My Adobe Creative Cloud Quick Q&A

Last week I was at Adobe’s Creative Cloud launch event out in San Francisco, and after getting a lot more details on what the Creative Cloud is all about, I have I’ve gone from cautiously curious to really excited.

I think this is going to open a lot of new opportunities and put some amazing tools in the hands of creative pros that were previously out of their reach. But I know from mentioning this briefly last week, a lot of folks have a lot of questions (I did too), and I thought I’d tackle some of the most-asked questions I’ve been getting here and see if this helps.

But before we get to the questions, I thought I would at least try to explain, in one brief paragraph, what the Creative Cloud is. Here’s how I understand it:

“It’s two things: (1) You can pay a monthly fee and get to download onto your computer, and use, full versions of all of Adobe’s Creative Suite software (everything from the latest Photoshop to After Effects to Dreamweaver to Premiere Pro, and so on [I think it’s 26 programs in all). As long as you pay your monthly membership, you get to use any (or all) of their software programs. And (2) You get a number of Web services including things like Cloud syncing, Adobe’s Business Catalyst Web hosting, storage and online collaberation stuff among others (a list of which I’m sure will grow pretty quickly).”

OK, that’s the one short paragraph version, but here are my quick Q&A follow-ups:

Q. Do I have to sign-up for a Creative Cloud membership or can I just upgrade like always?
A. Nope—you can just upgrade like always.

Q. Are “Creative Cloud” applications Web-based applications, or are they on my computer like regular applications?
A. They are NOT Web-based apps. The programs work just like they always did, right on your computer, but instead of installing them from a CD or DVD disc (like the “old days”), you download any ones you want from Adobe’s Creative Cloud site. If you’re a Mac user and have used the Mac App store to download software, it’s pretty much like that. Personally, I think the name, “Creative Cloud” makes it sound “Cloud-based” when it’s really not, but I guess calling it “Creative Download” wasn’t a great name either.

Q. How much does Creative Cloud Membership cost?
A. You can pay only $49.95 a month if you sign up for an annual plan (so basically, you’re “in” for 12 months), but if you want to do just a month-by-month thing (with no 12 month commitment), then it’s going to cost you more, I believe it’s around $70-something bucks a month.

By the way, you also get all the new Adobe touch Apps, and it includes the whole online Web hosting and storage space deals, plus there are services that come with your membership (the business catalyst stuff), and a bunch of stuff I wasn’t aware expecting.

This whole industry is changing really rapidly (just a couple of years ago, there really weren’t even tablets out there — now it’s a huge market, not to mention the mobile market as a whole) and so I imagine the whole Creative Cloud thing will evolve pretty rapidly (so we can create content for things like iPads and Android tablets quickly) and we’ll soon see new tools, more services, and they’ll come up with new ways to integrate workflows across all this stuff.

Q. So, what’s the best deal?
A. Honestly, the best deal is for anyone who already owns (is a registered user of) either the CS3, CS4 , CS5 or 5.5 Creative Suites, because Adobe has a special deal for the first 12-months, which is just $29.95 a month, which honestly is insanely low (you can’t get dinner for two at Chili’s for $29.95). That’s probably the best value overall (and you get EVERYTHING), but if you just want Photoshop CS6 by itself, you can do a monthly plan on it for only $19.95 (cheaper than dinner for one at Ruby Tuesday’s), which is kind of crazy when you think about it. I think this is going to put Photoshop in lots of folks hands who never could dream of using it before.

Q. What if I never owned the Creative Suite, do I have to buy it first?
A. That may be the most amazing thing — you don’t. There are no up-front costs for joining the Creative Cloud — you pay the $49.95 a month (if you do the annual contract), or $70-something for month-to-month even if you’ve never owned an Adobe product at all. I know, that sounds like it can’t be right, but that’s the way I understand it (and I asked Adobe people about this while I was at the launch numerous times because it seems a little too-good-to-be-true, but they assured me that’s the deal).

Q. What happens when CS7 eventually comes out?
A. I think this is the absolute best thing about the whole Creative Cloud idea —- you don’t have to wait for 18 or so months (like we did in the “old days”) to get new features. Adobe plans on releasing new features as soon as they’re ready, so when Adobe engineers come up with new technologies, or the tech or content landscape changes quickly, they can release that stuff as soon as its baked (instead of waiting for the next full release, which is what they were required to do in the past).

So, in short, the wait is over, and you get every new feature as soon as its released (while people not in the plan, will still have to wait the 18 or  so months until the next big release, like CS7). This is similar to Call of Duty Elite (stop snickering), where as an Elite member I had new COD map downloads months before the public release (I love the Elite program for just that reason), so if you’re in that program, then you know what I’m talking about (cover me, I’m reloading). ;-)

Q. After a certain number of months do I get to keep that software?
A. Nope. You’re basically paying for access to all that stuff, and as long as you keep paying, you keep playing. It’s kind of like renting an apartment— no matter how long you rent, it doesn’t one day become your apartment. Also, just like an apartment, you can pretty much do what you want as long as you keep paying your rent. But if you stop paying, the landlord will kick you out.

Q. Do I have to be connected to the Internet all the time to use the Creative Cloud?
A. Nope. It just checks once a month to make sure you’re still enrolled on the plan, but outside of that, you can use it “off line” just like always, on planes, trains, and automobiles (as long as you’re not the driver).

Q. What if it’s not for me?
A. That’s totally cool. You can pretend the Creative Cloud doesn’t exist, and just pay up front for upgrades and full versions of the software like you used to. The Creative Cloud is an option — one that makes sense for a lot of people who can’t handle the up-front costs of the regular Creative Suite, but if it’s not for you, no biggie.

Q. So you’re pretty excited about it?
A. As a guy that makes his living training on Adobe products, I obviously want as many people as possible to be using Adobe products, and I think this will put the Creative Suite applications in a lot of people’s hands that wouldn’t otherwise have access to it, so I think that’s a good thing for everybody. It’s not available yet, but I’m going to be a Creative Cloud member as soon as it does ship, and while I know it’s not right for everybody, for a lot of people, this is something they’ve dreaming about, and now it’s nearly here. I’m psyched. Or as RC would say, “pumped!” :)

OK, well, I hope that helps. I’m also hoping some Adobe people jump in here and help answer any follow-up questions you guys might have (I’m sending some of my friends there a heads-up that I’m posting this today, to see if they might help-out with any follow-ups from you guys, but just rememberâ”they’re out West, so they may be still asleep when you posted your questions).

Have a great Monday everybody, and I’ll be back in the States later on today. Cheers!

      1. Gilles,

        It depends on whether you are just getting one product (PS) or multiple Adobe products.

        For just one, then the math says upgrade. If multiple, then monthly is cheaper.

        There’s also a bonus for monthly in that new features will be released when ready vs waiting for the next upgrade cycle. Everyone has do decide the value for that as a judgement call; there’s no math-based answer. 

        (PS I am not the original poster, though our names are similar)

  1. That helps quite a bit.  It’s wonderful to see some real information coming out now instead of the rumors that got so many people excited.    The new service seems like it has some definite advantages in certain situations.  It gives me reason to consider my own needs now and in the future.

  2. Hi Scott,
    Great article about the cloud.  Since I work at a school that buys the license for several machines, I don’t think I will need to be on the cloud thing, will I? 
    OMG! I am stoked about the new release and can’t wait to get my hands on the software. Soooo glad I’ve already signed up for Photoshop World in September. 
    See ya then unless I make it to Tampa again this summer.Mike

  3. I have one question that I can’t seem to get answered. I currently own CS 5.5 Design Standard. If I decide to go with the Creative Cloud but cancel in the future when, say, CS8 is out, am I then stuck with my last paid version, 5.5? Will there be an upgrade path for purchasing the boxed version at that point or will I be out of luck? 
    As I understand it, from this point forward in order to continue with the traditional upgrade model one will have to be on the latest version or purchase at the full price. In my scenario above I’d be stuck purchasing the Suite at full price. It seems Adobe should offer some sort of upgrade pricing in this case. Will they?

    1. My reason for wanting an answer to this question: Perhaps I don’t want to / won’t be able to pay $50 a month for the rest of my working life to remain in my profession as a graphic designer.

    2. I haven’t gone through with the signup yet, but I have photoshop CS3 registered with my adobe account.  When I logged in with that account, it said I qualified for the reduced price 29.99 price (not the 19.99 photoshop only price mentioned above) 

      Based on that, I’d assume they’re just looking for 1 of the previous products – but the easiest way to find out is to go here:  and log in and check.

    3. The only logical scenario is probably that the software you currently own is what will count as the cloud is separate. You could always hope that Adobe will consider the Creative Cloud to be worth the same, but I wouldn’t depend on it until they have announced that, which they have not.

  4. Hi Scott,

    Thanks for the details. I’m wondering the same thing as Stefan H., what happens if we try the cloud for a year and decide it’s not for us? Since Adobe is changing the upgrade policy, would we be considered up to date or would we be more than a version behind and have to buy a whole new copy of the software?

