Table of Contents Hide
Adobe is gearing up to release Creative Cloud, their online edition of the Creative Suite. The San Jose-based company claims it offers all of the benefits of their desktop applications, with the added ability to use anyof their CS software titles. Creative Cloud gives users the freedom to run any Adobe Master Collection application on a multitude of systems and store their work in the cloud. However, critics of the platform claim the cost outweighs the benefits of these Cloud features.Much like its desktop-based prototype, Adobe Creative Cloud enables users to explore, create, publish, and share work using Adobe’s proprietary set of desktop and mobile aps and services. According to Adobe, users can work on all aspects of their projects, from ideation to publishing.
Adobe initiated the project because they realize that the needs of professional users are vastly different than they were a decade ago. Designers are now working on a variety of devices, including smartphones and iPads. The Creative Cloud takes the traditional windowed approach and transforms it into a more natural and intuitive experience.
Creative Cloud licensing is aggressive compared to the desktop version, but offers increased flexibility and more benefits compared to the original programs. In support of their approach to the new offering, Adobe reiterates Creative Cloud is an ecosystem, combining services with apps to create next-generation products.
In some ways, Creative Cloud is a better value than the traditional desktop experience because users can access any app within the CS montage. Users who subscribe to the Creative Cloud service can download any of these apps, included in their subscription:
- Photoshop Touch
- Premiere Pro
- Photoshop Lightroom
- Adobe Debut
- Adobe Proto
- After Effects
- Flash Professional
- Flash Builder
Additionally, Adobe Creative Cloud is more than an application subscription, it is an inclusive user experience than transcends individual devices. All of your cloud files are synchronized across compatible gadgets, so you can be productive regardless of the device you’re using. With 20 GB of free storage included in your membership, your chances of running out of space are slim.
The Creative Cloud includes a few innovative services that boost productivity, such as the Adobe Design Publishing Suite, which allows you to transform brochures into iPad apps without any programing skills. An online type kit is also included, which gives you access to hundreds of professional-grade fonts in the cloud.
Keeping up with new web standards
Creative Cloud includes several new tools that allow developers and designers to keep afloat with the latest trends, such as HTML5 and Cascading Style Sheets. Adobe’s recent move to the Cloud signals the company’s willingness to adapt to market conditions. As they progress, they will undoubtedly support–and embrace–the newest Web Standards.
Pricing biggest obstacle for Creative Cloud
Creative Cloud launches in the first half of 2012, but critics are already putting in their two cents. According to a survey conducted by Jefferies & Co. and CNet, pricing remains the biggest concern for users. Creative Cloud costs $600 per year for individuals and $840 per year for corporate users.
This doesn’t sound like a lot compared to the steep prices of their desktop applications, but it is. Due to the massive price tag, desktop users often upgrade every other version, which is roughly every four years. The upgrade costs are typically much less, too.
The CNet survey indicated 41 percent of users had issues with the pricing, whereas only 31 viewed the pricing model as positive. Many users don’t buy into the “rent my software” paradigm Adobe is trying to leverage. For example, if someone upgrades every time a new version is released, it costs him or her $550. A two-year Creative Cloud membership would cost the same user $1,200, doubling their costs.
While it’s not easy to justify the price, it does have its advantages. Users will have access to the latest products and services as Adobe launches them. Additionally, they can work device independent, accessing their collateral on a variety of computers without buying additional licenses. For corporations, the flexibility could result in higher productivity rates.
Will renting software work?
We’ll have to wait and see whether or not Adobe’s pricing model will be successful. Users have long since paid to rent music (Rhapsody or Spotify) and movies (Netflix), but can it work for software, too? Regardless, Adobe needs to adjust their pricing scheme to entice desktop users to transition to the new platform. Otherwise, what’s the benefit?