You can poke it with a stick all you want but it’s official — Creative Suite is out and Creative Cloud is in. Way in. Actually, make that all in. To the point where CS6 is now the final Suite and has been put on life support, with sales ending in the indeterminate future. Adobe made official yesterday what many of us had anticipated for some time, namely that its Creative Cloud service would become the focal point of its offering of tools and services to the creative and development community.

The keynote presentation delivered yesterday at the MAX Creativity Conference was notable for the sound of nails being hammered in the coffin of perpetual licenced applications, with demo after demo and announcement after announcement reinforcing Adobe’s commitment to a membership-only future. Photoshop CC is the new moniker for our favorite image editing app, with it and its brethren to be made available in June for the happy few with subscriptions. So is the glass half full or half empty?

Before you jump to conclusions, I suggest you take a look at the laundry list of functionality that has been added to the new version of Photoshop. While those who believe that everything after version 7 has been bloatware won’t be pleased, the rest of us who actually make a living using it will have to admit that the new functionality isn’t all window dressing. Here’s a tip: if you own Photoshop CS3-CS6, have no interest in the other CC applications and services, and only want to use the new version of Photoshop, you can take advantage of a single-app membership, available for $9.99 per month (with an annual commitment), a special offer that is available until July 31st, 2013. Since this includes things like a Behance ProSite membership worth a hundred bucks, it’s a pretty good deal — although less so when the price doubles at the end of the first year (hello, Adobe!). This offer also doesn’t seem to be available in all countries, which is annoying and continues the Adobe tradition of sticking it to people outside the US.

So what do you think? Are we all doomed to be ground up like sausage in the evil subscription machine that is Creative Cloud? Or is this the dawning of a golden era of affordably-priced applications and services? Beats me.

You can get more info about Photoshop CC on the blog and the Adobe site. The Creative Cloud FAQ is a good place to start if all this is new to you.


Creative Bits is a popular blog about Creativity, Graphic Design, Adobe, Apple and other related subjects.

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