Adobe MAX 2013: Day 2 - More on Adobe’s move to the Creative Cloud


June 17th.

I forgot to mention that yesterday. On June 17th you can continue your Adobe Creative Cloud account and download the new software. If you start any time after June 17th, your first CC software will be the latest releases.

I've had a chance to talk to Adobe folks about the switch to the CC and why they dropped the perpetual license. For the most part, Adobe claims they were caught off guard by how people gravitated to the CC. While they didn't provide actual numbers, they did claim the vast majority of people who upgraded did not purchase CS6. Rather, they bought into the CC. Adobe started preparing CS7, but at a certain point they realized that the cost of preparing two versions of the same software—one that would be updated and one that would not—was going to not be a wise use of their resources. Ergo, drop the less popular option.

So, what does this mean to the user? For the user who typically purchased every other release, it means the long-term costs will be greater. On the other hand, that also means he will always have the latest-greatest software at hand. This also effects the user who doesn't want to spend enormous amounts of time constantly learning the new dynamics of his software. The "I've done it this way in the past and I want to continue doing it this way" is not going to be too happy as new features are added and, worse, as old features are removed.

Likewise, if Adobe does something that pisses you off, protesting by not purchasing an update will not fly because if you don't pay, you've lost your tools.

I think the person that this possibly hurts the most is the person who's got a job, uses the tools and enjoys what she is doing but then retires and/or is laid off. Now, with a different economic environment, she can't just keep what she has.

On the other hand, one can obtain a single application with all of the other benefits of the CC for $19.99 a month. Since two applications would be double that, if you want two or more, you might as well get the whole CC.

Simply, not all change is always a good thing.

Nonetheless, the CC is a work in progress, and Adobe is not adamant about any issue; they figure this is an evolving process. What we have today might not be what we have a year from now. Nothing is locked in stone.

For example, originally your computer had to "link up" at least once every 30 days. Soon from now, this will be changed to once every 180 days. And, if you work in an organization or enterprise that does not allow any Internet connection, Adobe will work with you to make sure you will be okay and can still enjoy the Creative Cloud. If you live in a region that has poor Internet connection and cannot download the various application builds, Adobe will provide support for you as well.

Meanwhile, on your 20 GB CC account, you can hold a variety of files and their iterations. You can create many iterations of a file and all of them will be available to access for up to ten days. That is, once an older iteration of a file has been in the CC for 11 days, it will be removed. None of the iterations will count against your 20 GB of data storage.

There's also the question of what you do with three computers. For example, let's say you have a computer at work and one at home and you have a laptop you occasionally use (but not all the time). Since a CC membership lets you access your account on two computers (remember, this can be Mac and/or a PC), how can this work? In the past, you could deactivate one of your accounts, activate another, and, once done, you could deactivate that one and go back to your original two. Now there's no formal "activation" as we've had in the past. Now, when you try to log into your account from a third computer you're told that both activations are being used and asked if you want to remove the connection to those computers? When you click Yes, you can then activate your laptop. Later when you are back to your original computers, you link on to your account on the first and when you get to your second you are still okay. But when you get back to work you will have to unlink everything again and link in. Yes, it's more complicatedŚor rather proceduralŚthan it should be, but it can be done.

Soon, I'll be reviewing various software titles from the Creative Cloud. Next, though, I'll be reviewing my experience of going to the new MAX: the Creative Conference.

___________ Gary Coyne has been a scientific glassblower for over 30 years. He's been using Macs since 1985 (his first was a fat Mac) and has been writing reviews of Mac software and hardware since 1995.

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