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Introducing the Creative Cloud

We change the way we work about once a decade. Back in the ’80s, the introduction of desktop publishing caused a profound shift in the way we communicated with each other. Ten years later, the web changed all that again. In the last decade, we’ve learned that the web isn’t just a publishing platform, but also a way to amplify our relationships with one another. We’ve embraced social networking tools as an organizing principle.

What will this decade hold? The recent wave of touch-based devices has opened our eyes to what’s possible when we step away from a keyboard and mouse. And it’s not just a new way of interacting with a screen, but a new way of thinking about technology. In a world driven by publishing, files and folders made a lot of sense. In today’s world, where we use multiple devices every day that are always connected, we have a new metaphor: the cloud.

Changes Ahead

To say that the Creative Cloud represents a big change for Adobe is a dramatic understatement. Every part of this company is rethinking what it means to solve problems for our customers and give them the tools and services to create amazing things. Although I’ve only been at Adobe a few months, it’s been remarkable to see so many people embrace so much change. (Honestly, I’m having a blast.)

So let me take a moment to explain what we’ve been up to and where we’re heading. Everything stems from two core beliefs. First, the way in which all of us acquire and manage our software is changing. Waiting a couple of years for updates to our tools is no longer tenable for many users. Our relationship to our software is more like that of a service: continuous improvements through frequent iteration. Second, it’s clear that devices like the iPad are not just for consuming content, but represent the next wave of tools for the creation of content as well. And these new capabilities need tools that have been completely reconsidered. Simple ports of desktop apps won’t do.

Everything you need

To support these new expectations from our customers, we’ve taken some dramatic steps.

A Creative Cloud membership starts with the complete Creative Suite 6 — full, installable versions of the desktop apps. We’ve added Adobe Muse, our new visual web design tool, and Edge, the HTML5 animation app. To this, we added a lot of services such as Business Catalyst for web hosting, Typekit for fonts, and up to 20 gigabytes of cloud storage for syncing and sharing your files. Then, we connected these pieces to help you go from idea to finished product, starting with web site creation and soon, we’ll add access to our iPad publishing service for making digital editions of things like magazines and catalogs via  InDesign.

But perhaps the most exciting news is that we’ve made all of this available at an accessible monthly price. Yes, that gets you everything.

With so much software and so many services available to everyone, we took a step back and re-imagined the way we get that software to you. The Adobe Application Manager offers a single-click process for downloading and installing, which feels — frankly — a lot more like the app stores we use every day. And you can manage all of that software with your AdobeID: no more searching for serial numbers — just log in once with your email address and password.

Connected through the Web

All of this is tied together with the website at http://creativecloud.com/. We’ve built a clear overview of everything you get with your membership, as well as a central place to manage all your stored and shared files. But we didn’t just build a fancy file browser — there are plenty of services that let you store files online and view them on the web. Rather, we realized we could differentiate with our intimate knowledge of our file formats. Nobody knows Adobe software better than Adobe. Push a Photoshop file to the cloud, and we’ll parse the layers and color pallet, plus give you tools for sharing, leaving comments, and translating to other formats. Same goes for all our other files — easily page through large InDesign files, view the fonts in your Illustrator docs, and on and on.

We’re also rolling out a set of four touch apps for the iPad today: Photoshop Touch for pixel-level image editing and layering, Ideas for vector-based sketching, Proto for creating website wireframes, and Collage for moodboard layouts. Each of these is tightly connected with our cloud-based storage, meaning every file you create and every change you make is quickly accessible across other devices and the web. You can buy these touch apps at your device’s app store, and we’ll give you a free month of membership when you connect them to the Creative Cloud.

I hope I’ve given you a sense for the journey we’re on. It really is just the beginning, and I’ll be following up with a post on our immediate roadmap outlining all the new things that are coming in the next few weeks. If you’d like to keep up with it all, you can follow this blog, or connect with us on Twitter or Facebook. Of course, we’d like to hear from you as well, so please don’t hesitate to tell us what you think.

We’ve worked really hard on all of this, and we’re really happy with the results. I hope you are as well.

– Jeffrey Veen & the Creative Cloud Team

Jeff is the Senior Director of Products, Creative Cloud. He joined Adobe through the acquisition of Typekit, where he was co-founder and CEO. Read more about Jeff in his bio.

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