Adobe Creative Cloud - a better option for students?

Adobe has released details concerning its new Creative Cloud subscription service.

Adobe software certainly sets you back a fair percentage of your student loans, but it can be the best software investment you will ever make.

My addiction to Adobe products -- Photoshop, Illustrator and Lightroom in particular -- meant that in my student days I did go without that extra beer on a fair few occasions. However, as a start-up website designer, this software became imperative to own and eventually paid for itself.

A new service, Adobe Creative Cloud, was announced by the company in October, before the front became rather quiet and specific details were kept under guard. However, the online subscription service is back on board. Users can expect to pay $49.99 per month on a one-year contract for access to the cloud, which equates to $600 per year for the basic package.

By subscribing to Creative Cloud, users will be able to use Adobe Creative Suite products on a desktop, mobile or tablet device. For those who aren't keen to invest thousands in software, if you plan to use the subscription service for a year or two, it will probably be a cheaper option.

Not only this, but Adobe products are a top pick for pirates. By offering a more affordable solution, potentially users will be enticed to subscribe rather than head for the nearest torrent website to get themselves a copy of the software.

If students require Adobe Creative Suite for their degree, such as those studying to become graphic designers, website developers or animators, the entire CS5.5 commercial bundle can set the average user back a heart-stopping $1,299 to $2,599.

However, if you qualify as a full-time student in an accredited public or private university enrolled in a minimum of two years of study, you can enjoy discounts on the software packages -- lowering the price from $299 to $899.

The Creative Cloud service will be launched this year via a subscription service. Users will be able to install the CS6 applications available through the cloud on up to two machines. Features available include:

  • 20GB of cloud storage
  • Synchronization between computers and mobile devices
  • Use of Adobe's Touch apps
  • Access to Business Catalyst, Typekit and the Digital Publishing Suite
  • Early access to new features that traditional consumers will have to wait for.

Adobe plans to include Lightroom 4 once it leaves its beta stage, and subscribers will also be able to access Muse and Edge, two new web-developer applications. If you are in business, volume licensing will be available at the later end of the year for $69.99 a month per user.

It is not yet known whether the basic subscription rate will have concession rates for users such as students or for institutions like universities, but at $49.99 a month if you need to have the latest software and require access on the move -- even if it works out to be more expensive over the course of a year -- it may be the better option.


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