- Associated Press - Monday, April 23, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) - Adobe is launching the latest version of its software package for designers and Web developers.

Adobe Systems Inc. unveiled Creative Suite 6 on Monday at an event in San Francisco. CS6 includes Photoshop, Illustrator and other programs.

Unlike previous versions, which came shrink-wrapped in a box, Creative Suite 6 will be available on a monthly subscription basis as part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud offering. Subscriptions will start at $50 a month for those who sign up for a year. Subscribers will be able to download programs such as Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator, store their work online and share files with others.

This will likely make the pricey software package more desirable to new customers who may not want to shell out thousands of dollars upfront.

Scott Morris, a senior marketing director at Adobe, compared the new pricing policy to the company’s decision nearly a decade ago to start selling its design-software products in one package. The result then was higher sales, and Adobe hopes to replicate that success with its new revenue model.

Selling CS6 through subscriptions should also help Adobe reduce piracy, a persistent problem for companies that sell shrink-wrapped software.

Customers will still be able to buy CS6 as a packaged software suite, just as they can still buy the programs separately. Prices for CS6 range from $275 for the cheapest upgrade to $2,599 for the full “Master Collection.”

Adobe’s Creative Solutions business, which is responsible for Creative Suite, accounts for the bulk of the San Jose, Calif., company’s revenue.

The company’s stock fell 42 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $32.64 in afternoon trading Monday.