This morning, Adobe has detailed its forthcoming Creative Cloud service. Adobe plans to offer Adobe Creative Suite 6, Lightroom 4, and 20GB of cloud storage for a relatively low monthly cost of $49.99. Considering the thousands it normally costs to invest in the Creative Suite environment, Adobe's approach caters toward the individual user, and looks to potentially undercut the tendency toward piracy of Adobe products. From the official Creative Cloud page:
Adobe Creative Cloud will be available worldwide in the first half of 2012. While traditional licenses of CS software will still be offered, a membership to Creative Cloud provides more benefits than simply owning desktop software. You'll get all the CS tools, Adobe Touch Apps, and services, plus new features, products, and services as soon as they are released — meaning immediate access to the latest Adobe innovations at no extra cost.
This offering is certainly not for everyone, particularly when considering the long-term cost of such a service. But, from my perspective, it's encouraging to see Adobe's apparent attempt to increase responsiveness to its user base. Rather than locking out the threadbare designer, for instance, Adobe's subscription model opens the door for almost all potential users to try out Adobe's latest and greatest.
There are, of course, many alternative manners in which Adobe could increase adoption and dispersion of its Creative Suite applications, but it seems unlikely that the software giant will take to vicious price gauging, for example.
With no true, comprehensive alternatives to many of Adobe's products, I, for one, am intrigued by the Adobe Creative Cloud. Although the price is certainly not cheap, it remains far cheaper than buying the latest version and upgrading every so often. Furthermore, the return and the benefits of the cloud-specific program may well prove a worthy cost.