Adobe recently announced that they will be phasing out the boxed version of their Creative Suite software and moving solely to their cloud-based solution, Adobe Creative Cloud. This is a big shift in how we’ve used Adobe products over the years, but I think it’s a great improvement and will only get better along the way. There’s probably room for a think-outside-the-box joke, but let’s not beat that dead horse cliché.
In the past, a boxed product of Adobe Photoshop would run you $699, but now, a Creative Cloud subscription for Photoshop is only $20 a month. Ever cowered at the thought of even asking for management approval to purchase the whole Adobe Master Suite of products at a hefty $2,600? Now, it will be easy to fit the $50/month subscription into most budgets, especially with the value of having access to the most recent version of nearly every piece of Adobe software out there.
I have been a Creative Suite user since the days of InDesign 1, and have had a hard time keeping up with the changes. I’ve also experienced a lot of version compatibility issues; if someone you’re working with has a different version of InDesign, at times, you can’t even open the files. One great advantage of Adobe going all-cloud is increased accessibility to newer versions of their software. The pricing puts it in feasible range for most marketing departments, and keeps the newest versions of creative software within reach.
Another benefit of the Creative Cloud is the instant access to the huge variety of programs. I regularly use InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator, and love the constant updates and added features that the Creative Cloud provides. I also have learned to use Acrobat more thoroughly, including its form builder, which I would not have even looked at without the Creative Cloud. I’ve also had the opportunity to start learning video editing using Adobe Premiere Pro. Prior to the Creative Cloud, the steep price of Premiere Pro alone was enough to make me shy away from the already time-intensive learning curve of video editing.
The main disadvantage of the subscription-based model is losing access to the software when you cancel, but cloud-based software is rapidly becoming the norm rather than the exception. I’m happy to acclimate to the cloud!
Adobe includes 20 GB of cloud storage with the subscription, which I can imagine would be a boon to designers working in multiple offices. Services like Dropbox and Google Drive have revolutionized how we work with cloud storage, and Adobe understands this is a valuable add-on.
If you’re in doubt about the Creative Cloud, there’s a 30-day free trial to see how you’d use the software. I, for one, am an instant convert to the cloud. Adobe’s Creative Cloud provides functionality and flexibility at a price that can’t be beat.