Adobe Creative Cloud: Creation On The Cloud
Last week Adobe released the long-awaited CS6, which comes with Creative Cloud. Creative Cloud provides a simple subscription option ($50/month) to access Adobe’s complete Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, After Effects, Dreamweaver and Flashbuilder), which costs $2600 to buy retail. The package also includes a 20 GB free storage space for storing files.
While this is not a typical SaaS model, and the applications still reside on client’s computers as in previous editions, this is a big step for Abobe, and the pricing model could be a disruptive influence in the sector.
What does Creative Cloud provide?
- Easy storage and sharing on the cloud: While I could use Dropbox to store and load .PSDs (Photoshop), .AI (Illustrator) and .INDD (Indesign) files, Creative Cloud allows me to directly sync and share from the creative tools, apart from adding comments on the design. Also, there is a big storage space (20 GB) available that is needed for storing the resource-hungry creative files.
- Subscription-based pricing model: Instead of paying $2600 upfront, the subscription model allows you to pay an ongoing payment of $50 (if taking a yearly contract) and could set the trend in creative software.
- Getting updates and newer products in smaller chunks: Adobe releases a new version of its Creative Suite every 12–18 months. However, this way, they will be able to issue incremental releases.
- Ability to install the product on two computers (one primary and one backup): In previous releases, Adobe provided the option to install a backup as long as it ran the same OS platform (Windows or Mac) as the primary installation. Now, that restriction has been removed.
Why is Creative Cloud significant?
I believe that Creative Cloud is important for the following reasons:
- It is the first big venture by Adobe in cloud computing. The company has not made big ventures beyond the desktop, and its new strategy could be interesting. While this is already a good start, Adobe wants to take Creative Cloud further and build it into a social network where artists can share work and professionals can comment on it.
- While the subscription-based pricing model has already become the norm in productivity tools and project management (with the likes of 37 signals and Salesforce.com), creative tools are still firmly attached to the desktop world. Now, this venture brings mainstream creative and artistic tools to the cloud. While the application is not fully run from the cloud, it signals a first step that could revolutionize the cloud industry yet further.
- The subscription-based software pricing model is something that is still in its infancy, and we are eager to see if Adobe’s entry will quicken adoption. Although a large percentage consumers are unhappy with the pricing, I believe that this could set the trend in computing.
By Balaji Viswanathan