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Adobe's new offering, Creative Cloud, brings the company's expansive and expensive range of legendary publishing and art applications, Flash development software and other tools to all via an affordable software as a service solution.

The Cloud Gets Design Power

Adobe has long ruled the roost in the creative world with its suites of design and creation apps. Despite the high retail prices, updates to apps like InDesign, PhotoShop and Flash Builder are eagerly lapped up by creative types working on the latest quad-core Mac and PC systems. What's another few grand for the best software?

Not all designers are so well off, and many smaller companies have armies of designers, developers and tweeners, slaving away on older versions. For anyone in that pickle, a solution is at hand, $49 a month access to pretty much all of Adobe's output on a year-long contract (with cheaper special offer pricing for existing customers).

Sure, those with the cash, or a company credit card, can still splash out on the latest shrinkwrapped editions and enjoy the feel of proper ownership via a nice cardboard box (for that money, I can't believe Adobe still ships the discs in paper wallets, not a nice DVD box-set-style case). With Microsoft moving its big-name apps to the cloud soon, will there soon be any reason for old-style software distribution?

Apps For A Pro

Of course, these are big apps with impressive system requirements, so users will still be able to download the programs to their systems, with the cloud part of this SaaS offer handling subscription management and device and document sharing (with 20GB of storage free, more if you pay for it). You can even publish websites and content via Adobe's own hosting services.

Given Adobe's massive traction around the world's design studios, the cloud option might be rather slow to be picked up, as many users are likely happy with their CS5 bundles. But with free upgrades to new versions, the cloud option will be tempting to those scared at the bill of a whole crate on new boxed copies.

Of course, not only designers are heavily into the Adobe way, check out this video showing how it can help Web Professionals get their work done better. 

Such a drastic change in approach from a well-established company is bound to cause a fuss. Adobe is doing its best to appeal by including features absent from Creative Suite like Lightroom and the new Business Catalyst, this could well help the company move users from traditional services.

Beyond the initial hype will be a long process in encouraging a massive legacy user base to this new model, while smaller companies and start-ups can get on the Adobe boat for a lot less than used to be the case.