It's Like Stealing, But Without The Guilt Or Criminal Record

If you use any of the stand alone Adobe products or have the mega-bucks needed to acquire the full blown Creative Master Edition, then you should probably check out the current 40 percent off offer in place for their new Creative Cloud solution. It’s only for existing registered users of individual products and suite editions from CS3 or later but that means if you have something like an old copy of Acrobat or Photoshop on your machine, you qualify.

Adaptistration People 132When the news that Adobe was planning to begin transitioning from focusing on selling hard copies of their traditional Creative Suite to an annual fee license cloud based solution, it was more than a little intriguing.

The questions were numerous: would the cloud products be watered down versions, would they only work via browser interface, how many users could work with products, etc. And perhaps unsurprisingly, the biggest concern focused on price points, especially from a company known for big price tags for initial purchases and upgrades.

When it was all said and done, Adobe decided to offer just about every piece of software in the traditional Master Edition along with a few new services, all of which could be downloaded on up to two desktops or laptops, for a monthly fee of $49.99. If you have more than two machines that might fall into the mix, you can even jockey the activation code between them, so long as no more than two are active at the same time.

Not bad, but that price point was still enough to keep me from taking part, especially since I would only end up using about a third of the products included in the newly branded Creative Cloud offering.

A couple of months go by and Adobe sends along an email offer announcing a price cut to $29.99/mo for the first year membership.

That got my attention.

Compared to the cost of regular updates for the couple of Adobe products I use, this option would actually save money over regular updates throughout the course of the initial year plus I could discover just how much the other products would be used.

Worst case scenario is Adobe won’t maintain a similar price point for memberships past the first year and I cancel the account. If so, then nothing changes from before and I pay for updates to the stand alone Adobe products I already use.

In the meantime, you can take a full year to settle in and look around to see if it works for your situation.

Is anyone else out there using the Adobe Creative Cloud? If so, what are your thoughts? I’ll post some more observations in a couple of months.


[ilink url=””]$29.99/mo upgrade offer.[/ilink] 

[ilink url=””]Overview of Creative Cloud Suite products.[/ilink]  

[ilink url=””]Creative Cloud summary.[/ilink]

Full disclosure mode: I’m not getting any kickbacks or referrals from Adobe (or anyone else for that matter) for this, I’m genuinely interested in the Creative Cloud offering as I’m hoping other software makers will look at their business model and follow suit. In fact, it is very similar to how I designed The Venture Platform’s user fee structure and I’m glad to see major players like Adobe heading in the same direction.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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