Thoughts on the Creative Cloud

Last week, Adobe announced their new approach to Creative Suite 6 software licensing, the Creative Cloud, which should be available in early June. This subscription-based ‘digital hub’ will provided the ability to download and install any application in Adobe’s CS6 “Master Collection” and use it offline…as long as you remain subscribed.
While the subscription model isn’t new, the tie in to a ‘cloud’ system is, which has a great aspect – application updates can be faster and more seamless – and a not-so-great aspect – you are tied even more tightly to your internet connection (though you don’t have to be online to use the applications, but surely they will ‘check in’ on occasion and likely complain if they can’t).
The pricing does not seem unreasonable, but that may be a point of perspective and there are several options. Adobe’s Master Collection traditionally retails for about $2600. The Creative Cloud subscription, giving you access to the same suite of tools, generally ranges from $50 to $75 per month, depending on whether you want to go annual or month-to-month. Adobe is also offering a $20/month discount for current licensees of CS 3 through CS 5.5, which is quite a deal for at least the first year.
As a promotional bit, Adobe is including two ‘HTML 5’ tools, Muse and Edge (preview), only through the Creative Cloud subscription (note that Edge will not work on Windows OS earlier than 7). You also get 20gb of online storage space, which isn’t an awful lot when working with digital media…but you’re not limited to that. You can certainly save your work and files on your current workstation or network…consider that 20gb of storage more as a backup service perhaps. Adobe’s ‘Touch Apps’ are also included in the subscription.
Some may like this new model and some may not. For those not so enthused, Adobe says,
“We certainly do not expect everyone to choose Creative Cloud. Customers can still purchase Creative Suite, as they have done in the past…It will become quickly apparent — via the continued addition of new products, services, and capabilities — that Creative Cloud is the best long-term choice for customers.” – CNET
We here at ICS Learning Group, being longtime users of Adobe software, will evaluate which model makes the most sense for us. We’d love to read what you think – comment below! But overall, perhaps the most encouraging takeaway from the Creative Cloud/CS6 announcement is Adobe’s continued commitment to Flash alternatives. We love Flash, but we use other tools too, and seeing what the new Dreamweaver can do, along with Muse and Edge, is eagerly anticipated in our quest for developing high-end custom courseware.