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Three Common Misconceptions About Adobe’s Creative Cloud

A bit of a firestorm erupted yesterday after Adobe announced its transition to a subscription-only model for its creative applications, which are now part of a unified Creative Cloud offering. Some of Adobe's customers complained loudly about the move, which came suddenly and as a pretty big surprise — anyone who was paying attention knew this was the direction Adobe would go eventually, but not many expected it to happen quite this soon.
Many of the complaints are legitimate, stemming from a dislike of a "rental" model for critical software applications, a back-of-the-envelope calculation showing increased costs over the long run, or simply fears that the price could increase unreasonably over time. But others result from a lack of information about what, exactly, this "Creative Cloud" stuff means to users. Here are the three complaints we've seen pop up online most often that are not supported by what Adobe has said publicly about Creative Cloud. 
1) I'll be forced to upgrade when Adobe wants me to, not when I'm ready.
Adobe says Creative Cloud members will choose when to install application updates. They will not be pushed to the user's system automatically. In fact, Adobe says you can stick with current versions of products, if you like, as long as your membership is active. In addition, all versions of the Creative Suite products, beginning with CS6, will remain available for the purposes of backward compatibility, and it will be possible for you to keep Adobe Premiere Pro CS6, for example, as a separate application from Premiere Pro CC.
2) The Creative Cloud requires an "always-on" connection that will make it tough for me to work remotely.
You do need to be online to install your software, so you'll have to install the programs you need while you're connected and before you hit the road. But the applications run locally, on your machine. In its FAQ, Adobe says users with an annual memberships will be expected to connect to the web to validate licenses only every 30 days, and products will work offline for 180 days. (Actually, an Adobe blog post about Photoshop CC says it's only 99 days. We're asking for clarification on the apparent contradiction.)
3) The Creative Cloud requires me to store my media and project files online, where they'll be insecure and a pain to access.
Creative Cloud users are not required to store anything online, though the cloud becomes an optional save location. Once your applications are installed, you can use them with local files and media, the same way you currently work. Again, Creative Cloud subscriptions will include online storage, but its use is optional, not mandatory.
For more on the Creative Cloud, read Adobe's FAQ on the subject: www.adobe.com/products/creativecloud/faq.html


Categories: Blog, Business


    As I have been telling people for years, sooner or later EVERYTHING will be done through the internet. BUT who will have sole copyrights on the graphics modified by the online service, Adobe™ or the customer? As you are modifying your graphic will someone at Adobe be monitoring what the content of it is? A Corporate Big Brother if you will. And will Corporate BG tattle to Gov BG? If there is a privacy within the LAW will it be there? This why I do not like this thing called the “cloud”. You will still have to agree to and abide by their Licensing Agreement and will that include copyrights as well? And, remember, once on the internet, always on the internet.

  • Anonymous

    Regarding the grace period for being offline: It’s currently 99 days, but we’re in the process of upping that to 180 days.

  • http://twitter.com/swimtwobirds swimtwobirds

    no one is making those points. I’m geting irritated at publications picking the points that can be swatted away. I don’t want to rent my software, I want to buy it. I refuse to be on a perpetual rent with adobe. Its a disgrace basically. They are gone mad trying to figure out how to wring more money out of the same number of people.

    • phototeach

      They are also making it nearly impossible for small educational institution to use their products under this new model. It is also a great burden on our students who now, instead of buying the Creative Suite once and using it all 4 years have to pay upwards of 1600 dollars for our curriculum needs.

    • tkrewson

      It’s amazing to me the amount of positive press that is coming out about the CC change. The only real dissenters is see are actual users. Are people so stupid to believe this introductory low price will remain -like a drug pusher, the first is bit is a low priced buy (in this case rent). Once you are “on the hook” you have to stay on the hook. You have no backward compatibility – that is the biggest hook there is.

