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Home > Tips January 25th, 2017

Adobe Just Stopped Selling Creative Suite 6 Entirely – Here’s Why

Almost five years ago, in the spring of 2012, Adobe launched two major products at one time: Creative Suite 6 and the Creative Cloud. The Creative Suite 6 suites were well received and cost from US$1,300 to $2,600 – while Creative Cloud, a subscription to their full range of creative applications, had a much lower cost of entry and gave customers access to the CS6 tools and services, as well as ongoing upgrades. A year later, Adobe announced that CS6 would be their last perpetual software release, and there would be no CS7.

Here's the page where you previously could buy Adobe CS6

Since then, the Creative Cloud has evolved to include the newer milestone releases CC 2013, CC 2014, CC 2015, CC 2015.5, and now CC 2017. Over this time, thousands of new features and improve­ments have been delivered exclusively to Creative Cloud members, while the original CS6 release has remained largely static. By law, with the purchasing model that CS6 had, Adobe could not legally add significant new features to the traditional release.

By June of 2014, after the first two major CC versions, Adobe described new CS6 sales as “de minimis,” with the vast majority of customers choosing Creative Cloud instead.

Adobe did continue providing maintenance (bug/security) fixes to CS6 and refreshing Camera Raw through July 2015, over 3 years after CS6 came out – but then finally discontinued support in order to evolve the platform and pursue further innovations in image processing and workflow technology.

Thus, CS6 was written before and is not supported on newer operating systems, meaning that officially Windows 8.1 and Mac OSX v. 10.9 (“Mavericks”) are the latest compatible OS versions.

Shortly thereafter, in September 2015, Adobe stopped selling Creative Suite 6 online on their website… Essentially the reason was because the newer CC rapidly grew and took over. Some CS6 editions could still be purchased from the company after that point, although only by calling an Adobe call center directly and only for older operating systems.

But with the CS6 software EOL (end-of-life) and end of support, there were no further updates, no bug fixes, and no guarantees it will run on the latest or future operating systems. So finally, earlier this month, Adobe ceased any remaining sales of CS6 for good:

As of January 9, 2017, Creative Suite is no longer available for purchase

Looking for Creative Suite 6? The latest versions of all your favorite apps like Photoshop and Illustrator are only available with a Creative Cloud membership. You’ll also get ongoing product upgrades, hundreds of step-by-step tutorials, built-in design templates, your own portfolio website, and more.

That notification comes from this page where you previously could buy CS6:

So really the only path forward for Adobe creative products now is CC, which are considered better tools anyway, or you can downgrade them to use CS6 instead – because Creative Cloud subscribers can choose either or both versions.

With Creative Cloud, all ongoing upgrades, compatibility updates and product additions are always included – so becoming obsolete will never happen. The monthly payments are also more budget-friendly in the new model than in the old CS model – where the software used to cost many hundreds or often thousands of dollars upfront, and never evolved.

Many of the Creative Cloud desktop applications let you export files to the Creative Suite 6 version of that same application. However, note that new features added to the desktop applications after CS6 may not be supported in the exported file, or by the CS6 application.

Finally, while Adobe no longer sells CS6 in any way, some readers may ask if is it still possible to find it secondhand on other sites like eBay or Amazon? The answer is yes, perhaps – but it doesn’t matter, because even if you could, you wouldn’t want to try buying it from those places.

Bottom line: Last year we stopped recommending CS6 as a good or viable option going forward, as it is simply not current or future-proof… And Adobe has finally closed the last door on this. But now you know the full story, and why.

Do you have any further questions about CS6 or CC?  Just ask them below and we’ll get you answers fast!

See Also

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  1. yasser

    Hi. After Adobe had stopped selling CS products, who owns the products now?

    • Nobody else – CS6 has not stopped being owned by Adobe; it’s just that those tools are now 5 years old and outdated & replaced by the newer CC versions.

      And because CS6 is not supported to run on newer operating systems, plus is not receiving any further maintenance or security updates (being an old release), it is designated End-of-Life and Adobe could no longer responsibly sell it as “new” to customers.

  2. Jason

    I purchased CS6 in 2014 and have still continued to use CS6 without any really issues. However recently when launching the app, a “trial” period window appeared that said I was being given a 30 day trial to try the product. The purchase software button takes me to CC page to purchase the latest version. Is that legal considering I’ve already purchased the software?

  3. BillB

    I have become exasperated trying to get my adobe desktop cloud app to update successfully so my apps I paid for say I don’t have a license and to reinstall. Which it won’t.

    I need to get something done this week and may have to boot up an old PC that had CS6 on it. Is there anything special i need to do when I start CS6 up? Will it just work?

  4. @BillB
    I still use CS6 on my windows 10 machine with no problems. At least as far as Dreamweaver and Fireworks are concerned. The rest of the suite is just bloatware in my opinion. If CC had produced a suite for these two products like they have done for Photoshop, then I would have stuck with CC. It’s just totally expensive compared to the CS6 products regardless of what Adobe say. Can they not do simple arithmetic? I used to update every three years at a cost of about £400. Creative cloud costs more than that every year.

    • Well, what you get with the complete Creative Cloud (All Apps) is roughly equivalent to the old Master Collection suite – better actually – and to upgrade that every two years in the old days would cost over $1,000 each time.

      And with CC there is no upfront cost. CS6 Master Collection cost $2,599 just to get in the door with a static version. So with the relatively very low cost of entry ($50), the tools are accessible to many more people, and ongoing upgrades are automatically included. Creative Cloud’s subscription approach also allows Adobe to keep the software up-to-date more frequently and respond more effectively to rapid changes in technology. In addition, there are many more integrated services included with CC than there were with CS.

      The model is just different, and in a sense you can’t compare them apples-to-apples. But bottom line, for some customers it will be more expensive, and others less.

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