A more affordable Adobe CS 5.5

Adobe products have been the standard in web and print design for a number of years, particularly after they bought out Macromedia (and took over Dreamweaver and Fireworks).

But Adobe products are also very, very expensive. So expensive that many new (and even experienced) designers have little choice but to use pirated copies, or turn to less-polished, less-powerful open source alternatives. Neither one is an ideal solution.

Adobe CS 5.5, though, which should be out in the first half of May, offers a new alternative: a monthly subscription plan. Pay one rather reasonable monthly fee and you’ll get access to the software you need.

Last week Adobe gave WDD an exclusive sneak peek at the new CS 5.5 and in this post we’ll take a look at what CS 5.5 is and what it means for designers.

With CS 5.5, you can basically subscribe to a single program (say, Photoshop for $35 or $49 per month depending on whether you’re willing to sign a one-year contract), the different premium packages (Web Premium, for example, is $89 per month with a one-year contract or $135 per month without a contract), or the entire Master Suite for just $129 per month with a yearly contract or $195 per month without one (regardless of whether you have a contract, you’re billed monthly).

It’s a great alternative for design studios, too, since you’ll no longer have to pay for software licenses that aren’t being used. Need to hire a freelancer to come work in your office for a month? Buy an extra subscription for that month (and just for the software that person will actually use).

Another feature of the new subscription program is that it eliminates upgrade fees. As long as you’re subscribed, you’ll get the most current software available, without having to pay extra. However, considering new CS versions are only released every 18 months or so, it’s not necessarily going to save you money in the long run.

It still makes sense to purchase the full Creative Suite if you can afford it. It’s just a nice alternative to those designers who can’t or don’t want to shell out $2500+ all at once to get the software they need.


What else is new in CS 5.5?

While the subscription option is probably going to get the most attention, it’s not the only new feature in CS 5.5. The Web Premium suite (which includes Dreamweaver, Flash Catalyst, Flash Professional, Flash Builder, Photoshop, and Illustrator), in particular, has a number of new features that will be of interest to designers and developers.

Adobe is putting a lot more emphasis on development for mobile devices by giving designers and developers more tools specifically for creating mobile apps. While iOS isn’t likely to support Flash any time soon (or ever), Android does support it, which gives Adobe a large potential developer base. These developer tools rely on both Flash and AIR (which is supported by iOS).

There’s now support for ActionScript and Flex projects in Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 Premium Edition, and mobile-ready components are included. Adobe Acrobat Professional has also added support for ActionScript, which could be used in creating enhanced ebooks.

Also included in Web Premium is better collaboration tools between Flash Catalyst and Flash Builder via Flex. This makes it a lot easier for designers using Catalyst and developers using Builder to work together. HTML5 debugging and emulation is also included with Adobe Device Central CS5.5.

Dreamweaver CS5.5 has added robust support for jQuery, including the jQuery Mobile framework.

There have been workflow improvements, too. There’s now a multiscreen preview panel so you can see how your sites will appear in browsers at different sizes and resolutions. There are also tools for managing FLA files that target different devices, including ways to share files between different documents and device targets.

InDesign CS5.5 will now have advanced authoring options for eBooks, including enhanced eBooks. The workflow for epub creation has been streamlined, with new features for embedding images that will resize for any size screen, and the ability to add HTML5 audio and video to your epubs.


Mobile apps

Mobile apps round out the new CS5.5 experience, with a number of apps for different mobile platforms. Some of these integrate specifically with other Adobe programs, while others are more like stand-alone apps.

Color Lava (iPad)
Color Lava lets you create custom color schemes on your iPad and then instantly access them in Photoshop.

Adobe Eazel (iPad)
Eazel is an iPad painting app that gives instant access to your paintings in Photoshop.

Adobe Nav (iPad)
Nav lets you use your iPad like a giant multi-touch screen for Photoshop, so you can tap and swipe to activate different tools, brushes, and more.

Adobe Ideas (Apple iOS)
Ideas is a sketching app for iOS that lets you capture ideas on the go. It integrates with Illustrator and Photoshop.

Adobe Photoshop Express (Android, Apple iOS)
Photoshop Express offers basic photo editing on your mobile device, as well as access to your Photoshop.com photo and video library.