  5.  I think this is going to put Photoshop in lots of folks hands who never could dream of using it before

    It may put legal versions of Photoshop in the hands of folks that would never pay for it. I know that where I live, I’m one of a minority in that I actually pay for licenses. Almost everyone I know has Photoshop, but only a few of us have it legally.

  6. I heard of one compelling feature of the Cloud: that you can do the Cloud on Mac and/or PC. Currently your two installs allow have to be on either two PCs or two Macs and the Cloud will let you do one on each if you want.

    1. Customer service at NAPP has said that so far, no discount on the Creative Cloud is given (though hopefully that will come). You do get the special $29.95 price if you already have a product for the first year though! I don’t think a NAPP deal is going to be as sweet as that!

  7. ALERT! Some ENEL15 batteries defective shipped with D800, mine was. Nikon is recalling and replacing them. Check serial # and the 6th character from right, if it’s E or F then there is a charging fire hazard.

  8. Hello Scott. Great summary thank you very much. Sorry to have missed you in London on Saturday hope it went well. I’ll be there next time. There will be a next time, right? Others have asked many of my questions, Lightroom etc. Hope you get time to answer them if you know. Here in the UK I’m reasoning that it’s less than the price of Sky satellite subscription. Quite frankly I’d rather have CS6 than satellite TV. Did you cover use on more than one computer? Desktop/laptop sort of thing? Have a great week. John.

      1. When you say not running at the same time, does that mean any of the downloaded programs or just the same program?  For instance, could I be running After Effects on my desktop and PS on my laptop simultaneously?

  9. Personally I think the Creative Cloud is a superb idea and as you say will now make the suite much more accessible which in turn will mean a lot more creativity. There are some folks saying they’re not keen because they have no interest in any of the other software titles; sure they want Photoshop but none of the other stuff but the price deal for everything is so darned good why not just have them? The price of the entire suite on Creative Cloud over 1 year is cheaper than just buying Photoshop…that’s a great deal right?

    As for getting all the updates when they’re available….well, Adobe had me at ‘available’ :)


  10. I think this is a great step forward from Adobe. However, I am rather confused about the difference in American vs European pricing. On the page for the US, it says $49 a month for a 1-yr plan. If I check pricing for my country (Belgium), it says €61 (which would be around $80!). Is this an error or what is the reason for this high European cost? 

    1. That’s unfortunately not an error. It’s the way it’s always been. We get to pay roughly a 20% increase (after tax). Normally they want to justify that because it is more expensive to do business for them outside the US.

      1. No it isn’t… they got the pricing right with Lightroom – so why should creative cloud be more expensive? Imagine the outcry if it was the other way around – ie more expensive in the US!

      2. While it is not justified in my opinion, it is more expensive for a US company to do business outside the country, as it is for a European company to do business in the US.

        The deal however, is still as good for us European customers, as the suites have the same markup on them and have had for years.

  11. I would love to know how Adobe (along with many others) calculate the overseas prices. The equiv. of the $49.95 deal is £46.97 in UK (this equates to $76 so over 50% more?). Even allowing for tax this is a complete joke and makes no sense as to download in NY or London doesn’t cost Adobe anything extra.

    1. I know how you feel. I had to pay Heathrow Airport a $246 tax PER PERSON for my families’ flight to London this year (that’s over $700) for the privilege of landing at their airport. Then when we got here, I had to pay triple to rent the same projector we do in the United States, and our room rental for the seminar was 2-1/2 times what we pay in the states for the very same room. Last night I paid nearly $6 for a Diet Coke, when in the US it would more like $1.50 (75% more for the exact same thing!). :)

      1. No offence, but how in the world did you make the connection between downloading the exact same piece of software from the exact same servers at a vastly different price, and buying local services and goods, produced at different local costs in two different locations at different prices?

        Adobe is ripping of European customers and have done it for years, and it’s probably why a lot of European customers love the software and loathes the company…

      2. Diet Coke is made of syrup and water in the US, and syrup and water in Europe. I’d be interested to hear about your “local costs.”. The point is — I haven’t found a single thing, in five days, that wasn’t WAY more expensive in Lonfon than it is back home. Everything from a McDonslds Happy Meal to a bar of soap. Double and triple the price often. I have to imagine that the cost of doing business in these countries for Adobe is double or triple as well.

      3.  For some odd reason I can’t reply to the answer by Skelby2 so it’ll have to be here.

        What I mean is that once you produce something locally your production cost is affected by the cost of local labor, local materials, local taxes etc., and given the heavy taxes most European countries put on things, local products become expensive.

        When you provide a piece of software for download that has already been produced elsewhere (judging by the credits, Photoshop is largely made in India these days) I don’t see where the increased “cost of doing business” should come from. VAT and Tax, yes, but that is all.

        I don’t know about the UK, but in Denmark we download the international version (or buy the boxed ditto at an additional premium) and there is no localization whatsoever. No local support. No local marketing that I know of – I’ve yet to actually see an ad for Adobe products. Local representation is basically a sales office and the entire Adobe workforce in Denmark is less than 20 people.

        We can buy Microsoft software at more or less the same price as everyone else and they have a (comparable) huge representation in Denmark and deliver localized software so I don’t buy it when Adobe plays the “cost of doing business”-card.

        They charge a premium because they have a de facto monopoly and are able to price accordingly.

        However, the financial gain has a cost in customer loyalty – most people I know would send Adobe down the stairs on a$$ and elbows in the blink of an eye if a comparable set of products existed.

      4. Different vendors are always free to set their own pricing structure and we, as customers, can choose to shop around and get the best deal. Not so with Adobe as they are the only vendor in this case – I would’t expect to walk into the same store as you and be charged a different price for the same can of Coke.

  12. Do you have to make monthly payments or can you pay a year in advance? If you are late for a monthly payment or drop it for a few months of travel or illness can you start up again with no extra cost? Thanks

    1. The 49.95 cost (and the current special of $29.95) is based on you signing up for a year. The Creative Cloud is slightly more expensive if you want to have it on a month-by-month basis.

      I am sure they will be more than happy at Adobe to let you pay for the year in advance.

    2.  If you signup for the year contract and break it they charge you 50% of the remaining amount you owe fr the year.  I didn’t see anything about suspending it for a month or two.  Think of it like leasing a car.

  13. If I “rent” for a year, and then allow my subscription to expire. How will I not be able to continue using the programs when they are already downloaded to my workstation/laptop? Does it automatically “uninstall”? 

  14. Thank you for clarifying some issues. I have 2 more questions
    1- can you load and use on unlimited computers either platform?
    2- if you do the cloud for say a couple of years and you want to stop and purchase is your last purchased product your calculated upgrade?
    Thanks for being our advocate!!

    1. 1. No. You are limited to one main computer and one backup (which is very reasonable). Luckily you can now use both Windows and Mac. From the official FAQ: “You can install the desktop applications available in Creative Cloud on your primary computer and one backup computer, as long as they are not running at the same time. You will have access to both the Mac OS and Windows versions, so if you have a Mac at home and a PC at work, for instance, you can install your applications on both. See the product license agreements page for more information.”

      2. The answer here should indeed be that your last suite/product full purchase is that one that it will be based on, as the Cloud is a separate way of getting the software in itself.

      1. I called about Adobe about this last week. I have 3 machines that I use (2 desktops and 1 laptop). One Desktop is for Video Editing only. From what I understand I can’t add just Premier Pro and After Affects to that machine and the PhotoShop programs top the other desktop and laptop. Correct. What about activating and Deactivating when I need them?

      2. You would be right in that. The Creative Cloud in general allows for two machines connected to it. You could have video editing apps on one and other apps on the other, but not three machines in total.

    2. I’ve been trying to get this question (#2) answered as well. It seems we’ll be out of luck if we want to return to traditional licensing at some future time (See replies to my original question down this list as well as to Jim Goshorn’s post). 

      The reason we’ll be stuck is that, to my knowledge, starting with CS6 one will have to be on the latest version to qualify for upgrade pricing (if upgrading to CS7 you will have to own CS6, upgrading to CS8, must own CS7, etc…). Seems Adobe is forcing the hand of some of us. Either subscribe to Creative Cloud forever or upgrade every version (instead of every other, which has been my m.o.).

  15. Looks like I got lucky. 

    I was all set to just upgrade PS, using the NAPP discount but since I was in a hotel room with a terrible connection, I decided to wait until I got back (today).  Since I only use PS and LR, the update cycle price and the monthly price (after year 1) is close enough to not matter.

    Your line about releasing improvements when ready for cloud users vs every update cycle, made all the difference. That’s a big benefit that’s built in. 

    One question, though. Do you know if we can go onto the cloud plan and then, perhaps a year or two later, change to the flat rate upgrade rather than renew?

