Adobe bets that Creative Cloud, not the desktop, is the future

Talk about a sign of the times. Adobe Systems(s adbe) is ceasing development on its Creative Suite of desktop tools to focus instead on Creative Cloud, a $50-per-month subscription service.

According to the release, Adobe’s popular desktop tools — Illustrator, PhotoShop, InDesign, Dreamweaver and Premiere Pro — will be rebranded as part of the new Creative Cloud SaaS offering and carry a CC label (e.g. Illustrator becomes IllustratorCC).

For anyone in the media business –including yours truly — this is a huge milestone. Nearly every publication relied on Illustrator to create artwork, and PhotoShop to tweak and touch up (occasionally rebuild) photographs. InDesign contended with Quark as the page layout and production software of choice.

According to a company statement:

“While Creative Suite 6 products will continue to be supported and available for purchase, the company has no plans for future releases of Creative Suite or other CS products. This update to Creative Cloud includes the next generation of Adobe desktop applications — including Photoshop CC, InDesign CC, Illustrator CC, Dreamweaver CC and Premiere Pro CC.”

Adobe Systems is not facing this cloud dilemma alone. Microsoft is trying to ride the wave while offering Office 365 subscription while continuing to update its legacy Office desktop versions.Who knows how long that will last.