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Monday, April 23, 2012
Adobe's new Creative Suite 6
Adobe has announced a significant switch to a cloud-based version of Creative Suite alongside the launch of the latest version of its popular line of design software.
Unveiled at an event in San Francisco on Monday, Creative Cloud represents a shift for Adobe after years of simply selling packaged software. Now users have a subscription option to download Photoshop and other programs, save work online and share projects more easily.
“It is a really big day in Adobe’s history,” CEO Shantanu Narayen said Monday, later calling CS6 and Creative Cloud “our most ambitious offering ever.” Narayen framed the launch as a necessary move for Adobe. As more and more people explore digital creativity, casual users and professional designers alike increasingly expect multi-device access to their work.
Creative Cloud subscriptions will start at $50 per month with a one-year commitment, or run $75 for a month-to-month contract. Owners of previous Creative Suite versions can access the new cloud-based service for $30 per month for their first year.
Adobe executives said the monthly pricing plans will save users from having to pay four figures up front — and will make Creative Suite programs accessible and appealing to a wider audience.
CS6 includes updated versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Flash Pro, Premiere Pro, InDesign and other programs, along with a pair of new post-production apps.
Versions of the suite range from $1,299, or $299 as an upgrade, to $2,599, or $549 as an upgrade. CS6 is purchasable by download as well as in traditional shrink-wrapped form.
Creative Cloud includes all the CS6 programs, plus the Edge and Muse web-development tools. The service also comes with 20 gigabytes of free cloud storage.
Beyond improved cloud accessibility, what’s new in CS6? A souped-up Photoshop generated the most excitement among press and powers users at Monday’s event. Included in that is a content-aware move tool that makes moving foreground images and filling in backgrounds easier than ever.
The theme of making Creative Suite programs more media-centric and less tech and tools-based extends to other programs as well. In Dreamweaver, assets are automatically scaled for web browsers as well as mobile delivery in templates — which should save countless hours laying out content for multiple devices and print.
In Illustrator, gradients can now be applied to strokes as well as shapes. Premiere Pro shows a simpler design too, as it looks to become the standard in video-editing software.
But Creative Cloud was the star of Monday’s show. Adobe executives said it would grow in value as more features and updates are added. And the ability to store, access and share work via the web is a decided shift.
“It’s clear to us we’re living in perhaps the most disruptive time in the history of technology,” Narayen said.
With Creative Cloud, the Adobe thinking goes, creative professionals will be able to leverage — rather than simply react to — the current pace of change.