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Adobe announces Creative Suite 5.5, monthly software subscriptions

April 11, 2011 |  2:34 pm


Adobe Systems announced an update to its Adobe Creative Suite 5 software, which for the first time will be available by way of monthly subscriptions.

Creative Suite 5.5, as the new refresh is called, features new tools that will enable users to more easily create content for smartphones and tablets and do more using HTML5.

The rollout of Creative Suite 5.5, which will take place in about a month, will be Adobe's first shot at a new software release schedule, with more incremental updates between fully new versions of its main product package.

"This launch marks a major change to Adobe's product release strategy for Creative Suite," the San Jose company said in a statement. "Adobe now plans to have milestone Creative Suite product introductions at 24-month intervals and -- starting with Creative Suite 5.5 -- significant mid-cycle releases designed to keep the worldwide creative community ahead of the latest advances in content authoring."

The Creative Suite subscription editions are new for Adobe too and will let customers try Adobe products by subscribing online without having to commit to spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to buy the software suites.

One of Adobe's most popular products, Photoshop, sits on the low end of the subscription model at a monthly price of $49, or $35 with a one-year subscription.

Adobe's Creative Suite 5.5 Design Premium package -- which includes InDesign, Dreamweaver, Flash Professional and Adobe FlashCatalyst, Acrobat X Pro, Illustrator CS5, Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended and Adobe Fireworks CS5 -- goes for $95 a month as part of a one-year plan or $139 month-to-month.

Adobe's top-of-the-line Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection can be subscribed to for $129 a month for a year or $195 month-to-month.

Creative Suite 5.5 is just a bit more expensive.

A traditional, non-subscription copy of Adobe's Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection software will sell for $2,599, about $1,000 more than a one-year subscription to the software. The Design Premium package will sell for $1,899, or $759 more than a one-year subscription.


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Image: A screen shot of Adobe's Creative Suite 5.5 software for sale online. Credit: Adobe Systems