At their recent MAX conference, Adobe announced and provided details on a new initiative, called the Adobe Creative Cloud. The direction that Adobe seems to be heading with this new service, is a subscription based model, where users pay a monthly or yearly licensing fee, and allows them access to a wide variety of desktop applications (Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, After Effects, etc), Touch Apps, Services, and Community features. Membership plans are going to be available during the first half of 2012 and will range from $49.95/month for single users, to $69.95/month per seat for workgroup users. The advantage for users choosing to adopt the new Cloud is that they will always have access to the very latest version of software, with all of the updates, and will not be required to purchase costly upgrades when new versions are released.
Our move to this membership model allows us to keep our customers up to date with the latest Adobe innovations in our tools and related services. Creative Cloud will provide maximum flexibility, offer lower cost of entry, and add cutting-edge innovation on an on-going basis to keep our customers ahead of the changing technology and device landscape.
These monthly memberships are a great option for frequent users of multiple applications, who likely upgrade their software with every new release. However, not all users will fall into this category. For this reason, Adobe will still be allowing users to purchase stand alone software under the current licensing model, although there are some significant changes. Currently, if you want to upgrade to the most recent version of a product, Photoshop for instance, you can purchase a discounted upgrade, provided that your software is within three versions of the current offering. When CS6 is released this will change, and users wanting to upgrade will only be allowed to if they have the latest version. So, if you have CS4, and want to upgrade to CS6 (when available), you would need to purchase a FULL version of CS6, rather than an upgrade only.
If you are an Adobe user and not up to the most current version of your software, we recommend purchasing an upgrade now before the new upgrade policy takes effect. While we don't yet have a date when CS6 will be announced or available, based on the latest information from Adobe we can safely assume that it will be sometime in 2012.