Like it or not future software solutions will probably end up in the cloud at one point or another. It is a trend that can hardly be reversed. Big players like Microsoft and Adobe just cannot resist the temptation. The benefits of better cost savings, customer retention and fighting piracy are obvious. But what about advantages for users?
Adobe is promising to sell Creative Suite 6 for the use on supported platforms indefinitely but new releases will only be made available in the cloud. This new marketing approach looks like a big step forward but it may come a little early in the game for many long time users of stand-alone software versions.
Watch the Adobe YouTube video for a basic overview on Adobe`s Creative Cloud:
Subscribing to the Creative Cloud including all of its applications (e.g. Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Premiere, InDesign and others) will cost € 61,49 / $ 49,99 each month (with annual commitment). Single apps can be had in the cloud for € 24,59 / $ 19,99 a month. For a limited time only existing customers of Creative Suite 3 or later can choose to save 40% when they upgrade to the cloud services for only € 36,89 / $ 29,99 a month for the first year. The differences in pricing comparing Europe and the U.S. seem remarkable. This has led to numerous discussions with Adobe users before.
See more on pricing (for U.S.) following the link to Adobe:
Need more details concerning the Creative Cloud straight from Adobe?
Follow this link to their product information.
Some of the benefits and possible drawbacks IMO:
Benefits for consumers
- trial users save money should they opt to cancel their subscription at an early stage (instead of having to buy the whole package all at once)
- professional or heavy users save money in the long run
- added benefit of cloud synching for saving and sharing files across multiple computers (20 GB cloud storage comes free with each subscription)
- speedier updates at no extra cost
- new apps, tools and services added continuously
- online social network community
- good usability (no permanent internet connection necessary)
- non-professional users may find pricing confusing and hard to justify monthly costs
- some users simply resent subscriptions of any kind and prefer one-time expenses
- cloud pricing seems too expensive for users that usually only update software versions every other year and also used to profit from educational pricing
- users may fear Adobe could increase prices at will
- software has to be connected to Adobe servers for verification at least once a month (but 180 days of usage left if internet connection is not possible)
- tardy payers of the monthly subscription fee can lose access to the software after a grace period
The possible drawbacks can make you feel uneasy but the Adobe Creative Cloud does seem to make sense for a lot of users – unless you are a fervent nay-sayer to subscriptions in general or have been pirating these products before.
Preventing piracy must have been the main proposition for Adobe and the cloud will now make it incomparably more difficult for people to crack the software. But in the end it will be up to consumers to accept the new approach. It is not without risk for Adobe. Other software providers might show up offering lower prices with only one-time payments (i.e. software to buy not rent).
The best way for Adobe to go ahead would probably be not to go into the cloud irrevocably but to keep on offering both downloads and hard copies of their bundled Creative Suite or individual components at a reasonable price for some time to come.