thoughts on Adobe CS6 Cloud

One thing that bothers me about a lot of companies today is their licensing for software being tied to a User/Workstation Pair. That’s as narrow as you can get. My favorite type of licensing is the kind you got with Final Cut Pro 7 – the license can be used in only one location at a time (and it will ping around to make sure you’re obeying) but installed many times. This let me install on both my laptop and desktop, and my new laptop and desktop without going through some deactivation ritual. Currently, my CS5 license is just on my desktop, with Coda and Pixelmator installed on my Air.

For the first time, Adobe is offering 2 installs (one as a backup it insists) and suggests your Work PC and your home Mac. Having slightly more freedom is welcome, though until I know if you must deactivate before moving machines I’ll have to wait to decide where to put my second install. I could potentially have the most freedom by putting on a virtual machine I can move around, but would it deactivate when it detects the tiny hardware changes? If it crashes can I recover that license? These are not insignificant questions.

I’m embarrassed to admit that the Final Cut Pro X disaster has drawn me further into Adobe’s camp when I was so close to getting out of it. Though I still find myself not falling in love with Pixelmator. It’s not a matter of doing things differently, it’s just the missing pieces and the existing ubiquity of the .psd

I went with the monthly cloud licensing rather than the full/upgrade price for CS6. In the long run it’ll still be way less money. While reading the license FAQs, I noticed one major difference between CS6 and another software subscription: MSDN. You pay for MSDN up front, and you get a perpetual license for anything you download and install during your license year even if you don’t renew. Since you’re paying month to month with Adobe, even if you sign up for the annual “contract”, when your subscription expires, your software goes with it. Adobe says the software needs to phone home every 30 days. I hope it phones home every single day and extends that 30 days as such. Imagine if it only checked on the first of the month. You leave for a trip on the 31th, open up your laptop on the 2nd, and are told to go find WiFi somewhere – not as easy a task as it might sound.