Adobe Creative Cloud – Expectations & Reality

What is it?  Not the “ubiquitous computing” I first imagined.  Marginally handy in some ways, possibly more risky in others, e.g. if forget to exit on one machine (e.g. at work) then will it be accessible on another machine (e.g. at home or remote location)?  An in any case, how sustainable will it be?  My recent experience with Adobe CS Review makes me slightly wary…

What I expected was something more like the Kindle model, where I could install apps on as many devices as I wished, albeit with reduced functionality on weaker devices, and to have only one project open at a time, identically visible (apart from synch-delay) on all of those devices (maybe auto-branching where synch failed, with expectation of future manual pruning/re-synching).

Then there’s rendering – I’d expect that not to be counted as “usage”, instead usage should be actual user-interaction.  The technical model could be a thin client for user interface, sending commands to processing engines (wherever, even on another machine, e.g. to run a muti-core / CUDA desktop from ipad or iphone) and at the same time “approval requests” to Adobe Central, but with some degree of “benefit of the doubt” time-window so as not to delay responsiveness of the application.  They could then even respond to attempted beyond-licence actions with piecemeal license-extension options, e.g. “Provided you pay in next working day or two  for temporary additional subscription” option (defaulters get credit score reduced).  Why let inflexibility get in the way of capitalism?

Unfortunately, in the words of REM, “that was just a dream”.  Instead activation is restricted virtually to the same degree as the non-cloud variety, that is to two computers (main & backup or work & home etc).  The only extra freedom is that the two computers need not be the same operating system – e.g. can be mac and windows – a nuisance restriction of the traditional non-cloud model.  And rendering counts as usage.

It is possible to deactivate one of these computers and reactivate on another but if this happens “too frequently” then a call to Adobe’s support office is required.  It’s slightly more complicated in practice but that’s the essence of it.

Might give it a try though.  Like I said, it could be marginally handy, and marginal is better than nothing.


  • (as of 2012-06-06)
    • Adobe® Creative Cloud™ is the digital hub that lets you download and install every Adobe Creative Suite® 6 application; access online services for file sharing, collaboration, and publishing.
    •  From main article:
      • “Cloud” branding notwithstanding, the software actually runs locally on a customer’s machine after being downloaded.
    • From reader-comments:You can install on main computer and one backup. (One work and one home)
      • … {which can be} one Mac and one PC.  …you could install old-style versions on two computers, but it had to be both Windows or both Mac. This is a nice liberalization of the licensing.
      • {Whaat?  I was expecting web and/or app access or partial-functionality access to my projects, themselves based on proxies in the cloud, from any machine, not just a specific one or two…   Like Kindle…
    • You can install the apps available in Creative Cloud on your primary computer and one backup computer, as long as they are not running at the same time. You will have access to both the Mac OS and Windows versions, so if you have a Mac at home and a PC at work, for example, you can install your applications on both.
    • In this day and age, a two machine license seems odd to me.  I thought the idea of the “cloud” concept was that the license traveled with the user not the host machine.  Ex.  I have an iMac, and two MacBooks in my household.  How would I get CC on the thrid machine in that scenario?  Can CC activate and deactivate on the fly?
      • it can but when you install on the third machine it will request that you de-activate on the other two computers.  You can then reactivate on whichever of the previous two computers you wish to use Creative Cloud on it.
      • If you regularly need to use the Creative Cloud on more than two computers then it would be best to purchase an additional subscription.  This is the same licensing btw which we have for our prepetual product.  An advantage though for Creative Cloud over the prepetural product is that you can install on Mac and Windows with the same subscription!
    • This doesn’t make any sense. Your marketing this product as a cloud which means you are licencing the individual not the device. So which is it?
      • I would recommend reviewing the product license agreement at  The Creative Cloud is still installing the software to your desktop.  It is not a Software as a Service offering, i.e. using your computer as thin client which you can access the software through a web browser.
      • The only use case where you may need to contact our support team to allow additional activations is if you are actively trying to use the software on 3 different computers in a short amount of time.  In addition this would only occur if you were trying to reactivate all 3 computers.
      • … there is not currently a way to manage your activations.
      • … you can have both computers turned on and connected (to the internet) at the same time.  As long as you are only using the applications on one computer at a time it is not a violation of the EULA.
    • The license should be to the user.  If I use 18 different machines, as long as I am the one using the software, then it should be a ok.  Locking licenses to a specific machine is archaic in these newfangled networked times.
    • If you plan on using ID at home, it can’t be active at work. Nor any other app. Makes sense. Otherwise, we would be “lending” our sw to others.
    • Along with my subscription I received 20GB of online storage that supposedly I can use with both the CS6 suite and a number of iPad or Android apps available in their respective marketplaces. This is true, and it works well, but only on the apps so far as I can’t find any reference to the Adobe Cloud itself within the CS6 software suite – not a single one. Yes, I can bring up my web browser and drag-and-drop my files into it and store my projects that way, but obvious integration is nowhere to be found
      • {From reader-feedback} If you look in the Apps and Services section for CC….you’ll notice an item called:
        Creative Cloud Connection Desktop access to Creative Cloud Files – Coming Soon!
    • I was hoping that Bridge CS6 would just connect to my Creative Cloud account and I could store my files that way, not unlike an Adobe-ized version Dropbox. No such luck so far – or, like I said, if it’s there it isn’t dead obvious enough for me to have found it. Meanwhile all of Adobe’s $9.99 apps store files to the Creative Cloud service by default – leaving me wondering if I’m missing something or if the Creative Cloud idea itself was thought up much further into the CS6 development cycle and Adobe just hasn’t “got there” yet.
      • {From reader-feedback} {“Adobe’s $9.99 apps” refers to} Adobe’s line of tablet apps (both iOS and Android) – all of them are already fully integrated with the Creative Cloud vs. allowing you to save files locally on the tablets themselves or transfer to PC/Mac.
    • You can download the applications to your computer and publish your content at Adobe’s hosting service or to tablets with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. The Adobe Creative Cloud is still in pre-order mode, with services beginning on May 11.
    • Here is the full list of  Adobe applications and services including in the Creative Cloud subscription:
      Photoshop Extended
      Adobe Muse
      Acrobat X Pro for Creative Suite
      Flash Professional
      Flash Builder
      Edge Behavior
      Adobe Premiere Pro
      After Effects
      Adobe Audition
      Media Encoder
      Business Catylist
      Story Plus
      Cloud Storage and Syncing between devices and computers

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