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SoftwareMedia Blog | November 22, 2014

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Breaking News: Adobe Creative Suite Boxes Discontinued

Breaking News: Adobe Discontinues Creative Suite
Mason Hymas

As an Authorized Adobe Reseller for over a decade and currently an Adobe Gold Reseller Partner, we at occasionally get the inside scoop on upcoming changes in Adobe’s product offerings. Today our sources confirmed what we thought might happen in a year. Or three. It’s true: Adobe is discontinuing the Creative Suite as we have come to know it, effective April 30th, 2013.

The pace of software innovation continues its inevitable acceleration. In order to keep up, and help their users keep up, Adobe has officially announced to its retail partners that they will be discontinuing their boxed versions of Creative Suite and Acrobat. Adobe will now be focusing on Electronic versions and their quite popular Creative Cloud, a subscription based collection of Adobe’s creative products.

From the email correspondence:

“As Adobe continues to focus on delivering world-class innovation through Adobe Creative Cloud and digital fulfillment, we will no longer offer shrink-wrapped, boxed versions of Creative Suite family or Acrobat family…[the] last order date through distribution is April 30.” - Adobe Global Channel Enablement Team

So Adobe is making the big move to the cloud, much like many other companies these days (Office 365 anyone?) and whether we like it or not big changes are coming.

Software as a service is particularly polarizing among consumers. Even in my own department we’re split pretty evenly. There are certainly some compelling pros and cons to the move.


Low up front costs

A subscription license makes it easier for people who don’t have several hundred dollars on hand to get high quality software they need. This model favors students and startups.

Instant updates

Instead of waiting months and years for updates and new functionality you can get them as they are released by Adobe.

Lower manufacturing costs/ Green

Moving to the cloud cuts down on the costs of manufacturing physical products and packaging. Anything that helps us cut down on “stuff” generally is good for the environment. This will also bring down manufacturing costs for Adobe, who may or may not pass on those savings to us.

In addition to these benefits Robert Lather, our Adobe Channel Manager had a few more to add,

…the main benefit by discontinuing ShrinkWrap, is that our customers do not have to worry about storing media disks and making sure they are not losing them.  Instead, all media will be stored via the customer’s licensing portal.  Therefore, whenever they need media, the customer will log into their portal and download the correct media.  This saves the customer time from having to look around the office for the correct version and from having to save the actual disks.  Also, by having the customer download their media, they are able to have the product the same day the order is placed.  The customer no longer has to wait for the media to be shipped.


More expensive in the long run

Many people wait several editions to upgrade their software. With this model you won’t have that option. For example, if you paid $500 for Photoshop CS3 and only decided to upgrade for another $500 when CS6 came out, you end up paying considerably less than if you paid for every single upgrade between CS3 and CS6.

No perpetual license

The reason the subscription model is more expensive is because you don’t get a perpetual license. With a perpetual license you buy it once for a higher up front cost and you can use that version of the software indefinitely. As Adobe moves to the cloud perpetual licenses will no longer be an option.

Monthly License Verifications

A common misconception is that you won’t be able to use the software when you don’t have access to the internet. You only need the internet to download the applications and then to verify your Adobe ID once per month. So, you won’t need to worry about getting work done while you’re traveling and have spotty internet access.

Adobe also includes a 7 day grace period if you are unable to verify your ID on the due date. After the grace period however, your apps will be locked.

Adobe will stop shipping Creative Suite and Acrobat boxes on April 30th so our stock is limited, and will be running out fast. If acquiring boxed licenses for Creative Suite products and Acrobat is a priority then act quickly while supplies last.

So what do you think of the big news?! Let us know in the comments below!

UPDATE: We want to clarify that Adobe is discontinuing boxed versions of Creative Suite. Electronic versions and Creative Cloud are the direction Adobe plans to go in the future.


  1. Mars

    Consumers are being hit by another price increase. Not everyone needs or wants the “latest and greatest”. They are willing to buy a version they like and use it for a number of years until their needs change. Now Adobe will be charging an ongoing subscription fee, and the consumer has to pay for the updates whether they want them or not. For me, this would be enough to steer me to other products if they are comparable.

