back to article Adobe kills Creative Suite – all future features online only

Adobe had been expected to demo Creative Suite 7 at its MAX conference down in smoky Los Angeles on Monday, but instead announced there'll be no more versions of its boxed software and that the Creative Suite brand will cease to exist. All CS apps updates will only be added to its Creative Cloud suite, and Adobe showed off some …


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    1. Not That Andrew

      Re: The risk it to kill the paying hobbyst market

      IIRRC, much like Microsoft, it was ease of pirating Adobe products that made them market leaders, as much as all the "must have" features Photoshop had back in the day.

    2. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: The risk it to kill the paying hobbyst market

      Whaddya mean, "risk"?

      This is a near one-shot kill to the hobbyist market!

      Very few partners will happily allow someone to spend that much every month on hobby software, compared to "It's your birthday so I got you the newest Photoshop" every four/five years.

      Smaller outfits will be concerned as well.

      Given the other attacks on photographers (commercial k copyright grabs), I suspect many one-man-band professionals will also be reexamining whether they actually need any new versions of Photoshop or can get by with the old one they currently have, or something else entirely. Margins are tight.

    3. Gritzwally Philbin

      Re: The risk it to kill the paying hobbyst market

      "This way thy could get rid of most pirated copies.."

      Are you serious? Look at the patcher for CS5, it intercepts the activation from Adobe and also puts a white-list of ports on a modified hosts file that prevents the app from calling home yet *somehow* manages to get a valid key.

      What witchcraft that is, I know not.

      It may take a while for the code-head pirates to work it out, but they will. They ALWAYS do. This 'cloud' shift will only alienate users that can't pony up money every month..

  1. Jason Hindle

    Waiting for Adobe's U Turn

    The major pro cameras from Canon and Nikon have all been recently updated, and are fully supported by a very capable CS6. Same goes for the mid-low end. I think most users will simply not bother to upgrade for the next couple of years, substantially harming a significant revenue stream for Adobe.

    1. PhilipJ

      Re: Waiting for Adobe's U Turn

      you absolutely DON'T NEED the latest Photoshop/CS to work with RAW files - there's Lighroom - or the free Adobe DNG converter for that !

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    How long before they include Lightroom in this rip-off?

    For what I need it for, I could always switch to Aperture, but I'm not that desperate.

    Remember, "old school"? Get the photos right in the camera an you don't need PS Suite!

    1. PhilipJ

      Re: Lightroom?

      They won't.

      Photoshop is a bitmap editor for professionals graphic designers and retouchers.

      Lightroom is a photo editor for professional photographers as well as the average Joes. They won't pay more than the $80 upgrade once per year or two.

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: Lightroom?

        Lightroom is a media management tool first with a few lightweight editing features thrown in.

  3. Oninoshiko

    I must be getting old

    Am I the only one who is always a little more hesitant to buy software now that it's delivered online?

    I mean, back in the day I got a nice shiny box, with a stack of 5.25 floppies, and a manual in it. The box was about the size of a ream of paper. While I may understand that the important bit was the bits on those disks, when I gave them my money, I got something I would walk out with. I could hold, I could touch (just not the magnetic part in the window of the disk!). Buying software delivered online just doesn't feel like I'm really getting my money's worth the same way.

    I'm starting to warm up to it, I just signed up to Chris Robert's Star Citizen for digital delivery, but still, I'm much more hesitant.

    1. Irony Deficient

      Or maybe wise.

      Oninoshiko, no, you’re not the only one. I like physical media: disks, manuals, albums, books, magazines, newspapers, photographs — but perhaps that’s due to my formative years in the third quarter of the 20th century. Once upon a time, HP had first-rate printed manuals for their calculators; I wish that I could say the same for the content of their modern PDF manuals. (Yes, I’m a dinosaur — I prefer a calculator to a calculator app. Now get off my lawn!)

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  5. Anonymous Coward

    Internet Connection Myth

    As I pointed out earlier, this isn't a true "cloud" product. It's still running off your hard disk as before. So it doesn't require a web connection all of the time to work. It just phones home every month to check it's still activated. Pretty much like CS6 already does!

