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CS6 is Out — Adobe Launches Creative Suite 6!

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81 thoughts on “CS6 is Out — Adobe Launches Creative Suite 6!”

  1. I like the new changes and I hope to use them. I see that the Design & Web Premium doesn’t have Flash Catalyst anymore. What happened to Flash Catalyst? And I know this is a minor issue, but the cover art for all of the packages really disappointed me, especially CS6 Design & Web Premium…

    • Hi Prosperous, thanks for your thoughts. Some months ago, word came out that Flash Catalyst would not continue in the Creative Suite – sorry if that news is just getting to you.

      For more detailed coverage on what’s new and what’s gone in the collection and in the suites, see:

      What Are the Differences Between CS6 vs. CS5.5?

      On the new boxshots, they elicit different things in different people. Adobe tells us, “to celebrate our customers’ creativity, we handed off the cover design for our products to our users… So every CS6 box was designed by an independent artist, and not by the company – and that like any piece of art, you may love it or you may hate it, but the real value is that it makes you feel something.”

    • That’s a good question Susanne, and the answer is yes! If you buy those two together then you will Lightroom for just US$99 full…

      In fact, if you buy or upgrade to any product containing Photoshop CS6 (including any suite), then you will get that discount on Lightroom 4.

      Just go to the Online Adobe Store for your geography (there is one for Norway), and put them both in your cart and you will automatically see the price reduction.

      Hope this helps!

  2. I have just checked Adobe’s website and I cannot wait to get my hands on it too (as Jason said above). Upgrade price is very reasonable, so I will definitely go for it.

    However, I got confused a little bit and I hope you can help me. I own Suite Web Premium CS5.5, but new Web Premium has been kind of mixed in with Design, which I think is really cool, because I missed InDesign software. What confused me is will InDesign work? It wasn`t in my Suite before, and bear in mind that this is upgrade.

    Also what happens with Flash family which I own now (Flash Catalyst and Flash Builder). I don`t mind not to have them, as I never used it. I prefer to have InDesign instead. Thank you

    • Hey there Adam, good to see you again and great questions. YES, you will definitely get the full InDesign CS6 in your upgrade from any older product (including any Web Premium suite) to CS6 Design & Web Premium – no worries there. That should be one big advantage for you to upgrade, from what you say.

      And you’re right that Flash Builder and Flash Catalyst are no longer included in the new version… However, you can continue to use your older CS5.5 releases of those if you wish, even after upgrading, on the same computer(s).

      Hope that answers it, if not then just post back!

  3. Also I noticed that Adobe Contribute is gone as well. By the way, at the website it shows the buy button for Creative Cloud as “Pre Order”. Does anyone know when exactly will creative cloud be available for use? Thanks.

  4. I am currently using cs5.5 and was wondering that when cs6 comes out, will it also be available as a month-to-month subscription service or will this option not be available with this new version? I have searched and as of yet have not been able to find this info out. I find that paying for it on a month-to-month fee basis is more suited to my needs, than paying upfront to use the software.

    • Hello Mitch, thanks for stopping by. For software rentals of CS6 suites, Adobe is essentially replacing the CS5.5 subscriptions with the Creative Cloud option, which includes all tools and updates. For month-to-month, it’s US$75/month; and going year-to-year, it’s $US50/month. Internationally, the prices are a bit higher.

      Whether or not it works for you depends on your needs and how long you intend to use the software, how frequently you upgrade/update your programs, which applications you’ll require, whether you’ll need access to the products if you stop paying, if you already own a previous product you can upgrade from, if you need to be able to use the tools without ongoing Internet access, if you’re interested in sharing and storing your work and files online, and so on.

      So, feel free to take a look at that and see if it works as a replacement for your situation!

  5. So, the obvious question is, as I just upgraded to CS5.5 DP, how do I get CS6 for free IRL?

    Just checked in the store and the upgrade price from CS5.5 is 375 € (ex vat) and from CS5 749 € (ex vat). So I saved 350 € (ex vat) going to 5.5 first. Which was nice. But there is no “check here for free upgrade” box.

    What is also interesting is that there are loads more language options – but at a cost. Finnish is 50 € extra from CS5.5 and 100 € from CS5. Finnish wasn’t available for CS5. English is fine for me, but I wonder if I could get the Finnish version for just the 50 €..?

    • Welcome Johan, and nice work on grabbing the savings with the CS6 free upgrade grace period, which is still available until May 6th actually.

      And good news, there is no box you needed to check – so long as you purchase(d) the CS5 or CS5.5 product starting from March 26th at Adobe, they will automatically send everything to you next month. There’s nothing further you need to do.

