Adobe officially announces Creative Suite 6

After several sneak previews and a fully-functional beta version, Adobe has today officially announced the latest reincarnation of its popular Creative Suite software package, version 6, which sports among other things a whole wealth of new features, a massive overhaul to the default user interface and integration with Adobe’s new cloud service.

CS6 Splash
Like previous versions of Creative Suite, several “packages” are available aimed at different creative needs, and the versions available for this release are as follows:

  • Design Standard, which includes Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat X Pro, Bridge and Media Encoder.
  • Design & Web Premium, which includes all the programs from Design Standard along with Photoshop Extended, Dreamweaver, Flash Professional and Fireworks.
  • Production Premium, which includes Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop Extended, Audition, SpeedGrade, Prelude, Illustrator, Encore, Flash Professional, Media Encoder and Bridge.
  • Master Collection, which includes all the programs from the CS6 range.

This version of Creative Suite has seen a radically different pricing strategy to previous versions in that Adobe has introduced a new “subscription” scheme for CS6, whereby users of the software pay a monthly fee of $49.99 (with a minimum one-year plan). Subscribers then receive the full version of CS6 along with full technical support and 20 GB of online cloud storage with Adobe’s new cloud service. The subscription scheme is also available on a monthly basis for the higher price of $74.99.

The subscription scheme is a great deal for people who want to use all the programs in the Creative Suite collection, as by my rough calculations you can get nearly four and a half years use out of it (when compared to the full retail price of the Master Collection – $2,599) before it becomes cheaper to buy the software outright (by which time, Adobe will have surely released a new version). Subscribers also benefit from the cloud service and increased technical support, however for casual users, it may be cheaper in the long run to purchase the program outright (especially if they are only interested in one program, for example Photoshop).

The Adobe website is accepting pre-orders for all customers (including educational users, small to medium businesses and upgrades from CS5 or CS5.5) and the products will, according to Adobe, be available for download “within the next 30 days”. We’ll keep you posted on anything new.