Oxford School of Photography

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Subscription only Photoshop

It has been a while now since professional users of Adobe products, which include Photoshop, have had the opportunity to pay a subscription and have all of the products available on line. This means that  applications are downloaded onto your computer but need to be authorised regularly (my words) as such and that the new versions and updates have been instantly available. Sounds good? Well yes if having the most up to date version of software is important to you but for those who like to buy software, own it, install it and decide if they want to upgrade it then perhaps no. Until this point it has been possible to use much older versions of Photoshop as long as they were compatible with your operating system (OS). I found that when I upgraded my OS so that I could install Lightroom 4 I could no longer use Photoshop CS2 which I was happy with.

This extended article on Photo.net explains more about this process and I am sure you have worked out that Adobe are doing this for their benefit not yours. Not having software you can buy means you pay, and you pay and you pay, every month or year as you prefer but pay you will. Maybe this is the way of things to come and all software will be this way in the future, somehow hosted in the cloud and ready for you when ever and where ever you want it……hmmm. I only want it on my desk computer in my office and I don’t need the latest versions all the time.

How does it work?

You need to download and install the apps on your computer and that’s where the software lives. Your current version of Photoshop, or other CS applications, do not have to be uninstalled; they’ll continue to work even with CC software on the same computer (there have been some issues with CS6 reverting to a trial version after the CC install but Adobe should have fixed that issue by now). And, you do not have to be online for CC to work…….


The best Creative Cloud pricing is based on an annual subscription. You’ll pay more for month-to-month leasing of the software. Prices also depend on how many applications you want to access, whether you choose an individual or teammembership or are a student or teacher.

Adobe is currently offering special promotional prices for current Creative Suite users. If you have a serial number or have registered your CS3, CS4, CS5 or CS6 product (Photoshop or the entire suite, for example), your first year will cost $10 a month with an annual contract. Access to a complete subscription for CS6 users is $20/month for the first year; $30 for CS3 and later….…MORE

What do you think about this, we have been bludgeoned into thinking the cloud is everything and will free us but unlike clouds in the sky this cloud is going to be finding new ways to grab our money.

17268054-smThe shape of things to com….

2 responses to “Subscription only Photoshop

  1. Kai Griffin May 10, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    There’s a lot of confusion about this “cloud” business that isn’t helped at all by Adobe choosing to name their product “Creative Cloud”. Adobe seem to have hijacked the term “cloud” to mean “subscription” in this context; I’m not sure that they’re doing themselves any favours by doing that. There is nothing particularly cloud-like about the service – the software is definitely not “hosted on the cloud”. The software is downloaded & installed on your computer, just like any bit of software you’ve ever installed online. Unless you specifically upload your work to a “cloud service” (such as Adobe’s own, Drop Box, Google Drive or one of the other many such services), it’s not on the cloud either. You don’t even have to be online to use the software; I think they require you to check-in once every two months, but otherwise you can happily work in the depths of the jungle with no internet connection.

    I’ve been subscribing to Creative Cloud for nearly a year. It suits me well, because I use a lot of Adobe products – almost all of them – so it represents unbelievably good value to me. Also, I’m an unabashed upgrade junkie – I want the newest version of everything as soon as it’s out. I can see where people who only use one or two products would struggle to find value in having to subscribe, especially when they’re not keen to upgrade with every new release. I wonder if Adobe will ultimately relent and re-offer one or two of their most popular products with traditional licenses? Given the volume of protest about the new subscription-only regime, I think they’ll give it a re-think.

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