Adobe Creative Cloud or Bust

What is Creative Cloud?

The update to Adobe Creative Suite software (AKA CS 7) will be  as Creative Cloud. It is a subscription only pricing model.

The title, for now, has more to do with marketing then how the product functions.


Common Questions

How much? Is it more?

After the first year if you want the suite it’s $49/mo. If you want a single product it’s $29/mo  $19/mo. You really need to do the math for yourself to see if this is going to save or cost you money.  This great article has some of the most common pricing scenarios. Professionals may also want to take into account the tax benefit of using Creative Cloud, since it won’t be a depreciation deduction.

May 28th Adobe released a statement basically saying they will have a special deal for photographers. My guess is that it will be $19/mo for PS and LR.

When does the new Creative Cloud get released?

All apparently get released on June 17th.

How often does Creative Cloud need Internet?

You receive the product from a download along with all updates. After that all Creative Cloud requires is that the computer is connected to the internet with any product open every 99 days. (With annual membership) This is to prove you have a right to the products.

Not Cloud based apps

Using Creative Cloud (remember, think CS 7) does not require a constant internet connection. It is not Photoshop operating off the cloud. Your software lives and works from your hard drive, just like always.

Your updates are available in an App Store like interface. You go to one place to download and update them all. The says that updates can be pushed out without choice. The license hints that they may push updates without end-user permission, that’s not the way it works now though.

What happens if I stop paying?

You lose access to all the programs you got from the Creative Cloud service. If you have a license for a previous program and still have the software you could reload it and use it.

What’s in it for me?

You want the latest software and don’t mind the monthly payment. As i did the math, if you currently own a CS version and you are confident right now you can wait 7 months to get updates, it makes sense to forgo the intro pricing and wait.

  • You get all of these. Don’t think you need any? Neither did I a year ago when I signed up. I know have 7 loaded and I use them fairly regularly.
  • You’ll get the next version of the creative suite software, now called creative cloud. The features of it are being shown by Adobe’s advertising program now.
  • You get access to 20GB of cloud storage for your projects and collaboration.
  • You get access to Behance. It’s a place to “showcase and discover” your work. I just set my Behance up in about 5 min, synced to Google+, Twitter and Facebook.

Why Adobe is Creative Cloud or bust

Where are they going?

In this episode of  The Grid an Adobe rep talks about plans to bring ACR compatibility (LR branded RAW capable) post processing to mobile devices. When Adobe developed ACR 7 / LR 4 they coded edits to the RAW to be a simple text file. They want to use these text files to be capable of editing RAW files on our iPad. Imagine being able to adjust the white point, tweak WB, and add a sharpness brush and your custom-made iris preset to the eyes. That change log, since the file is only text, is sent to the cloud. Once back to a conventional desktop machine you can run LR 5 and see all those changes. You open up your pictures and all your edits are already there.

So that’s the clouds version of enhancing the workflow for RAW editing. That same interface won’t work for a .psd file. It gives us a hint of what may be down the road. Store the base files in the cloud in one location. Store the change log somewhere else. The change log gets updated as you edit. If you log into a different machine For mixed media artists the cloud features are going to be more standard. If you work in an Adobe based industry file sharing and collaboration may be easier. Perhaps Dropbox based workflows will be enhanced.

Organic Third Party Getting it Together

What Adobe is battling against is third-party developers making solutions for individual problems. These third-party developers can create more innovative solutions, quicker, more focused in a specific need, and easier to use. These apps are slowly taking a piece of their pie. the next step would be for them to get organized and become more of a standard.


If you stop paying the subscription all you are left with is whatever software you had before subscribing. I’d prefer if there was a one time option to stop paying and to be able to keep that version of the software for good. Like me, I started with CS3 but now will probably make Premiere Pro and After Effects projects for the next 20 years. When I retire it might be nice to be able to open them.

Is it for me?

If you are a professional or high budget nonprofessionals and have the highest standards for software, need intra-application interface, need the most support, or need the industry standard acceptance that Adobe offers then I think you really don’t have another choice. The net is ablaze right now with other solutions for your software needs. Just realize that as you save money you are more than likely not going to experience the benefits of this software. There is a reason Adobe is the industry leader.

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  1. I respect your article, but this is a shame for Adobe, This makes me think if I buy in to it, will their prices at some point be higher. I am one of those who buy one version and maybe skip one or two versions. This is the same scenario of the gaming console battle. I like my software to be mine and have it on disc, maybe pendrive, call me old fashioned but there are a lot of people who think like me. Second remember some countries don’t have high speed internet, downloading would be a pain for those users. Third I don’t think people will buy it, at least people I know don’t like that idea. The only thing good is the amount of space for files and the ipad thing, but seriously I like to work my files either on my laptop or my desktop. much easier, bigger screen too to see details.


    1. John

      I appreciate you thoughts. There are ALOT of people like you, people who never have paid for every upgrade. This pricing plan is more expensive and cuts you out. I realize how much this stinks. I was in your shoes until last year. I had CS 3 for years. When CC came out I took the plunge. For me PS is small potatoes compared to what the other applications have done for me creatively. When I walk up to a scene I know I can capture still, stop motion, time lapse, or straight video and expertly craft it into a story with the best software available. If I want to get into audio, I just download the app and try it. If I want to completely hand make my website, just download the app and do it myself. These worlds were never open to me when I was a PS CS 3 user.
      That being said I realize how much this model put users like you out in the cold.
      One thing to be clear about. CC is not an actual cloud based model. It’s just the name. You say you want to work off files saved to your harddrive. That is still exactly how it works. Adobe has never showed or said they ever plan on making this an actual full fledged cloud based product. (ie chrome book)


  2. Jose A De Leon · · Reply

    I will not be joining the Cloud Mark even though your article is great. I will continue with my boxed CS6 copy. The program has so much potential and so many hidden stuff that I’m still learning, let alone a new version. Adobe decided to go this route and forgot who got them there. It’s like in professional sports where the mega million dollar player forgets who’s the boss: The Fans.


    1. That sounds like a GREAT plan Jose. It’s likely no one person could ever tap into all that CS6 can do!


  3. It’s a cash grab plain and simple.A lot of people won’t go along.If the studios do they are really fools and get what they deserve.The Adobe updates in the cloud are nothing short of ho-hum.


    1. Thanks for sharing your opinions. This one sure does polarize people!


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