Popular software including Photoshop to become cloud-based, available only with a subscription
Adobe is killing off sales of Creative Suite software line up, making popular programs like Photoshop available only through its cloud subscription service.
The changes were announced as the company detailed its next update for Creative Suite 6 applications.
The update will only be available to Creative Cloud subscribers. It marks the first move in a strategy that will result in its popular professional software only being available through subscription.
It is ten years since Adobe first brought its creative software together in a single pack.
Many of the individual programs are industry standards within their respective sectors. However, they are also some of the most pirated software.
Photoshop is widely believed to the single most pirated piece of software today. Estimates vary, but most agree more than half of all copies of Photoshop in use today are illegal copies.
The new creative cloud subscription service will offer access to all 15 professional apps, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash, After Effect, and Dreamweaver.
It will also include photo editing app Lightroom. Up until now, Lightroom has remained outside of the Creative Suite range.
"This is the decision of our company – to focus on Creative Cloud – and it is huge," said Scott Morris, Adobe's senior marketing director told MacWorld. "It's an even bigger decision than when we moved to Creative Suite years ago."
The move is likely to be highly controversial and could lead to a rise in the cost of software for businesses – especially those in the media and advertising industries.
However, Adobe has brushed away those concerns. It said that is convinced that any complains will subside after a while.
"In the same way [as Creative Suite], there will be customers who have a hard time with it at first," Morris added. "But today our customers are on Creative Suite – they got over it; they saw the benefit of it; and that's exactly the type of transition we’re going through."
Adobe has said that its Creative Cloud pricing will not change as a result of the move.
It currently charges £38.12 plus VAT (£45.74 inc VAT) for individual users.
Adobe is however offering discounts to tempt existing customers over to the new platform.
Existing customers who own CS3 through to CS5.5 can get their first year at £22.22 plus VAT (£26.66 inc VAT).
Meanwhile, CS6 owners are being offered the rate of £15.88 plus VAT (£ inc VAT) for the first year.
It is also offering single-app subscriptions for $10 a month.
For companies, it is pricing a Creative Cloud subscription at £53.20 a month. That includes everything individuals receive, plus 100GB of storage and centralised deployment and administration controls.
It is thought that its consumer software, such as Photoshop Elements and recently released Photoshop Touch are unaffected by the move.
The only professional application that will escape Adobe's new cloud only offering is Lightroom.
"Lightroom is tricky because it falls in between," said Scott. "Lots of consumers use Lightroom, but it's also used by pro photographers. So we're treating it both ways."