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Exclusive: Adobe on CS6, Creative Cloud, and New Focus

Heidi Voltmer, Adobe’s Director of Product Marketing, details new announcements

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On Monday, Adobe made some big announcements including the next version of its professional design software suite and a new cloud service for syncing, sharing, and storing files. Although there is always excitement surrounding news from the leading company in digital experiences, this week’s announcements were especially intriguing since they included 14 new products and 4 new Creative Suite additions.

What do you think of Adobe CS6 and Creative Cloud? Let us know.

Heidi Voltmer, Director of Product Marketing at Adobe Heidi Voltmer, Adobe’s Director of Product Marketing, spoke with WebProNews and told us that Adobe focused its efforts on 4 main areas with these products. As she explained, the company emphasized speed and performance, improving features in its tools, making sure that the content produced in CS6 is ready for devices, and enhancing the user interface.

In CS6, Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign are all powered by Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine, which will dramatically improve the performance of the tools. Voltmer told us that Adobe wanted to make it “really easy for our customers to use our products and to focus on what they’re doing creatively in the tool… and not so much about where they have to find a particular item in a panel.”

Photoshop CS6 is, of course, one of the big draws to the application bundle, and it is particularly noteworthy since this version is the first completely new release in 2 years. The increased performance it enables lets users receive near instant results in their editing.

“Now, when you’re editing images or making changes, you’ll actually see them appear just really quickly on the screen instead of having to wait for it to redraw,” said Voltmer.

Although the Creative Suite would have single-handedly been big news from Adobe, the company also announced Creative Cloud in which users can access its suite of desktop tools – normally $2,599 for a full license- for $49.99 per month. The cloud offering also adds online services for sharing and publishing content created through CS6. As a result, customers have much more flexibility using the software.

This subscription-based service is also useful for customers that only need the software for a certain period of time. It also gives them access to all the updates Adobe makes to avoid having to buy the newest version every time it rolls out.

“It’s not just like today, where you buy a single box and you don’t see anything new from Adobe for 12-24 months,” said Voltmer. “With the Creative Cloud, you actually get those updates on an ongoing basis.”

Last year, when Adobe announced CS5.5, Scott Fegette, Senior Product Manager on the Creative Suite Web team, talked to us about the company’s first attempt at a new pricing model. The company wanted to give customers both long-term and short-term options.

After listening to the customer feedback from last year’s pilot attempt at changing the pricing model, Voltmer told us that Adobe decided to take the model further this year.

“We evolved the model to lower the price, first of all, and second of all, to add in additional value,” she said.

In terms of video, CS6 includes major improvements to both Premiere and Flash. Incidentally, after a long battle with Apple over Flash’s significance on mobile devices, Adobe announced in November that it was re-positioning Flash for use, primarily, in premium video and hi-end gaming. While CS6 does include updates to Flash, Voltmer told us that Adobe really wanted to help bridge creators from Flash to HTML5.

“We’re really trying to help our Flash customers to transition into animating and creating interactive activity with HTML,” she pointed out.

With this greater emphasis on HTML5, Dreamweaver also received several improvements for incorporating HTML5 animations and more.

With all these developments, Voltmer told us that Adobe ultimately wants to streamline complex workflows for creative professionals. The company recently combined its digital media group with its marketing group in an effort to support this goal.

“By bringing those two pieces together, we offer a much more broad and integrated solution that not only sells to say, our customers in a creative department or an agency, but also people on the business side,” she said.

According to Adobe, the new products will be available 30 days from its announcement on April 23, but the company is accepting pre-orders now.

Exclusive: Adobe on CS6, Creative Cloud, and New Focus
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