Adobe Creative Cloud is Now AvailableVootie (1485 pencils) | Fri, 2012-05-11 13:40
Arriving two years after CS5, and a year after CS5.5, the scope of the CS6 upgrade, released earlier this week, is ambitious and poses questions for those planning to purchase or upgrade. Central to this is the decision to purchase or rent suites or applications, made possible by Adobe's new Creative Cloud, which is available today. Described as a "hub for making, sharing and delivering creative work," membership provides the ability to download and install every Adobe CS6 application, as well as the new HTML5-centric product Adobe Muse 1.0 and the preview of Adobe Edge. The new SpeedGrade and Prelude are targeted to those involved in video production.
Adobe's bet is that since we don't hesitate to pay for such services as internet or cell phone connectivity, we'll feel the same way about a $49.99 per month all-you-can download plan, which is the cost if you sign up for an annual contract (it's $74.99 per month for month-to-month membership). To sweeten the pot, an introductory offer of $29.99 per month for CS3, CS4, CS5 and CS5.5 customers is also available for the first year, although you'll need to commit to this by August 31, 2012, and after that the price will revert to $49.95.
Creative Cloud members will have access to ongoing application updates, prior to their availability to those who have purchased traditional point versions. If Adobe manages to deliver a steady stream of significant upgrades, this could add a lot of value to the subscription model. Beyond the suite applications, annual plan members receive a rather modest complimentary month of access upon signing into Creative Cloud to three qualifying Touch Apps but after that you'll need to purchase them. Originally Adobe had indicated that these were included in Creative Cloud subscriptions, so it's regrettable that they are now a separate purchase, something that will slow adoption. Both Photoshop Touch and Adobe Ideas for iOS benefit from new features and additional language support.
The Creative Cloud makes possible the synchronizing and storing of files in the cloud for sharing and access on any device, thanks to the new Creative Cloud Connection desktop application. Only a rather limited 20GB of storage is provided with membership, with more of course available for purchase. Other services include Adobe Business Catalyst for creating and hosting sites, and Adobe Typekit for serving a collection of 700 webfonts. Promised for the future are Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4; the first complete release of Adobe Edge; and Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, Single Edition, for publishing digital magazines on iPad.
Here's something else to keep in mind if you're trying to decide between upgrading via the traditional model or by subscribing to Creative Cloud. Early this week Adobe released several security bulletins, including such applications as Photoshop and Illustrator. In the past, security patches have simply been made available to users of earlier versions. But it's notable that Adobe now says that the security fixes are available only by upgrading to the CS6 versions. Adobe puts it this way: "Adobe has released Adobe Illustrator CS6, which addresses these vulnerabilities. For users who cannot upgrade to Adobe Illustrator CS6, Adobe recommends users follow security best practices and exercise caution when opening files from unknown or untrusted sources." Since Creative Cloud will push out updates as they become available, it looks like that may well be the only the way to receive security updates going forward. Hopefully, Adobe will rethink this approach or at least clarify where it stands on critical security updates.
More information about Creative Cloud is available on the Adobe site.
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