  16. Currently using Adobe Design Premium CS5.5, so, if I drift to the cloud at the great introductory price of $29.95/mo, then down the road, decide the cloud thing is not for me, or I don’t want to jump to $49.95/mo, what’s my last software version I own and can keep on my local systems?

  17. Out of curiosity, how would you consider the value proposition for an advanced amateur photographer who gets no money from photography but enjoys maximizing the potential of their images?

    1. Be careful. If a year from now Adobe increases their prices or you can no longer justify spending the money, you will own nothing and not be able to open any of your files. Purchase now and if 18 months from now things are going well and cs7 comes out with some awesome features, you can upgrade for a fraction of the price. But if you are still just an advanced photographer having fun, you can hang on to CS6 forever. CS6 will be perfectly awesome for years to come. I know pros still using CS2

      1. I’ve got Photohop CS 5 right now so I have really been debating that whole upgrade vs staying pat for some years. I guess I’ll have to look at the update cost with napp discount and just decide…

    2.  If it is just pictures and you do no page layout or videos then it probably doesn’t make any sense if you already own a version of Photoshop that you can upgrade.  If you don’t then it is a good deal.

    3. Neil you have nothing to lose. If you have personal projects that would benefit from additional Adobe apps or staying on the cutting edge, I’d say creative cloud was a good way to go.

  18. Subscription fees dont make sense, I dont get throwing money away and this should seem obvious to anyone who just looks at the numbers and thinks it through.

    A simple upgrade to “own” the software is $375.
    If you pay to play $30/mo x 12/mos = $360 and you still own zero.
    Anything more is going to cost more, thats the cheapest option and it nearly equals the upgrade.

    I dont think its sound to do this, but it will tickle some. Pay yourself for a year, stick with your current version and do your art, for which this is a tool.

    1. It’s not the best deal if you already have a single product that you want to upgrade, however it is more appealing if you don’t have a suite today and want to buy into the Master Collection or any other suite.

      If you are already on one of the suites, it is also more attractive to shift.

    2. You have to look ahead it’s ‘Adobe’s wow big special’ for the first year! It’s actually $49/month the following year! That is were Adobe got you by the $%lls once they get a fair amount of people buying this ‘Creative Cloud’ Adobe can charge what they like, got you!

    3.  You are assuming that the person already owns the software.  If I wanted to buy the Master Collection it would cost $2600 according to Amazon.  Then it’s $1766 for an upgrade.  The $50 a month would be cheaper in the long run.  Especially since Adobe changed the upgrade policy.

    4. That is only true if you only use one application, if like me toucan see the value in maximising your flexibility and marketability by using as many as possible and it’s good value! For me as a small business person I can think of much more useful ways to use my capital to grow my business, when I no longer have to worry about lagging behind with old software. With the cloud we can stay cutting edge and make the most of our time and our working capital. If you already have cs5.5 then you would be daft not to take the upgrade to

    5. On the Adobe forums one user who left the cloud has called adobe the 800 lbs gorilla because of its forcefulness in regards to pushing the cloud. The cloud makes sense for a web person who really does use everything and cannot afford to buy. If you own and switch it makes no sense you are paying more! Every time you upgrade there is a new period of learning the features and methods. So that is really not a benifit . The 75 per month to go month to month is the price range adobe wants to see from you.finally Adobe is making over 80 million a month on subscription and hopes to more than double it. They have falsly promised wall street that there profits will multiply from the cloud. I think as a costumer going on it will cost you more and in the long run once subscriptions drop profits will fall and do will the stock. In that scenario the products will cost more and fewer users. In that  case adobe is less valuable as a stock 

  19. I’m generally positive about the new program and plan to take advantage of the $29.99 first-year offer. I do worry about the “once-a-month-license check”. If it doesn’t work flawlessly, predictably and flexibly I could be caught without working software on assignment or deadline.

    As the current debacle with LR performance demonstrates, getting the latest software doesn’t always equal productivity, and the cloud service removes any chance to stick with a process or workflow that you know. Will Adobe cloud releases consider major events like the Olympics for instance as black-out periods when releasing new features via the service is too risky… I would hope so.

    For those of us making a living with Adobe software the cloud can save us money but it could also cost us dearly when the ground under our feet shifts at the wrong time. The promise of incremental new features (and fixes) is attractive, but I’d argue the quality bar is even higher for SAS offerings.

    One good thing about going the cloud route is we should always have compatibility with the latest hardware. If you’ve ever updated your computer and hardware only to find major problems (CS4 and Windows 7) with your existing suite. this may be a boon.

    1. I’m sure you would have to manually start the update to a new version and that you could hold off if you wanted to. Just because it is available to you in the Creative Cloud probably doesn’t mean that you have to download it immediately.

      1.  I hope you are right Erik, it does leave me wondering though how long the “tail” of older supported versions will get. Perhaps Adobe will be fine with us sticking with any CS6 point release on the cloud until CS7 arrives on the cloud. There’s no getting around interactions between the products that might necessitate a change along the way.

        One thing is certain there will be some hiccups in this new model no matter how much Adobe has tried to think this system through.

      2. I would suspect that it would be just like today, you can keep an old version for quite some time (as long as you pay the monthly fee). But nobody apart from Adobe knows that, if they’ve even thought about that. :P

  20. I think most people who are purchasing the cloud are not thinking things through. The minute you can no longer keep the $30/month going (or $50-70 after the first year), either because business is slow or you decide to take it easy, you can no longer even OPEN any of your adobe files. This is crazy. If Adobe raises prices to $70 a month next year, that changes everything for many people. At least if you purchase CS6 and 18mo from now CS7 comes out but you are broke, you don’t require the new features, or you do less business requiring the full suite of Adobe products, you can always keep on using CS6 for free forever and if you need, upgrade later. Adobe is betting on the fact that you will keep the cloud going long after you need it just so you can still have access to your files. Right now Adobe offers no solution for getting OUT of the cloud. If I purchase CS6 and decide not to upgrade till CS8, I still get to upgrade at a discounted upgrade price. Or if I purchase CS6 now for my business, but next year decide i’m only really just doing photography for enjoyment, I can keep using CS6 for my projects forever and just not update. If I buy the cloud now and next year can’t justify the $50/month, I can’t keep the version I am already using so I can open my files. I either have to purchase at full retail or never open my Adobe projects again. Adobe should allow you to purchase the retail software at a discount if you were a cloud member (similar to the upgrade price for existing software owners), thus if you decide this is your last year in photography or you just are not generating enough profit to justify the continued cost, you can keep the current version at a discount so you can still open files. 

      1. Which is why most people will make do with whatever version they have now. I know pros who still do fine with PS5.5 and never saw the need to upgrade from that. Adobe forgets that pros run a business and are basically tight with their money.

      2. Jo you must be really young because after Photoshop 5 was released there was photoshop 5.5 then 6 then 7 then CS1… en so on… major problem with 5.5  was running on OS9… I can see anyone using that now.

    1. Wait, Wait, Wait, Did you say “Can’t Justify $50 a month?” That is less than $2 a day. If you cannot make more than $2 a day using the products, then maybe it is not for you. However, for most of the rest of us, $2 a day should work great. Thank you Adobe, You Did an Awesome Job with Offering us the Creative Cloud. Remember, this program is not instead of the traditional plan, it is besides. Pick you plan, be happy and please don’t bash the other plan as they both are needed.

      1. You’re taking advantage of people Arel, which is evil. Especially in these times free lance jobs are extremely hard to get. Are you going to pay anything to free lancers because they’re paying your salary? They’re givng you so much money why don’t you return the favor by dropping the prices or keeping them low. Same concept with tipping. OK, who’s gonna tip us for being a good customer? Why is it up to regular people to pay the salaries of other folks? All the examples given in those Q&A were ridiculous. Greed is such an unfortunate thing especially when it inhibits creativity. Maybe if you’d drop your prices pirates would stop torrenting software so much?

      2. I don’t see how this Creative Cloud is not ‘instead of the traditional plan.’ At least, that’s not the case today. Unless you want to buy CS6 and stick with it, you won’t have an option for a ‘traditional plan’ any longer. I’m also not so sure about Adobe’s advise that as long as you save down your files to a version that’s compatible to your traditional Adobe software (in my case CS5.5), you will be able to still open them even if you stop your cloud subscription. I’ve never found Adobe to be good at offering save-down support for earlier version of InDesign. In a year or two, what are the chances that I’ll be able to save down to CS 5.5 from the latest Cloud version of InDesign I might be working with via a subscription? History says, very little.

      3. No I don’t always make $2 a day. Sometimes not for weeks or months, being a freelancer. That was a condescending remark. Don’t judge until you walk in another person’s shoes. It’s way too much for a single user that only uses one program. Also, if my internet goes down and I have a job, it’s a huge hassle. I will be sticking with CS4 even tho I purchases CS6. Hate the GUI of CS 6.

