Monday, April 23, 2012

Adobe introduces today its new Creative Suite 6 and a new subscription based Creative Cloud

Adobe today will unveil its latest version of its suite of design and web production software tools at an event in San Francisco.

Adobe Creative Suite 6 will remain a heft investment for design professionals with Design Standard going for $1,299, Design & Web Premium and Production Premiere priced at $1,899, and Adobe's Master Collection at $2,599 for full copies of the software suites. Those still working on Creative Suite 4 or older are not being offered upgrade option, while an upgrade from CS5 Web Premium to the new version will cost $749.

Adobe will also be introducing its own cloud service, Creative Cloud. This $50 per month service is an attempt to move away from the purchase model to a subscription model where the user gains access to the software suite as well as training and support services.

This new subscription service may well be the way to go for many professionals who have been priced out of the ability to keep their software up to date by Adobe's pricing.

As a former publisher I can not overstate the problems this upgrade may cause with those in the publishing community which have delayed or cancelled outright much of their investment in technology over the past decade. It has always been the case that keeping design software up-to-date has been expensive and many a budget battle has been fought over expenses tied to Adobe software and Apple/PC hardware.

Over the past few years, however, hardware upgrades have become somewhat less of an issue as many professionals find that their older Macs and PCs still have enough power to handle most new software solutions. But to upgrade Creative Suite every 18 months or so is a tougher task when the package, even at upgrade pricing, costs the equivalent of a new laptop.

As a result, many art directors at smaller publishing firms may be discovering this morning that their old version of Creative Suite can not be upgraded to CS6 and are wondering how they will stay up to date. One question that immediately comes to mind is whether the digital publishing solution providers such as Mag+, Aquafadas, CoverPage and others will continue to support the older versions of CS. If they do, this will lessen costs in the short run. If not, they this could drive more and more publishers into the arms to those third party vendors looking to convert PDFs of print pages into digital tablet editions.