    • stegokitty

      Think of it this way, each of the CS are/were about $1,800. If you were to keep up with the yearly upgrades, after ten years you’d’ve spent $18K. With CC you’ll spend $6K and you have access to every program (if you were to need them) plus storage space. Buying those extra progz (and keeping up with the upgrades) would increase the previous $18K, depending on how many you wanted.

  • Jeff

    The Adobe executive who approved the cloud and renting/subscription should be fired. I’m now actively looking to buy a competing editing software with this announcement. Thanks Adobe – well done. Adobe – Keep sticking your head in the sand and telling yourself and issuing press releases on how great the cloud is while your customer base exists in reality and don’t want to rent/subscribe to your software.

    • Bp

      Look at “light works ” I ran across in an article inone of my trade magazines. It was the FREE editing software used on Hugo and The Kings Speech.

  • John Brune

    CS6 will do me just fine. I won’t be participating in this madness. I have better things to do with my $600.00 a year fee.

  • editor_CO

    Who cares if it’s 180 days grace. The concept still holds one hostage to whatever Adobe wants to charge……i.e.’ pay up or else we disable the software’. It’s like being a carpenter and having to rent your hammer fromt he hardware store on a monthly basis or the hammer stops working. This is driven by pure greed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/todd.pygensky Todd Pygensky

    Let’s face it, the cloud storage option is a joke, nearly every project I edit is a minimum of 100 GB’s in size, so that is useless for me. This is a money grab pure and simple, since many migrated away from FC due to Apple mishandling their own software, Adobe now feels secure enough to limit the availability of the product and dictate how the user can access it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tony.rudenko Tony Rudenko

    Maybe I should start a Computer rental/subscription company… I’m sure Everyone would jump on board with that!!! Adobe had better re think this one… They think they’re gonna make a ton of cash, but not if they’re customer base disappears… They should at least give us the option to buy or subscribe & I think that will make everyone including Adobe happy!!

  • beverins

    “then you should be fine with the last version you purchased from Adobe…no more updates, no more new software….just use what you already have..”

    Please understand that Adobe has chosen not to sell Photoshop CC. Photoshop CC = Photoshop 14. You can only gain access to Photoshop CC for $50 a month. You may not One Time Buy Photoshop CC for ANY price. If you stop your monthly $50 a month rental of Photoshop CC, you lose access to Photoshop CC.

    Similarly, their stated plan is that there will never be a CC2. The versioning of Photoshop, however, will go up. This means that in 6 or 8 months when Adobe releases Photoshop 14.5.. or Photoshop 15 your version will be overwritten when you choose to upgrade. The plugins that you DID buy (some are expensive, I might add) might then break. You will not be able to go back to Photoshop 14.1 – you will be stuck with Photoshop 14.5 because you downloaded the upgrade. There will be no provision to download and run Photoshop 14.1 concurrently with 14.5.

    If you think there is no precedence to this, all you have to do is look at how Apple runs the App Store. There is no facility given to roll back any upgrade of any of their apps to a lower revision. I fully expect Adobe to do the same.

  • DGK

    The vast majority of comments and reactions to this announcement are NOT about the 3 points made in the article. Please address the real concerns of designers/producers/editors/photographers/schools/non-profits. Maybe something good will come of this mistake; maybe some creative developers will come up with a new suite of tools for our trade.

    • CW

      The vast majority of comments recognize the article as what it is — Adobe propaganda drivel. We won’t put up with this outrageous BS. Publications that defend Adobe these days are whoring.

  • JC

    The renting model is fine if that’s just an additional option to owning. But making it the only option seems like a money grab.

    Also, your analogies don’t work at all. If I rent a lens or a jib for a shoot, I still leave that shoot with my footage. I don’t need that lens or jib anymore. However, .psd, .ae, .ai, etc. files are living documents. Once I stop paying for CC, they are useless.

