A current user of one of the premium editions will be presented with a choice between upgrading to a CS6 perpetual license for $375 or spending about $360 over the next year at the $29.95-per-month introductory rate. At current pricing, Creative Cloud would cost about $600 per year to continue to subscribe to in future years.
Most of what Adobe is offering through Creative Cloud is not cloud software in the sense of being delivered through a Web interface. Products such as Photoshop require too much processing horsepower and access to native graphics to be replicated in that mode today, or maybe ever. However, Creative Cloud does include the new Touch Apps Adobe has created for sketching designs and assembling ideas on smart phones and tablets, then using those as prototypes for Web or print products. Creative Cloud also includes 20 gigabytes of storage, as well as tools for synchronizing applications and content across devices. Voltmer said Adobe will be looking to introduce more Web-based products over time, where it makes sense.
There will also be a team edition of Creative Cloud coming in the second half of 2012, which will deliver cloud collaboration capabilities to go along with the creative ones, at a price of $69.95 per person per month.
One other pricing variation is a month-to-month deal--which Voltmer characterized as making sense for someone who wants access to the full suite, but for a short period of time, perhaps for a specific project. That's $74.99 per month, without the one-year commitment.
Creative Cloud software downloads can function offline, but they do need to connect with the cloud service at least once a month to verify that the subscription has been renewed on schedule.
IT's challenge in dealing with social networks comes on two fronts: How to interact with would-be customers on big social networks like Facebook, and how to provide employees on internal networks with collaboration that's as powerful as their Facebook experiences. This virtual event, Social Business: Marshaling Expertise, Engaging Customers, Building Brands, will help IT leaders sort through their strategic choices. It happens April 26.