Adobe Content Viewer (Android, Apple iOS)
Content Viewer lets you view interactive digital publications created with the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite.


A shift in focus?

Adobe Creative Suite used to be focused primarily on content creation. But in recent releases, and especially in the release of CS5.5, they seem to be moving toward a more holistic content approach, including conceptualization, creation, and delivery. This new approach is likely going to become more important to Adobe’s position in the market, as content creation and delivery become more integrated.

Of course, CS5.5, whether purchased via subscription or up front, still integrates with the Adobe CS Live applications you may already be using. This includes BrowserLab for testing your sites across multiple browsers, CS Review for collaborating and reviewing files, Acrobat.com for collaboration and conferencing, Story for scripts and outlines, and SiteCatalyst NetAverages for tracking Internet trends of both desktop and mobile users.


Which package?

As with previous versions of Creative Suite, there are different packages you can buy depending on your specialty. With the new subscription pricing, designers who have foregone a premium package in the past might find it affordable now. Here’s a brief overview of what each package includes:

Web Premium (upgrade from $399, full version for $1799, or subscription from $89)
Includes Dreamweaver CS5.5, Flash Catalyst CS5.5, Flash Professional CS5.5, Flash Builder 4.5 Premium Edition, Photoshop CS5 Extended, Illustrator CS5, Acrobat X Pro, Fireworks CS5, Contribute CS5, Bridge CS5, Device Central CS5.5, and Media Encoder CS5.5.

Design Standard (upgrade from $299, full version for $1299, or subscription from $65)
Includes Photoshop CS5, Illustrator CS5, InDesign CS5.5, Acrobat X Pro, Bridge, and Device Central CS5.5.

Design Premium (upgrade from $399, full version for $1899, or subscription from $95)
Includes Photoshop CS5 Extended, Illustrator CS5, InDesign CS5.5, Dreamweaver CS5.5, Flash Professional CS5.5, Flash Catalyst CS5.5, Fireworks CS5, Acrobat X Pro, Bridge CS5, and Device Central CS5.5.

Production Premium (upgrade from $399, full version for $1699, or subscription from $85)
Includes Premier Pro CS5.5, After Effects CS5.5, Photoshop CS5 Extended, Adobe Audition CS5.5, Flash Catalyst CS5.5, Flash Professional CS5.5, Illustrator CS5, Adobe OnLocation CS5, Encore CS5, Device Central CS5.5, Bridge CS5, and Media Encoder CS5.5.

Master Collection (upgrade from $549, full version of $2599, or subscription from $129)
Includes Dreamweaver CS5.5, Flash Catalyst CS5.5, Flash Professional CS5.5, Flash Builder 4.5 Premium Edition, Photoshop CS5 Extended, Illustrator CS5, InDesign CS5.5, Acrobat X Pro, Fireworks CS5, Contribute CS5, Premier Pro CS5.5, After Effects CS5.5, Audition CS5.5, OnLocation CS5.5, Encore CS5, Bridge CS5, Device Central CS5.5, and Media Encoder CS5.5.

It’s obvious from the above that if you’re going to go with a subscription plan, the Master Collection is definitely the best deal if you’ll use most of the programs it includes.

For some designers, the Design Standard is enough (especially if you don’t use Flash and either hand-code or don’t code your own websites), while others will need either the Web Premium or Design Premium packages.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Adobe makes a habit of intermediate releases of its CS products. Not every application in the Creative Suite has a 5.5 update, but those that do seem to have made some pretty substantial improvements.

Find out more about Creative Suite 5.5

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by Adobe and WDD received no compensation for any views expressed here. Reviewed exclusively for WDD by Cameron Chapman.

What do you think? Will you upgrade to CS5.5 or switch to one of their new subscription plans?

  • Liam

    It’s not a bad alternative, but not a great one.

    “Pay us for ever, or pay us loads right now”.

  • Andrea

    Definitely not upgrading to it! Has nothing new in photoshop, illustrator.. and html5 i can do it alone in dreamweaver.

    This upgrade is 3/4 useless..

  • http://www.nichterdesign.com Ed

    No thanks Adobe.

