Photoshop's future: Adobe ditches $2,599 price tag for $50 subscriptions

Effective immediately, Adobe will offer its design and development tools under the banner of Creative Cloud. The fee? 50 bucks a month

Adobe Systems is embracing the cloud.

A decade ago, Adobe Systems introduced Creative Suite, a collection of design and development applications. Today, the San Jose, Calif., company announced it would effectively do away with Creative Suite, and replace it with Creative Cloud, a $50-a-month subscription service that will include all the familiar Adobe staples, including Illustrator, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and InDesign.

Creative Suite 6, the last major iteration of the Creative Suite line, was released in 2011. But according to Adobe, in the future, all Adobe tools will be released under the Creative Cloud banner. "We have no current plans to release another perpetual release of the CS tools and suites," Scott Morris, senior director of product marketing for Creative Cloud, told CNET in an interview. "Creative Cloud is going to be our sole focus moving forward." 

So how does the pricing stack up? Well, as Reuters notes, the Creative Suite 6 Master Collection retailed for $2,599, or approximately four years of Creative Cloud subscription fees. Adobe, for its part, is betting that the regular influx of cash from subscribers will be better for its bottom line than its previous business model, which revolved around that hefty one-time fee. 

And that's not the only benefit for Adobe, writes Harrison Weber of The Next Web. A subscription service will help cut down on piracy (Creative Cloud "will curb the spread of serial numbers," Weber argues) and generally make Adobe more palatable to Wall Street

"With balanced income, Adobe will likely look better to investors, so long as creatives come aboard," Mr. Weber writes. "In addition, a subscription offering is better suited for a growing cloud-based services business, from hosting and serving up fonts to connecting creatives....  [T]his is starting to feel like a very natural and reasonable shift for Adobe, in an industry where the lines between applications and services continue to blur." 

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