So, have you been hearing about Adobe® Photoshop CC® lately? Welcome to the Brave New World of Adobe®Creative Cloud™, and all of the confusion that results from a revolutionary concept. Since it’s here to stay, it’s time to get your head into the ‘Cloud’!
We’re all familiar with the traditional method of purchasing software, whether from Adobe or another company: install the software on your computer (say, Photoshop CS6), enter a key, and it’s yours to use in perpetuity – a “perpetual” license.
Now Adobe has a new business model. When buying Adobe’s software, you’re no longer purchasing a “perpetual” license. You’re now going to essentially “rent” the software on a monthly (or yearly) basis – no more CS7, CS8, etc.
By the way, the best I can tell, you can no longer purchase Photoshop CS6 (or a good portion of the other “perpetual” products) from Adobe.
Biggest Myths – What it is NOT:
~ “It is NOT Browser-based / Cloud-based”. You actually install the software on your computer, just like you normally would. The only differences are:
1.) the licensing, and
2.) the initial download comes from Adobe’s website.
~ “You Do NOT have to be connected to the Internet to use the program”. However, the program does need to “check in” with Adobe’s servers at least once a month. Remember, the software is on your computer, NOT on the web, and does not run “in the Cloud”.
~ “You are NOT required to upload your files to the “Creative Cloud”. You can keep your files on your computer or storage device, just like always, or you can upload your files, if you want, to your personal Creative Cloud storage space (20 GB).
~ “Initial costs”:This is a biggie, as the initial cost of purchasing a “perpetual” license in the past could be steep ($600+), and has been an impediment to those on a budget. Now you can get a single CC license (say, Photoshop CC) for $20 a month, possibly less (see Adobe Special below). Yes, you read that correctly: You can have a completely operational, legal, up-to-date full version of Photoshop for an initial investment of $20 or less, NOT the $600+ that it used to cost!
~ “Latest software version”: At the moment, Photoshop CC is essentially Photoshop CS6 extended, with some very nice embellishments. But one of the biggest advantages of the Creative Cloud is immediate access to the latest updates and features, without having to worry about a version upgrade fee (which averaged around $179 per version).
~ “The Creative Cloud” – 2 Advantages here:
1.) If you use (or are thinking of using) other Adobe apps, such as Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere, or Flash, you’ll realize some big savings by stepping up to a different pricing plan.
2.) As a Creative Cloud member, you’ll have access to online cloud storage for backup, sharing, etc.
~ “Long-term Cost”: This is the one aspect of the Creative Cloud that can rankle: You will be paying a bit more per year than you would if you purchased a perpetual license with upgrades. But since everything is going up in cost these days, I personally look at this with a jaundiced eye, as the increase is not outrageous, in my opinion.
~ “You are ‘locked into’ the Creative Cloud”: True, but isn’t that the case with a “perpetual” license, in some ways? For example, you may have purchased Photoshop CS4, but then you upgrade your camera (and shoot RAW) – you more than likely will need to upgrade your Photoshop version to accommodate the newer RAW file.
~ “Confusion”: No doubt about it! A new concept can generate a ton of confusion, but Adobe has put together a fairly extensive FAQ page, with live chat – Click Here.
Pricing / Adobe’s Special before August 31st, 2013:
~ There are two basic pricing plans for individuals.
1.) Single App Plan: If you only need Photoshop (like I do), this is the best way to go – $20 per month (or less!)
2.) Complete Plan: All of the available Creative Cloud apps, including Photoshop CC – $49.99 per month (or less!)
~ “Adobe Special”: Existing CS customer can save 50% on the single app plan, but you must sign up by August 31st! The price is $10 per month – it’s billed monthly, and requires an annual commitment.
~ The full individual pricing structure is here.
Sign up now, particularly if you are an existing user of Photoshop – how can you go wrong spending $120 for a year of access to the latest Photoshop version? Besides, this is the future of Photoshop, so be a “trendsetter”!
Until the next column, have fun and stay well!