To quote, as I am wont to do, George Orwell – “The inflated style itself is a kind of euphemism. A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outline and covering up all the details.”
When first announced at Adobe’s MAX conference, the inclusion of “community” made Adobe Creative Cloud sound like just another of those efforts to add to the Creative Suite some kind of communication or networking – a sort of re-marketed Acrobat.com with the word “creative” transplanted:
Adobe® Creative Cloud is a major new initiative that radically redefines the content creation process. Adobe Creative Cloud will become the focal point for creativity, where millions can access desktop and tablet applications, use essential creative services, and share their best work.
But this Creative Cloud is actually quite a bit more important than its fluffy announcement might make you think. This is Adobe now making its long-anticipated switch to a subscription model, and it was made even clearer in last week’s Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Creative Suite: New Choices for Customers
Our move to this membership model allows us to keep our customers up to date with the latest Adobe innovations in our tools and related services. Creative Cloud will provide maximum flexibility, offer lower cost of entry, and add cutting-edge innovation on an on-going basis to keep our customers ahead of the changing technology and device landscape.
For customers who prefer to remain on the current licensing model, we will continue to offer our individual point products and Adobe Creative Suite editions as perpetual licenses. With regards to upgrades, we are changing our policy for perpetual license customers. In order to qualify for upgrade pricing when CS6 releases, customers will need to be on the latest version of our software (either CS5 or CS5.5 editions). If our customers are not yet on those versions, we’re offering a 20% discount through December 31, 2011 which will qualify them for upgrade pricing when we release CS6.
This is clearly the way Adobe want to go, and you have to wonder for how long customers will remain able to “prefer to remain on the current licensing model”? On the bright side, will Adobe now let us run the software on whatever computer we want – or your Apple laptop or on your Windows desktop? And look too at the change to the upgrade policy. For the photographer who only uses Photoshop, it now looks like it’s time to upgrade from CS3 to CS5, rather than waiting for the third upgrade.
Currently these details are emerging from the clouds of water vapour (or is it smoke or dust) that these announcements are throwing into the air. Come to think of it, it’s rather typical of Cloud Computing. Who knows what it is made of, if it’s really good for us, or if it is what we actually want. For those who are “just photographers”, the abolition of the three versions upgrade rule may be the real news here.