Adobe Creative Cloud
|Stable release||CC 2014 / September 6, 2014|
|Operating system||Windows, OS X|
|License||Software as a service|
Adobe Creative Cloud is a software as a service offering from Adobe Systems that gives users access to a collection of software developed by Adobe for graphic design, video editing, web development, photography, and cloud services. In Creative Cloud, a monthly or annual subscription service is delivered over the Internet. Software from Creative Cloud is downloaded from the Internet, installed directly on a local PC and used as long as the subscription remains valid. Online updates and multiple languages are included in the CC subscription. Creative Cloud is hosted on Amazon Web Services.
Adobe first announced the Creative Cloud in October 2011. Another version of Adobe Creative Suite was released the following year. On May 6, 2013, Adobe announced that they would not release new versions of the Creative Suite and that future versions of its software would be available only through the Creative Cloud. The first new versions made only for the Creative Cloud were released on June 17, 2013.
The Adobe Creative Cloud retains many of the features of Adobe Creative Suite and introduces new features; foremost is the instant availability of upgrades, saving to the cloud, and easier sharing. In June, 2014, the company announced 14 new versions of the Creative Cloud essential desktop tools, four new mobile apps, and the availability of creative hardware for enterprise, education and photography customers.
Brief descriptions of the applications available in Adobe Creative Cloud individually or as a complete package:
- Adobe Acrobat is a software family dedicated to Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF). Adobe Acrobat Standard, Adobe Acrobat Professional, and Adobe Acrobat Professional Extended all allow for the creation of PDF files. Adobe Reader is an application that allows the reading of PDF files.
- Adobe After Effects is a digital motion graphics and compositing software published by Adobe Systems. It is often used in film and video post-production.
- Adobe Audition is a digital audio editor that provides the modern interface and workflow of Adobe Soundbooth with the capabilities of Audition.
- Adobe Bridge is an organizational program. Its primary purpose is to link the parts of the Creative Suite together using a format similar to the file browser found in previous versions of Adobe Photoshop.
- Adobe Dreamweaver is a combination code / GUI web development application.
- Adobe Edge is a suite of web development tools:
- Adobe Edge Reflow, a responsive web design tool.
- Adobe Edge Code, a code-based HTML editor.
- Adobe Edge Inspect, an application which allows developers to preview web designs on mobile platforms.
- Adobe Flash is a software family dedicated to various Adobe multimedia technologies:
- Adobe Flash Professional, a multimedia authoring program used to create web applications, games, movies, and content for mobile phones and other embedded devices. It features support for vector and raster graphics, a scripting language called ActionScript and bi-directional streaming of audio and video.
- Adobe Flash Builder, formerly Adobe Flex Builder, is an integrated development environment (IDE) built on the Eclipse platform meant for developing rich Internet applications (RIAs) and cross-platform desktop applications for the Adobe Flash platform.
- Adobe Flash Player, a free software application which allows the playing of standalone Adobe Flash (SWF) multimedia files.
- Adobe Scout, a profiling tool for Flash SWF files.
- Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics editor.
- Adobe InDesign is a desktop publishing application.
- Adobe Muse is a web development program that emphasizes webpage building for designers without a focus of writing code.
- Adobe Photoshop is a raster-graphics editor (with significant vector graphics functionality).
- Adobe Premiere Pro is a real-time, timeline-based video editing software application. Its related applications are:
The following services are also available:
- Behance is an online social-media based portfolio service for creative professionals.
- Adobe Story Plus is a screenwriting and film/TV pre-production online application which integrates with the Premiere Pro family.
- Fonts from the Typekit family are available for licensing to members.
- Web hosting and cloud-based file hosting storage space and service.
The change from perpetual licenses to a subscription model was met with significant criticism. Although Adobe's cloud-based model caused disagreement and uncertainty, incited annoyance and conflict, a survey by CNET and Jefferies revealed that despite complaints, most of its 1.4 million subscribers plan to renew.
Shifting to a software as a service model, Adobe announced more frequent feature updates to its products and the eschewing of their traditional release cycles. Customers must pay a monthly subscription fee and if they stop paying, they will lose access to the software as well as to the work they saved in proprietary file formats.
Although investors applauded the move, the negative reaction across segments of Adobe’s user base was swift. This shift has been met with mixed reviews by both corporations and independent designers, with many people expressing their displeasure on the web and through multiple Internet petitions. Among these was a Change.org petition which reached over 30,000 signatures within a few weeks of the announcement.
Creative Cloud has been criticized for broken file syncing, one of its core features. In May 2013 Adobe announced that it was suspending the file-sync desktop preview "for the next couple of weeks". Reviewers of Creative Cloud were disappointed with the functionality of the cloud storage and were "far from convinced by Adobe's subscription model". Users were concerned that they would be forced to upgrade their computer hardware when it is no longer supported by the current version of the Creative Cloud software.
This caused an unprecedented loss of trust in Adobe as a company and an attendant rise in anxiety among their customers. Despite a storm of customer criticism over Adobe's move to subscription-only pricing, the company announced that it would not sell perpetual licenses to its software alongside the subscriptions: "We understand this is a big change, but we are so focused on the vision we shared for Creative Cloud, and we plan to focus all our new innovation on the Creative Cloud".
In May 2014 the service was interrupted for over a day due to a login outage leaving graphics professionals locked out of Creative Cloud. Adobe apologized for this global Creative Cloud failure and thanked users "for bearing with us". When initially asked whether customers would be compensated, the company's Customer Service responded: "We cannot offer compensation for the outage. I'm so sorry again for the frustration." Adobe later announced that it would review compensation on "a case by case basis". The outage was heavily criticized, as was Adobe's Software as a Service model in general.
Online articles began offering examples of replacements of Photoshop, Illustrator and other programs, with competing products directly offering alternatives, and launching promotions for dissatisfied Adobe customers. Adobe, however, claimed that Creative Cloud is its "highest customer satisfaction product in the creative space" and that even prior to Adobe's move to a pure subscription model, "more than 80 percent of customers who bought products from Adobe's Web site picked CC over CS."
Although Creative Cloud was expected to curtail the piracy of Photoshop, which is one of the most pirated pieces of software, Creative Cloud was hacked and its applications made available a day after it officially launched. However, Adobe claims that Creative Cloud will be more accessible and provide better value: “We believe in fighting piracy of software by making the right software for the right people at the right price”.
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- Official website
- Creative Cloud Chronicles, Graphics.com
- The Real Lesson in the Adobe Announcement, Lenswork Daily: Podcast