Adobe Creative Suite 6 Now Available, Creative Cloud to Follow on May 11

adobe cs6 design standard logoTwo weeks ago, Adobe officially unveiled its new Creative Suite 6 (CS6) bundles of design applications, as well as its new Creative Cloud subscription service offering access to the software and other cloud services for integrating access across desktop and mobile devices.

Adobe had announced that the new products would begin shipping within 30 days, and the company officially began shipping CS6 today. Availability of Creative Cloud will follow on Friday, May 11.

Top new features across the CS6 product line include:

- New levels of performance with tools that take advantage of Adobe Mercury Graphics functionality, allowing users to go from ideas to finished work faster than ever before.
- Enhanced user interfaces that vastly simplify workflows, so users can focus on their content and achieve results quicker.
- New capabilities that streamline the creation of responsive content, ensuring website and apps look great across virtually all screen sizes and form factors.
- Remarkable new science, integrated into imaging and video apps, makes previously impossible tasks suddenly possible.

Adobe Creative Cloud membership delivers:

- Access to download and install all CS6 applications, new HTML5 desktop products – Adobe Muse 1.0 and Adobe Edge preview – and deep integration with Adobe Touch Apps.
- Easy storage and sharing of content across desktop, mobile devices and the cloud.
- Integrated website publishing and hosting.
- Ongoing innovation that provides members with the most up-to-date products and services

Pricing for CS6 bundles begins at $1299 for the Design Standard collection, which includes Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and Acrobat X Pro. The Master Collection, which includes all CS6 applications, is priced at $2599.

Creative Cloud will be priced at $49.99 per month on an annual commitment or $74.99 for month-to-month access, with the service providing full access to all CS6 applications, cloud storage and hosting, and integration with HTML 5 and mobile apps.

Top Rated Comments

jav6454 Avatar
136 months ago
$1299 and $2599?! Just trying to get Photoshop is also expensive on its own. Oh well, Adobe brought this on their own....

Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
evilcat Avatar
136 months ago
A friend of mine just forked out $1000+ for InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. Decided it was time to 'get on the upgrade path' with Adobe: spend now to get upgrade pricing later. He bought late enough he'll be getting CS6 upgrades for free, so he's happy.

I asked him why he didn't go for Creative Cloud, and he said he wanted to 'own' his software and update when it suited him. I get it. In work I use CS5 but at home I have my own, fully legal, copy of CS3. There is nothing new in CS5 I need so I stick with CS3 at home, and most likely will do until a version of OS X comes along that breaks CS3. However, I'm on that upgrade path.

(Let me be clear here and say I'm referring to Design Premium in this post. I don't have any knowledge on the video side of things)

Adobe have a couple of battles on their hands:

[LIST=1]
* The Necessity to Upgrade
Unless you use Photoshop or Illustrator, the two flagship products, or maybe InDesign, you probably don't need a new version except for compatibility with other users. The updates are checklists of features dreamed up by marketing that make no difference to most people day to day. Maybe from CS2 to CS6, you'd see a big difference, but otherwise? Meh.
For non-print designers, Adobe's software is rapidly becoming replaceable: I'm a web designer and I haven't used Dreamweaver in years. Between Espresso, Coda, TextMate or whatever HTML editor you use, there's not much reason to. I switched to skEdit 3 years ago and haven't looked back; I just completed a 12-month long site build and never dropped into Flash once; Sketch 2 from Bohemian Coding looks to be on the cusp of being a great Fireworks replacement; since I don't particularly use Photoshop, something like Pixelmator might well suffice for me.
In short, most people don't need Adobe products at every release
* Leapfroggers
Even those who do keep up to date don't buy every version. Most design studios I've worked at leapfrog: CS1, then 3, then 5. They just won't put out $900 per seat every 18 months. So adobe introduced the .5 release: rather than CS4, then CS5 18 months later, they decided to have a .5 release every 12 months, giving 2 years between full versions. Then they broke compatibility to force upgrades: a group of users at my current workplace received InDesign CS5 but six months later, a new batch were added and they received 5.5. Apparently to normal 5 was no longer available. That wouldn't be a problem if InDesign CS5 could receive copy from InCopy CS5.5, but they're incompatible, so everybody with InDesign CS5 now has to be upgraded.


It seems Creative Cloud solves both these problems: at $30 a month, even if you don't need the latest version, why not get it and benefit from things like bug fixes, which Adobe prefers to roll into their version upgrades, rather than fixing the one you paid them for? The same goes for leapfroggers: everybody can be on the latest version at all time so no more incompatibility! Also, Adobe get a guaranteed $600 income per seat, so their financials are more predictable now people aren't leapfrogging or buying when they're forced to!

So we all win, right? Maybe not.

That upgrade path may well be going away. In this article at John Nack's site (http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/2012/04/adobe-creative-cloud-nicely-encapsulated.html), he quotes an article on Creative Cloud:

You’re always entitled to the newest version of all the programs, and Adobe says that it’s going to start rolling out features continuously rather than waiting for sweeping upgrades every couple of years.

Sound interesting? There are two possible outcomes here:

[LIST=1]
* There will be no upgrades to upgrade to after CS6. Unless you're on Creative Cloud, you are stuck with it as it is right now, bugs and all.
* If updates are continuous, maybe they humour you a few years longer by taking, say, the previous 18 months' updates, calling them CS7 and taking $900 off you.


Maybe they'll make CS7, but my guess is we're 2 years away from Creative Cloud being the only choice. Maybe my friend's 'upgrade path' is simply a way for him to 'own' the final, boxed release of the software he needs, and then he'll wind up paying for a subscription anyway.

I guess what I'm saying here is think carefully about Creative Cloud and how you buy into CS6. It may well determine the choices we have available to us in 18 months time.

Me? I'll keep using FW CS3 till Sketch can replace it, and boot up PS CS3 as I need it, maybe even buy Pixelmator since I don't do CMYK. InDesign CS3 will be fine for the odd page layout I do these days. For a second, the low price of Creative Cloud looked really enticing, then I remembered exactly how much of the Creative Suite actually use these days :D
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hayesk Avatar
136 months ago
Did you hear these turkeys on MacWorld podcast congratulating themselves that STUDENTS only have to pay $39 per month for their software?

Now we know, all the design students are going to have to become strippers just to pay for their software.

Uhm... students will blow more than $39 on one night of drinking and partying. And they do it a lot more than once per month.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Flitzy Avatar
136 months ago
Pixelmator does everything Photoshop does any more for more than half of the price of Photoshop.

Sorry Adobe... take your bloatware and go away.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dwalls90 Avatar
136 months ago
Uhm... students will blow more than $39 on one night of drinking and partying. And they do it a lot more than once per month.

I WISH I could spend over $100 a month on going out alone (since you're insinuating it's $39 a few times). That's over $800 a year aside from food costs, general living costs, school, ect.

$40 per student per month is very costly.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Michael Scrip Avatar
136 months ago


Can't wait for someone come in and take all the business away from Adobe. Please anyone.

Adobe's improvements are small, the updated prices are stupid high. Time from us to stop using their upgrades.

If Pixelmator was built for professionals and had ALL the features of Photoshop... it wouldn't be $30 anymore. Just remember that.

But be glad Pixelmator exists... or Photoshop Elements... or even GIMP. Those are good solutions for some people... but not for others.

Side note: After reading some of the comments in this thread... where did people get this sense of entitlement?

Photoshop has been $700 for a decade or more. Pay up or shut up! :D

There are plenty of choices:

$700 - Adobe Photoshop CS6
$100 - Adobe Photoshop Elements
$30 - Pixelmator
Free - GIMP

Choose one and be happy.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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