Adobe announced today that it no longer sells standalone copies of its Creative Suite software and will only offer updates to its Adobe Creative Cloud subscription service. That means CS6 is the last version of Creative Suite you can buy and download -- if you want access to tools like Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, you'll have to have an active subscription to get them.
Adobe says that customers "vastly prefer" the cloud-based subscription options over the standalone downloadable titles. It says it will give users who only want access to a single tool (like Photoshop, for example), instead of an entire suite of apps the ability to subscribe to just the program they're looking for. Plus, Adobe has lowered the price of those individual app subscriptions to $10 per month from $20 per month. You can read all of its pricing plans here.
Adobe says that signing up for Creative Cloud also gives it the ability to roll out updates and upgrades to its applications when it can instead of waiting to bundle them all into a major CS uplift. We've done our own analysis on whether it's better to rent versus buy, and ultimately whether the change is good for you depends on the type of user you are.
If you've purchased a perpetual licence or have upgrade rights based on your last purchase, Adobe says it will ease your transition to Creative Cloud (likely by offering a steep discount). The change also makes financial sense for Adobe, since it can get a steady stream of subscription fees instead of a major uptick in revenue with each CS release. Plus, it cuts down on piracy, since all of its apps are web-enabled and require active subscriptions to work. For more details on how the new subscription model will work, check out CNET's report below.