At the recent MAX Conference in Los Angeles, Adobe was expected to demonstrate Creative Suite 7. However to everyone’s surprise, they announced there’ll be no future versions of the boxed software, and that the Creative Suite brand has been terminated. All Creative Suite application updates will now be added to their Creative Cloud Suite.

David Wadhwani, Adobe’s General Manager of their Digital Media Business Unit stated, “Adobe believes we are collectively hitting a turning point, where the web is finally ready for a generation of services and tools that will help build the future of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), HTML5 (the fifth version of Hypertext Markup Language), and JavaScript web.”

David went on to explain that the current system of continuous changes being made for Adobe’s Creative Cloud and Creative Suite products is unproductive and wasteful; and that although Adobe will continue to support owners of existing boxed-software, they won’t be releasing any future upgrades.

The Fast-Approaching End to Adobe Boxed Software

We knew that the production of boxed software would come to an end at some point, but the accelerated rate of the shift to Cloud software has taken many of us by surprise. Launched just a year ago, Creative Cloud has grown at an impressive rate, with nearly half a million paying users. As Adobe transitions to Cloud software, they run the risk of alienating users who’ve used their boxed software for years, and who don’t want or need a Cloud service. However, Adobe did show off some new tools at the conference to attract their more traditional online users.

Improvements to Adobe’s Creative Cloud Applications

Adobe is offering hundreds of improvements to its current Creative Cloud applications, and beginning June 17, 2013, they’ll be introducing new applications on a weekly basis. Subscribers to Creative Cloud will be able to enjoy access to applications on any device connected to the Internet, as well as 20 GB of free online storage.

The cost will be $29.99 per month for a single application, or $49.99 for the full Creative Suite Cloud bundle. Special deals will be available for government, enterprise and education customers, as well as registered owners of Creative Suite 6. In order to encourage subscriptions, Adobe will offer a wide variety of short-term promotions.

Many new tools will be available for Adobe Photoshop users, including one that eliminates blurring. In addition, an “Intelligent Unsampling” system is now available which turns low-resolution images into higher-resolution versions; as well as an improved, 100x-faster response time for textures and painting 3D objects.

Adobe Illustrator will also be getting an uplift, with the addition of bitmap brushes and a Touch-Type Tool. Adobe AfterEffect users will notice many improvements as well.

With the Creative Cloud System, Adobe plans to introduce many new social and management tools, such as group working, social networking and messaging. Mr. Wadhwani showed off three software and hardware research projects to impress publishers and gadget geeks.

Adobe’s Project Context will eliminate the old publishing tradition commonly known as the layout board. While magazine production has nearly gone completely digital, many editorial production offices continue to print out and pin up pages to build their final layout. Mr. Wadhwani showcased Adobe’s new Context Virtual Layout Room that allows users to build the final layout digitally with Adobe’s Cloud.

Adobe’s Mobile Hardware and Applications

Adobe will accommodate their mobile users by getting into the hardware business with their new, wireless digital pen. The product is named Project Mighty, with a layout tool called Project Napoleon. Michael Gough, Adobe’s Vice President of Product Experience, claimed that these two devices will eliminate the need to sketch on paper.

Using a so-called “smart stylus,” Project Mighty will incorporate a pressure-sensitive tip for drawing, and a button that allows easy access to application menus. The device will have a built-in memory, enabling it to remember a user’s Cloud settings, and store their completed sketches. Project Mighty will communicate with the Internet via Bluetooth.

Adobe has also built Project Napoleon, a button-equipped ruler that’s approximately three inches long, which can project straight lines, circles and arcs on a tablet. This will increase the accuracy when drawing geometric shapes. Although details are sparse, Adobe says they’ve been working on the device for about a year now.

Adobe’s Future Is In The Cloud

The latest features from Adobe will only be available on the Cloud. It’s unknown whether or not all of these new features and projects will be enough to impress those of us who prefer to have our software exactly where we can see it, without paying a monthly fee.

A letter from Adobe to their customers stated that their single highest priority is to enable the alliance between their services and tools. Adobe also said that they believe the Creative Cloud will have more of an impact on the creative world than anything else they’ve done in the past three decades.

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