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