  2. Rupert

    Any company following MS lead is in trouble. This is very anti-consumer and all about greed and control. This will be my last purchase of CS. Time to move to Linux Open Source variations.

  3. Don

    Is the program in the Cloud permanently, or does it download onto your drive and only your files are saved online? Can you save to your computer’s disk?

    • The way Creative Cloud works (for now at least) is you download, install and run the programs on your system. Your monthly fee, through your Adobe ID, connects to Adobe’s servers once per month to authenticate your subscription.

      In a few years, once internet speeds get closer to 1GB per second as a standard, fully cloud-hosted, browser-based applications might become a reality.

  4. Manuel Rivera-Ortiz

    So when I’m on a plane for 8 or 16 hrs, of in a country with spotty Internet or at Starbucks working on a top heavy project ill be out of luck! Find something else to do. Did anybody think about this?

    • Mason Hymas

      Hi Manuel, like Kyle explained in his reply to Don above, You really only need to connect once per month in order to verify your Adobe ID. You download all Apps to your hard drive, so you can work on any projects any where you are. There is also a 7 day grace period if you’re late on your monthly authentication. After the grace period however, Your apps will be locked.

  5. Ed Bertolini

    Why would a small company want to pay monthly fees for software instead of buying and using it as long as possible?

  6. Sean

    This sucks. I do not agree with putting all my files in the care of any corporation.

  7. rick

    This is just plain greedy. I do not upgrade to every version of CS (usually about every 2-3 versions), but now Adobe is making me pay for up-to-the-minute versions of their software… forever! What’s our alternative? They’ve already bought and killed off Illustrator’s competition.

  8. Lanny

    What is the source of this announcement? We can’t find any other confirmation that they are going to do this. Even Adobe’s own news center doesn’t have anything about this decision.

    • Mason Hymas

      Hi Lanny, this came directly from Adobe. We partner with them to offer their products online and are in contact with them on a daily basis. The quote above is directly from an official email we received from Adobe.

  9. GJM

    Just looking for a some clarification. Adobe will cease shipping boxed software (packaged DVDs/CDs that are offered in retail stores) fairly soon. After that policy goes into effect, will they continue offer perpetual software licenses via downloads from or

    • will still carry Adobe Creative Suite boxed editions (CS6 and earlier) for as long as supply lasts, but once our stock is depleted it seems that Creative Cloud subscriptions, and digital downloads will be the only options.

  10. Gary

    Well, that’s it for my personal copy. I won’t be upgrading any more. Huge cost saving for Adobe, not having to produce hard copy any more, but is any of that savings passed on to consumers? No.

    Greed, pure and simple. I’m glad I’m close to retirement.

    • From what we hear, Adobe will not stop producing hard copies entirely but should still offer a Backup Disc option (nominal charge) for those who wish it in addition to digital delivery.

      Adobe says the box change will affect all CS products – but CS6 will continue to be offered digitally.

  11. Ken

    If this is true, it may be what finally motivates me to get out of design. I’ve been on the fence for a while. Predatory companies can go eff themselves.

  12. The Slapster

    If this indeed came in an email “directly from Adobe” how about sharing that verbatim? It’s just odd that this is the ONLY source of this information right now.

    • Ken

      The phrase “Adobe Global Channel Enablement” can only be found on this very page. Maybe it’s just me, but I would expect it to turn up in a handful of other places. It’s enough to make me cautious about believing this.

    • Mason Hymas

      We’re not going to publish the entire email from our account rep. But we did publish a relevant verbatim quote. And I agree. It is odd that we are the only source of information right now. But we did double check with out reps and the information is good.

  13. I don’t think this is a price increase at all (unless you upgrade every 4 – 5 years). If you do the math subscribing at $49.99 per month is $599 per year or $1,199 for 2 years ($1,799 for 3 years, still less than the Design & Web Premium). Most designers I know need more than Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator & Acrobat. They need to stay current with web/device projects so Dreamweaver or Adobe Muse is MUST.

