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Adobe kills Creative Suite, goes subscription-only

Adobe Systems announced Monday it no longer will sell its Creative Suite software, as it moves instead to the $50-per-month Creative Cloud and other subscription plans.

"We have no current plans to release another perpetual release of the CS tools and suites. Creative Cloud is going to be our sole focus moving forward," said Scott Morris, senior director of product marketing for Creative Cloud.

When Adobe launched its Creative Cloud subscription last year, executives weren't sure how long it would offer it alongside the traditional perpetual-license sales for its software. But customer enthusiasm for the Creative Cloud, combined with the awkwardness of maintaining it alongside the slower-moving CS products, led the company to move aggressively to the subscription plan.

"We expected it to be a couple years before this happened. But we were surprised by how successful Creative Cloud has been," Morris said. "We know that's going to be a difficult transition for some customers, but we think it's going to be the best move in the long haul."

It's not just a big difference for customers. With the change, Adobe moves its business more to a recurring-revenue approach. Instead of revenue surging when upgrades such as CS6 arrive, the company gets a steady stream of money.

"There's a stacking effect. When we bring customers in, they stay in. Then when we bring in new customers, we layer the revenue on top," Morris said. "Recurring revenue is going to help Adobe in the long run. That's one reason Wall Street responded very positively."

The company announced the change at its Adobe Max conference along with major updates to its software -- the programs that would have borne the CS7 logo but that now will be rebranded just as Creative Cloud.

New Creative Cloud members will pay about $50 per month for a membership. Users who are updating from CS3 or higher can get a discounted rate of $30 per month for the first year. Single apps, like PhotoShop or Illustrator, are available for $20 per month.

Read the full story at CNET.

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