I must admit I have given adobe's creative cloud a long look, albeit using its introductory offer, but I've decided its not for me. Not because I think it would be too expensive. I think renting software (and computer equipment) is a well established practise and can be a good way to avoid the up front high cost of purchase and for legitimate a business application more tax effective (ie it’s a legitimate business expense rather than an asset that has to be depreciated). In Australia you can "write off" software that cost less than $300 immediately as a business expense but must depreciate more expensive software over two and a half years (or four years), I must admit I don’t understand the different methods. It was more a disappointment with the performance, and particularly a series of frustrations when I was trying to share my work with firstly myself and especially with non creative cloud users.
The first frustration was my expectation that I could use the creative cloud to let me edit one image from several computers in Lightroom. The reality was equally unwieldy as the other work-arounds I had tried, like exporting and importing collections or using xmp files, or "processed" version of dng files. Thqt multi-computer, muti-user Lightroom catalogue remains a pipe dream.
The second annoyance is the long dance creative cloud wants to take to make sure you are on-line. It is certainly possible to use the creative cloud programs off line (once you have downloaded them). However I do travel a fair bit and often to places with very limited internet access (ok I can use a local wifi hot spot on my phone, but that is slow and expensive bandwidth). It is bad enough waiting for windows to boot up, it is painful to have to crawl long for several more minute while loading spinners on pop-up windows struggle to try andbretry to connect you to the net, when there is clearly no need. I really wish the creative cloud knew that cancel meant cancel the first time!
Over the past few weeks there has been a number of on-line service upgrades. One collaborative project I had really wasted a lot of time on in creative clouds, without real success, I was able to set up in a couple of hours in SkyDrive, and then move to DropBox, to better suit my collaborators, by the next morning. It was an eye opener, a good example of simplicity winning out over sophisticated, but complex systems . The important caveat here is I was delivering jpeg files, not trying to jointly editing RAW files.
Finally it all got a bit tedious and I didn't really want to play with the other adobe offerings anyway, because of their learning curves. Whilst the creative cloud does integrate a number of adobe offerings, particularly at the exchange aspects, they still have their own peculiar ways. Out in the field I don't have the time or bandwidth to sit down and wade through even more introductory instructional videos. I suspect that I am not the only one to get frustrated by this.
One aspect the creative cloud handles well is on-line security (at least from my perspective, I think images are less likely to be "stolen" or turned in "orphans" that on the recent on-line service offerings). However this actually created hassles for those I wanted to share with. So bye for now creative cloud.