Adobe Creative Cloud – The Great Debate

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Adobe Creative Cloud – The Great Debate

Adobe Creative Cloud – The Great Debate

It has been nearly 9 months since Adobe announced in May of 2013 that it would no longer be offering its popular slate of design programs collectively known as the Adobe Creative Suite for direct purchase. Access to new versions and updates of CS software will be available only for Adobe Creative Cloud subscribers. The original announcement created a flurry of blog and board posts by disgruntled web designers, graphic artists, photographers, and other professionals who rely on Adobe’s cutting edge software to make their living. Now that things have had some time to settle, we at The High Tech Society thought it may be good to reevaluate the decision and see how it has really affected Adobe’s avid users.

Obviously, the major shake-up is due to the fact that consumers can no longer purchase hard copies or digital downloads of Adobe Creative Suite software.  So, an Adobe customer, such as myself who bought Adobe’s Design and Web Premium CS6 package last year, owns that software forever.  If I decide to swear of all new technology starting today and keep the Toshiba Satellite laptop I’m writing this on now until one of us can no longer function (my money is on the laptop lasting longer, I really need to take better care of myself), then I will be able to continue running and enjoying my Adobe CS6 package without paying another penny.

On the other hand, if you do not already own the Creative Suite software, or wish to update to a newer version, or purchase any of new products Adobe has added to their CS line, then your only choice is to sign up for an Adobe Creative Cloud membership.  While Adobe offers a number of different membership options at varying prices, the bottom line is that you would need to pay either $599.99 for a one-year membership or get billed monthly at a rate of $74.99 in order to have access to software equivalent to what I purchased with the Design and Web Premium CS6 software (which retailed at $949.99 when I bought it in November 2012).


It is not difficult to do the math concerning how long someone would need to be a member of the Creative Cloud before they exceeded the retail price of the now unavailable hard copy version. There exist two opposing schools of thought concerning Adobe’s decision and the new reality for consumers of these web and design tools:


  • Who:  Adobe, top-tier individuals working in Web/Design fields, creative individuals looking for an opportunity to network with similar professionals.
  • Argument:  Because Adobe is constantly updating and releasing new versions of their software, as well as bringing out new products, the membership program is the most cost effective way to access this software.  Adobe’s software is peerless in many categories, making it a necessity for professionals getting paid top-dollar to produce high quality work.
  • Momentum:  A slow, but continual shift has been taking place over the past 9 months as more people have moved into the Pro camp. Much of the defrosting of what was a very icy consumer base back in May 2013 can be attributed to the relentless Adobe campaigning for, and support of, the Creative Cloud, which has become not only a site to download software, but a vibrant network of individuals in creative fields sharing and collaborating with one another.



  • Who:  Independent professionals and small businesses in web/design fields. Supporters of free information sharing and less restrictive corporate regulation of software and technology. 
  • Argument:  The key talking point 9 months ago remains the same today: cost.  Individuals who work at small companies, independently, or only part-time in any capacity where Adobe software has been a necessity, have lamented that the Creative Cloud membership is prohibitive to them staying financially afloat.  Because they are willing to get by with older versions of the CS software for longer periods rather than updating every time a new version comes out, allows some people to still produce quality products even if they aren’t right on on the cutting edge.  Opponents of the switch see the move as nothing but corporate greed on the part of Adobe.
  • Momentum:  As is often the case when a disagreement pits the “little guys” against the “bigwigs,” the underdogs can usually count on a vocal core of die-hard supporters, which is very much the case in this controversy.  Though the turning of the calendar and the beginning of 2014 may have seen some of those originally opposed to the Creative Cloud mandate defect, the core supporters have stayed quite adamant about their desire to see Adobe once again release CS software that can be purchased and owned by customers.  Perhaps the biggest shift in momentum are those who have moved from the “Con” camp to a middle, neutral ground. They have concluded that whatever differences which may exist between the two methods are not great enough to warrant their time and energy.

How the Adobe Creative Cloud controversy will end is anyone’s guess.  As of today, Adobe has shown no sign of reverting back to the old system and remains staunchly supportive of the Creative Cloud.  Whichever side of the debate you fall on, one thing still seems to be beyond question:  Adobe’s web and design products are head and shoulders above anything else available on the market, and so will continue to be what professionals in these fields use to create their products – whether they like it or not.

For more information about the Adobe Creative Cloud, its products, and its membership plans you can visit them at .

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About The Author
Jeffrey Shalda
Jeffrey Shalda graduated with a B.S. degree from the University of Georgia with a major in psychology and a minor in history. He obtained his M.S. degree from Villanova University in psychology, concentrating on cognitive psychology. Jeff's interests cover a wide range of topics including cutting-edge trends in science and technology, complex systems, number theory, music and literature. He is currently completing his first novel while working on several larger non-fiction projects as well. [email protected]

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