Now that Adobe's Creative Cloud has been on the market for a couple of years, more and more people are switching over to Creative Cloud. On first glance, CC may seem a bit confusing, but I am going to break it down in the simplest of terms for you, because it really is simple:
Creative Cloud versus Photoshop Creative Suite, and Other Adobe Software Purchases
* Before Creative Cloud In the past, when you wanted to purchase an Adobe product such as Photoshop Creative Suite (CS), you would either purchase a box that came with a CD, or you would purchase a digital download through the Adobe website.
* Your purchase consisted of only the program you purchased.
* You paid a flat-rate (usually around $1000-$2000 if you were purchasing CS with all its bells and whistles) for your product.
* Free updates were not included. For example, if you purchased CS4, when CS5 came around, you would need to pay an upgrade fee in order to obtain CS5 (sad trombone sound)
* When you sign up for the Creative Cloud, all of the Adobe products you purchase (they refer to them as apps) are downloaded straight to your computer through the CC desktop app.
* You can purchase plans to suit your needs. In my case, I have the Photography plan, which is $9.99/month. You can either pay monthly, or prepay for one year.
* What's really great about CC is that you can also pay for one app at a time - so, if you find yourself in need of something like Premiere for video editing, but you only need it for a limited time, you can choose to pay a flat rate for one month of use. How cool is that? So, if you find that you need an amazing Adobe program but for a limited time, you will only need to pay $29.99 for a single app download which will remain on your computer for one month, rather than paying hundreds of dollars for the CD.
* Updates are free, so you will always have the latest version of all of your software.
* These are "full" programs. In other words, the CC version of Photoshop is not a compact version of CS - it's the same program.
* Two words: Mobile Apps! Yes, there are Adobe apps (including Lightroom) that you can use on your phone and tablet.
* Your CC apps can be installed on 2 personal computers. So, if you work with a desktop and a laptop, you can have your CC apps installed on both computers. They can also be a combination of PC and Mac, or two Macs, two PCs.
* All of your presets, brushes, custom fonts, etc. can be stored within your CC profile.
Those are the key differences between CC and the traditional software purchase. In my mind, the pros of CC far outweigh any cons. The only thing that I really find any issue with regarding CC is this: when your subscription runs out, you will lose access to not only the apps, but all of your presets, actions, brushes, etc. that you have installed in your various programs. Make sure that you have the original files of everything stored on your computer, not just in Lightroom, Photoshop, etc.