    Of course some of the new bolt ons do require web access such as their new storage solution. But Photoshop, Premiere, etc will work as they always have. Lets face it, Premiere certainly doesn't lend itself running on a sever considering I have projects here that have 200gb of raw materials.

    So the issue here isn't worrying about being forced to work on remote servers you have no control over. The product is exactly the same as before. Except instead of buying a licence, you are now leasing the software and locked in to having Adobe extract money from you every month.

  6. Diogenes

    On the bright side

    I can't see my employer going for the cloudy version (corporate licence - 1000's of machines) for many reasons, including 1) the cost and 2) managing the upgrades across the board. See they bought into the hype of using 21st century skills to create interesting assignments eg - "you're doing science - create a flash animation of an atom - for your assignment" (poor science teacher has never heard of flash, let alone knows how to use)

    The bright side is I will not have to upgrade my teaching materials for new versions every time they come out, and play the "where did they put the fartvergnuegung filter in THIS version" game

  7. mordac

    So, what happens if you decide to stop renting?

    So, what happens if you buy CC for a year ($360, or whatever) and then decide to terminate the subscription?

    Do you keep access to the software in its state as of the end of the subscription, or does the Adobe license manager delete it from your machine (or deny you access, which amounts to the same thing)?

    I suspect the latter, and for that reason, I'm out. Subscription only works if it's cheap; Adobe hasn't realised that yet.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: So, what happens if you decide to stop renting?

      Subscription can be cheaper, especially for small or single worker shops. Although it costs more in the end the subscription model frees up operating funds which can be used for growth (as opposed to just delivering your product service), which is more valuable.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: So, what happens if you decide to stop renting?

        So no different to borrowing from the bank to fund the purchase of essential tools, except now you're stuck paying that forever instead of paying the loan off completely in six months to a year?

        Why would any sane small business choose to do that?

        It can fit in with the capital/running budget madness that is a large corporate entity by moving the bill under the Finance radar, but that's it.

    2. Chet Mannly

      Re: So, what happens if you decide to stop renting?

      "Do you keep access to the software in its state as of the end of the subscription, or does the Adobe license manager delete it from your machine (or deny you access, which amounts to the same thing)?"

      #2 - it kills the program - wont start without a subscription, that's the whole point.

      I'm out too - CS6 is as far as Photoshop goes for me...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Checks date..

    hmm not April 1st...

    They say necessity drives demand and it's possible this move will drive some significant customers in the direction of evaluating if it would be more worthwhile to fund development of an alternate solution instead. The long term costs for something like this could be astronomical, as will be the additional training costs if this does reduce the number of people using the suite illegally at home.

    I've worked at several companies where workflow relies on very specific versions of applications being installed to build and maintain older projects without risking the breakage an upgrade would cause. Any cloud solution kills that going forward by taking control away, it's a non-starter so migrating away from anything heading in that direction for future projects would be the recommend course of action.

    At which point I expect to see Adobe turn into the next big patent troll in an attempt to squash the competition all their former customers are fleeing to.

  9. Stevie Silver badge


    So, only works where there's a web connection then?

    If anyone DOES come up with an alternative suite, please make it independent of always-on interwebs. That way we can do stuff in a power cut (Long Island occasionally resembles a third world country now; what with hurricanes and super storms and blizzards and people stupidly running their A/C in summer, LIPA can't keep the juice on reliably 365x24x7. I have my own genny for such occasions but it won't make teh webs work when Cablevision, Verizon et al are dark too).

    1. MD Rackham

      Re: Bah!

      No, if you read the Adobe release, it only requires an internet connection once every 30 days. And if it can't get one, it switches into 30-day evaluation mode. So you can go 60 days without a connection without losing anything.

      1. Chet Mannly

        Re: Bah!

        "it only requires an internet connection once every 30 days."

        So you're screwed if you're a wildlife photographer working in 90% of Africa.

        I put that to Adobe and their reply was "just go to a cafe and use their free wireless" - oxygen thieves...