  • http://trafficcoleman.com/ TrafficColeman

    Wow..this will just add on to the top software the already got. But they need to get more affordable..they will make more money that way..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • Alex

    They need to do something on the prices here in Europe ( Netherlands ) !

    Over here, even if we buy the english versions, we pay over 3000 euro’s while us price is $2599!

    Even without converting from the dollar to euro it’s bizar

    • nejc

      Prices are insane … I have CS5 and I’m thinking about upgrade but the price is insane!!!
      We pay amost double than US customers …

      See http://goo.gl/4UOof

      • MichelC

        The UK pricing is disgusting.

        Absolutely fed up of Adobe, CS4 Design Premium is as far as I will ever go.

        I will use open source and other vendors.

        The UK pays a ridiculous premium for what is mainly (outdated) dictionary updates.

        I don’t know anyone in my area that has paid for Adobe products, they actually find it funny I paid! I am starting to think they have the right idea.

        It’s not right I feel like the mug!

  • stevo

    While the monthly subscription is a great option for quick projects don’t even consider it for the long haul as it’s WAY more expensive than owning the suite.

    From what I’ve seen of the new features, this update is hardly worth the price that Adobe has set for upgrades. It should have been a free update for CS 5 users. Users of CS4 and older may find it worth the expense but I would wait for v6.

    Apparently Adobe’s business model was not generating enough profit (while extremely profitable) so they went from an 18 – 24 month cycle to a 12 month cycle. Nearly doubling revenue if upgrade rates remain constant, though not likely now as people just can’t afford yearly upgrades.

    If the new feature set was compelling it would be a good argument. But some apps are not upgraded at all…a first for the suites.

    I see it more as a money grab than trying to remain relevant in the print/web/media technology market.

  • PixelTunnelVision

    Still too expensive. I’ll stick to Gimp and “other” methods.

  • http://www.fullforcewebdesign.com Fro

    I like the fact that designers/developers now have the option to subsribe to their software instead of shelling out a couple of grand each time adobe have a new CS release, I wished they had done this sooner.

    It is really a great option specially for a one man design team like myself, and though you will not save money in the long run but at least you will always have the latest version of the software you use.

  • http://www.wepaintseattle.com Seattle Painting

    I figured this would happen sooner or later.. and it is a great solutions for firms who may have staff increases/decreases alongside project completions..We use premiere in-house to make videos http://www.wepaintseattle.com/Recycle_Paint_video.asp and this 5.5 upgrade might be employed as we try to POWN our space.

  • stevo

    Definitely not worth the upgrade price. All apps aren’t updated. Incremental features at best. A money grab by Adobe. Should have been a free update for CS5 users. Monthly sub. is about the same as leasing a car.

  • http://www.kitacreative.com Jenn

    I’m having a hard time imagining how purchasing a subscription for ONE program for $50/month would be a cost effective option for anyone in the graphic design business… would be interested in seeing an example of how this would save someone money.

  • http://bounteo.us/ Rob Speed

    “rather reasonable monthly fee”

    You have a very interesting definition of “reasonable”.

  • http://www.datamouse.biz/ DataMouse

    A great idea from Adobe – though I think this is more about generating some additional revenue from the people that chance the pirated copies that may change their minds…

  • http://www.amlingstudios.com Chris

    Great article, thanks for posting. My question is what about Creative Suite 6? The rumors had it coming out in October this year. My company already has a copy of the Master Collection 5, why should I spend our money on a .5 release when a full release is coming just down the road?

  • Sandeep

    They should have a package with just Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Fireworks. That’s the all a web designer need from Adobe. They could sell flash and related tools in another package.

  • http://www.visual-blade.com Daquan Wright

    “But Adobe products are also very, very expensive. So expensive that many new (and even experienced) designers have little choice but to use pirated copies, or turn to less-polished, less-powerful open source alternatives. Neither one is an ideal solution.”

    Designers/Developers who aren’t making oodles of money will keep doing it too. You can’t put out your best work in mediocre programs, it doesn’t matter what anyone says, that’s the truth (or rather in a timely manner to meet deadlines).

    So for $89/month, you’d pay slightly over $1,000 per year. I understand they need money as a company, but designers who are struggling will likely stay away from this. I fail to see how this does justice to people who actually need to use the software to do work but aren’t top dollar designers/developers….a bit sad imo.

  • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

    I think its strength is if you want to use their applications for a limited time only (like a freelancer coming to your office to work for a few months). For the regular user in my opinion it’s just too expensive.

  • http://www.scottstubblefield.com Scott Stubblefield

    I think it’s pretty ridiculous to have a monthly fee if it’s not counting towards the actual purchase… It would be nice if it was more like a loan or something. On the positive side of that note, if we can get upgrades for no extra charge, I could see that being a pretty nice feature.

  • http://twitter.com/kstagg kstagg

    How many of you all have Macs? Just curious.

    • Jason

      Not me!!! Definitely prefer designing on my more powerful (and more affordable) PC :)

  • Dave

    Just because you upgrade to new software doesn’t mean you are any better at what you do.

  • Allison

    adobe prices remain so steep while the mac design apps are getting better, more intuitive and are around $50 to buy once and download immediately! more than likely i will just wait to see what apple comes up with next. i was impressed with the cs5 online presentations but using it in my job it was less effective!

  • Mike

    Agreed– unless you only need the software for a couple months, it’s way too pricey to go month to month.

    The only good thing I see is that, as a current CS4 user, it doesn’t cost me any more to get CS5.5 as it does to get CS5. Also, it means you might only wait 12 months for a feature rather than 18, in some cases (obviously not all– as most have pointed out, 2 of the biggest apps really saw no updates in 5.5– Illustrator and Photoshop).

  • http://icecoldwebdesign.comli.com/ Brian

    The question: Do you think it’s to expansive. I’ll say YES IT IS.

  • http://thompsondesigns.net dhaemion

    I can just imagine the fallout when people who have not looked at this closely realize it is not a payment plan. Unless you are just getting the programs for a month or so, and I don’t know of any designer that would do that unless you are taking on a developer, you are just going to be giving Adobe your shirt each month. At those rates you may as well just get whatever suite you want and put it on a credit card, I think it would be cheaper and you would have something to show for it in a year. Besides, it is not like everyone has to get every version that comes out, 99% of the time they don’t add anything new enough that you can’t get away with skipping a version.

  • http://www.BrianWetjen.com/ Brian

    I really think they should recalculate their pricing to ENCOURAGE subscriptions. Make it affordable enough in comparison to outright purchase that nearly everyone starts moving to the subscription model. Adobe would get a guaranteed steady stream of revenue on an ongoing basis and be able to grow their user base, entrenching people into their product stream. As consumers, we’d always have the latest and greatest version of the software, and we’d worry less about where that trade-off between buying/upgrading and subscribing lies. We’d want to pay for the reassurance that we’d always be current and that unless we were going to wait 2-3 versions between upgrades, we’d clearly SAVE money by subscribing over buying outright.

  • Sony

    3 days before I heard about adobe cs5 but I did not found any detailed information. Thanks for your article. Great information for designers and web developer.

  • http://www.buttonsrock.com Todd G

    Sounds like a total ripoff to me.

    I’m sure Adobe prices their products so high to offset their losses from piracy, but the reality is, they were already getting too expensive BEFORE piracy started running rampant. So instead of solving the problem, they’ve only encouraged it. This subscription plan is just as bad. Offer Photoshop for $15 a month and I might consider it. $35 and a 1-year contract? Fat chance! I’ll either stick with CS4, or go the… alternative route.

  • http://www.myphotoshoptextures.com Dave

    I think the idea of being able to buy it in instalments is pretty good (like you would do a car but with no interest) they should do different payment types and have the software activated daily on-line (I’m sure they can do something like that) so if you are paid up it works.

    Part of the reason its so expensive is that loads of people use rogue copies, if everyone paid for it they could drop the price.

    I also agree that some of the upgrades are not worth the money and I run with old versions of Adobe and Macromedia (yes that old) They do what I need them to do, but I do struggle if I get sent a newer file version.

    As Todd says make it affordable just looked on Adobe’s site its ‘starting @ £1,725.24’ for the Adobe Creative Suite 5 Web Premium, that’s a chunk of money…

  • http://www.visual-blade.com Daquan Wright

    I think the prices are high because their primary targets are schools, institutions, and corporations (that actually have a pool of revenue set aside for these things, normal people cannot afford it).

