Creative Suite 6 available on $49 monthly subscription plan
With its latest release of Creative Suite 6, Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) customers can subscribe for one low monthly price and download the software to their local desktops much like they would from an app store. The cost is just $49 per month for the entire suite or $588 a year, and if you're an existing CS user from versions 3 through 5.5, you can get it for just $29.99 per month.
And your license allows you to load the software on one Mac and one Windows machine, which should please pros who were sometimes forced to buy two software packages in the past.
Compare that with the cost of the boxed software (which they are still offering). To get access to the entire suite would cost $2600. That means it would take over 5 years to pay for itself, during which time the suite would probably be upgraded twice. This would appear to be a much more cost-effective way to own Adobe software.
The Creative Cloud, which was also announced this week, provides a place to share content and gives creative professionals access to some cloud-based tools such as Photoshop Touch, the cloud version of Photoshop.
The cloud also provides an easy way to share Adobe files, which tend to be quite large, making the review process difficult. Using the cloud simplifies that process. What's more, storing the source files in the cloud lets users update their files from any device in real time.
Adobe updated Creative Suite to allow users to download the components they want when they want. They provide ways to easily share content and to update the software. How well the latter works will be key though, because updating Adobe products in the past has been obnoxious. If it's more like the quick, painless way of updating Air software, Adobe will be in good shape.
What's more, an Adobe spokesperson told me that there are plans to update the service to include "the ability to directly publish from Creative Suite products to the web using Adobe's Digital Publishing platform, so users can create and publish with one service." She also indicated that there will be a social component added to it where users can share work, tips and tricks.
While it's a complicated solution, this new way of distributing Adobe software should actually simplify the process of installing and updating software, working with files and taking advantage of working on whatever device you happen to have at hand at any given moment.
I'm not sure why anyone would buy the boxed version.