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Adobe is...

    ... dead to me now. I would consider getting their software if I ever had the pennies for it (made the mistake of getting the Corel home additions over the Adobe ones years ago). But not for a cloud service.

    So I'll stick to Gimp and Inkscape and Blender for now. Sorry...

  11. jason 7 Silver badge

    So do you get proper support now?

    Rather than talking to the 'snotty condescending arrogant bitch' in Essex that we get to speak to every time?

  12. Vince

    Dumb dumb dumb

    So I guess that's the last of my money Adobe will get then. I don't buy every release of Creative Suite, but I do tend to update every 2-3 versions. I use the suite daily, but I don't use it all day, and I don't use it enough and certainly nothing you can't do in older versions to justify paying monthly for it.

    So it looks like I'll be using CS 5 for as long as I can make it run (pretty much indefinitely then).

    If you use it daily as a core tool, like a design house might I can see CC might be a better way to do it as you pay the same sort of money IF you keep up to date. For everyone else, it's an epic fail.

  13. Callam McMillan

    The flaw?

    Given that multiple sources have said that the software does not need an always-on connection and only phones home occasionally, how long before somebody makes a fake activation server that tells the software all is fine with the world?

    I am well aware of the fact that companies need to make money in order to continue existing, so surely a business model which positively encourages people to pirate will always be less successful than one where you can buy a copy of CS6 Master Collection for personal/educational use for say £100, as opposed to the £2800 a professional user would pay. In that case, most people would say fine and pay the cash and Adobe has £100 instead of nothing. Of course there are those that will never pay for anything, but they will always be there.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rip-off UK pricing

    The annual plan in the USA costs $49.99. In the UK, the same plan is £46.88 which equates to $72.84, an increase of 46%.

    Since everyone is access the same software from the same servers, in the same language, why is the UK being surcharged?

    I bet that since Adobe are based on the USA, they won't have to pay UK company tax too.

    1. Turtle

      Re: Rip-off UK pricing

      "The annual plan in the USA costs $49.99. In the UK, the same plan is £46.88 which equates to $72.84, an increase of 46%. Since everyone is access the same software from the same servers, in the same language, why is the UK being surcharged?"

      Wouldn't VAT account for a heft proportion of the price increase?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        20% != 46%


      2. jason 7 Silver badge

        Re: Rip-off UK pricing

        Adobe have said in the past that the reason the UK and non US English versions are more expensive is "due to language support".

        Yes I am not kidding.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Rip-off UK pricing

        > "The annual plan in the USA costs $49.99."

        Just a reminder, that's $49.99 PER MONTH.

    2. An0n C0w4rd

      Re: Rip-off UK pricing

      They have a UK subsidiary and are therefore subject to UK tax laws. Which doesn't mean much as has been recently seen.

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Rip-off UK pricing @An0n C0w4rd

        But the cloud service will probably be paid direct to Adobe US, and bypass the UK company completely. Remember, the Internet is international!

  15. promytius
    Thumb Down

    not impressed

    Just another GREED move by big guys not having ALL the toys yet, so they want MORE OF YOUR MONEY!

    There will still be plenty of bootleg copies to go around for all those graphic enthusiasts.

    Oo Oo Oo - and the really GOOD news is all future How-To's in PS will cost you money to view on PAY For YOUTUBE!

    YAY! Another victory for evil!

  16. cc7211

    It's not about the cloud

    Don't lie fooled ! it's nothing to do with cloud, All Adobe wants is to RENT their software to you year after year, period.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just another way to extract more money

    We will be migrating away from all adobe products

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      To what?