      On your last question, yes – it may also be possible to do a language swap! You’d have to check with Adobe to be sure though.

  6. @ ProDesignTools

    A “bit” higher?…
    I’m really interested in this, sounds like a great concept, but Adobe are charging just over US$85/month for it here in Norway – That’s a BIG price difference… It may be cheaper to just buy a box version, in the longer term I mean… but then of course you don’t get the free upgrades as newer versions get released.

  7. I didn’t mention, but I was referring to the $50 US price per month for Creative Cloud for a 12-month contract, versus $85 here in Norway – maybe the US price doesn’t include sales tax though?

    • Greetings Steve, you’re right – the Creative Cloud price does vary depending on the country and currency. In the US, the $50 (based on annual commitment) does not include sales tax, which would typically make it more like $54/month. In Europe prices are often quoted with VAT included, so the difference is magnified. In the UK it’s a bit higher ($62 ex-VAT), but we hadn’t checked the Scandinavian prices yet so you make as good point. It’s probably higher due to the language difference, plus other costs of doing business in a smaller market.

      If you’re talking more generally about why there are price differentials for software products in different countries, it’s something discussed here before.

      Whatever country you’re in, one key question on the Cloud is if the math works for you. The software will stop working if your subscription lapses, so look at the monthly price x 12 and then figure how many years you’ll likely be paying that, versus buying/upgrading the software permanently and then running it indefinitely. Other people may like or dislike it for different reasons – but we’ll be posting a new guide soon on the various facets of this analysis, pros and cons, of how to decide it it’s right for you, so keep an eye out for that.

  8. @ ProDesignTools

    Thank you for clearing that up. Actually I also found the answer to my question on Adobe’s website with the FAQ. They combined Design and Web :-)

    One more question to clear up. According to this post, upgrades are to be available ONLY from the direct Adobe store. No other resellers like will offer it?

    • Yes, that’s correct Adam – starting with Creative Suite 6 in most major geographies, Adobe will no longer offer upgrades through resellers, retailers, or other third parties – including Amazon…

      So now in the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, etc., the only place you can buy a CS6 upgrade from any earlier version of Adobe software is directly at Adobe’s online Store.

      This is better in many ways because upgrades have always been a confusing part of the process – there are a lot of different combinations and paths from different products, and it was hard for other vendors to present them well and make sure customers bought the right thing, were qualified with the correct prior version, etc.

      So now a lot of that experience should be improved, and hopefully we’ll have fewer comments here from bewildered visitors wondering why the Photoshop they bought for $199 from BestBuy doesn’t work on their computers (why? …because it was an upgrade version and they didn’t own a prior release).

    • Hi Mark, good question – and good news there… Yes. The upgrade pricing from CS5.5 to CS6 is the lowest available.

      For example, in the U.S. the cost to upgrade from InDesign CS5.5 to InDesign CS6 is $125. Whereas, coming from CS5 it’s $249.

      Same thing with all the other applications like Dreamweaver, Flash Pro, Premiere, etc. – it’s half the price for the half step. Ditto for all the suites like CS5.5 Design Premium –> CS6.

      So yes, Adobe kept their promise!

  9. Hey there, quick question.

    Does purchasing a Creative Cloud subscription grant you access to the included tools while OFFLINE? Or does it require an active connection every time you wish to use the services? Also, what if the subscription runs out? Do you get to keep the tools, or they’re permanently locked down until you renew the subscription?

    • Hey there Q, it’s not every time but the Creative Cloud programs do need to be online to connect periodically to revalidate your licensing. That is so that essentially, if you stop paying the monthly charge, then your software will stop working.

      Hopefully that answers your second question as well – since you are renting the software, if your subscription runs out or cannot be validated then your applications will no longer start and you won’t be able to open your projects or catalogs, your data, image, photo or video files.

      To try to avoid this issue, the membership is auto-renewing, although prices are subject to change and could go up or down in the future.

      Also you probably noticed there are two plans – for monthly and annual commitments. The monthly is about 50% more expensive. But be aware that if you choose the annual, then there are significant early termination fees (half of what’s left) if you don’t complete regular payments for the entire one-year term.

      Does that answer all your questions? If you have others, feel free to take a look at our article on Creative Suite subscriptions, which are similar.

  10. If you guys do post a pro and cons article about the cloud, can I suggest adding in something about the breaking of plugin/script compatibility as Adobe moves the programs on? I realise older programs will be usable for a year after they’re discontinued, but it still might be a downside for some.