    The “box” price of the Creative Suite Design Standard is $1,299 and Creative Suite Design & Web Premium $1,899. The Master Collection, which is comparable to CS6 & the Creative Cloud is $2,599 for the box (not that you need all that software.

    Adobe Buying Guide

    You get TONS more software with the CS6 subscriptions. Plus all upgrades/updates are included for the length of your subscription (NO EXTRA CHARGE).

    If you’re a student/educator it is far less. CS6 & the Creative Cloud is $19.99 per year: $239 per year or $479 for 2 years. Most designers & web developers I’ve worked with in the last 20 years have to upgrade every 2 years, to stay relavent and do freelance work for larger corporations.

    Plus, not having to “bite the bullet” and pay $1,200 or $1,800 at once is nice for many independent freelancers or small businesses.

    • Mason Hymas

      Kelly, thanks for very thoughtful comment your points are well taken. I’m inclined to be in favor of the development but, as you can see from a lot of the other comments here, I’m guessing many people will be dragging their feet, even if it is cheaper, because of the perpetual licenses being off the table. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out in the coming months.

  14. Dexter

    Does this only apply to the CS suites, or also to the individual products in those suites like Photoshop, or After Effects? Meaning, will Photoshop be still purchasable as a license after 4/30?

    • Mason Hymas

      The announcement we received only applies to the Suites right now. In my opinion I think its highly likely that individual applications will follow suit at some point in the near future but we don’t have confirmation on that right now.

  15. Mason,

    I just noticed this post and wanted to clarify and correct some of the conclusions it draws.

    We are not discontinuing Creative Suite. We are phasing out shrink wrapped boxed copies. This is covered in the Creative Suite FAQ:

    Why is Adobe discontinuing boxed copies of Creative Suite?

    As Adobe continues to focus on delivering world-class innovation through Creative Cloud and digital fulfillment, we will be phasing out shrink-wrapped, boxed versions of Creative Suite. Electronic downloads for Creative Suite products will continue to be available – as they are today – from both, as well as reseller and retail partners.

    Note that electronic downloads of Creative Suite are still available (both via direct purchase from and reseller and retail partners, and via Creative Cloud).

    I hope that helps clarify the information…


    mike chambers

    • Mason Hymas

      Awesome Mike, thanks for the link and helping to clarify some of the questions people are having about boxed licenses and the direction Adobe’s going.

    • Ken

      So does that mean the perpetual licenses aren’t being phased out?

  16. Carl

    I’m ok with it if the monthly cost is $5.00 a month (fat chance). For as much as I use PS CS6 I can probably think about it for a few years. I suspect Lightroom will be next though and that’s going to be a problem!

  17. Not amused :-(

  18. First: the pro competition and alternative is of course Coreldraw graphics suite which I use. Second: on a personal note I hope Corel never walk the same route. There is still both box and cloud. Thirdly: not only greed because green is not Adobes reason for ditching boxes. That’s naive to think. Its money. Nothing wrong with earning money, but versatility in workflow is lost. Freedom to choose workflow. Freedom full stop. If apps are locked for whatever reason due to a pass of 7 day grace from Adobe, it is terrible for those using a software when it is not possible to use it. And increase of yearly costs will hurt those who are freelance and small businesses. Etcetera.

  19. Nahum

    This doesn’t suit freelancers (and illustrator’s such as myself) at all!! I can’t afford to find $50, even the $29 per month to pay for this ‘privilege’ of using their programs. Freelancing is very up and down, and unlike any bigger company that has ongoing payroll, I’m not in that situation where my income is always regular.

    I recently just purchased the entire creative suite and now that seems it will be a waste of money. I really DONT like this set up at all. This is going to cost me so much more money in the long run. I agree what most other people are saying that we are now being forced to upgrade when Abobe wants us to.

    I think this will only push more pirated versions being out there.

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