in Technology

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud gives users the freedom to use Adobe’s multitude of applications through its ‘Cloud network’, but a recent company decision by Adobe to focus their software developments entirely on their Cloud subscriptions has created some controversy among users concerned with the narrowing options of Adobe’s platform.

Cloud technology has been a boon for both software developers and users, enabling people to readily access their desired technology with more flexibility and freedom than on-site installations that limit software to a single computer, but this freedom significantly changes the way developers and consumers interact; from readily available updates to no longer being able to purchase the physical copy of any given software, Adobe’s decision has put a microscope on Cloud technology as a whole and potential ramifications of future innovations.

Adobe Creative Cloud

More surprising still is Adobe’s decision to streamline their products into a single Creative Cloud subscription model, reducing the choices users have when purchasing Adobe products. Adobe licensing agreements and costs are undergoing their own transformations, and though the versatility of Cloud once allowed Adobe to give users the options of subscribing to individual applications within their Creative Cloud Suite as opposed to purchasing the full suite and being charged for compounding license fees, Adobe has recently made the decision to do away with that model in favor of limiting users to purchasing Creative Cloud subscriptions en masse in bulk.

Speculations vary, with some proponents suggesting the business decision to be a pragmatic response to the problems that arose when users had the freedom to individually purchase Adobe software, including compatibility issues, as well as some difficulty in successfully updating a single pinpoint in the vast spectrum of Adobe Creative Cloud.

Creative Cloud Membership Subscription

This new business model allows users to get immediate upgrades for their software, which also gives Adobe the opportunity to smooth over errors and functionality issues that arise from new products, or coincide negatively with existing products. The method could be likened to the update and upgrade process of most personal computers, which often need to upgrade and fix numerous programs that work in tandem to benefit the functionality of the system as a whole; Adobe Creative Cloud is a similarly holistic software suite with numerous bundles of software and interlocking functionality codes. Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions also help users better budget their investment in Adobe, eliminating the marginal and varied prices that came with individual purchases and alternating subscription models.

Users also receive access to every single piece of software Adobe releases, incentivizing them to explore beyond their comfort zone, or readily experiment with extensions, add-ons and alternatives. However, opponents of Adobe’s decision have concerns over the implications of this new subscription model, and most of these concerns have to do with Adobe’s decision to essentially force users to subscribe to their Creative Cloud.

Technological idealists tend to favor more options, while Adobe’s decision has a decidedly business oriented slant meant to attract more users to the full Creative Cloud platform at the cost of eliminating the software perusing that many users previously enjoyed. Less obvious are the problems automated updates and upgrades might cause with individual pieces of Adobe software that can be adversely affected within the proximity of a foreign upgrade that causes errors with certain functions, options and interfaces.

Adobe Creative Suite Pricing

The fact that Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions must be activated online is another wrinkle in this new model, since many users who enjoy Adobe software do so offline. The heavy reliance on an internet connection to download, install and then maintain programs limits professional users who employ Adobe software on the field, out of contact or outside of modern internet amenities.

The good news is that Creative Cloud subscriptions come at a relatively reasonable monthly price undercutting the $50 mark, while users who already own Photoshop and other comparable Adobe products will receive their Creative Cloud subscriptions for just $29 a month. Users concerned about the cons of this new model can at least be comforted by the wealth of programs available on the Cloud, including After Effects CS6, Photoshop CS6, InDesign CS6, Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 Family, Fireworks CS6, Illustrator CS6, Flash Professional CS6, Dreamweaver CS6 and many more.

Provided there is an available online connection, downloading and installation these programs is easier and quicker than before, thanks to Cloud technology. But even this upside begins to fall down when considering the fact that monthly subscriptions ultimately tally up to a much greater cost than individual purchases, especially for users who enjoy Adobe products over extended periods of time.

An individual purchase of a physical piece of software might run up hundreds of dollars, but subscribing to Adobe Creative Cloud for several years will run up twice that. Weary fans should be heartened by the fact that Adobe’s new business model fits into a relatively grey area, and for every potential issue caused by long term usage versus long time subscription fees, or accessibility versus the availability of an online connection, there are several benefits.

What’s Next?

This is a relatively new business model that doesn’t have a lot of precedence in the industry, and accordingly, there are several creases to iron out and likely several issues that are going to be resolved in the coming years. One of the most winning features of Adobe’s new Creative Cloud subscription is the flat rate for both Adobe and users, helping each to better modify and measure their investment and commitment to the brand.

Adobe will be able to fix software errors quicker, and users will be able to enjoy upgrades automatically, with the same effortless functionality of personal computers evaluating their own processes and routinely checking for updates and upgrades to better serve the user. Monthly subscription services have already saturated the market with other online services, but whether or not Adobe finds a new home in this business model remains to be seen.

As for the users themselves, they no longer have a choice in this matter, while their choices in other matters have opened up tenfold, expanding the accessibility of Adobe products and the ease in which those products are installed and monitored. Ultimately, it’s important for users to acknowledge that this is a relatively new model and will adjust itself in the immediate future.

Here is a video overview of Adobe Creative Cloud.

My Experience

Unfortunately, the Creative Cloud Installation was a horrifying event for me. I spend 3+ hours trying to figure out how to download the apps as clicking on the buttons didn’t worked on any of the major browsers. I almost gave up when a friend on Facebook suggested I try to download via

$ curl > CreativeCloudInstaller.dmg

That worked for me. I googled and I realized lots of people have issues with the installations. I hope your experience turns out better than mine.