      4. Hey, what about those of us who use this software and CANNOT make a profit (Myself, I’m a police photog, so I can’t sell my work). Very few agencies will purchase the cloud option because it is difficult to include in grant applications (where most agencies get the money to purchase the software in the first place).

  21. Great article! But 1 thing. I remember reading/listening that touch apps won’t be included since these are distributed by Appstore and Android Market …

  22. Thanks for the great info Scott! 

    All the power of CS for under $30 a month (we have CS 5.5)—I signed up right away. Having affordable access to video and audio applications like After Effects and Audition will open new doors for Fireleaf—one new gig could pay for the entire year!

  23. I have kind of a weird scenario.  I want to load it on my main desktop, then I have two notebooks, one PC, one MAC.  Depending on how I feel that day, I may take my MACbook with me or my PC.  Can I activate and deactivate it unlimited times on the notebooks?  I prefer to keep it loaded, but I don’t need it activated until I take the said notebook with me.

    I remember in my CS5 Master Collection something about only being able to activate/deactivate it 20 times.

      1. I do agree with that, and understand the One at a time use, but can I activate and deactivate unlimited times?  I posted the question to Adobe, but not heard a word.

  24. OK… in anticipation of CS6 coming out, I’m coming from CS5, had no reason to upgrade to 5.5… so, I looked at the CS5 to CS6 upgrade… $700+… but going from CS5 to CS5.5 is $399… and CS5.5 right now includes a “complimentary” upgrade to CS6… so now mix in the Cloud…  Their talk is saying that if an upgrade comes in 9 months, let’s say PS CS6.5 (and it will wash my cars and mow my lawn… something that CS6 will not do…) and I’m NOT on the Cloud, I have to upgrade my Suite… but if I AM on the cloud… it’s included….

    So… assuming you’re on CS5.5… doesn’t all this talk about cost/benefit all boil down to when does the next “upgrade required” version come out (CS7 let’s say…)… and NONE of us knows that…  So I’m torn… if the next “upgrade” is in 6 months, I’m screwed, if it is in 18 months I’m saving a ton of money NOT being on the cloud…  The deadline for the “discounted” cloud if you’re a previous owner is August 31, 2012….

    What to do, what to do….

    1. But if you purchase 3 touch apps you actually get a free month of cloud so that works out to a $20 savings if you’re paying the the $50 version or it makes the 3 apps completely free if you’re on the discounted $30.  

       $50 monthly fee – $30 you spend on the apps = Apps + $20 you don’t get charged.  It’s definitely worth it.

  25. I see this like leasing a vehicle with a beautiful twist. I can buy a vehicle, pay it off, and drive it until the wheels fall off (which I usually do), or I can resign myself to a monthly leasing fee and drive a fairly new automobile every day of my life. The catch is that I may pay for that auto several times over but never own it. I hate car leases. No way… Not gonna happen!!!
    But throw in an agreement that I can drive any vehicle on the lot, the moment it rolls off the trailer, even park them all in my garage and trade them out as often as I want? Tell me that I can haul a mountain with a Caterpillar 797V, park it, haul donkey butt to the house in a Viper V-10, park it, and take the lady out for an evening on the town in a stretched hummer limo, all for approximately the same price as buying an SUV? SIGN ME UP!!!

    1. kevin you can own the software for half the cost of the cloud Also adobe is famous for botching updates and with time based media you never update mid project not the OS drivers or any software it’s a recipie for disaster so if the second car in your lease scenario did not run you would be screws

    2. Good analogy. I think part of the problem Adobe has encountered is people only upgrade every 2-3 versions. CS5-CS6 had very few actual improvements, they just made it look different and changed all the controls in camera raw so you had to learn it all over again. But now you are locked in! It’s a Monopoly sticking to it’s users, and we are stuck.

    3. If subscription suits you than good luck to you but most of us would prefer the option of buying our software.. this is not a popular decision by Adobe for obvious reasons.. I will be sticking with CS6 for as long as it works…

  26. Scott,

    I wonder with your contacts at Adobe, whether you can help me.


    I want to buy Creative Cloud but your system will not let
    me. I am a Brit living in Spain
    who has been a photoshop user since 2003.


    I want to buy an English version but your system keeps
    pushing me to Spanish because I do not have an English address on my credit


    I have been through your Customer Service, who were really
    helpful, but because they did not have an answer passed me through to Sales. A
    person with an American accent answered and stated that they were only the
    telephone answering service, all the sales team were busy and they would ring
    me back. It is now 3 hours later and no ‘phone call.


    Do you have any idea who can help me?


    If it is impossible for me to use the Creative Cloud system
    at the moment I would be grateful if someone could tell me and I will carry on
    with my life and purchase the Photoshop update as normal.


    Graham Harris

    1. There should be no problem in purchasing from the Spanish Adobe Store and selecting an english versions? That’s what I do here in Sweden and I’ve never had a problem with that. I have noticed that the cloud includes multiple language versions so it doesn’t seem that you need to choose the language when you buy it.

  27. I’m sure it’s been mentioned already, this may be a ‘great deal’ if you are in the US but not in Europe – Adobe is ripping off Euro customers yet again. Sorry Adobe – simply no excuse for this – they got it right with the Lightroom pricing so why not with Creative Cloud?

  28. Would you suggest anyone owning the actual software switch to the cloud service? I just upgraded to CS6 master collection. I have CS5 master collection and upgaded to 5.5 master collection saving $500+ in upgrading to 6 from 5.

  29. It looks like Soundbooth was dropped… audition comes in CS6 master collection.
    My previous was in regards to CS7 since I already paid for CS6.

  30. My prediction is that this pay-by-the-month plan will fail, unless they lower the prices considerably. I can’t see anyone who would rent software at those prices instead of buying it. 

    Its probably going do the opposite to what Adobe wants, instead of bringing more people into buying their software its going to push more people into obtaining their copies illegally. 

    That’s my two cents as someone who’s bought their first computer in ’78 and used a heck of a lot of software in all those decades. I was in retail photo sales for nearly 30 years, been a pro photographer, professional Photoshop user since ver 3., tech writer for camera gear, computers, and software.

    1. Dude I’ve been a user since v2! I hope you’re wrong about this not working! For me it’s ideal! I haven’t been as to afford upgrades since CS3 due to the GFC. Plus ow i need media apps as well as design apps For me to upgrade now is $2k in Australia. I was depressed. But when I saw Creative Cloud, it was perfect for me! I’m up to speed and have programs i need and then some! Perfect!!

    2. I’m going to sign up for it.  I can’t afford the programs individually and for $600 I get all their software today for a whole year.  No more upgrade costs!  It’s simple math.  I don’t generally like subscriptions services but this one makes sense.  And if you don’t like it you can cancel.

      1. Do you use everything in the master suite? I only use 1 and infrequently 2 apps. Total waste for me.

    3. It seems exactly the opposite to me. I think they’ll eventually abandon the sales model altogether and go strictly rental. It would take me three years to pay what I would for the CS6 suite, and in that time there will be multiple upgrades, each offered at an unreasonable price. Rental will always be cheaper, and it offers more opportunities to use Apps I’d never purchase. I needed to purchase two programs, the cost of which would be more than two years of the Cloud. Why would people continue to purchase and get on that upgrade train?

  31. I have a PC workstation and a Mac laptop. I have a Production Premium license for both, because the license aren’t (haven’t been) cross-platform If I go to Creative Cloud, will I have to have 2 memberships at twice the cost? It’s just me, and the extra license was a bit painful.

  32. The “cloud” system benefits Adobe, not users. Stop paying the cloud, kiss past file access good-bye. Own the programs, files still good.

    1. Don, you may not like the Creative Cloud as it may not be for you, but i know it is for me and I support Adobe 100%. Also, you can still purchase the products exactly as before. And for me, it Does Benefit Me. I plan to do a lot of learning this year on not just Illustrator and Photoshop which is what i use at work, but in web design. Thanks Adobe, you are Awesome!!!

  33. Really peeved by Adobe on this, just been to register for cloud only to find out that they seem intent on ripping customers in Europe off by charging an additional 50% extra, don’t think I’ll be signing up now very dissatisfied with them. Obviously exchange rates don’t apply in the world of the Cloud.

  34. Personally, I am not planning to upgrade my boxed copy of CS5. I want to try the Cloud out for a bit to be sure it isn’t just a lot of water vapor. If it is vapor, my boxed copy will still be there for me (just have to take care to save with max compatiblity on until I am sure). With the price reduction this year, that will let me feel that I can afford to test the waters. I moved to a Mac in December, though I have Windows as a guest operating system, so I am motivated to get a Mac version whether boxed or cloud. Working in a guest operating system when everything else I do is in the host system is like walking with a leg missing. You lose a lot of efficiency.

