Adobe Creative CloudAdobe CC, the new Creative Cloud only suite that is replacing CS6, should be launching at some point tonight. But if you're one of the many who haven't been happy with the new approach, or you'd like to play the wait-and-see game, there might be some other options down the road, especially for those people who would like indefinite access to all of their files even if they are no longer subscribing to CC.

There has been a rather large outcry about the fact that you lose all access if you stop subscribing to CC. While you could certainly take your files to another computer with the suite installed (or just subscribe for another month if you need access to old files), having access is certainly better than not having access. Adobe has been sending out surveys asking users about pricing options, which might also include a copy of CS6 to keep. Here's Photo Rumors on that:

The company recently sent out a survey to a selected users about the Creative Cloud, specifically about a new pricing structure of $9.99 for Photoshop or $29.99 for the entire suite on a 3 years contract which includes a permanent copy of CS6 after 3 years and a promise to continually update CS6 to support future file and camera types.

That last part might not be the relief that many wanted, but if Adobe chose to offer a permanent copy of CS6 and continually updated file type support, I think it would satisfy the needs of most users who would be worried about not having access to their work. It will be interesting to see how they update CC, since they don't actually need to name new versions anymore. The distinctions between different versions of the programs could be far less specific and more fluid, which would mean that CS6 could be the last full version that it makes sense for Adobe to offer as a standalone suite.

I think the only other way Adobe could make people happy and not necessarily compromise too much on their CC strategy is by offering users the option to continue using the programs after a 3 year subscription, but if they want to update their software, they have to purchase another three-year agreement.

Aharon Rabinowitz, who has worked extensively with Red Giant and uses Adobe software quite a bit, mentioned in a recent post that Adobe is looking at all options and wants feedback from users about what might work best for them given the current CC restrictions (which could include the ability to render out old work but not save new changes). He also explained part of the reason Adobe has decided to go all CC in the first place:

One thing that was really surprising was learning the following: Under American corporate law, as a publicly traded company, Adobe is forbidden from giving away free upgrades. By law, a publicly traded corporation has one single responsibility: to look after their shareholders. Giving away anything for free could legally represent a serious conflict of that directive. So we’re clear – this is not Adobe’s choice – this is American corporate law. The basis for this can be found in THIS ARTICLE.  I won’t lie – it’s hard to read. Without help I had trouble understanding what it all meant. And it gets worse HERE.

And later:

The result of this has been that once Adobe releases a product, they have to wait until the next version of the software – a year or more – to add new, significant features. This is true even if the work has already been completed, and said features are ready to go eight or nine months before that next major release.

Creative Cloud, a subscription model, with a perpetual payment setup, gets around this rule. Under Subscription, Adobe can give away as many updates and upgrades as they want. And because of this the After Effects team is now freed up to have 2 to 3 updates a year for after effects.

It certainly paints Adobe in a slightly different light, though it's unclear why they wouldn't make a detail like this more obvious in their communications with customers. We'll see how this plays out over the coming months, but if you've already ordered CC, you should be able to download it sometime soon.

What do you think could be a good compromise between Adobe and users?


[via Photo Rumors]