Adobe: Creative Suite Is Dead, Long Live Creative Cloud

Adobe: Creative Suite Is Dead, Long Live Creative Cloud

Do you remember Adobe's Creative Suite or CS? Yes, it was that family of Adobe applications that served creatives well for quite a long time. We used to buy perpetual licenses for applications from the Creative Suite, which felt like you really owned something. You paid and it was yours. Well, Adobe says you can't do that anymore.

With the introduction of Creative Cloud, there were many complaints against the subscription model. While being cheaper to use the new software as a subscription, at the end, it's not yours forever. You can use it as long as you pay for it continually.

How I Feel About the Subscription Model

I remember when the Creative Cloud subscription was first pushed to the public. All Creative Suite products have been diligently put deeper into Adobe's website, so it was very hard to find them. At that time, I was using Photoshop Elements, and it served me quite well for my photography projects. Being a subscriber to something I use on a daily basis doesn't feel right to me. It's like paying rent to use my kitchen utensils. If software doesn't work well, nobody will buy it. If it works, the users will buy it and many will not think of upgrading to the next version unless they need something more. This was the time when I purchased a Photoshop CS6 perpetual license. I still use it. I barely use even 10 percent of the functionality it provides, and I don't need anything more. I'm happy with it, although I've paid lots of money to obtain it. It's mine. All mine. That's why I'm not a Creative Cloud subscriber. I have a piece of software that covers all my needs in terms of image manipulation. I don't want to stop working in the middle of an important photography or video project just because my bank has issues with their card-processing software, my card has not enough funds, or it has expired. Of course, this always happens on the eve of a long national holiday.

What If I Want Another CS6 Application?

I can't have it anymore. Adobe says: "Adobe creative apps are available exclusively through Creative Cloud." No more perpetual licenses. No more CS6. You are forced to be a subscriber to their software if you want to use it. That's what they say on their website right now:

Notice that Adobe Creative Suite is not available anymore

The whole subscription model by Adobe is an interesting move. There are other software companies that are getting more market share in the world of photo and video processing. Some of them are even cheaper. Users are in front of the decision to be a loyal Adobe subscriber at a low monthly price or go to another software company and buy their application with a perpetual license. There were options before: to use an older full version of a product or newer subscription-based software. Not anymore.

What About Lightroom?

If you don't have raw-processing software, you can't get the newest camera and open its files in your old Creative Suite Photoshop application, because you don't have the latest Camera Raw updates. If you want to use your old Adobe Photoshop and you are loyal to Adobe, you have to use Lightroom. It was available outside the Creative Cloud so far, so users like me could upgrade to the next version without being a subscriber (hoping they've fixed their performance issues). That worked quite well for me, and I think for others too.

I just searched for "Lightroom 6" on their website and I've got a message that if I need Lightroom, I have to subscribe to the Creative Cloud. I am not able to find any link to a perpetual license purchase anymore. Does this mean Lightroom is not available for a full purchase and loyal Adobe users are forced to pay for subscriptions?

Are you a Creative Cloud subscriber? How do you feel about it after those years? What do you think about their move, especially for Lightroom? Do you care?

[via photofocus]

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Craig Staples's picture

So obviously the author of this story doesn't know how to use a scroll bar. If they did and they used it to scroll to the bottom of the lightroom page on the Adobe site they would see a link on the right side in a big box to purchase the desktop version and not CC. ('s right beside the prices shown for the CC version)

It is still on the Adobe Canadian site

Ryan Mense's picture

I'm not seeing it. Maybe you are loading a cached version of the page? I took a screen grab of the area I think you are seeing it...

Craig Staples's picture

As a correction to the author I jumped to soon, as I only went on the Canadian site and not the US. It is still there as of 2 min ago

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

I checked on the Bulgarian website, nothing about Lightroom 6 there. Probably they've forgotten to remove it or deliberately left it there for your region.