    Another angle that I am looking at for long-term has my attention is the cloud may solve a problem that my organization deals with. We have short-cycle development burst and then long stretches of not doing any development because we are a team of instructors that build our own course materials. We have time in the summer to develop, but during the school year we can barely get our heads above water. We have only one person that does the year-round-development needs and the other instructors can ‘tap’ that person for a quick course need during the school year. The monthly subscription plan lets our organization buy the subscriptions for everyone when we need it. This actually means we can expand because we had to keep our developing projects down to what we could afford as boxed copies. Now we can increase the number of people working on our projects in the summer. We will spend about the same amount of money perhaps, but instead of the sitting and collecting dust most of the year for just a few we will have many, many more ‘feet on the ground’ when it matters in the summer and let the subscriptions expire until we hit our next burst the following summer.

    Now to get through the educator’s discount hoops so that will be in place for next year when the prices go up. 

  35. Scott,  regarding the part about current Creative Suites owners paying a discounted $29.95 a month, it only applies to people who purchased originally through the Adobe Store. For instance, if you purchased an academic version through your school or a reseller or purchased the discounted version through a reputable reseller like ‘New Egg’, you do not get to take advantage of this special pricing.  I originally purchased through New Egg via a discounted price so please correct me if I’m wrong because I would like to take advantage of the pre-owned special price as well!

  36. Looks like the special only goes for Adobe CS users. I have been using PSE forever, and now am up to PSE/Premiere 10. I also have used LR since version 1 and am on 4 now. Am I correct that I would not qualify for the special pricing? If not, why? PSE is an Adobe product.

  37. Will I be able to use it outside of the USA? If a project pans out, I will be flying overseas for at least 6 months and I want to know if I will still have access to all the programs

  38. The Creative Cloud just doesn’t make economic sense. Based on my experience, there are very few designers who need access to the entire Master Suite. I suspect that Design Premium is, by far, the most popular suite. That being the case, gaining access to the video production software, online services and touch apps simply isn’t compelling enough to justify the extra cost and risk of switching from a traditional license where I own the software to a subscription plan that basically requires that I be locked in for life to maintain access to my files. All the positive reviews I’ve read about Creative Cloud seem to focus on the low cost of entry but ignore the cumulative cost over time and the inflexible arrangement that holds CC subscribers hostage once they’ve joined. Adobe is basically acting like those shady used car places that promise low monthly payments but don’t mention the fact that they’re paying huge interest and, over the course of time, really getting the shaft.

    1. Creative Cloud may not be for everyone, but i know it is for me. I have signed up and I will continue to be signed up for years. You can count me in. I signed up for an Online Training Program that is $30 a month (about 2 years ago) and I have received well over my $30 in monthly training. It is about priorities. I have made Training a priority and now i have made Adobe’s Creative Cloud a priority. Maybe a few less Starbucks Coffees and a few more homemade sandwiches for lunch. This reminds me of a guy at work that complains that he can’t afford gas to get to work. Really? You mean can’t afford not to make that your first priority. Your Choice, but either way, be sure to set some money aside to invest in “cutting edge” and “training”… .you are worth it!

      1. Really? What if they put the price up to $89 a month next year, and then $129 a month the year after that? You’ve nowhere to go, they’ve got you by the short and curlies and after 1 month you have nada. No access to files and no software. There is NOTHING to stop them doing this other than considering whether or not it will damage the bottom line in the long term. They can work out very elastic price modelling that ensure they charge as much as possible to extract maximum revenue before they start losing clients. It is not impossible that in 5 years it will be $250 a month once they phase out one off license sales…and if enough people jump into this they will – it makes business sense.

      2. I agree priorities are good to get in order. Even smarter is to grok the entire scenario to ensure you get them in the right order.

      3. that attitude is fine for you buddy but you have not bought a ton of software. That you want to upgrade and can’t becasus adobe is tring to strong arm you into the cloud. But hey since the world revolved atoning you and your Starbucks. Then we should all just bend over and take it up the ariel from adobe . Well if you booight a license and have done upgrade sand supports adobe throught the years and taken the time to give godoy feedback to the developers bought the plug ins and paid for traing and other things and was told by adobe your out of luck you would maybe not be so cavalier

    2.  I’ve seen several comments similar to your ‘hostage’ claim above so I asked Adobe…if I sign up for a year of the cloud and find for some reason I don’t like it or feel it is not good value for me can I then decide to purchase the upgrade for PS and still access the files I make using Creative Cloud? They say ‘yes’ I will still be able to use my files should I decide to buy the programs. So it is erroneous to suggest subscribers are held ‘hostage’ once they sign onto the cloud. I’ve decided to try the cloud b/c it is a low cost way to access the other Adobe programs, if I don’t use them maybe I’ll just buy PS upgrade next year.

      1. Yes, I’m sure Adobe would be more than willing to switch you from the Creative Cloud to a traditional license if you decide you don’t want to continue your subscription. However, at that point, you’ve presumably already paid them months (if not years) of subscription fees and now you’re paying them – AGAIN – for a regular license that you could have gotten from the beginning for the same price. For example, if I want to upgrade to CS6 Design Premium right now, the upgrade cost is around $750. If I decide to go with Creative Cloud, I’m only putting out $360 for the first year (because of Adobe’s special offer to current CS5 owners). Let’s say, I’m 6 months into my subscription and decide to cancel. Even if Adobe refunds me the $180 for the remainder of my annual subscription, I’m still out $180 AND I now have to pay Adobe another $750 to purchase my upgrade to CS6. Sorry, this still sounds like a hostage situation to me. In this scenario, the $750 would be the ransom for my release.

      2. Seems telling that a year ago the word was that you could buy the programs if you stopped the Cloud subscription… now only one year later… Adobe seems to be saying that there will be no more traditional software sales after CS6. So don’t assume Adobe wont change the rules — even they don’t know for sure that they won’t raise prices. The market determines that. And as I said earlier, the option to buy CS6 is not necessarily a fix, if the latest Cloud version does not save down to CS6. I also work overseas a great deal. Every 30 days Creative Cloud apps have to ‘checkin’ with Adobe servers or after an additional 7-day grace period, they stop working. Can I manually ‘checkin’ before the 30 days? If not, I could be over in China and have a connection issue with Adobe servers/firewalls and find I’m out of luck. That would not happen with traditional software ownership.

      3. I’ve also read today that CS6 will be the last version. All others will be in the cloud so you won’t have what you’ve been using in the cloud if you but the current version. I expect them to do a Netflix. This is just bad for the business.

      4. That’s foolish Barbara, you’re paying 50 dollars every month for programs you do not use. Multiply that by 12 for an on going time. You’re allowing yourself to be economically bullied by Adobe. “Give us your lunch money or stay out of the playground.” And it’s never yours. If there is still a way to purchase a program so you own it, that’s the way to go. That makes me feel a little better if you can do that.

    3. I’m sure you are paying a monthly payment on your house, your car, your utilities, medical insurance, car insurance, food, drinks, to travel, to live life, anything you do in life, you are paying some kind of payment.  I think this is exactly what Adobe needs to do, especially with latest version launch of Coreldraw with Photo-Paint, this option now makes it affordable for College students to now have access to the whole design suite, and small business owners as well, and those who already in their jobs or careers, who wants to do graphic and design but never really got into it.  We now have the resources to tap into the software we would need to learn at a affordable price.  For me, I desire to start my own Screen Printing business, so it’s crucial that I learn Photoshop & Illustrator.  I already have trial versions downloaded, and I currently own Coreldraw X5 and will be upgrading to X6 in a couple of days.  I’m excited about this because now I can learn the best of both world. :)

      1. Valley, not everyone has payments. I’m not wealthy at all but pay cash for any purchases. The only thing I make payments to is my home but unlike the Adobe Cloud, I will one day own it after all payments have been made. Truth is, you don’t always have to have payments.

      2. Students already got an incredible deal (usually over 50% off, plus deductible as a school expense).

      3. That is an illogical comparison Valley. You can pay one lump sum and have a house or car paid off. Adobe Cloud is an on going payment forever. So instead of buying one suite at a set costs, and being able to use it for years, people on budgets have to pay this ridiculous amount. Your apologizing for this rip off is extremely transparent.

  39. It’s NOW Available!  However- you state above: “By the way, you also get all the new Adobe touch Apps, and it includes
    the whole online Web hosting and storage space deals, plus there are
    services that come with your membership (the business catalyst stuff),
    and a bunch of stuff I wasn’t aware expecting.”

    WRONG.  I was upset when I saw THIS statement at the bottom of the CC download screen:

    Adobe Touch Apps
    Cloud integrates with all of these Touch Apps, which can be purchased
    separately. Full Annual Members will get a month of Creative Cloud free
    with the purchase of three apps.

    In other words, Buy the iTunes Apps and get a month of CC Free- but regardless, you still have to buy the Apps seperatel- they are NOT included.

    1. While this change may very well be valuable for those who use Adobe products for business, it fails miserably for the many of us who have been loyal Photoshop users and avid amature photographers. We don’t always want or need the “latest and greatest” updates as soon as they are released.