    If someone only wants to use Photoshop, why not let them pay a price between $10-$20 a month? That would be pretty awesome.

    Unfortunately their solutions still suck. They never take the end user in mind, always their pockets, and that’s why they’ll continue to lose. I do wish people could actually use the student version to do work…

    • http://aosborne6544@gmail.com Shivore

      Actually, they can use the student version to do work. It’s buried on Adobe’s site, I don’t feel like digging it up again as if I recall it’s fairly deep, but Adobe does explicitly say that yes you can use the student version to do commercial work. You just can’t buy it in the first place if you aren’t a student.

      This information was accurate as of about 2 years ago, so I’m just assuming they haven’t changed it since.

      • http://www.visual-blade.com Daquan Wright

        I’ve talked to Liz (cmdshiftdesign) about it, she informed me that the student version cannot be used for commercial work.

        And judging from Adobe’s money grabbing patterns…I’d say she is right since the student version is so affordable (like way more affordable than the regular version).

      • Shivore

        Well I’m not familiar with Liz I’m afraid, but no offense meant… she’s wrong. I wanted to make sure before I said so, so I looked it up:

        Quote straight from Adobe’s website (http://www.adobe.com/education/students/studentteacheredition/faq.html):

        “Can I use my Adobe Student and Teacher Edition software for commercial use?
        Yes. You may purchase a Student and Teacher Edition for personal as well as commercial use.”

        Seems pretty clear. Some may say Adobe is money grabbing (I personally disagree) but they are friendly to students in any case.

  • Mike Tosetto

    I’m a motion graphics artist and primarily use AE, Photoshop and Illustrator, although I have the Master Collection for the times i need Flash, DW and Indesign.

    I really don’t think the software is expensive. This post makes out like it’s unaffordable for some professionals. The software I use is a fraction of the cost in comparison to the set up I work on. I use an Eizo monitor, a JVC broadcast monitor, RAID storage (G-Tech RAID 5 ES Pro), 8 core Mac Pro and Wacom tablet.

    Although the costs of hardware and software together are significant, you should still be able to afford the tools you need to do the job if you’re doing good work and charging for it accordingly.

    My father was a floor and wall tiler and his tools were also expensive, but he made money from his trade because he was good at what he did and charged appropriately for it. Digital design is a modern day trade… we do the work and generally charge an hourly rate or a project rate.

    If we’re getting paid for the work we do, then pirated software is NEVER an excuse.

    Just my thoughts, have a great day ;)

    • http://thompsondesigns.net Melissa

      I completely agree with you, IF you have been in business for a while. I work primarily with students who are just starting out and they have a whole catch 22 situation to deal with. They need the software to get the experience and in order to pay for the software they need to already have the experience and be working and making lots of cash. For a established designer, I agree that they should not be using pirated software (if for no other reason then not to have to worry about adobe crashing down your door one day), but for students I think this is a raw deal. They are going to end up paying more in the long run just to have the programs month to month then they would to just buy them out-right but the month to month is all they can afford.

      • Mike Tosetto

        Absolutely Melissa, I think my ethos applies only if you’re making money from the work you do.

        It’s very hard for students. If you’re a student studying at a facility sometimes you have to use the computer labs to use specific software and you can’t always get a computer, your preferences are different on every machine, the software might not be up to date or might need to be updated etc etc. It can be a nightmare.

        Students and people in general need to be able to learn this stuff. There are always open source alternatives which are arguably just as good, but they’re generally not used in the industry.

        I think if you’re a student and showing commitment to learning this stuff via some kind of course, the software should be very affordable. I’ve heard from people I know that with a student card you are entitled to a discount… not sure how much it is though.

  • Kelv

    Way overpriced for a partial update.

    I also dont understand how it costs so much more in Australia.

    $969 ($920 AUD) on the Australian Adobe store to upgrade to CS5.5 Master Collection compared to $549 ($520 AUD) on the American store.

    Adobe doesn’t allow us to buy from the US store.

    I purchased CS5 boxed from a local retailer for several hundred cheaper than Adobe Australia online, needless to say i will not be obtaining CS5.5 direct from Adobe, or from anyone for that matter.