    • Thanks Joel for weighing in there and raising that concern, and quite on point as it’s something we’ve been thinking about as well…

      There’s already somewhat of a “version explosion” as the Creative Suite release cycle has quickened from every 18-24 months to every 12 months with the milestone and midcycle (.5) releases. Each new version introduces some file format changes that can be incompatible with older versions of the applications…

      During the CS6 Launch Event Monday, Adobe Senior VP David Wadhwani said the Creative Cloud is “an ongoing living platform that we intend to update every week or every month.”

      So then if there’s a (say) “CS6.25” in the fall, does that make backwards compatibility an even bigger issue for project and data files? Will customers be able to send those files to people who are on standard CS6 versions, will they be readable?

      Unfortunately there’s no answers yet, so we’ll have to see how it plays out.

  11. This whole area is something Adobe needs to think about more. I’d love to jump ship to the cloud because pretty much everything has been well thought out… except for this.

    • Thanks Joel, we’re researching our upcoming story, and would like to talk to customers to see how the Creative Cloud is being received… Our pre-release poll found that over 80% of visitors were against the concept, so we’d like to get a sense of how that’s doing now.

      Does the math work out for you personally, and/or do you regularly use enough of the Adobe applications to allocate spending $600/year, versus your normal upgrade costs? Do you feel comfortable with the cloud idea and renting your software instead of the traditional perpetual (permanent) ownership? Are/were you aware of the significant termination fee if you happen to cancel an annual plan? Also, are you okay with all your Adobe software not working and files not opening if your subscription or payment stop for any reason in the future?

      Hearing some of this direct feedback from longtime users will definitely help us develop the guide… Thanks for your thoughts.

  12. Do you guys have an email I can send a reply to, instead of answering those questions here? Or, are you interested in public comments? I can do both- let me know :)

    • Public comments are completely fine, it’s an open forum and we’d like to hear from all customers here… We welcome all honest views, for and against. (Or if you prefer you can send us a direct email via the Contact link at the bottom of this page.)

      Thank you!

  13. This is a forum? :) I thought it was just news comments…

    Whatever is it, I might send an email to you guys tomorrow (being late here). For those reading along, the short of it is I like Adobe’s implementation of the cloud, despite my general dislike of cloud-based apps. There are obviously some things Adobe need to think about in more detail that could cause issues for people down the line, but in general it looks like a solid system which has been, aside from some locational markup, priced fairly.

  14. I am against “the cloud” as I ever was… Renting is for the birds.

    If I stop renting a house for any reason – price, features, compatibility, policies, whatever – I can easily find another place to live. Switching is easy, there are plenty of alternatives, and I am not dependent on any one of them.

    But if I stop renting Adobe software, I am stuck and can never open my work again.

    I’m sorry, but carpenters do not rent their hammers. Painters do not pay every month for their brushes. I do not want to be beholden to any corporation reaching into my bank account every month for the rest of my life to be able to accomplish my everyday work and access my projects – especially when I would have no choice but to pay, because there is no alternative.

    That’s not even getting into issues of privacy and security on the Creative Cloud, network downtime, if your programs stop working because they cannot do their repeating validation, incompatibilities with cloud version updates, when new releases won’t run on your existing hardware, and of course Adobe’s right to increase the subscription fees anytime they want.

    Plus once you get on “the cloud” you can never really get off, because you will eventually lose your upgrade discounts from older permanent versions. You will end up paying a lot more in total (full price + what you paid to the cloud) if you try to go back.

    No thank you. I plan to be alive for decades to come and do not want that liability or monthly expense. I will have software installed permanently on my computers – and I will upgrade when and if the features and price warrant it. I will not let a company decide these things for me or be in control of my destiny – especially given the recent upgrade policy debacle, I cannot be sure they always have their customers best interests at heart. This “recurring revenue” thing is more a move to appease shareholders, clearly from what I’ve seen.

    That said, I like CS6 and plan to upgrade to the desktop release – but it is my decision and that is all I need (and want)! I will pay once and own it forever.

  15. Since LSwanson has made such a great post, I think I’l reply here ;)

    While I completely agree the idea of being locked into lifelong payments just to be able to access my files isn’t exactly appealing, I’m not sure I agree about non-cloud software being unlike that from the Creative Cloud. I own a ton of programs that are linked solidly to a licensing server. If for some reason a company ends support for a program (and this has already happened in one case) I can no longer activate it and access my files – exactly the same as being unlinked from the Creative Cloud. Adobe obviously works in exactly the same way with all of their standalone software.

