Adobe Creative Cloud review
A different way of paying for and accessing the applications of CS6, it shows huge promise
Review Date: 23 Apr 2012
Reviewed By: David Bayon
Price when reviewed: £38 exc VAT per month on annual contract; £57 exc VAT per month without
Creative Suite 6 offers a new way to access the software. Rather than purchasing one of the four main bundles, you can now access what you need via a monthly subscription to Adobe’s Creative Cloud, which also offers some major benefits over a traditional purchase.
For a start, the £38 exc VAT monthly fee (on an annual contract, £57 exc VAT a month without) gives access to everything in the Master Collection and more. The Business Catalyst hosting service, Typekit for web fonts, the Digital Publishing Suite for pushing content to tablets, the Edge Preview and Muse for web development – they’re all included, along with Adobe’s touch apps for tablets.
The key is that, although applications are downloaded and installed locally, the cloud is at the heart of everything. An account can have Windows and Mac versions installed on two machines, and you’ll get software updates as and when they’re ready, rather than waiting for the next full release. An internet connection is only really required every so often to check you’re still paying, but with one your files are kept in sync via the 20GB of included online storage, and you also open up CS6’s collaborative potential.
Adobe’s goal with Creative Cloud is to join up and simplify more complex development processes: create on a tablet, edit on a Mac and push to a smartphone, all synced and shared via the cloud. It allows you to share files with other users, who can view and comment in a browser even if they don’t have the associated application installed.
At £38 per month, or £22 if you own any suite from CS3 onwards, Creative Cloud won’t be for everyone. But for new users a monthly fee lowers the entry barrier to CS6 dramatically. Add in the flexibility of the multiple development platforms linked together by the cloud, not to mention the possibility of effectively renting the entire suite for a short-term project, and Creative Cloud looks an exciting alternative for smaller teams and freelancers.
Author: David Bayon
Subscription not really cheaper.
On the same web page as the article I see this price for the entire CS6 Suite - £476.
Bearing in mind that the £38 price is only valid for 12 month subscription (otherwise £57) and on a quick calculation that total subscription price of £469 is a magnificent £6 cheaper. (and both prices are high enough to put off most people).
So whereas if you buy you can use the software after the 12 months are up, if you don't from month 13 onwards you are losing money comparing to the cost of having bought it. Buying too means you have access to cheaper upgrade prices, doesn't it?
Meanwhile if you don't have a 12 month contract, at £57 a month it's 8 and a bit months use before your subscription goes into the red compared to buying.
(and I'd point out that you ignored the £57 price point when making this statement "At £38 per month, or £22 if you own any suite from CS3 onwards, Creative Cloud won’t be for everyone. But for new users a monthly fee lowers the entry barrier to CS6 dramatically")
So maybe for CS3 or later owners (at £22 a month) but not for new prospective users.
By MikeW2 on 23 Apr 2012
@MikeW2 - Are you Sure?
Mike, the cost for the Master Collection is £2600+, isn't it? And if this subscription gives you everything from that and more on top then it's starting to look good...
Unless I've got the wrong end of the stick here? Which isn't unheard of.
By simonthegeekuk on 23 Apr 2012
The £476 price is ONLY if you already own the full creative suite version of CS5.5 - any other product or version and you pay considerably more. (Although don't forget the 8% Quidco!)
By PaulOckenden on 23 Apr 2012
Grrr! My first post landed after the article was pulled!
Yes, if you already have CS5.5 Master, then it is probably going to be cheaper to upgrade.
But for new users or those upgrading from older versions, it has advantages. You'd need to use CS6 without upgrading for nearly 5 years for it to pay off.
And for companies which are growing quickly or have contractors come in for specific projects, it makes huge sense!
If you have 6 people for a 6 month project, that is a saving of over 10K over buying the Master Suite, obviously less, if they only need one of the lesser suites, but still several thousand quid saved.
And it is better to chop and change the rental than to have unused licences in the cupboard at the end of the contract...
Add in the colaboration tools, cloud services and tablet / smartphone additions and it is a clear winner for most companies.
Also, depending on region, you will probably also be able to write the rental off as a cost, before calculating tax and profit, as opposed to it being capital expenditure and being written off over time.
By big_D on 23 Apr 2012
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