      The new model changes the relationship between Adobe and many of their customers from collaborative to dealer/user. From now on, every single cloud customer is totally dependant upon the company, Adobe raises prices, the cloud customer has two options, pay or go “cold turkey” and be totally stripped of any/all use of the software you have invested in for many, many years. A great marketing model for crack dealers, not certain it works as well for a former customer service oriented company. Scott, I wish you had looked at this new policy from more than the narrow perspective of corporate user of PS.

  40. It is so welcoming to hear positive feedback on the New Creative Cloud. A couple of years ago i was asking myself why they didn’t offer something like this. I couldn’t justify so many hundreds of dollars in purchasing all of Adobe’s products, but since I use them at work all day long, I wanted to have access at home so i could learn more about them (such as shortcuts). Durning work it is mostly just the same ol’ thing and no time for learning tips and tricks. But $30 a month or even $50 a month is not even $2 a day. I also feel great that it is a legal way to have all of the programs whereas many many people seemed to have pirated copies. I hope this changes the way companies think. On the same token, I love to “Shazam” a song and then purchase it for a dollar through my “one click” purchase at Amazon. Glad to see the companies are now catering to those that want to be legal and pushing the ones “on the fence” towards that direction also. Kudos Adobe. Thanks Scott for the great feedback. I think that people need to Embrace the Great new things that they like about the CrCloud and be patients for the rest to work out. I believe that this is going to be Great for Adobe and Great for Us. I pre-purchased it and have now installed everything and am so happy. Within minutes of installing i was working on a new project in illustrator and sending the pdf to my customer.

  41. Thanks for the detailed answers. I just have one question. I own a single user CS3 version. Now with the Creatice. Loud I would be able to download it onto 1 machine or I’ll be able to download it on many machines like when I pa for app and can download it in my iPhone and iPad.


  42. I SIGNED UP TODAY! I just about swooned when I found out about Creative Cloud. I am a videographer with 20 years of experience and web/graphic/motion graphic designer with 10 years of experience. I create multimedia and use almost all of the adobe products. I’ve worked for corporations all my life and just started my own biz a few years ago. I do a lot of videography and bought subpar editing software because I was saving my cash to go buy the Master Collection at $2800. I have about $1200 saved.
    So for someone like me, who is a small biz owner and now can have the entire collection for $50/month, I can start taking orders for websites, slideshows, graphic design, etc and have access to all the latest and greatest software.
    Before today, I’ve been turning down new work because I didn’t have the best software. Not anymore!

    1. Not too sure I’d want a “one-stop-shop” business for ALL needs. Don’t know too many people who are any good at everything, and still have time to actually do any work (spend all their time learning the software).

  43. I just signed up and after installing on my 64-bit OS (Windows and Mac) I realized that the Adobe installer  included both the 64 and 32 bit versions of the applications, which in my mind is a complete waste of space, since I only plan on using the 64-bit versions anyway.

    Any thoughts on this? Can I just go ahead and uninstall the 32-bit ones without issues?

  44. Bottom line, the Adobe suites are too expensive, they are of course excellent but I have yet to find someone who actually makes use of the whole production premium apps in a financially rewarding way.
    There are plenty of alternatives to most if not all the applications and many have much better interface layouts. If it was £10 a month I would consider it and that is without considering all the hacked copies of CS6 floating around the net. 

    The cloud offer only looks reasonable as the cost of the the normal product is so excessive. Times are tough and even established professionals are having to look hard at how they spend their hard won cash, including keeping up with the latest adobe upgrades..

    If no-one signs up then the cloud cost will drop substantially, it’s called an open auction and it will give Adobe an idea of what people are actually willing to pay for CS6 without recking their current pricing structure.

    How about a small business discount Adobe???

    1. the price will not drop it will rise as soon as they hit a level of acceptance that they feel justifies it. As five the price now apearing cheap it is a classic bait and switch. If you sighn up. For three months it’s 75 us dollars and only 50 on a year contract multiply that times your lifetime and very as a consumer loose big

  45. I’m not sure if I could always dish out $50 a month…is it possible for one to miss or skip a month and then the next month pay it again…or is it a set thing where you ABSOLUTELY have to pay $50 each month or it’ll double the next time you pay…like a phone bill of sorts. You miss a month and it is doubled the next time you pay. Or is it that you can only do that if you’re paying for it each month? If so, that sucks because dishing out $70 a month is even worse. (Mind you I am a 17 year old looking to get into college and I only have a part-time job that mostly relies on the summer season)

  46. What if I have several computers of different ages? I have G 5’s and IMacs running Snow Leopard. They tell me the G5’sCentral America) are not compatible with rhe newest Adobe programs. Is this true?
    Harry in Belize (

  47. I wonder how many people will stay with the program this year if it goes from the introductory price to the full $49.99 a month? I am a subscriber, but if they don’t offer this same discount for maybe NAPP members or something, I’ll be loading up my old CS6.

  48. I have just recently started my subscription and I’m loving it so far. I am a college student and don’t exactly have the funds to purchase CS6 for its normal price by the time I HAD to have it for my photography class. Being a student it’s only $19.99 plus tax a month for this year and it offers me more options for my photos. The creative cloud is a perfect solution for me and my class mates.

  49. Hi. I’m new here. Just wondering if i subscribed to creative cloud, will I be able to save the files I created onto my machine like the usuals or I have to store it in the cloud storage? Tq.

  50. Its over priced. Once the special is over you may wind up paying over 800 a year. To disguise the costs by saying “Annual costs are only 69 a month” doesn’t keep people form multiplying 70 x 12. And who uses every single ap? In the end you’d be spending more on Cloud than you would buying the full product if you only used 2 or 3 aps (Premiere, Photoshop, After Effects). This is why I hated the demise of the bundles. Apple and Adobe tried saying it was a good thing, but most know it wasn’t. Do yourselves a favor. Consider the costs of every day life. And instead of saying, “Well it’s cheaper than a meal at Ruby Tuesdays” instead say, “So on top of my food budget I’m adding more budget to my life style.”

  51. Another thing Adobe isn’t considering is there are so many free lancers out there that are individuals, who aren’t raking in the jobs / money like corporations, companies, schools are getting in. You’re hitting the pocket books of individual free lancers and smiling about it with deceptive advertisement ploys like “ANNUAL COST OF ONLY 69.99” and in the small text you put “per month” This scares and inhibits free lancers from wanting to expand any more beyond what they already have. Adobe should be ashamed of themselves.

  52. I just found out that Adobe will not alow me to upgrade my CS4 suite that I have 2500 tied into and is only two versions back, my thoughts are that anything good does not need. To forced upon the costomer. In the past you could upgrade anytime. Adobe has become a bully it has grown to behemoth status and as more get on the cloud it will raise its price 70 80 or more per month. My upgrade would have been 400 bucks but the cloud would cost me 600 a year and after a year I don’t own anything so then your stuck paying another overpriced monthly fee. I also ask how much of that software on the list do you know how to use? Not much I bet. I am ok with five titles and would call myself a power user. If creative cloud was a good thing we would just want to do it but truth be told anytime you have to force people into a deal/ agreement/ or contract it’s not a good option for them .. I for one refuse to do the cloud and have voiced my beliefs to Adobe. What I think will be the unfolding of this for Adobe Is that they are telling wall stret that they make 80 mil a month in the cloud . And expect huge growth. Once the 30 dollar first year is up watch people jump off and go another route. Adobe is lying to its share holders and wall street hates. That . It will be interesting to see what happens but adobe made .13 a share q1 2013 down from .39 Q1 12 the explain that loss due to the cloud but I think people will see it as a rip off and as it is there are always glitches.i hope too many don’t get Hurt by Adobes overly aggressive plan

  53. This isn’t as sweet as it sounds. Kelby made it sound innocent but it’s not.
    What is he talking about? Photoshop for $20 a month? Oh, OK lets do some math, shall we? The upgrade from CS5 to CS6 was $199. And, I can use CS6 for a as long as I want, two or three years etc. With subscription for $20 a month I have PS 6 or 7 or whatever for $240 a year. If I keep on paying for 3 years I will pay $720 for a product that now cost me only $200. So even if there’s a new release of PS 7 in a mean time, say after 1.5 year I would pay another $199 to get it so the total would be $400, not $720. Right there is the saving of $320. The idea of CC sucks big time, and I think is idiotic. Adobe made the sh#$% up by saying “people prefer it”… what people?
    It doesn’t get any worse than this? I get what they are trying to achieve. I get that they are trying to fight piracy, but making things more expensive isn’t the right way to go. Now I have to pay at least twice for the product. There don’t seem to have upgrade prices. You pay $20 a month no matter what. I bet people will tell me that I get the latest and grates for that. I don’t care about it. I use certain feature of PS that don’t really change too often. I’m not a graphic designer/creator and if they introduce new stuff for that I will have to pay anyway.

  54. One more monthly Bill !!!

    Scott “What if it’s not for me? ”

    Here is Adobes Response is to future upgrades Like CS7 (CS7 I don’t think so).