Josh Shettler's picture

The subscription for Lightroom is a part of the Creative Cloud Photography plan. In that plan you get Photoshop, Lightroom, and a small number of creative cloud applications for $10/month.

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

Yes. The standalone version of Lightroom is more for those who already paid for Photoshop CS6 or just want to use Lightroom as a perpetual license app in their photography workflow.

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

I don't see it ether.

joe o sullivan's picture

It's gone from the Irish site too, but still on the Canadian site, looks like they just forgot about the Canadians.. lol

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

James Springle (in the comments below) found it on their website:

I hope it works for the Irish website too.

Spy Black's picture

I think the bigger problem is people not wanting to change their production routines. Adobe has a monopoly in graphics simply because people don't want to think outside of the box. They believe Adobe's software is the only way to achieve creative goals. They moment people and companies start thinking outside of the box, Adobe is dead.

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

People are starting to use other softwares (I myself) and Adobe will become one of the many. Nothing wrong with that.

Why should you have to change production routines when what you have works?

Spy Black's picture

Right. You can't teach an old dog new tricks...

The only reason to learn a replacement (not new - just a different version of the same thing) trick is if it's somehow better than the old one...

Spy Black's picture

When you're not enslaved to one giant corporation to get your work done, I'd say that's "somehow better than the old one..."

Ryan Cooper's picture

There is certainly something said to not be wholly dependant on a single entity for your work. That said, no one really is, unwillingness to arbitrarily switch tools does not reflect inability.

Economically there is a lot to be lost from switching as you both face a large investment in effort to return to the level of proficiency that you already have but there will also be a cease to your progress while you relearn.

If Adobe is an effective workflow they should use it until it doesn't work for them. (for whatever reason). The moment this changes, THAT is the moment to begin learning the new product and ease into it.

Prematurely hopping workflows that offer no economic gain puts a professional photographer at an economical disadvantage to those who choose to invest their time more efficiently.

Spy Black's picture

I think a better option is knowing more than one way to skin a cat. As a freelance retoucher I have to deal with Adobe at gunpoint, but that doesn't mean I have to do so if the project can be done from my home workstations. Most clients just need a flattened finished product and if, say, GIMP would cut the mustard for you, than there you are.

The key really is to give yourself options. Have the escape route, you never know when you might need it. ;-) Right now I'm looking into Affinity Photo, and if it can cut the mustard it will become my home workstation go-to app. It really just requires the effort on my part to make it a part of my production workflow.

Changing workflows is akin to starting an exercise and proper eating habit routine after not doing any for a prolonged period of time, or ever. Most people won't ever start it, or will try it and give up and go back to their old routine. It's a lifestyle change most people don't want to do because there is a momentum that keeps them painting themselves right into that corner. ;-)

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

It depends. If changing the production routines would take too much time and you are paying a team to do the job, it's too expensive to invest in migrating to another software. For a small team of 1 or 2 people, it's a matter of decision whether a perpetual license is better or a subscription, or if there's a better software out there, is it well supported and does it do the job for you.

The switch is always painful but just for a short time.

Most applications are trying to keep a similar UI so users can migrate from other softwares in that category much quickly using theirs.

Spy Black's picture

That's exactly what corporations like Adobe and Microsoft count on to maintain their strangleholds on their respective industries, the momentum of the established production lines. Although I mentioned "kill Adobe" above, what I really meant is kill their stranglehold on the industry. As a freelancer I'm forced at gunpoint to know Adobe apps because when I show up somewhere to work that's what will be there to work with.

However as an independent I don't have to go that route. For instance right now I'm looking at Serif's Affinity Photo as an image editing option. That's the key, options. We don't really have any on the professional level for the most part, but that's slowly changing. However it needs to be embraced. Yes, it takes time and money to change, and it's certainly easier on a smaller and individual basis. However if enough individuals start to choose options, you slowly start to release that stranglehold.

