Updated August 10th, 2015: For those waiting and wanting to upgrade to Adobe CS7, we have some bad news for you… Adobe has announced that the entire Creative Suite line is being retired, with the last one being CS6. They have transitioned all future product updates and upgrades of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash, etc. to “Creative Cloud” (CC). You can see full details here on Adobe’s website.
While Adobe CC is not really “cloud”, web-based software, as you still need to download and install it on your computer, they do have a few features that will require you to use an internet connection to use them. Basically, CC is what CS7 was supposed to be except for one big difference: All licenses require a monthly subscription as there is not longer an option to buy a license outright.
For some, this is a good change as you get the entire suite of Adobe products for $30.00 to $50.00 per month (depending on the contract duration you choose and if you qualify for one of their discounts). But if you don’t use Photoshop or the other CC products on a daily basis, paying a monthly fee to rent your software is probably not something you want to do. Because it’s a rental, all upgrades and updates are free of charge as long as you’re a paying member. As we’re still early into the CC release, you’ll probably be able to get away with using CS6 for the next few years, but as the software products advance, sooner or later you’ll have to upgrade if you want to be up-to-date (necessary if you use Adobe products professionally).
Here’s a look at the released date cycle of the Creative Suite line. All future updates (e.g. CC2, CC3, etc.) will be going exclusively to Creative Cloud customers.
- Adobe CC 2015 – Released on June 19th, 2015. You can learn more about the new features here.
- Adobe CC2 – Released in October 2013. Hundreds of smaller enhancements to Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign but no noes breakthrough features.
- Adobe CC – Released in May 2013. It replaces CS6 and is only offered as a subscription with no option to buy a perpetual license.
Adobe CS7– Adobe will no longer be releasing the Creative Suite line of products (so there will be no CS7).
- Adobe CS6 – Announced in April of 2013 with the product being available in May 2012. This is the last version of the perpetual product.
- Adobe CS5.5 – It was released in April 2011.
- Adobe CS5 – Came out in April 2010.
- Adobe CS4 – Released in October 2008.
- Adobe CS3 – Released in April 2007.
- Adobe CS2 – Released in April 2005.
- Adobe CS1 – Released in October 2003.
Is it worth upgrading to CS6 or signing up to Creative Cloud?
It really depends on how you use Adobe’s tools. You will probably benefit from signing up for the new subscription if:
- You are a heavy user of all of Adobe’s products. Not only will you save on upfront costs, but you will have all future upgrades available for free.
- You use Adobe products part of your business. If you work with client files or other designers that use CC, you will need to have it to be able to work in the same format.
- You don’t want to pay upfront for an upgrade or full version. Most of the suites alone are almost $2000 and still don’t include all of the programs that are found in Creative Cloud.
You may be better off sticking or upgrading to CS6 if:
- You are a casual user of Adobe products. If you use any of the programs occasionally, it probably don’t make sense to pay a monthly subscription bill for it.
- If you don’t upgrade to the latest versions at every product release. If you usually skip a few versions before upgrading your software, then you’ll pay less in the long run if you avoid the monthly charges.
- If you simply don’t like the idea of having yet another monthly bill to pay, while knowing that at the moment that you stop paying that you will no longer be able to open or have access to any of your work/files that were created in CC.
So what’s included in Creative Cloud?
If you were wondering what’s included in CC, here’s the list of the latest programs that subscribers have access to (it’s basically all the programs that were included in Master Collection CS6 plus Lightroom and a few other smaller ones).
We’re not big fans of Adobe’s move to Creative Cloud without providing the same software in perpetual form for those that do not want to pay a subscription, but what do you think? Do you like the lower monthly option or do you prefer paying once for the upgrade? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.