Well, Adobe listened and came up with an innovative and modern solution: a cloud. Users pay a monthly subscription to access all of Adobe's Creative Suite offerings, usually $50 a month for a year. Let's crunch the numbers for a second.
The average CS offering costs between $1700-$2500. Photoshop alone can cost over $500. Premiere: $700. After Effects: as much as $1000. Factor in upgrades at about $150-$350 a pop and you have a software program that is almost literally worth its weight in gold.
Creative Cloud for an annual commitment will cost $600. In monthly $50 chunks. You can even buy just one program for $20 a month, but why would you wanna do that? A plus: you may even qualify for the $30 a month price. I caught the sale price of $30 a month. There is also a student version for the same price.
So for $30-$50 a month (you know you spend more in gas!), you get:
- Most updated CS, currently CS6 (or maybe CS7 this month, according to rumors).
- Web hosting for up to 5 websites.
- Access to all Adobe's programs***.
- 20GB Server storage.
Oh. And this ain't the Google Docs version of CS. As you can see from the screenshot below, these are the full versions of the programs. Thinking cloud and thinking of web-based programs was my original hesitation to try, but I must admit I am happy with the fact I can run any CS program without being connected to the Internet (and if you are creative, you may want to work offline every now and then).
***Now for the caveat. As you can see, I'm still running Windows XP, like the broke 20-something I am. Although I plan to upgrade to a MacBook Pro this year, I'm not quite ready yet to say goodbye my faithful mocha-colored Vaio. My computer was Vista ready when I bought it, but I don't have to explain why I never upgraded. If you are running an older operating system, be prepared to notice a few programs missing. Maybe ones you were looking forward to, like After Effects. That's because your OS is not compatible. For Windows users, that means you must be running a 64-bit system. I had to Google that, so please, Adobe, make that more apparent on your website or something. BUT...the cloud gives you 2 licenses, so hey, maybe that's not a big deal for you if you have more than one computer.
A pleasant surprise is Adobe Muse, which is like the Lightroom version of Dreamweaver. It's still a fairly new program, but an easy learning curve if you are already familiar with CS. I'm using it to redo the Lagniappe Cinemas website. Muse seems to be the star program, and for good reason. Web design is everything.
If you don't commit to a year, you'll pay $75 a month. But, seriously, just do the year contract. Many projects last much longer than that. A year moves fast.