Putting all your professional eggs in one basket is a dangerous precedent

Brendan Kavanagh's picture

Perhaps it's just me but I can't see any link to Lightroom 6 anywhere on Adobe's site either.
I know Adobe are deliberately making it as difficult as possible for people to avoid their rental stuff but I didn't realise that it had become, seemingly, impossible.
Any chance of a screenshot?

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

Seems to be available only for some regions, such as on the Canadian site so far (a reader posted a screenshot above).

Jonathan Reid's picture

I've been using it for about two years and I love the system. I end up paying less too.

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

I'm glad it works for you. At the end you have to be glad with the results as this is a tool that has to do the job for you.

Adam Milton's picture

I really don't see what the big fuss is about. If there is a billing issue, they don't immediately cut off all access, they give you ample notice that there is an issue, and plenty of time to fix it before your access is revoked. I have read a horror story about a paid member who still could not access their software, however that seemed to be an outlier. The objections to the subscription model seem to be more on principle than practical concerns.

I do video projects occasionally, but certainly not enough to justify shelling out $800 for Premiere. Through the cloud, I can pay for that software when I need it.

Lightroom seems to be the only Adobe software that is getting worse over time. Photoshop has some features that are not super useful (anything 3D, weak video editor), but they have added many more useful functions that not. I think most people here know where LR falls short, and Adobe has showed us they have no intention of addressing the issues that affect pros on a daily basis.

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

I purchased video editing applications outside Adobe and I work with them. To me, as you said, it's a principle issue. I feel more comfortable when I have a perpetual license. I don't think they sell Premiere as a perpetual license anymore.

Premiere and After Effects are still industry standards but lots of other software companies are catching up quickly.

Same song on the Adobe French site :-(


On google, i enter « lightroom licence », from the french page of google, and here I find this :
(first screen shoot)

This can be quickly translate as « You can purchase Lightroom 6 as a single-license product (without a Creative Cloud formula), and then download and install it on your computer. ».
And if I follow the link, I have this (second screen shoot), where you have for Photoshop CC « S’abonner «  (Subscribe in french) and for LR « Acheter » (Buy in french).

Maybe the old page still in the cache . . .

Could you check on the US/Canadian side ?


Tihomir Lazarov's picture

No luck on the US site. At least I can't find such info anymore.

Adam T's picture

At this point, Adobe can go F#ck themselves. You still need Cs 6 for encore, which by the way should have never been canceled.
Ever since they went to CC there is no need for them to advance and fix their bugs in a timely fashion. Instead, every update is a very small advance and or terrible issues( take the refine edges issues in the latest PS update).

Since the removal of having to sell you a worthwhile upgrade they no longer have a need for rewarding the pay.

I used to buy the collections and then I would only update when the need was there, there was no reason to buy an upgrade from cs3 to cs4 but cs5 was 64 bit so that was a worthy upgrade. Now they just suck money every month with no real payoff.

After Effects - 2017 huge playback and memory issues, bugs in GPU, old cs3 bugs about allocation and effect invoking errors for AVCHD are back

Photoshop - Built on 25-year-old hardware, Refine edges is replaced with terrible, bugs with tables and user pref. for the last 3 updates

Premiere- 2017 crashing on file linking bugs, still slow as balls(even compared to final cut).

Flash/Animate - they've never fixed any of the UI and terrible preferences since they bought it from Macromedia

Bridge - slow as hell( the worst file exploring program ever made), effect presets have had linking errors for the past 5 updates with AE

Illustrator - all they do is move the damn buttons and sliders and call it an upgrade

It's not a computer issue, I run the top of the line Macs and PC's on a daily basis.

I'm waiting for the day I can leave Adobe behind but I'm stuck because several contracted client need it

The only other company that is worse is AUTODESK, which I did wind up leaving because their cloud service is way to expensive for small Indie shops and their updates are so minimal it isn't worth it

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