates and features as soon as they’re available, plus services that tie the new publishing workflows together. Adobe will continue to develop and sell individual CS products — with new releases planned in 2012 — and customers can purchase them through the Adobe online stores and select retail establishments.

      Customers opting to subscribe to Creative Cloud will receive additional benefits with their membership compared to traditional desktop software purchases. You’ll not only get all your favorite traditional CS tools, but also new features, products, and services as soon as Adobe releases them. Rather than wait 12, 18, or 24 months for the latest advancements from Adobe, you can access and use new releases the minute they are available.

      Adobe then released CS6 in May 2012 and continued to update it until 2015 – and in fact continued to sell CS6 until last month:

      Update: You Can No Longer Buy CS6 from Adobe – Here’s Why

      As for “Kool-Aid,” arguably the adoption of Creative Cloud has been very strong, surprising skeptics and even the company itself… Many millions of customers have already signed on, and the subscriber numbers continue to grow rapidly.

  4. Like Chris, I am so happy with CS2, and am really distressed that I have to change everything just to continue to use this one program when I upgrade my computer, which is dying. Does anyone have any suggestions for s/w that does the basic things CS2 does but will function on Win10? I really resent paying for the rest of my life to use a piece of software. I’m not a super-techie and just need the basic layout things that CS2 does.

    Reply
  5. I really, really hate the very idea of CC. (I also hate the fact that MS Office is doing the same thing. ) I don’t want to work in the cloud. I like to have my stuff on my computer, personal and private and no one else having access to it unless I show it to them.

    I get it that they need continuing income, but I detest the idea that Adobe or any other company would have access to my work and my work flow (research to make it better and no personal id and fuagh, faugh, faugh -yeah right) just because I want to use their product. It is also not a savings to me, because the cost of the CC access over a year is as much as one would pay for the program. And you have to keep paying it over and over. And if you stop, then you don’t have anything. It’s like renting a house rather than buying one. Yes, you get to live there, but you don’t build any equity and the landlord can kick you out if they take a dislike to you.

    At least if I have a stand alone program, it’s a one time cost and I have it forever. Something of value.
    I am not working on anything untoward, I just value my privacy. The idea that my work, if not saved in a way that is probably more inconvenient than just storing it in their cloud will become inaccessible to me if I miss a payment or choose to stop the service altogether is also distasteful and smacks of blackmail and that rankles.

    All that said, it’s Adobe’s business and they can do what they want with it. I just hope someone decides to re-invent the wheel on this one and give back our privacy. In the meantime, I will continue to look for ways to get CS6 that do not require sharing my digital life with adobe or paying them ransom in perpetuity.

    Reply
  6. @Call Me Mom

    Your work, the software, and everything you do remains as it was under CS6, installed on your computer and private. The only tangible difference is that in CC the software is paid as a subscription. It will connect with the cloud from time to time to verify your license is up to date. The advantages are plenty, the sole objection being the product will eventually cost more than if you had bought the stand-alone product.

    Reply
    • Right. The first part is definitely true. There are some included Cloud services you can use (like CC Libraries for easy asset sharing, or Typekit for free fonts, or Adobe Portfolio for building your own website), but they are not required – and the CC desktop software like Photoshop will work and run without them.

      As for the cost of subscription vs. perpetual, it depends on how long you need the tools, as well as the upfront price, plus cost of regular upgrades… Many users of the Adobe Photography Plan find that CC subscription is significantly less expensive than standalone, especially for customers who would normally upgrade every 1-2 releases. (All ongoing updates and upgrades are included with Creative Cloud at no additional cost.)

      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.

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