Are Adobe pushing the boundaries of possibility, or just pushing their luck, by implementing a new subscription-only monthly fee for Photoshop?

Adobe Creative Cloud logo

1. What’s the big idea?

In a bold move to help thwart software piracy and cut the huge costs of selling boxed products, Adobe are launching online-only Creative Cloud (CC) versions of Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Premiere Pro and their flagship product – Photoshop. This major update to the company’s existing subscription-based service lets designers store, sync and share their graphic files on Mac, Windows, iOS, Android and Adobe’s online creative community at Behance.

“With the ability to quickly deliver new innovations, we’re empowering photographers and creatives to push the boundaries in digital imaging and design,” enthuses Winston Hendrickson, VP of products and creative media solutions at Adobe. “Our customers will no longer have to wait 18 to 24 months to access new Photoshop innovation. When a new Photoshop feature is ready, whether it’s the next Healing Brush or something as mind-blowing as Content Aware Fill, we’ll deliver it via Creative Cloud.”

This also means there won’t ever be a Creative Suite 7 (CS7) released, or new copy of Photoshop sold in the shops, unless this ambitious Adobe scheme turns out to be a major flop with punters. Will designers go ahead and pay for Photoshop by monthly subscription straightaway, or are they simply going to wait and update the software when they really need to?

2. I can fix that in Photoshop

For those CCers who do decide that it’s all money well spent, the new version of Photoshop sports some rather neat and useful features – especially for photographers. Camera Shake Reduction will automatically unblur images that are usually lost due to camera movement, while the Smart Sharpen tool uses adaptive software algorithms to minimise noise and halo effects. Clever stuff.

Photoshop CC Smart Sharpen screen

Photoshop CC is also the first Adobe desktop app to include the ability to post files directly to Behance – a fast way to share your work-in-progress designs with colleagues and clients. Or just a cool way to immediately show off your fabulous artwork to the design-conscious Interweb masses.

3. The sales pitch

Here’s what Adobe product manager Zorana Gee has to say about Photoshop CC’s new features in this YouTube promo video:

4. What the UK media say…

“The benefit for Adobe is that they can enjoy a constant stream of revenue and provide a service that software pirates and peer-to-peer networks will find difficult to replicate for free.”
-Creative Bloq

“Many users have already been voicing objections over what they perceive to be increased costs.”
-Creative Review

“Adobe acknowledged that the move may anger current customers, saying they thought long and hard before doing this, and understand that this transition may be hard for some people.”
-Design Week

“Editable rounded rectangles doesn’t seem like the most earth-shattering upgrade to the mighty Photoshop, but Adobe says it’s one of the most-often requested features from the design community.”
-Digital Arts

“Adobe used its MAX conference to drop a major bombshell, there will be no Creative Suite 7.”

“Whether customers can saddle up to the notion of paying a monthly fee for services they once forked over a one-time payment for remains to be seen.”

If you want to read more comments about Photoshop CC and Creative Cloud by journalists and the design community at large, search on Twitter using the #Photoshop and #CreativeCloud hashtags. My Google+ circle at also features the latest design news and handy hints every day… so please drop by and say hello!

5. Pricing and availability

Adobe’s all-new Creative Cloud will be ready to roll from June for £38.12 per month (based on you signing up for an annual membership). Students and teachers will pay a discounted rate of £22.22 per month. Both of these UK prices come with 20GB of storage space and are subject to VAT. A free 30-day trial with only 2GB of cloud storage and limited access to services is also available, along with a Photoshop CC-only option that costs £17.58 a month. For all the price plans and special offers, visit the website.

Adobe Photoshop CC Facebook banner

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Have Your Say

What do YOU think of the new Photoshop CC? Will Adobe’s Creative Cloud prevent software pirates from distributing illegal copies of Photoshop? Please scroll down this page to the ‘Leave a Reply’ box below and post your message (you can also comment via the Facebook box)…

Author: Rik Haynes

Are you passionate about graphic design? My Google+ page at is updated daily with the latest design news, free tutorials and inspirational work from the world's best web and print designers.


  1. I have never got my head around photoshop, but my daughter is just beginning to take a huge interest in photography and this is definetly something that she would find enthralling, i think we definetly need to take a serious look at how this will help her pursue her interest

  2. It is good news that Adobe are launching online-only Creative Cloud ,all the new products without having to wait,with all the new features everyone should be able to produce some great photos.

  3. I look forward to the Creative Cloud roll out in June and support the efforts being made to outwit the pirates.

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