Adobe Systems has begun shipping the latest versions of its Creative Suite software offerings -- the company's first major refresh of the product line in more than two years. CS6 is immediately available for purchase in four suite variants: Design Standard ($1,299), Design & Web Premium ($1,899), Production Premium ($1,899) and Master Collection ($2,599).
Among other things, CS6 includes new releases of Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Flash Professional, After Effects and Adobe Premiere Pro. And with the launch of Adobe Creative Cloud on Friday, subscribers will be able to make, share and deliver their creative CS6 works from anywhere, at any time, and with anyone via the cloud.
"The goal for us is to be able to deliver rapid ongoing innovation through the cloud for our print, Web, and applications developers," said Adobe Systems CEO Shantanu Narayen at the CS6 launch event on April 23.
Furthermore, the company hopes that its new Adobe Creative Cloud offering will "attract the next generation of creative professions who demand access to the software in a mobile environment," Narayen said.
A Great Case Study
We asked Al Hilwa, director of applications software development at IDC, which aspects of CS6 and Creative Cloud he sees as helping software application developers and Web designers move their creations from the idea stage to the finished work more efficiently and with better results.
"With CS6, teams of designers and developers will be able to install and manage their software in the cloud as well as store their assets and publish them in the cloud -- all while collaborating on their work," Hilwa told us Monday. "These are the kinds of services that will make a subscription model much more compelling."
According to Hilwa, what Adobe is doing with the current CS6 release is actually a great case study in how to take a traditional rich desktop suite of software and build added value in cloud services.
"I would also add that CS6 shows the degree to which Adobe is embracing HTML5 in its transition," Hilwa said.
Speeding Up the Creative Process
Narayen noted that a recent survey conducted by Adobe Systems found that more than 80 percent of the respondents believe that unlocking creativity is key to unlocking economic growth.
"But only one out of four believe they are living up to get the impact they need out of their creative potential," Narayen said.
To address this gap, the new CS6 product line integrates a swath of innovative tools and capabilities for enabling users to move their creative ideas to a finished product that can be monetized faster.
CS6 improvements include the introduction of enhanced interfaces that simplify workflows, new tools that harness the power of Adobe Mercury Graphics functionality, and new capabilities that streamline the creation of responsive content for virtually all device screen sizes and form factors.
"It is clear to us that we are living in the most disruptive time in the history of technology," Narayen said. "There has never been a more exciting time to innovate."
Subscribers to Adobe Creative Cloud will also be able to take advantage of the same improvements built into CS6, even as they obtain the ability to store and share their creative content across desktop and mobile devices via the cloud.
"Members' content can be automatically synchronized across of their PCs, mobile devices and the cloud," said Adobe Systems Senior Vice President David Wadhwani."The files are accessible from anywhere, on any device and easily shared with colleagues or clients."