Adobe has said it will no longer be developing its Creative Suite range of software, leaving its subscription and cloud-based Creative Cloud as the only way of accessing the latest version of Photoshop. Adobe has been trying to encourage users away from the traditional one-off payment licenses and on to a monthly payment model, with features such as online storage and syncing between devices. This latest move ups the ante by making it the only option for future versions of the software.

Adobe is clearly concerned about alienating existing users and has set the pricing of its Creative Cloud products at a similar level to its existing software. The cost of licensing just Photoshop CC over 18 months (the typical life-span of a version of Photoshop), is similar to the existing version-to-version upgrade prices, if you commit to a 24-month contract. Paying to use Photoshop CC on an ad-hoc, on/off basis will cost more (though opening the option of only paying for the software when you need it).

Adobe says it will continue to support CS6 but will not be replacing it. This allows it to focus its efforts on a single line of products, rather than trying to support both, in tandem. It also says it will allow the addition of processor-intensive features, such as Camera Shake Reduction tool, where the work can be conducted in the cloud.

To soften the blow, Adobe is offering discounted rates for current owners of Creative Suite (including previous versions), valid until August 2013. The move will not affect Lightroom customers, who will continue to be able to purchase 'perpetual' licenses.

However, while the move clearly makes sense for a company whose software has always been so widely pirated, such a dramatic move will undoubtedly be unsettling for many people who have always thought of software as a one-off purchase.

Adobe has published an open letter to its users and says it wants to start a dialogue with its user-base over the changes.


Press Release:

Adobe Accelerates Shift to the Cloud

LOS ANGELES — May 6, 2013 — At Adobe MAX, The Creativity Conference, Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) today accelerated its shift to the cloud with a major update to Adobe® Creative Cloud™, the company’s flagship offering for creatives. Today’s update to Creative Cloud is packed with features, reimagining the creative process through a new set of “CC” desktop applications and enhanced cross-device collaboration and publishing capabilities (see separate press release). With this update, creative files can be stored, synced and shared, via Creative Cloud, on Mac OS, Windows, iOS and Android; and Behance, the world’s leading online creative community, is integrated with Creative Cloud, so customers can showcase work, get feedback on projects and gain global exposure.

Creative Cloud’s advanced capabilities are making it a hit with the worldwide creative community: more than a half million paid members, and well over 2 million total members have signed up for Creative Cloud since it was launched in April 2012.

Adobe also announced that the company will focus creative software development efforts on its Creative Cloud offering moving forward. While Adobe Creative Suite® 6 products will continue to be supported and available for purchase, the company has no plans for future releases of Creative Suite or other CS products. Focusing development on Creative Cloud will not only accelerate the rate at which Adobe can innovate but also broaden the type of innovation the company can offer the creative community.

“We launched Creative Cloud a year ago and it has been a runaway success,” said David Wadhwani, senior vice president and general manager, Digital Media, Adobe. “By focusing our energy -- and our talented engineers -- on Creative Cloud, we’re able to put innovation in our members’ hands at a much faster pace.”

On top of new collaboration and publishing services and the integration of Behance, today’s announced update to Creative Cloud includes stunning versions of Adobe’s next generation of desktop applications -- including Adobe Photoshop® CC, InDesign® CC, Illustrator® CC, Dreamweaver® CC and Premiere® Pro CC. Adobe’s desktop tools, previously known as Creative Suite (CS), are now branded CC to reflect that they are an integral part of Creative Cloud and have been reinvented to support a more intuitive, connected way of creating.

Adobe is facilitating the transition to Creative Cloud with attractive pricing plans and promotions for individual members, teams and enterprise customers. For more details, visit: https://creative.adobe.com/plans. Adobe will continue to sell licenses for all CS6 products via electronic download from adobe.com and participating resellers.

About Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud is a membership-based service that provides users with access to download and install Adobe creative desktop applications; game developer tools and integration with the Adobe Touch Apps. With Creative Cloud membership, users also have access to: a vibrant global creative community; publishing services to deliver apps and websites; cloud storage and the ability to sync to virtually any device; and new products and exclusive updates as they’re developed.

Membership Plans and Availability

By signing up for Creative Cloud today, creatives will be set up to immediately download and use these latest cloud-enabled innovations from Adobe, when they are available next month. Creative Cloud membership for individuals is US$49.99 per month based on annual membership; existing customers who own CS3 to CS5.5 get their first year of Creative Cloud at the discounted rate of US $29.99 per month. Students and teachers can get Creative Cloud for $29.99 per month. Promotional pricing is available for some customers, including CS6 users. A team version of Creative Cloud includes everything individual members receive plus 100GB of storage and centralized deployment and administration capabilities. Creative Cloud for teams is priced at US $69.99 per month per seat. Existing customers, who own a volume license of CS3 or later, get their first year of Creative Cloud for teams at the discounted rate of US $39.99 per month per seat if they sign up before the end of August 2013.

Adobe also announced Creative Cloud for enterprise today and special licensing programs for educational institutions and government. For more details, visit: https://creative.adobe.com/plans.