Adobe is responsible for all the most popular design programs such as InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver. Recently, they have changed their structure to a subscription service that is housed in the Cloud. What does that mean? Essentially, software downloads, licensing and updates are all transferred via the internet and designers now subscribe (with a monthly/yearly fee) to have access to the latest versions.
While this may be a little awkward for design-veterans to get used to at first, it's ultimately a good thing. Licensing is cross-platform so you don't have to pay separately to have software on both PC and Mac computers. Updates are automatically installed so no more wondering whether or not you need to purchase the newest version or hold off for a couple more months. Plus, designers now have access to all software in Adobe's Creative Suite – not just the few programs they were able or willing to buy. This will allow us to experiment a bit more and learn new things.
From Adobe's perspective, of course, this eliminates the ability for people to pirate their software. CS6 was the last version that isn't link the the Cloud so if you have it, that's the last version you'll be able to completely own. Of course, they also have much more control over us and can start hiking up their prices whenever they want. Let's hope that doesn't happen!
This system might make it easier for freelancers to afford the software since they only have to pay monthly rather than in a huge, lump sum. And for established designers, it will provide much more freedom to explore new options. Change is sometimes difficult at first, but I'm sure we will adapt and flourish!