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Adobe launches Creative Cloud subscription service

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 | Posted by Jim Thacker

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The teaser for Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Launched yesterday, the subscription service provides online access to all of Adobe’s Creative Suite 6 applications with pricing starting at $49.99 per month for an annual contract.

Adobe has launched its new Creative Cloud service, providing online access to Adobe’s entire range of Creative Suite 6 products for a monthly or yearly fee.

Rather than streaming the applications, a Cloud subscription will enable users to download and install any CS6 product on any computer. So long as you don’t run the copies simultaneously, you can install each package on two computers, mixing Windows and Mac OS X versions if necessary.

Currently available to preorder, Creative Cloud also “integrates” Adobe’s Touch tablet apps – although if we’ve unravelled the wording correctly, you still have to pay for the apps separately – provides 20GB of free cloud storage, and offers “the ability to easily publish apps, magazines and catalogues to [iOS] and Android devices”.

As yet, there aren’t many details of what that last bit means in practice, although users will get access to the Adobe Typekit online library of 700 typefaces.

Do the numbers add up?
First announced last year, the Creative Cloud formed part of a controversial series of planned changes to Adobe’s product upgrade policy.

The official news release stresses that Adobe is continuing to offer all 14 CS6 products as individual releases and part of physical product suites – and if you visit its website, the developer is offering upgrades from versions CS3 and above, rather than CS5 and above as originally announced.

Creative Cloud subscriptions cost $74.99 per month, or $49.99 per month based on annual membership. Existing users of CS3 or more recent products get an introductory trial rate of $29.99 per month.

The pricing is interesting: if you’re a user of the Production Premium product suite, it costs $375 to upgrade from CS5.5 to CS6: just under $225 less than a one-year Creative Cloud subscription. If you don’t buy each point release, the additional cost of a Cloud subscription over simply paying for the updates you want increases.

Monthly subs make more sense if you need access to other Adobe tools for specific jobs – but we’d guess that most CG artists only use the apps in the Production Premium bundle, and use them most of the time.

Which means you’ve really got to want advance access to upcoming product releases, or those extra services the Cloud provides. It’ll be interesting to see how many people in the industry switch when Creative Cloud actually becomes available – currently estimated for 7 May 2012.

Read Adobe’s official news announcement

Visit the Creative Cloud website (Includes option to pre-order)

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