Ina Fried

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Adobe Plans Big Shift to Cloud and Away From Packaged Software

Adobe announced a fairly big shake-up of its business Monday, saying that the latest version of core products such as Photoshop and Illustrator will be available only as part of a subscription service.

Screen Shot 2013-05-06 at 11.25.50 AM

The company said that it has new versions of the desktop apps, but said they will be available only as part of an update to its year-old Creative Cloud service.

Adobe said that the service, which launched in April 2012, has more than 500,000 paid members and two million total members.

“By focusing our energy — and our talented engineers — on Creative Cloud, we’re able to put innovation in our members’ hands at a much faster pace,” Adobe Senior VP David Wadhwani said in a statement.

Standard pricing for Creative Cloud ranges from $49.99 per month to $69.99 per month, but Adobe is offering a variety of discounts for students and existing customers that can lower the price to as low as $29.99 per month.

The company will also offer single-program subscriptions for $19.99 a month and is making additional promotional discounts available for those running the latest desktop products, known as CS6.

Adobe said it will continue to sell the older CS6 versions of its products as downloads, but that the new versions (and presumably future versions, as well) will be available only as part of the Creative Cloud service.

Ahead of the product news, though, Adobe took pains to reassure Wall Street that the move won’t mess with the bottom line in the short term.

“We are on track to achieve our Q2 and FY13 financial targets, and we’re excited about announcements we’ll make at MAX today — which are reflected in these targets,” CFO Mark Garrett said in a statement.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald