Let's See If I Can Get This Right

(news & commentary)

(I'd swear that some of the details and deals on Adobe's Web site changed since they were first posted; coupled with the complexity, it's been very difficult to get this pinned down. Note that Adobe's site uses cookies that try to track what kind of user you are: if you inquire about Student/Teacher discounts, you then tend to only see Student/Teacher prices/offers until you reset with "not a student/teacher".) 

While I noted in an article last week that the real issue wasn't the price of Creative Cloud, Adobe has managed to make a muck of the pricing just enough that I'm finding a lot of people confused. Here's what I think the pricing situation is (warning, complications ahead):

  • Creative Cloud Suite (all apps): US$49.99/month on annual basis (~US$600/year)
    • US$74.99/month on month-to-month basis (~US$960/year)
    • Upgrade from CS6: US$19.99/month (~US$240/year) for first year only 
    • Upgrade from CS3 or later: US$29.99/month (~US$360 year) for first year only
    • Students/Teachers: US$19.99/month (~US240/year) on annual basis, for first year only
    • Students/Teachers: US$29.99/month (~US$360/year)
    • Teams of 4-10: US$39.99/month (~US$480/year) per team member for first year only
    • Teams of 4-10: US$69.99/month (~US$840/year) per team member on annual basis
    • Government/Education without Internet access or needing term licensing have to license a special version of cloud software ;~). Education should inquire about EEA programs, government should inquire about CLP-G programs
  • Photoshop only: US$19.99/month on annual basis (~US$240/year)
    • US$29.99/month on month-to-month basis (~US$360/year)
    • Until July 31: US$9.99/month (~US$120/year) for CS3 to CS6 upgraders first year only
    • No student/teacher pricing available
    • Limited access to services, whatever that means


It currently appears that the NAPP member 15% discount only applies to CS6 purchases at adobe.com, unfortunately, so no discounts from other sources.

What's particularly galling about Adobe's Web site right now--besides the fact that the above chart doesn't actually seem to appear anywhere ;~)--is that even though Adobe claims that CS6 is still available and it technically is still the current version of the product, try finding the download (or upgrade) information about CS6 anywhere on the Adobe site and you'll run into dead-end after dead-end pointing you to CC. Thus, I'll point out that places like B&H still have limited quantities of Photoshop CS6 that they can sell you (B&H Mac version, B&H Windows version Advertiser Links).


On the Adobe pages you can still get upgrades, you have to first click "Buy" then click the pop up of "I want to buy" to "Upgrade." It seems a little silly that I need to write an instruction manual for how to order something, but that seems to reflect the quality of Adobe's marketing at the moment ;~). 

Based upon emails I've received, it appears that if you engage the "chat live now" function on their site or phone Adobe, you'll get the upgrade to CC pitch hard sell and only if you persist forcefully will anyone tell you how to upgrade to the actual current version of Photoshop (CS6). What's amusing is that in the CC FAQ Adobe has now added a section about how you can save to CS6 file formats with most of the CC programs should you want to use a perpetual product with the files you create in CC, but they won't help you get a perpetual product without you breaking their arm first. Isn't it in Adobe's interest to sell you CS6 and CC? 

Adobe is acting like a ham-fisted monopolist. In doing so, they're pissing off their customer base. They've already pissed me off by breaking Acrobat, never fixing bugs in Dreamweaver, having unstable installers and DRM, and much more. How long creative professionals will stand for that is now a serious question that needs to be entertained. 

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