    “While Adobe Creative Suite® 6 products will continue to be available for purchase, Adobe has no plans for future releases of Creative Suite or other CS products.”

  55. I only use and need photoshop,… nothing else. I own PS and used to upgrade every 18 months or so. It was $199 for the upgrade. Now at $20/month, that is $360 every 18 months. How is this better for me?

  56. Actually I am really happy that Adobe has done this. This allows new photo editing programs that allow you to OWN their programs to enter the field. There are much better photo editing programs coming like CaptureOne, Aperture that are more intuitive to use. Granted they are not to adobe levels yet but with this new course that Adobe has taken I see a great new programs on the horizon that are much easier to use. That you will OWN.

    I am with Kevin and the other 10 percent of people that like OWNing their items that they use versus RENTing.

    OWN your gear keeps your monthy debt cost down. And you only upgrade when the programs fit your needs. And in OWNing your gear you can always trade up to other items when you need to.

  57. I know offices where there is NO internet access, in secure environments. There will never be internet access due to the sensitive nature of the content being created. I guess these Govt. offices are SOL for continuing use of Adobe products?

  58. What this will do is force everybody to the creative cloud. It is making me totally re-evaluate whether I even need Photoshop. Lightroom is a MUST HAVE for me; photoshop is a nice to have. Perhaps Photoshop Elements will do whatever extra I need. I am an educator and frankly have thought for a long time that Photoshop is out of the price range of students and most of them don’t need it. This monthly bill will kill it for students, that’s for sure, unless mommy and daddy are wealthy. $19.95 a month for the whole thing? Yeah, nice, then after a year they jack it up to #29.95, not so nice. I will wait a bit to see what others are doing, but I see a whole lot of hype and crap I’d never need or use. Out of the whole creative suite, I saw a reason to have acrobat pro in addition to photoshop. Dreamweaver is one of the many atomic flyswatters that adobe produces. I say wait.. because Adobe is going to get an avalanche of complaints on this. I bet they re-jiggle this. Or, I will switch to Photoshop Elements and keep Lightroom. I just hope they don’t screw up Lightroom. That is my must have. By the way, I’ve talked with and worked with top photographers… I’ve found MANY use the Elements and Lightroom comingation.

    1. I agree, but I’m certain Adobe is also aware of this and will likely take away our Lightroom licensing for future upgrades and also move LR to the Creative Cloud. For many users this new Creative Cloud is in the shape of a Mushroom, a Mushroom Cloud!

    2. I was going to get my son into photography (my hobby) and graphic design (my passion). But when I saw we were being forced into this new “rental only” format I was turned off. Aside from the fact that once you are trapped in their Cloud they can up the price at will, their monthly sign in requirement makes absolutely no sense for students. What if they forget? What if they get too busy? What if they are on summer, winter, spring break? They lose their subscription, they lose access to their work and they may lose their lower monthly rate if they have to re-sign. I envision nothing but chaos and uncertainty. Companies hope to lure in new, young users. This is NOT the way to do it.

  59. While this change may very well be valuable for those who use Adobe products for business, it fails miserably for the many of us who have been loyal Photoshop users and avid amature photographers. We don’t always want or need the “latest and greatest” updates as soon as they are released.

    The new model changes the relationship between Adobe and many of their customers from collaborative to dealer/user. From now on, every single cloud customer is totally dependant upon the company, Adobe raises prices, the cloud customer has two options, pay or go “cold turkey” and be totally stripped of any/all use of the software you have invested in for many, many years. A great marketing model for crack dealers, not certain it works as well for a former customer service oriented company. Scott, I wish you had looked at this new policy from more than the narrow perspective of the corporate/business users of PS.

    For me and many other users the Creative Cloud is a Mushroom Cloud. Too bad Adobe has decided on only one distribution model as if maintained it will force many long time loyal customers to look elsewhere. Adobe, if you are no longer interested in single users why don’t you just come out as say so?

  60. Here’s my problem and my prediction. Adobe software is used worldwide. Not all around the world can you reach high speed Internet connections. Also, disposable income in many countries around the world is not sufficient to support such payments as required by the new policy, every month. Access to credit cards and other modes of payment like that is another limitation. So, basically Adobe will lose a large clientele who could pay a one time fee every two years or four, but cannot afford or are unable to make monthly payments. By limiting their customer’s to more advanced countries they will have to eventually start charging more to cover their costs including R&D to bring and add new features. Meanwhile, the rest of the world will learn to use other software or create new ones to replace their software.

    To me this is a huge strategic mistake. They should have gone the other way and tried to create a much larger customer base in order to bring down the cost to the end-users. The results of this mistake will not show up very rapidly, but I expect Adobe to face serious world class competition within the next two years, max.

  61. I once thought you had Adobe users’ best interests in mind. But you are Adobe’s best marketer. Your summary doesn’t address key problems like how users can access and use all or any part of their creative work if a subscription ends. Or, what would prevent Adobe from increasing the monthly “rent” ad infinitum? There is no rent control in the Adobe Cloud. That’s what a monopoly is all about. And, finally, it is very telling that when you refer to the monthly fee you often use positive qualifiers like “only $49.95,” “just $29.95,” and “only $19.95.”

  62. As of Monday, May 6, 2013, parts of this analysis are no longer correct:

    Q. Do I have to sign-up for a Creative Cloud membership or can I just upgrade like always?
    A. Nope—you can just upgrade like always.

    New answer: No. you have to be in the Cloud to get an upgrade.

    Q. What if it’s not for me?
    A. That’s totally cool. You can pretend the Creative Cloud doesn’t exist, and just pay up front for upgrades and full versions of the software like you used to.

    New answer: Cloud or nothin’ sucker (unless you already have a perpetually licensed product which of course you’re free to use until it’s no longer useful… you won’t be able to upgrade it without joining the “collective”).

    Q. So you’re pretty excited about it?

    >> I suspect you’ll not be so excited now. With the Cloud as the “Only way” for new people to enter NAPP and the considerable suspicion people have about the rental model, I suspect there will be many more people who will opt for the very capable products that have been eclipsed by Adobe’s market dominance. I see “OnOne”, “Corel Draw” and “PaintShopPro” classes in your future… or perhaps a future where NAPP truly only serves the “Professionals” who are not bothered by Adobe’s grand scheme.

  63. Well I guess I will have to cancel my Kelby Training subscription when its up in order to pay for my new Photoshop subscription? Nah I wont need either because I wont stay with Adobe.

    Maybe I’ll start my own Gimp training website as if I’m going to learn it may as well share. Maybe Scott had better start learning Gimp and the rest of the alternatives. He is far from what we can consider an objective source of information when it comes to Adobe. Sorry Scott love your company and you training stuff but its all Adobe all the time. I am not worried about raw either as Capture one is really coming along nicely. So when they finally stop updating my copy of CS6 I’ll do all my raw conversions in Capture One and use photoshop till it wont run on my computer anymore. And when lightroom goes subscription based I am sure the kinks will all be worked out of Capture One’s new digital asset management. The certainly will have a lot more money to sink into R&D.

    I just don’t think they have thought through that there are already great (less expensive) alternatives to Photoshop. All the young people who can’t even get a credit card yet will flock to these and the future generation will only be using Photoshop as a noun never a verb again.

  64. Who the #$%$ did adobe talk to? Probably each other. I am an educator. I teach (or had taught) Photoshop. I am a photographer. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Lightroom. Even with an educator discount, it is $19.95 a month for the first year (then $29.95 a month!) for a TON of stuff I don’t need, do not want, and have duplicate ways of doing the same thing. Many of their products are what I’d call atomic flyswatters. 20gb of cloud space? Already have it in other ways. Behance? First off, are you kidding? I use Zenfolio and Flickr. Muse? Ha ha, I use Freeway Pro. Right now, I will wait and see if Adobe comes to their collective senses. But I am experimenting with Lightroom and Photoshop Elements for personal use. Actually, many professionals do just that. Maybe this creative cloud makes sense if you are a large company or institution, but for many many people this cloud business reeks. Even Microsoft doesn’t do this with Office and don’t give them any ideas because they are as prone to stupid ideas as much as Adobe. I use a Mac so I am immune from whatever Windows 8 nonsense is going on.

  65. Who the #$%$ did adobe talk to? Probably each other. I am an educator. I teach (or had taught) Photoshop. I am a photographer. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Lightroom. Even with an educator discount, it is $19.95 a month for the first year (then $29.95 a month!) for a TON of stuff I don’t need, do not want, and have duplicate ways of doing the same thing. Many of their products are what I’d call atomic flyswatters. 20gb of cloud space? Already have it in other ways. Behance? First off, are you kidding? I use Zenfolio and Flickr. Muse? Ha ha, I use Freeway Pro. Right now, I will wait and see if Adobe comes to their collective senses. But I am experimenting with Lightroom and Photoshop Elements for personal use. Actually, many professionals do just that. Maybe this creative cloud makes sense if you are a large company or institution, but for many many people this cloud business reeks. Even Microsoft doesn’t do this with Office and don’t give them any ideas because they are as prone to stupid ideas as much as Adobe. I use a Mac so I am immune from whatever Windows 8 nonsense is going on.

