Adobe has formally announced its long-awaited next-gen suite of creative applications, all under the now well-known moniker of Creative Suite 6, or CS6.

We've previously seen the Photoshop CS6 beta, while various details have seeped out about the new suite, but we're now able to spill all the beans. If you want to buy CS6, expect to be able to get your hands on it within the next 30 days or so.

All the Creative Suite have been refreshed (or in the case of some, like Premiere Pro, given a totally new user interface) and, for the first time, Adobe is offering the complete suite on month-to-month contracts as well as in traditional boxed format.

There are also new-to-suite apps such as Adobe Muse while other familiar friends will be a lot snappier; Photoshop CS6's new Mercury Graphics Engine promises "near instant results" and there are more enhancements to the popular content-aware tools.

Adobe has also produced new versions of InDesign, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, After Effects, Premiere Pro and Flash Pro to name but a few.

When we were given a tour of the new software last month it struck us just how much work Adobe is putting into making content work across multiple devices. The new Content Collector in InDesign enables you to collect oft-used content like logos or perhaps a table and use it across multiple designs. Likewise device grids in Dreamweaver enable you to design sites for multiple screen sizes with minimum fuss.

Taking CS6 into the cloud

Creative Cloud is the official name of Adobe's cloud offering – essentially an online repository for the full list of CS6 apps (yes, totally everything) where you can download and install at will (well, on two machines).

To do this, you'll need to be an annual subscriber at £38 a month or, for month-to-month deals, it works out at £57.17. Seems expensive? Perhaps, but think about it in terms of an organisation that needs to bring in a few people for a limited time, say for the duration of a single design project.

You do get more than the top-end boxed version, CS6 Master Collection, too - there's 20GB of online file storage, the Touch tablet apps and a tablet publishing app, Lightroom for photo cataloguing plus the new Edge and Muse web publishing tools.

Here are the full price lists and inventories for the boxed apps:

  • Design Standard CS6 - £1032, £219 upgrade - Acrobat X Pro, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, InDesign and Photoshop
  • Web Premium CS6 - £1509, £298 upgrade - Acrobat X Pro, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash Pro, Flash Builder, InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop Extended
  • Production Premium CS6 - £1509, £298 upgrade - After Effects, Audition, InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop Extended, Premiere Pro, Prelude, SpeedGrade and Adobe Story.
  • Master Collection CS6 - £2223, £397 upgrade - Acrobat X Pro, After Effects, Audition, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash Pro, Flash Builder, InDesign, Illustrator, Lightroom, Photoshop Extended, and Premiere Pro.