As announced at last year’s Adobe Max 2011 conference, their new Creative Suite 6 is due for release in the later half of this year and will go along side with a new service dubbed the Creative Cloud. Priced at $49.95 a month (with a one year commitment), users will have access to the full suites of all the Creative Suite desktop tools, the Adobe Touch Apps and considerable ancillary services (device and PC sync, 20GB of cloud storage, Adobe Business Catalyst, Adobe Typekit and Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, Single Edition).
As The Verge points out, not everybody would be inclined to upgrade their software packages each year which may mean that Adobe wins in the long run if people pay subscription pricing on a near-constant basis. With this said however, it may be win-win with no upfront (and sizable considering the USD $2000+ pricetag) investment required.
This move also represents an attempt by Adobe to become a little more relevant again. It used to be that Adobe creative products were the industry standard but that has changed in recent years, not to mention the recent demise of the mobile version of Flash.
To this end, the Adobe Touch Apps could be the true secret to renewed success. With titles such as Adobe Proto (to develop wireframe prototypes for website and apps) and a tablet-optimized version of Adobe Photoshop, you can have the software support you need for your projects.
While not in direct competition with Apple, the most frustrating thing must be that they are not offering their subscription services through the App store so they have a share in the potential profits. Either way, Adobe is helping to make tablets more functional and that is a good thing for all device manufacturers –Apple included.
One detail I really appreciate with this Creative Cloud membership is the availability and access to both the Windows and Mac versions of all software titles. This is significant for those of us who develop and create across multiple platforms –the kind of licensing that would have been entirely cost prohibitive for most people until now.