  66. So no CS7?

    So now CC is mandatory, so for the people it is not right for.. it is a “BIGGIE”.
    Also take PS for instance. $19.99 this year. $29.99 next year. $49.99 the year after. If people accept this, Adobe will have them over a barrel until viable competition arrives.
    No longer does Adobe have to tempt people to upgrade with new features to get their money. Instead they keep taking their money whether they invest in new features or not?
    If they get the same revenue’s without having to invest in R&D, do you think they will splash cash on R&D when all it does is lower their income?
    The irony here, is the CC cheerleaders that lack critical thinking abilities drone on about “The new features” “The new features”. These people are Turkey cheering for Christmas.

  67. I’m a South African Designer who has been a loyal supporter of Adobe since the arrival of Photoshop. I’ve written numerous complimentary articles in national magazines about Adobe products over the years, but am particularly concerned how local South African designers, and other African designers in a depressed economy (and very sketchy internet) are going to afford the current $50.00 per month, followed by the inevitable increases. I completely understand the advantages of $50.00 per month for a US designer, but come on, how about cutting the 3rd world some slack?
    Doubtless, there will many so-called 3rd world designers who will be investigating other options, legal or otherwise!

  68. After a TV and internet MONTHLY payment, I’m not adding another MONTHLY payment to my collection of bills ! I think Adobe needs more competition in the software game. I have used Adobe Photoshop, illustrator, and InDesign for many YEARS and this monthly payment gig just isn’t going to fly with me.

  69. What does everyone think about the fact that if you sign up for Creative Cloud, Adobe are still going to charge extra on top of the subscription to enable web sites designed in Business Catalyst to go live on the internet. The 5 sites promised with the Creative Cloud are “Trial” only. You also have to pay separately for independent domain registration.

  70. In short, it stinks! As a 12+ year member of NAPP, I’m going to rethink my renewal. I hope Adobe realizes they screwed up. Most users I speak to will keep what they’ve got. Nobody wants to rent the software they use to make a living. Buy it, use it and, update when the new version has something worth updating for. There hasn’t been a new earth shattering Photoshop feature with each and every CS update. That’s why some skip a version. What makes you think it’ll be any different with rental software? You’ll pay for 18 months and hope something great comes up. Then, when nothing great comes up, you’ll say “I’ve paid for 2 years worth. In the past It would have cost me half as much and, I could have skipped a version giving me 3+ years at the original price. It just isn’t worth it”. You can’t make the math work where it’s a good deal.
    I’ve learned a lot from NAPP. Been to 5 Photoshop Worlds but, if they’re not going to stand behind its members, then…

  71. “I know it’s not right for everybody, for a lot of people, this is
    something they’ve dreaming about, and now it’s nearly here. I’m psyched.
    Or as RC would say, “pumped!” :)” Uhmm uh.

    1. “NOT RIGHT FOR EVERYBODY???” that’s the whole point! its not right for everybody but, Adobe could offer both the cloud and the upgrade like they have been! By the way the “half a million” number adobe is touting doesnt necc. mean they are all paying CC members it means alot of them just signed for the free software Adobe is sending out for web design…Id like to see the number of “paying” CC members.

  72. I will not become an Adobe slave. If your subscription expires and you have files in the native Adobe formats, you no longer have access to files you own. You have to essentially pay blackmail to Adobe. “Pay or lose your files.” When a gang in Russia says that, it’s illegal. When Adobe makes it policy, it’s all warm and fuzzy? As for your Q&A, according to Adobe you are wrong. No more upgrades, updates or new features for CS software. It’s gone. There will be no CS7. CS6 is the end. It’s 100% Creative Cloud. BOLU.

  73. Trust Scott Kelby to make all the excuses in the world for Adobe. This is a guy who gets it for free, and is happy to write propaganda garbage for his master. Pathetic.

    All these absurd analogies, you pay rent, you pay cable etc. We all have a choice of cable companies. Rent is very different from software that if I pay for, I should own it. Just like every other piece of software.

    I don’t see Microsoft forcing people to pay online for Microsoft Office. Such a load of nonnsese. It’s a money maker for Adobe, end of story. They don’t have to produce the DVD’s, packaging and it probably saves them a ton in customer service. They can now lay off a few thousand people as well. And force upgrades on everyone.

    Greeed is just as addictive and as smoking. I will NEVER sign up for their scam cloud.

    And BTW, regarding the so called anti piracy thing, it will be hacked the moment it is released just like before. It will not stop that at all.

    1. have to say I completely agree with these sentiments. I’m a pro photographer and have used PS for many years and purchased all the upgrades as well as multiple versions for mac and pc. I am disgusted with Adobe’s arrogance and sheer greed. The prices offered by Adobe for Photoshop license rental is simply astounding and makes absolutely no sense for the majority of freelancers. Okay so I am just one little user in this big world of corporate greed, but let me make my one voice heard today. NO WAY Adobe!!!! Not now. Not ever!!! I would suggest that all photographers who disagree with this policy change should boycott this until Adobe are forced to do a U-turn on this. If they don’t then invest your hard earned money in to their competitors software (the extra business for them will help to improve the functionality over time).
      Save all your important PSD files as TIFF’s and start changing your workflow to ignore this now over controlled proprietary (and soon to be obsolete) file format.

  74. I am P-off that they won’t improve CS6 anymore and that if I want the latest I have to pay (more money than an upgrade) every month. The products are great but this is black mail.

  75. This post was deleted as expected. Here it is again.

    Trust Scott Kelby to make all the
    excuses in the world for Adobe. This is a guy who gets it for free, and
    is happy to write propaganda garbage for his master. Pathetic.

    All these absurd analogies, you pay rent, you pay cable etc. We all
    have a choice of cable companies. Rent is very different from software
    that if I pay for, I should own it. Just like every other piece of

    I don’t see Microsoft forcing people to pay online for Microsoft
    Office. Such a load of nonnsese. It’s a money maker for Adobe, end of
    story. They don’t have to produce the DVD’s, packaging and it probably
    saves them a ton in customer service. They can now lay off a few
    thousand people as well. And force upgrades on everyone.

    Greeed is just as addictive and as smoking. I will NEVER sign up for their scam cloud.

    And BTW, regarding the so called anti piracy thing, it will be hacked
    the moment it is released just like before. It will not stop that at

  76. I’m a crime scene investigator, and Adobe Photoshop has been our primary environment. Given the lack of funds in most agencies (and available alternatives), Adobe will be saying goodbye to the law enforcement community. For the most part, we pay for one license on a single computer, then each officer who needs it usually purchases an individual license. Given the almost-nonexistent paycheck, we won’t be able to do this anymore (since we mostly purchase a new version every-other-release). If Lightroom is included in the shift to the cloud, expect to see many wedding photogs abandoning Adobe as well. While nice as an option for large businesses, Adobe is shooting themselves in the foot and opening the door for other publishers such as OnOne.

  77. I realize Photoshopuser and NAPP have Adobe to thank for their their success and thus would be suicidal to comment against Adobe’s move to the Creative Cloud. I feel a better synposis about this move, albeit more anti Adobe, can be read here: Rather than repeat what is already well written and supported, I’ll just leave this link to press home the points for those of us hobbyists and retired folks who cannot pay into Adobe’s pricing scheme.

  78. I am curious. If all you needed was Photoshop, what is a price you feel would be reasonable to be connected to it through CC only, and was locked into a two year subscription like a cell phone or internet/cable subscription? $5/month, $10/month?

  79. Don’t think I’m going to take the word of a fanboi who makes a living off of training and hawking Adobe products. $600 a year, every year is not worth the cost. Even $240.00 a year, every year for one product is definitely not worth it.

  80. For those of you still intrigued by the idea of Cloud being a good option for you, let me be a person from bad experience from the cloud contract warn you. Say you sign up for the one year contract, and half way through you decide, “You know what I want to cancel, it turns out this just isn’t for me.” Just know this Adobe will charge you 50% less of whats left on the one year contract. They don’t mention this to you on the day of signing up, but I’m sure you can find it in the small print. They will try to keep you in contract by offering one month free, other then that they will charge you the rest of the months you have left to one year contract. So say you have 8 months left 50% off of the $50 is now $25 times that by eight months you have left and it comes out to $200 not to bad right, at least they were kind enough to cut it off half price, yeah thats until they throw in the tax in as well, so depending on what state you live in, the price for me would be $230. Just remember if you find yourself not staying committed to the one year contract, there will be fee’s to pay for the months you aren’t even going to use.

  81. Just what I was looking for. That helped me a lot. I would like to share with you a great service to merge some files online. I’ve found AltoMerge – online service for files merging. It’s pretty easy to use. You can find it here

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