Adobe today announced the latest version of its Creative Suite software package for designers, web developers and other creative professionals. The latest release, CS6, includes updated versions of Photoshop with new content-aware tools and hardware acceleration support, Premier Pro with a much simplified UI and new image stabilizing features, as well as Dreamweaver and Flash with the latest web technologies.
In total there are 19 products available individually or as part of four different CS6 bundles that go from $1,299 to $2,599. The full list of changes and new features in each program is too extensive for a single post, but Adobe has provided the graphic below highlighting some of the most notable ones.
Perhaps the most noteworthy bit of today's announcement is the introduction of a new monthly subscription program that will make the pricey software package more accessible to small businesses and freelancers who may not want to shell out thousands of dollars upfront for a packaged software suite.
Dubbed Creative Cloud, the new subscription plan includes a full compliment of Adobe's Creative Suite 6 apps hosted online for $50 a month with an annual contract or $75 on a month-to-month basis. You'll be able to download run any of its apps on up to two machines (not simultaneously), and receive 20GB of cloud storage to to store and share up to five projects online on Adobe's servers with Dropbox-like sync capabilities.
Creative Cloud will even throw in a few features that are only available for extra montly fees to buyers of a CS6 packaged bundle. This includes Typekit to make sure any font you want to use for a web project is 'web safe', Edge for creating Flash-like interactive websites but powered by standards, and Muse, which lets designers layout websites visually and generate standards-compliant HTML code from their designs.
At $50 per month it would take users more than four years to spend the same amount of money they would by purchasing a new copy of the Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection. That sounds like a decent deal and marks a shift of strategy for Adobe as it looks to retain customers and upsell them new services later on.
Adobe is also offering a team-pricing structure for organizations which will cost $70 per "seat", as well as education version for $30 a month and a $30 limited time deal for CS3, CS4, CS5 and CS5.5 users.