  • http://twitter.com/michael_royal Michael Royal

    This is a socialist idea from the core. How can you not own the paint brush & canvas you use to paint w/? It makes no sense. Please don’t buy into this terrible idea, choose a different product. Avid recently lowered the price on their entry product, Sony Vegas is a viable option and FCP X is half the price of Adobe’s yearly software rental. Why rent, when you can buy! ( Have you heard that in the real estate industry before? I wonder why…)

  • Charles

    This move by Adobe has familiar undertones to me, Apple’s iOS specifically. Activation required or not, there will always be code crunchers out there that find a way to circumvent the system (like jailbreaking). There will be two parties who suffer from this decision: Adobe and their clients. Adobe better dig their heels in deep, because if the constant battle between jailbreakers and Apple has proven nothing else, it’s that this is a very, very long and hard road for a company travel down.

  • Patrick

    If you can’t afford $50 a month to have the most up to date software suite, you obviously are not a creative professional, and either just dabble with these tools for fun, or have a pretty pathetic business model. I bet most of you pay twice that much for your cell phones and don’t think twice – and that is usually not a tool to make money.

    • Charles Ford

      I think for most people, it’s less about the money and more about the tether.

      • cw

        This^ Living with month-after-month blackmail is not acceptable. Period.

    • Wilson Thomas

      It’s not the money in and of itself; it’s the doubling of the cost and for that extra money, you get nothing at the end. It’s the shabby treatment of it’s long-time customers. That’s the real issue.

  • Philip Imbrenda

    It looks like Adobe hired the executives that Target fired? Adobe should give the customer a choice to buy or rent.

  • Daniel Morrison

    That was exactly my concern. A freelancer has to be able to survive when the cash flow doesn’t and resurrect again when opportunity returns. Monthly payments don’t help there.

  • JC

    Many don’t doubt that it’s a viable avenue for some, but to take the other option off the table seems ridiculous to me. Besides, the idea behind this being a “money saver” is disingenuous. If you’re in this business for the long haul then you’ll end up paying more over time. Sure, a lower monthly payment seems attractive at the time, but any responsible freelancer should surely be stashing away a small chunk from each job to account for future hardware/software needs.

    People also need to stop referring to the $50 as a monthly payment. To get that price you need to commit to a year. So it’s $600 a year, or $75 for the monthly plan. It may seem like semantics, but it’s a little more honest.

    The money isn’t even the issue for me. The cost doesn’t seem outrageous to me (despite it being an increase). It’s the fact that I’m renting. I’ve seen people compare this to a car lease. It’s true that car leases appeal to lower income customers and those who always want to be driving a newer model. But here’s the difference… When my lease is up they give me the option to buy. Or, if I had the means in the first place I could have just saved more money by buying up front in the first place.

  • Don Eland

    My students are required to purchase the Master Suite in their Junior year of college, and continue using it in their senior year and the first year after graduation to help establish their media careers.

    If students “remain members” of Creative Cloud for these three years, I calculate a 600% increase in cost for them. Adobe is proposing an unviable solution for them.

  • stegokitty

    I think you mean $18,000. Production Premium typically costs $1800. Do that for 10 years and that’s $18,000.
    $6,000 for CC with upgrades over the next 10 years is 1/3 of that.
    So you’re paying considerably less with CC.

    • JC

      Not quite. You only had to buy Production Premium once at full price. Then upgrades cost considerably less ($375 I believe). That would be $5175.

      You also didn’t have to upgrade every year if you didn’t want to. So if you were on a 2 year upgrade cycle like many were, then it would have only cost you $4796 over that 10 years.

      And you owned it.

      This new model inevitably costs more for everyone. Just because you get what seems like low monthly payments early on, the additional cost adds up in the long run.

