Earlier this year, when Adobe announced that all future versions of the Creative Suite and Photoshop would only be available as part of the Creative Cloud subscription, I was fairly disappointed. I mean, I just upgraded to CS6 last year at a pretty substantial cost. A few months ago, Adobe announced a special “photographer’s” package for previous CS users. This package includes Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5 for a monthly subscription price of $9.99 USD (offer expires 31 Dec. 2013).
At the end of November, Adobe announced that this special offer would be available to anyone, regardless of whether they were a previous owner of the Creative Suite. I decided that this is a pretty reasonable offer, so I upgraded to Photoshop CC. At least for me, this subscription makes sense. I still have my CS6 applications, but I can run the latest version of Photoshop. I still have Photoshop CS6 should I decide that Creative Cloud isn’t worth subscribing to next year.
For someone looking to add Photoshop to their editing arsenal, the $9.99 offer is about as good as it gets. You also get Lightroom 5, and some free cloud storage (20GB). Frankly, I’d still recommend getting a perpetual-use license for Lightroom 5, as Photoshop is something you could choose to live without over time if you were so inclined.
And to clear up any confusion:
- You don’t need to be online to run Photoshop
- All applications run right from your hard drive, just like they did before
- You don’t need to store images in Adobe’s Cloud Server
- The $9.99/mo subscription price is locked in for one year; after that it will renew unless cancelled at the then-current price*.
While I’m still not thrilled about “subscription-ware,” Adobe has made it pretty clear that this is the way forward. I’ve managed to get nearly two years out of CS6, and I’m still using the other applications in the suite that I don’t need on a regular basis, like Dreamweaver and InDesign. I’m perfectly content to use slightly older versions of those products for the time being while keeping my version of Photoshop up to date. If you are looking to get the full version of Photoshop, this is currently the best way to go.
*There has been no official word as to whether Adobe plans to offer the $9.99 price perpetually. They have said they have “no intention” of changing the price, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. IMO, as long as Lightroom can be purchased as a perpetual-use license, everything is OK by me. Should Adobe move LR exclusively to the subscription model… well I hope that doesn’t happen.