Adobe releases Creative Suite 5.5 with subscription options

By on May 3, 2011, 4:21 PM

Adobe Systems has released the Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 product family, improving HTML5 and Flash authoring, adding innovation in the areas of video production and editing, and delivering new capabilities in the area of digital publishing. Creative Suite 5.5 content allows authors to create high-impact work on multiple platforms, operating systems, web browsers, smartphones, and tablets. Creative Suite 5.5 brings several enhancements to Adobe's flagship design and development products, but it also seems to focus on emerging computing platforms.

Version 5.5 also serves up a subscription model that lets users rent individual programs for a monthly or yearly fee instead of buying them upfront. The launch marks a major change to Adobe's product release strategy for Creative Suite, which now targets mid-cycle releases every 12 months and major releases every 24 months. Adobe has worked out a scheme where users can rent the entire suite or individual programs with a one-year plan for lower monthly payments, or a flexible month-to-month plan that you can stop and restart as needed. Photoshop starts at $35 per month, Adobe Design Premium is priced at $95 per month, and the entire Master Collection costs $129 per month.

Adobe has also launched the Photoshop Touch SDK and three iPad apps (prices ranging from $2 to $5) designed to interact with the desktop version of Photoshop: Color Lava, Eazel, and Nav. The first one allows you to mix colors on the iPad using your fingers as well as create color swatches and themes that can be transferred into Photoshop. Adobe Nav provides more desktop space by enabling users to select and control Photoshop tools on the iPad, while Adobe Eazel lets you create paintings with your fingertips, which you can then transfer back to Photoshop wirelessly.

The new Creative Suite product lineup is headlined by Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection, which includes all of Adobe's creative tools: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat, Flash Builder Premium, Flash Catalyst, Flash Professional, Dreamweaver, Adobe Premiere Pro, and After Effects. These products are also available separately or as components of one or more of the five Creative Suite editions: Master Collection, Design Premium, Web Premium, Production Premium, and Design Standard.

"Adobe is leading the charge for HTML5 authoring with new capabilities in Creative Suite 5.5 that will radically enhance the delivery of HTML content across multiple browsers -- on the desktop, tablets and smartphones," David Wadhwani, senior vice president and general manager, Creative and Interactive Solutions at Adobe, said in a statement. "For creators of mobile apps on iOS, Android or BlackBerry Tablet OS, our latest Flash tools deliver stunning high-performance apps, without having to start from scratch for every device."

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