Adobe sticks its head in the cloud.
Adobe rules the roost of creative software. Even this magazine is put together with a host of the company's software and with good reason. It works incredibly well and it's the most cutting-edge software you can get. It's something of a surprise then that Adobe has only just ventured forth into cloud computing.
Creative Cloud is accessed through Adobe Application Manager, a client app that enables you to download Adobe's whole suite, albeit with subscription-based payments. There's a a 30-day free trial of the system and from there on you can pay on an annual or monthly basis. At the time of writing, an annual contract costs $62.99 a month, whereas a month-to-month subscription is $94.99 a month. An introductory offer for existing customers costs $37.99 a month.
What do you get for your money? Just about everything Adobe. As well as stalwarts Photoshop, InDesign and After Effects, you're given access to Illustrator, Premiere Pro and Acrobat X. These are the full, unlimited versions of each piece of software, and you can pick and choose which ones you download with the manager. In addition to the software, Adobe includes 20GB of online file storage, site hosting and PDF creation.
While it does inevitably end up costing a small fortune over the course of a year, the ability to rent software from Adobe on a monthly basis rather than buying it outright is attractive to creative businesses, who may need to hire a freelance designer to work on a short-term project. It also appeals to those wanting to try out Adobe's software for longer than the 30-day period.
Photoshop is one of the most pirated pieces of software in the world, currently standing third in Windows apps on torrent site The Pirate Bay. Although its pricing may be too high for some, Creative Cloud is a great option for those who want Adobe's software while keeping their fingers clean.
Pros : All Adobe Creative Suite 6 apps, 20GB cloud-based storage.
Cons : Costs a small fortune annually.
Verdict : 10 out of 10. Editor's choice!
Available from Adobe, price from $37.99 a month