  18. LordPadriac

    Just made a Corel user out of me

    Every piece of software Adobe has taken over and rolled into the "Creative Suite" has gotten ever more bloated, unwieldy, bug ridden and gods awful slow. I have been using Corel's suite in my spare time to duplicate some of the smaller projects I have done at work just to have a concrete "something" to work on as well as something I can compare to results I've gotten with Adobe. Adobe's announcement today has just made my mind up about doing the full switch. Also as I am the person who picks out new graphic/web design software my company will be dumping Adobe when we upgrade to windows 8 in a few months. That would be 8 full seats fully upgraded every year that will be going elsewhere. Honestly, this "cloud" nonsense is just not a viable solution for offering up full applications that require the power of a desktop over it or tying my ability to make a living to the dicey proposition that the connection between my computer and the Adobe licensing servers is NEVER going to be down is ludicrous.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: Just made a Corel user out of me

      Why does no one look into the facts before they spout off? The software is installed locally and only connects to the Internet once a month for license validation or if you want to take advantage of the online storage. You aren't dependent on Adobe servers 'not working'.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just made a Corel user out of me

        But at what price Don Jefe? It works offline, and does Corel too? But which one costs less?

      2. LordPadriac

        Re: Just made a Corel user out of me

        Why do fanbois insist on trying to make a rather obvious cash grab at the expense of longtime users seem like a good thing just so they don't have to look at their favorite developer in a harsh light? Yes, they check once a month. Two things with this 1) Adobe has not been this straight forward with customers in at least a decade and I guarantee an attempt to validate your license will be made more than once a month in one way or another. Mine is checked more often than that now on a standard desktop install, why would anyone believe Adobe would become less stringent. 2) The "once a month" is random; which means my connection to Adobe's remote licensing server needs to be up 100% of the time to ensure that when it checks; it gets through. I taught graphic design at a school that used remote licensing with Adobe. The upside was supposed to be that we got every update and new addition as they came out for our rather substantial monthly subscription- very important at a school that advertised teaching at the leading edge. The reality is that any intermittent problems with connecting to Adobe when the software tried to connect could result in validation problems and lockouts propagating through an entire lab; which could lead to an entire day of dealing with some Indian schmuck who barely speaks English and has no understanding of networking or licensing trying to fix our problems and activations by stepping through a damn telemarketing phone center script.

        In the end however, this is probably the best thing Adobe could have done for the graphic and web design communities. Now small competitors that been in the wings will see increased users and cash flow and begin to develop their products further. There have been better products than Dreamweaver and outdated Flash to develop websites for a while now anyway. Maybe now the graphics competition will heat up as well.

        1. LordPadriac

          Re: Just made a Corel user out of me

          Also, new buy in price for CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X6 is $479. New buy in for Adobe is $49.99 a month. The difference being you OWN Corel and in about 9 1/2 months you are ahead of any Adobe user in terms of cost of ownership; functionality is in reality about equal. Even if Corel were to come out with a full new suite every year and you were to purchase it every year you would still be ahead of the game by about $125 or so. Given that many professionals will upgrade only about every three years regardless of developer offerings and that savings becomes about $1325.00. Remember that that is PER SEAT. In a small to medium business this is a huge deal and even in a larger enterprise that might be able to absorb the cost - it is a good reason to consider alternatives.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just made a Corel user out of me

          LordPadriac wrote "There have been better products than Dreamweaver and outdated Flash to develop websites for a while now anyway. "

          What products do you suggest?

          1. Oninoshiko

            Re: Just made a Corel user out of me

            LordPadriac wrote "There have been better products than Dreamweaver and outdated Flash to develop websites for a while now anyway. "

            What products do you suggest?

            Vim works nicely.

      3. cordwainer 1

        Re: Just made a Corel user out of me

        Adobe has confirmed if you stop paying the subscription, the software stops working. That's what the objection is to, not the purported "cloud" aspect.

        It's not cloud software, really, that's the problem. The software resides on your computer, yes. It doesn't require you to be online 24/7, no.

        The problem is, it's software rental. The product will no longer be purchasable. The End User License Agreement terms will be completely altered. You will no longer be able to buy software that works indefinitely unless you are willing to pay a monthly fee indefinitely.

        Your are correct, however, that uses aren't dependent on a daily basis on Adobe's servers, and that failure to connect ALONE doesn't disable the software immediately.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yea this will be fun - educational licensing

    I manage college computer labs filled with various Adobe products. We use to buy just the programs we needed for specific labs, now I have to get yearly licenses for a suite no matter how few of the programs we actually use.