    I have no issue (well, not a major issue) with paying what Adobe asks for full versions, as they really have no competition and do provide the best bundle for my needs (Fireworks, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Premiere and After Effects).

    But i really question my loyalty when we’re charged nearly double in Australia, five years ago when our dollar was half sure, but now that its above parity.

    If there was an alternative product suite out there, Adobe would lose me as a customer.

  • http://savvysavingbytes.com/ savvysavingbytes

    Adobe products are absurdly expensive and I will continue to use my ancient PhotoShop and Illustrator, which work perfectly fine until my Mac using Classic breathes its last. I still haven’t forgiven Adobe for not allowing me to upgrade my software and for telling me because so much time has passed since I last coughed up for an upgrade, I must now purchase full programs all over again. In your dreams Adobe!

    As for those subscription prices: Laughable!

  • Simon

    I wish Adobe would shift Flash out of the Web package. It’s use is declining amongst web designers (due to Apple and more platform flexible alternatives like JavaScript). Flash in the package is just and added cost with little value. After a decade developing in Flash we’ve dropped it since clients don’t want it anymore.

  • MRB

    I agree with Mike T. I’ve never heard a carpenter complain about paying too much for a tool because tools are vital to any trade. If I had the choice I’d hire the guy with the better tools over the guy who got a thirty year old table saw off of Craigslist for free. It shows you are more committed to your trade and are willing to spend money to be good at what you do. I understand not everyone who buys a Gibson Les Paul will be a guitar virtuoso just like not everyone who buys Adobe products will be a good designer, but it takes money to make money.

  • http://www.izmiringundemi.com izmir haber

    How much Money ?

  • http://www.parkchenaur.com/ Rick Park

    I use CS4, my friend has CS5; for personal use, the upgrade price is definitely not worth the price of admission. But if you are a professional, the like the poster above said, the price is a small fraction for a tool for the trade, plus it is tax deductible.

  • holz

    What kind of bugs me is that I’m a front-end developer, not a designer; I need to use Photoshop because designers give me their mockups in .psd format, but the only tools in Photoshop I use are the slice tool, switching layers on and off, and occasionally editing text. Gotta say, the price for those three tools is pretty steep. Photoshop Elements is almost good enough for basic developer use, but of course it doesn’t do slicing and its grouping of layers is a bit weird. It is quite a miserable situation, tbh.

    • MRB

      I think a good designer should know enough about development to provide sliced images. Just my opinion. Developers are busy enough writing code and shouldn’t have to think about creating sprite sheets. Having been on both sides of the fence I believe this is a designer’s job.

  • http://gauravmishra.com Gaurav Mishra

    Ummm! …seems Adobe paid you to write this…
    upgrades & pricing listed very clearly..

    On the other side note, thanks for sharing and writing.
    Good to know whats happening around.

  • http://www.jaagare.com Jaagare

    Mainly all software companies charge a lot of money from consumers. Long back I had written an article that if software companies reduce the package costs, then their sales could jump multiple times. Say if I were given an option of a full creative suite for say 500$ wouldn’t I buy it? I would, because then there is value in it. The other reason is, many times some tools are not used by us on day to day basis but you need to have them so that if need be we can put it to use. When Creative Suites are bundled, there are many features you wont be using daily. The price of subscription model is way too high. If you do basic calculations, if you buy out right then it would save you money, because once you invest you need not buy again. If you search around the web or local stores, you can get a licensed copy of CS5 at a much lower rate compared to the online store rates.

    If we take a simple example of Web Premium (upgrade from $399, full version for $1799, or subscription from $89) – if you buy out right then you might get it for some thing around 1200$ if you search around. Now paying $89 for one year means $1068 which means that if you need to use for say 2 years (normal life time of a product version) then you end up spending over $2000. Adobe really needs to bring down subscription costs to say $35/month for web premium as it will be endlessly getting money (until ofcourse the subscription ends)

  • http://misterjacobs.com Brian

    This deal sucks. I’ll continue to do the upgrades for 600 dollars.

  • http://itcutives.com Jatin

    I agree with Brian, I will continue to upgrade.

    BTW, well written article.

