That’s one way of dealing with piracy: Adobe moves from the box to the cloud

If Adobe was ever concerned about how many people had pirated a copy of its software in the past, it probably won’t have to worry too much in the future, as the company lifts its suite software high in the sky and pushes it to the online sandbox that is the Creative Cloud.

Users of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Audition, and just about any piece of software that is used in graphic, web, publishing, and media houses – as well as in schools by students learning the trade – will want to listen up, because the box is dead, long live the cloud.

Tools and applications once branded under Adobe’s “Creative Suite” will henceforth be served online through “Creative Cloud” or “CC,” a move which not only changes a name, but also moves a pricing structure to being subscription based and box-less, while also doing away with release numbers.

“Since we launched Creative Cloud in Australia and New Zealand in April last year it has been enormously popular with our customers,” said Paul Robson, Managing Director for Adobe in Australia and New Zealand.

“With all of our focus now on Creative Cloud, our customers can expect the very latest innovations as soon as they become available.”

Adobe's new Smart Sharpening tool in Photoshop CC.

That means no waiting for the next version of Photoshop, or being forced to purchase a new version separately, with the latest installs ready to go and updated directly to computers for as long as the subscription is kept up.

The obvious downside to this is that an internet connection is required, and likely a decent broadband connection, since all of the software is downloaded directly to computers rather than installed from either optical or USB media.

We’re not sure if a connection is always required, though our current experience with subscriptions to Adobe’s Creative Cloud reveals that this isn’t the case, as we’ve been able to use both Photoshop and Audition on flights without a net connection in sight.

With the software sent directly to computers, though, customers can start getting benefits from the updates immediately, or at least as soon as they’re rolled out.

For Photoshop, this includes a new Camera Shake Reduction tool (above) that fixes blur from camera movement and a new Smart Sharpen tool to bring clarity and structure back to images that could do with some detail fixing.

Illustrator and InDesign receive some new features too, including more brushes and type tools in the former, while the latter now supports export of publications straight to websites through Adobe Muse.

Adobe’s video editing slate of Premiere and After Effects will apparently get faster, with video editors able to expect some more 3D integration and colour grading support.

The updates to Adobe’s programs will be coming in June straight to computers with Creative Cloud subscriptions, but memberships to Adobe’s Cloud are live now, with current customers of products from CS3 to CS5.5 able to grab the first year for $29.99 per month, with students and teachers able to to jump in for $24.99 per month. Individuals who don’t already own a recent Adobe product will be able to sign up for $49.99 per month.