    Normally we would update these programs as soon as the textbooks caught up with the new releases, which was about six months to a year behind the release. Not any more.

    The icing on the cake is now worrying about automated updates. They will push them out on the same regular schedule as Adobe Reader. This was an Adobe selling point! I hope I can disable this for fear of crashing a student's project in the middle of a semester.

    For now, Academic licensing will still works roughly the same way as it use too, but it is scheduled to go away some time in the near future. No more extended licensing update agreements though.

  20. fredphoesh


    I did not know that CC was to be the ONLY way these products will be available from now on.

    I think this is a TERRIBLE idea.

    What about those who do not want to buy CS-latest every year, perhaps buying upgrades every three or so years?

    And what about those who are happy to buy CS suite now and use it for many years without any plans to upgrade? Are they not customers anymore?

    I personally hate the idea of renting software. When I buy it I want it to be mine, for as long as I want to use it. Anything less feels like a sneaky move bordering on theft.

    VERY Bad move Adobe.

  21. Sam Paton

    They're not really online only, just online occasionally.

    Buy CS6, Buy the cloud offering in 3 years when you probably need the upgrade. No point giving yourself a heartattack because you don't have a new version that probably isn't that relevent for you. Most people know if they need it. Personally I still find new stuff and I've been using Photoshop since version 5.5 and other than content aware actions and maybe gpu offloading most changes have been a bit meh. Sure the usually 'fix' a tool (or make it so you can't find it or it doesn't work the same) per release and that might improve your productivity but that then has a value you can justify expenditure on.

    Maybe we'll get a resurgence of Quark and Corel, that probably wouldn't be a bad thing.

    As for the UK pricing, it's fairly arbitary. Australia was $59.99 a month until the Australian government started its pricing investigation for software sales and then 'coincidentally' the prices dropped $49.99

  22. Sil

    Strong-arm mafia-like tactics

    Flash became obsolete because it really was a crap.

    Acrobat became history because of outrageous pricing, it was much cheaper to upgrade people to office 2010 and produce pdfs with it than licensing Acrobat. I suspect Office 2013 directly opening pdfs will make Acrobat even more relevant.

    Now Adobe is strong-arming us into subscription instead of license purchase, at the outrageous price of about 5x Office 2013. We say no and continue using CS6 in the hope that alternative products will appear, and wish Adobe a good travel into Oblivion.

  23. jubtastic1

    Hey Adobe

    This is to the person(s) employed by Adobe to scrape all the 'feedback' from this announcement.

    Keep working on CS7 in the backroom, so that when this subscription only plan doesn't work like you expected it to, you'll be able to say sorry, pop a U turn and get something on the market pronto, because otherwise you're going to get pwned by some 'good enough' alternatives and the days when you used to charge people a 'bargain' $600 to upgrade will be just a memory.

    Don't wait too long, you've just chummed the water, sharks will come.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    subscription vs flat fee

    I do not like subscriptions as you always end up paying more.

    A 1 year vs 1 year comparison may be ok, but do you always upgrade, every year on day 365?

    The reason i do not like subscriptions is that there soon becomes many of them. So with office 365, photoshop etc and various others, soon a typical user could be paying hundreds of dollars per month on software.

    It is far easier to manage with a straight one time purchase.

    I started using photoshop at 5.5 since i am web developer. Not really being a creative, i only have sporadic use for it and GIMP is from the 80s with an interface to match.

    I had no real reason to upgrade from PS 6.. but i still got one of the creative suites. For some reason i could never get my version to work in anything but spanish (which is not the language on my computer). Still i have stuck with it and will continue to while i can.

    Next time though, i wont be buying into the subscription model as adobe stuff was silly price anyway.

    We make mobile apps and i'll be damned if i am paying them 1000s of dollars so i can make my software product that sells for 99c.

    Software has been devalued by Apple and its time for the bigger players to realise that.

    Adobe are simply cutting off the people who have anything but a serious professional, almost full time, use for their software (like design people). The rest of us will just not use it anymore.... another will rise.


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