  • jt

    If there would be ability to get full licence for price of upgrade after, let’s say 2 or 3 years of subscription, then it would be great deal – designer would not have to pay huge pile of money on the start but would be able get full license for a reasonable price at the end while Adobe still would earn more than for one-time full license sale.
    In that case, I would subscribe right now, even for European price.

  • Leo Ghost

    For a start-up company or freelancer designer with little capital, this is perfect. Pay the month-to-month for a few months until you can afford to dish out the full price.

    I would agree that the prices are still rather high, but this is a new concept and will take some time to value correctly.

  • d2design

    Why would I want to pay montly fess over and over again. Just save up get the software. One you have the full version upgrading is less expensive down the road. Barter with friends or business you may work with….if Adobes upgrade cycle is 1200. Then you are paying more in the end to borrow the software from adobe.

  • http://blingcovers.com Alex Cercel @ Mini Site Design

    That fee is in fact pretty good if you consider the life span of Adobe products… However I’m afraid they might slow down the pace of changing/adding features. It’s true that upgrading is cheaper than it would be to “rent” the software for a year tho…

  • RB

    Considering I do not have $2,600.00 laying around to purchase the product I think that the subscription pricing is fair. For $129.00 per month I’ll get all the software tools I need to hopefully make thousands per month. After the 12 month contract expires I’ll purchase the product. I’m new to web-design, but I like the design flexibility the tools bring to the table for me vs working from some pre made templates.

    If you can’t recoup your monthly investment with these tools your probably in the wrong industry. I say this knowing I have very little web-design experience and zero Adobe experience-I’ve got a lot to learn. However; I do have “A Can Do Attitude”, for me this journey started when I came across a website and developed website envy. No matter what I tried I could not get my template godaddy website to look as good as the site I envied. I soon realized I needed better tools.

    This subscription plan is a Godsend for me and it came along at the right time!

  • http://www.justforthealofit.com/ TheAL

    Relatively speaking, I think the price is fair. If it’s subscribe-to-own, even better. I didn’t get the impression from speed-reading that it was, though. Subscribing like this would be way more expensive if you never end up owning. Trust me, people who acquire the suite w/o downloading still can find ways to save in the long run. A lot of people I know skip several new versions before updating.

    $129/month could come out to over $1500 a year. On top of my top-notch Internet, smartphone, hosting/domains, health insurance, normal bills, medical expenses, car maintenance and repairs, rent/office space, and gas at $4/gallon – expenses I have to handle alone as a freelancer – $129 is unfortunately a big enough monthly expense that I probably couldn’t afford it. Can we at least assume it could be written off as a business expense?

  • http://www.pleasantcompany.co.za rob

    Adobe hasn’t added a useful feature to Photoshop since v5.
    They should have made it open source years ago, or should be selling it for a fraction of it’s current cost.

    But this is not about the software, it’s about shareholder profits.

    • http://twitter.com/kstagg kstagg

      Making Photoshop open-source? Really?

      They’re a business and Photoshop is arguably they’re biggest money-maker. You want them to just give it away?

  • http://www.visual-blade.com Daquan Wright

    @Shivore: That’s interesting, I’ll check it out then.

  • http://www.schoko-moments.de Jürgen

    Very interesting but to expencive.

  • http://www.orangedevdesign.nl Orange Dev Webdesign

    What interests me the most is the HTML5 functions though i don’t read anything of CSS3 support in Dreamweaver.

    But at the end, I can do it by myself, and it’s to expensive to buy right now.

    Will wait for CS6.

    Greetings from Holland

  • http://www.alojarsites.net Alojamento Web

    This new version 5.5 of Adobe is just a new way to say that they didn’t offer a good pack with the version 5, ask for more money and implement a new payment feature, which is pay as you use.

    Adriano L.

  • http://twitter.com/ALAPoliticsCom ALAPolitics

    The prices they ask for these monthly subscriptions are outrageous. A person is way better off paying the extra $$ for the full license, or get something like Gimp (Free) or Serif PhotoPlus (not free)
    The outright greed of some companies (like Adobe) is stunning to me.

  • Klockheed

    This is BS. CS 5 came out last year, a .5 update? Should be included. There are numerous issues with Illustrator and other apps.