      • http://www.facebook.com/christopher.perilli Christopher James Perilli

        Why would you not want to upgrade every year? Am I the only person who thinks CC is a great idea? I can upgrade without dolling out 4-500 at a clip each year to “OWN” software. Who cares about owning software anyway? Probably the same people who buy cars to run them into the ground and keep dumping money into a wreck because of the notion “it’s mine but I put so much money into it” A car as software is a divestment. Plain and simple you ONLY lose money buying software (unless you use it to make money back) outside of it you buy it and in a year it is worthless. I can get a lease and get into a new car without the headaches of owning anything every 3 years. Everything gets old, so if you own some old crappy program thats 4 years old, it is worthless anyhow…. If you are a professional in this industry you want to stay up to the minute cutting edge. The idea you actually own software is ludicrous you own a box with an install in it and after 4-6 years when new OS render your box of junk inoperable then what? Personally I would rather pay 50 or 75 a month than dropping 500 on an upgrade each year. If you are a pro, you are making money and 100 a month shouldn’t be an issue to you at all, not even a blink.

  • kar521

    Imagine Monet or Van Gogh paying a monthly rental for the use of their brushes. More and more software companies are going to take this route. We will no longer own the tools we need to create. ( Now granted we never “owned them” but we had a perpetual license) Now if you don’t keep up with the monthly subscription, you have lost the use of your tools.


    A decade or so ago a group of Hollywood Lawyers and the executives of a consumer electronics retailer called Circuit City co-developed a DVD movie system dubbed DIVX. You could get an affordable DIVX enabled DVD player for your home and then get DIVX discs of major hollywood movies for $3 or $4. You could take the movie home and watch it but the minute you put the DIVX disc in the player the clock started ticking and after 36 hours of viewing the movie for the first time you would have to pay the $3 again for viewing the disc a second, third, or fourth time. The consuming public saw through the charade. They realized that the “movie rental” model though cheap up front would eventually mean they could never own a copy of their favorite movie to watch whenever the mood struck without paying for the right to do so again and again. The consumer backlash over the product ended DIVX within a couple of years, and the general consumer animosity toward Circuit City killed that company years after that. LEARN from history, if you don’t want to rent from Adobe for the rest of your career, DO NOT “Subscribe” to the creative cloud concept. They will get the message.

  • swp09

    Please respond to comment prior to yours. Who will own your content? When you stop paying the monthly fee who controls your content? I read elsewhere that the program will no longer function on your computer once you stop paying the monthly fee. How could you go in and rework old projects if you don’t keep paying? Sounds more like extortion than a subscription plan.

  • arthy

    Stupid blogpost. You are spreading misinformation on misinformation.

    1) I’ll be forced to upgrade when Adobe wants me to, not when I’m ready.

    No one is making that complaint, but whoever subscribes might as well upgrade, as they are already paying whether they want to or not.

    2) The Creative Cloud requires an “always-on” connection that will make it tough for me to work remotely.

    No one is making that complaint, but some are pointing out that it might be a problem if they work in remote location. Not everyone works from plush office in New York.

    3) The Creative Cloud requires me to store my media and project files online, where they’ll be insecure and a pain to access.

    The problem is that whether you need the cloud storage or not, you have to pay for it.

  • Craig Wall

    I agree. Studio Daily is clearly Adobe’s bitch-whore. This is pathetic. I’m done w/Adobe.

  • Randall Tolliver

    learn to like FCPX, because once you use it you will understand how amazing of a program it is.

  • Rodney

    I’ve been using web design, video and photo/illustration software by a company called Magix. It’s pretty damn good too. I freelance in multimedia and actually got hip to Magix years ago but was one of those who wanted to stay with the big name until the company I worked for folded and I had to start freelancing. With living expenses piling up and the scramble to get work, in addition to losing my Mac and software to an unfortunate incident, I made the jump to Magix when a good paying, quick turnaround gig came up. It ain’t Adobe but it works for what I need plus how in the hell does a company figure I need their ass so bad that they can back me in a corner and dictate the relationship I have with them? I’m cool on that. This media game moves too fast and is too competitive for any one company to make and dictate the rules of the game!

  • Dude

    LOL, freakin’ hilarious!

  • Robert Schambach

    If Adobe was smart they would make the newer versions of CC created files not editable on CS applications, how much you want to bet that this will be the case in a very short while.