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Adobe VP says Creative Cloud is 'a big bet', but allows for better tools in the future

Neil Bennett | June 6, 2013
Adobe's move to Creative Cloud offers a chance to overhaul its software in exciting ways – but it could leave the company damaged if customers aren't won over.

Kuler gets cooler
As an example of the kind of functionality Adobe wants to imbue its software/service combination with in the future, Sharma points to the recently released Kuler app for iPhone and iPad. This allows you to capture colour schemes from real-world environments, which are saved online and will be able to be accessed through a Kuler panel in Illustrator CC when it ships (and presumably, applications from After Effects to InDesign in the future).

"Star-gazing" further, Sharma made reference to 'true cloud' versions of its software — where desktop or tablet apps would tap into Adobe's servers — or a customer's own — to offer media manipulation at a speed and level not possible on the host device. Different examples of this include a 'sneak peak' Adobe showed at its recent Max conference of tapping into a hosted version of Photoshop's image processing engine, and the Adobe Anywhere server solution of boosting the performance of its video tools, Premiere Pro and After Effects.

Back in the present day though, even some users who've decided to subscribe to Creative Cloud haven't found the move to particularly easy - with reports of users having to waste working days deleting their current applications and reinstalling from the Creative Cloud app appearing online and across Adobe's forums. However, Sharma says that these incidents are isolated and that overall, users have been very satisfied.

"We've heard a couple of hiccups," she claims, "but [Creative Cloud early adopters have] a higher satisfaction with the product than Photoshop has ever done — and Photoshop is the sweetheart of the design community."

Another question that matters to a lot of users is what happens if they cancel their Creative Cloud subscriptions. Can they access their files that may still be on the Dropbox—style Creative Cloud Connection service — and can they open them with the CS6 apps they still own?

"The community is telling us is that what we have in place today — where you can export from your CC apps to CS6 — is not an acceptable solution," admits Sharma. "There are other ideas and expectations that customers have that we are actively discussing internally — but more importantly with our advisors and customers (on the forums)."

Whether Adobe can successfully communicate its message and bring the majority of its users over to Creative Cloud remains to be seen — though the company is stressing that CS6 is still available for purchase for any users who don't want to subscribe (or want the tools added in the past year).


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