I have been using Adobe products for over 20 years. For many years, I was on the yearly upgrade cycle and, even as a previous purchaser, the upgrade fees for the Adobe creative suites easily cost over $600-800 USD per year. That was quite a hit for a young author and designer fresh out of graduate school, but if you wanted to play with the big boys, you needed big boy toys, and Adobe is, and has always been, the web and authoring standard.
Over the last few years, with the churn in the business from a purchase model to a renting model at Adobe, I’ve patiently waited on the sidelines with my hardbox copy of the Adobe CS4 still in everyday use — about three generations behind the leading curve — and CS4 has served me well. The new Adobe “upgrades” have seemed incremental and confused, and I was happy to keep skating along with Photoshop and Dreamweaver CS4 until two things happened.
First, I purchased a new MacBook Air that had plenty of room to install a ton of new software and, second, Adobe announced the end of boxed editions and were going rogue and “online subscription only” from here on out using a monthly and yearly for-pay model. Two days ago, I signed up for the new “Adobe Creative Cloud” and I am totally thrilled with the decision.