University at Buffalo
Department of


Art & Design

Art History

Visual Studies

Adobe Creative Cloud Licensing

November 5, 2013  by: Dom

Adobe recently announced that all future upgrades to their Creative Suite (CS) products which we currently have installed in our labs will move to the Creative Cloud (CC) subscription model. That means that while CS6 and previous versions could be purchased on a perpetual basis (pay for it once, use it forever) new products will only be available on a subscription basis (pay for it every month.)

Additionally, institutions are no longer able to “float” a given number of licenses across a larger number of computers. “Concurrency” would allow us purchase 25 licenses that would be in use at any given time, but install them on all 80 lab computers. CC licenses are non-oncurrent, meaning that we would have to purchase 80 subscriptions in order to use the software on all computers.

Students who purchase their own software were, until last summer, able to get the CS6 Design Premium bundle for $350. The perpetual license could be used through 4 or 5 years while at school and beyond. Under the current CC plan, students will pay $960 to use the equivalent software for 4 years. (Note that at the time of this writing, CS6 is still available from Logisoft for $567. <>. There is no upgrade path beyond CS6 however, without purchasing a CC subscription.)

Because of the tripling of Adobe’s pricing and licensing restrictions, Visual Studies can no longer recommend the purchase of Adobe products, nor will we be updating Adobe products within our labs. We are actively evaluating alternative open-source and commercial products, and will make recommendations based on our findings. We are confident that we can continue to support tools and technologies that will teach industry standard skills in a creative environment, without relying on the Adobe brand.

Please feel free to comment if you have any thoughts or concerns.

202 Center for the Arts, North Campus
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