At last: Photoshop is free, and without resorting to filthy piracy! For a month, anyway, as Adobe offers a free 30-day trial to Adobe Creative Cloud, which lets you rent all of Adobe's software.
Adobe Creative Cloud lets you pay a monthly £40 subscription fee to use all of Adobe's core products. So that's -- deep breath -- Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Premiere pro, After Effects and more.
Adobe Creative Suite 6 launched this week with the latest versions of each piece of software. Because Creative Cloud is an ongoing subscription, you'll receive the latest updates too -- so no more forking out hundreds of quids only to have the next version come along packed with new features, leaving all the other graphic designers in Starbucks sniggering at you because you don't have the latest context-aware unsharp layer mask tool.
New programs include video software Prelude and SpeedGrade, and apps for designing apps.
Adobe Muse is a new program for creating HTML5 sites without coding, allowing you to lay out future-proof HTML5 sites in a what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, just as if you're laying out a print page.
You also get online storage and syncing across your devices, depending on which price plan you opt for. Extra features such as support and social networking will be added to Cloud Creative over time, as well as more programs including Lightroom 4.
The deals start at £40 per month if you sign up for a year-long contract, or £60 if you pay month-to-month. A discount is also available for anyone who owned the
previous CS3, CS4, and CS5 packages.
Once you've paid up, download the software to your computer and get Photoshopping, InDesigning, and weaving dreams.Photoshop has long been the leading piece of art and design software, but the eye-watering price has seen many a brassic would-be airbrusher turning to file-sharing sites. It's good to see Adobe wising up to the fact that the best way to compete with the pirates is to make your wares available simply, legally, and at a reasonable price. Fingers crossed the new deal is a success, and other copyright holders -- not just in software, but in movies and music as well -- take note.
Is Creative Cloud good value for money? Will you be replacing your age-old pirated copy of Photoshop with a gleaming new legal version? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.