1.0 Web design software finally rolls out of beta and is available as a standalone subscription or as part of the new Adobe Creative Cloud membership.
Months of Beta Muse
Last August, we checked out the beta release of Adobe Muse, which we said might surpass Apple iWeb's code-free site building tool. Apple discontinued support for iWeb, and Muse seemed like a potential replacement.
Adobe promised an "early 2012" delivery for Muse 1.0, and it hit that goal after months of public beta testing. David Wadhwani, senior vice president, Digital Media Business, Adobe, says that there were more than 700,000 beta downloads of Muse and user feedback was incorporated into the final product release.
Adobe claims that Muse "makes it easy to produce distinctive, professional websites." Basically, designers can focus on design instead of back-end code. In the "Plan Mode" of muse, designers can plan out their sites with the help of master pages. Design is as easy as dragging and dropping pages, much like Adobe InDesign software. Also, Adobe InDesign users should feel right at home with Muse because it offers some of the same features and shortcuts.
Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe Muse is available as a standalone offering for US$ 14.99 per month for an annual subscription and US$ 24.99 per month for month-to-month subscriptions. Or you can get it as part of Adobe's new Creative Cloud membership, which will set you back US$ 49.99 per month for an annual subscription. CS3, CS4, CS5 and CS5.5 customers get introductory discount pricing of US$ 29.99 per month.
In addition to including Muse, Adobe Creative Cloud lets users download and install Adobe Creative Suite 6 desktop apps and Adobe Edge preview software and includes cloud storage and device syncing. At US$ 49.99 a month for an annual subscription, the Creative Cloud membership will set you back about US$ 599 a year. Products available in the Creative Cloud include Photoshop CS6 Extended, Illustrator CS6, InDesign CS6, Fireworks CS6, After Effects CS6 and just about any other Adobe product you might want for Web or print design, photo manipulation, audio and video.
If you want to try out the Adobe Creative Cloud before committing to a one-year contract, you can get a 30-day free trial and take it for a test drive. If you still aren't ready to commit for a year, Adobe also offers a no-contract monthly rate of US$ 74.99. The free trial includes 2GB of cloud storage, but all other plans offer 20GB.