Adobe Turns Creative Suite Into Cloud-Based Subscription Software

Adobe Creative CloudBack in March, a rumor made the rounds that Adobe would move away from selling packaged software, making Creative Suite programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator only available as cloud-based subscription software. The rumors claimed May 1 as the date this this change would happen. While not giving much specific information, Adobe at that time did confirm that it would stop selling physical packaged software and that all software would be available via download or online subscription. As often happens with rumors, May 1 came and went with no announcement from Adobe.

However, today during its keynote at the Adobe Max Creativity Conference, Adobe announced sweeping changes to the Creative Suite programs. All Creative Suite programs will now be re-branded as Creative Cloud.  Adobe will stop selling perpetual licenses and move completely to a subscription-based pricing system for all former CS apps. Creative Cloud (CC) is currently priced at $50 per month for individuals who purchase an annual subscription. Existing Adobe customers who own CS3 through CS5.5 get the first year of Creative Cloud at a promotional price $30 per month; educational pricing is also $30 per month. CS6 users can sign up for CC for $20 a month for the first year. More importantly for many photographers, single app pricing is $10 a month for the first year. Lightroom is the only CS app that will exist both as part of the CC and as a perpetual license. According to Adobe, this is due to Lightroom’s status as both a consumer and professional product. Adobe also announced significant upgrades to the new CC apps that will launch in June.

What does this mean for professional photographers? For most of us, it will be a big change. CS6 will continue to be available as a perpetual license and will be supported through the next significant upgrade to the Mac and Windows operating systems. However, there will be no further development for that version. Going forward, if you want to use Photoshop, you will have to have a Creative Cloud subscription of some sort.

While some level of internet connectivity is likely required, these are not (despite the name) cloud-based apps that require a constant connection. These are software programs that you download and install to your computer. You can work offline as you would with any version of Photoshop you have used in the past. The big difference now is that if you don’t pay your subscription fee, the software will stop functioning.

More information about the changes coming to Photoshop specifically can be found on Adobe’s website:


Tags: , , , , ,

7 Responses to “Adobe Turns Creative Suite Into Cloud-Based Subscription Software”

  1. NUNYA Says:

    This is a terrible thing to do to those of us who do not want to be bullied by mega corporate monopolists.

    I do not want to have my work in the cloud for many reasons. Primarily because it is, or should be, my right to choose how I work as an artist.

    Photoshop is simply virtual corporate extortionist depriving people of ownership of the merchandise they have purchased or will purchase in the future.

    When there is a comparable photo editing suite available I will be amongst the first to jump ship.

  2. Marty Says:


    There is a comparable photo editing suite available. Check out GIMP, it is open source and free. Once you get past figuring out all your old short-cuts, it works great.

  3. Leon Says:

    This is beyond a terrible idea. No upgrading for me!

  4. John Says:

    Aperture with Nik plug-ins!
    Adobe will end up like Kodak if it’s not careful…

  5. Adobe im Wolkenkuckucksheim Says:

    […] Adobe) »Adobe Goes All-In With Subscription Based Creative Cloud…« (Techcrunch, 6.5.2013) »Adobe Turns Creative Suite Into Cloud Based Subscription Software” (PDN Pulse, 6.5.2013) »Adobe kills Creative Suite, goes subscription only” (CNet, 6.5.2013) […]

  6. The Meltdownman Says:

    Because it’s all part of the plan:

  7. Terry R Jones Says: