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Adobe Acrobat, Lightroom and Elements: How Will They Be Affected?

Judging by the amount of attention that Adobe’s recent upgrade policy changes have been receiving, as well as our subsequent visitor poll on the company’s model shift to the new “Creative Cloud,” this is a big and important issue…

And while this cloud model is optional, two of the persistent questions so far have been: How are the Acrobat and Lightroom products affected by all of this?

Both of these tools have historically different release schedules from Creative Suite – and while Acrobat is included in the suites, Lightroom is not.  Looking back, CS5.5 launched in May 2011, Acrobat X in November 2010, and Lightroom 3 in June 2010.

[See:  When will Adobe CS6 be released?  When is Lightroom 4 coming out?]

Adobe's new "Creative Cloud" model

So first off, we can clarify: both Acrobat and Light­room are currently slated to be included in Adobe’s Creative Cloud, at least according to this slide from a recent analyst presentation – although there is a disclaimer at the bottom which states, “list of included products [is] not yet final.”

[UPDATE (January 25th) — Adobe now says that Lightroom will not be included initially, but is “planned for a future release.”]

The next question then is, will either of these two popular standalone products be affected by Adobe’s new upgrade policy?

Adobe tells us: No, these two applications will continue with their current policies of discounted upgrade pricing for up to three versions back, instead of the planned “one version back” for all of the CS6 products.

In other words, based upon what we are hearing now, both Acrobat and Lightroom will remain on their independent release cycles and existing upgrade plans.

Here is the exact statement they sent us (and we subsequently confirmed the same applies for Lightroom):

With the announcement of Adobe Creative Cloud, there have been many questions about how Acrobat will be treated.  Please note, the Acrobat upgrade policy has not changed, Acrobat customers may continue to upgrade to the current version from three versions prior (currently 7, 8, and 9 for upgrading to X). Details about this policy are outlined in the Acrobat Customer FAQ.

As an extra, we can also confirm for you that Adobe’s Elements line – Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements – will also remain “as is,” with the separate version and upgrade system that exists today.

However, there is no word yet on the status or impact to Adobe’s Student & Teacher Editions (if anything)…  Hopefully they will continue with the current setup, whereby educational users can receive discounts of up to 80% off the regular prices (although with the limitations that these products cannot be upgraded to other academic versions).

So we hope that helps put these questions to rest!  Any others?  Please ask away below and we’ll do our best to answer…

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2 thoughts on “Adobe Acrobat, Lightroom and Elements: How Will They Be Affected?”

    • Hi Mike, thanks for your good question. Oddly, there is no upgrade path to Photoshop CS5 from Photoshop Elements 9 or 10… However, there is one from PSE 8 and earlier.

      Adobe hasn’t explained why this is so… They just stopped offering upgrades from newer versions of Elements to CS5. The price difference with the upgrade is $100 less than the regular price.

      If you did buy Photoshop CS5 outright, it will work side-by-side with any version of Elements you have – that we can confirm for you.

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