    I personally don’t see network downtime as much of a valid criticism, (unless you don’t have a network) because authentication happens once a month. You have more chance of a computer failure than being unable to authenticate once a month.

    “Plus once you get on ‘the cloud’ you can never really get off, because you will eventually lose your upgrade discounts from older permanent versions.”

    This is already an issue with the non-cloud versions. Adobe are going out of their way to bump up prices and shorten allowable upgrade periods. The cloud does make this part easier, perhaps though only because of Adobe’s attempts to push everyone towards it. I’m on Master CS4 now. If I don’t upgrade to CS5.5 now I’ll wind up paying almost double to upgrade to CS6 later. By sticking to upgrades every two years, I still wind up out of pocket more than going with the cloud in its current state. Plus, I don’t get as much for my money (ie: Lightroom needing to be purchased separately)

    All that said, I’m still on the edge of making a decision because I agree wholeheartedly with your thoughts on being locked into Adobe nigh on forever, Adobe being a company that likes to change its mind every two seconds, and the issue of being forced to upgrade to the latest versions once a year is up.

    Right now I’m leaning towards sticking with a boxed copy, despite it costing me more today, just so I can sit back and see where things go from here.

  16. @Joel

    I’m not sure what you’re talking about or which programs and companies you use, but none of the Adobe software I’ve ever owned has ever expired, or ever will per the perpetual license agreement. I will be able to run and use any of them as long as I want, whenever I want for many years to come. The Creative Cloud on the other hand is a huge risk in my view. It is new and unproven, and you don’t know what will happen if Adobe gets bought or decides the idea isn’t getting enough traction in a year or two so they cancel it – just like they canceled Contribute, OnLocation, and Flash Catalyst – which was only 2 years old! Then what do you do?

    You are putting your future in the hands and control of a corporation and you don’t have any idea what will happen. It is untested and experimental. I think it will not succeed, that is my opinion and I am having nothing to do with it.

    Network downtime refers to all the cloud-based features that Adobe is pushing. If the network or cloud is down, you don’t have access to your files there or any of those services you’re using.

    Lightroom is not a very good selling point anymore as it costs only $99 now when you buy anything that includes Photoshop.

    Lastly, you simply cannot think of the cost “now” or for one year or two years with “the cloud.” As I said before you have to think of total LIFETIME cost… Lifetime is forever with that, if you want to access and use your own work. You will pay more to them with the cloud than you do now, it’s true, they showed it themselves and you can look it up. Wall Street loves it.

    Yes, Adobe is making the regular upgrade policy more restrictive, but now that I’m getting my permanent upgrade to CS6 I will have up to FOUR years to wait and consider it again while watching CS6.5, CS7, and CS7.5 all come out.

  17. To add to what the fine chaps have said so far, here’s a suggestion (Or rather, a question) about the whole “cloud” model.

    If I were to, say, purchase a Creative Cloud subscription without having owned a single licensed Adobe product, I would spend about 50$ a month to rent the software. That price is more than worth considering, since I receive essentially the CS6 Master Collection with a few extras and a Dropbox-esque service for online storage. That’s all nice and fine, but what if, say, this service was introduced years ago back when CS4 was released?

    People would purchase licenses to CS4, and when CS5 and CS5.5 came along, they would have to buy those separately, or would the price include the update? Even now there are people using CS2 and CS3 products, and if those fellows would’ve bought Cloud versions back then, they would end up with a bill worth of 3-4 Master Collections. Not to mention that if they choose to upgrade, they would even have to repurchase CS5, and CS5.5 as well. The only sensible way to go about this, is if the subscription grants you access to newer Creative Suites and Adobe products, since on the long run, having to pay monthly for software you use since FIVE YEARS might be a bit troublesome. And it’s not loans either, it lasts pretty much FOREVER.

    Think about it for a while, people who are using CS2 now would have to pay roughly 4200 dollars over the course of years, simply to use the software. Probably well over 5000 if you live in a country outside the US. Credit card gets stolen, something happens, you’re left in the desert without Internet or WiFi, it locks itself down. Even if the case isn’t so serious in reality, the very fact that you NEED a subscription for all your files is a concept that many users look at with disgust. The only justification I personally find acceptable, is if we don’t simply purchase a subscription to CS6, but rather, a subscription to Adobe. For 50$ a month, in turn we get access to all of their software. We pay forever, and get their software forever. In that model, any new product and Creative Suite released by Adobe will be accessible in the Creative Cloud subscription, and you essentially pay the price of purchasing upgrades and new suites as well. On the other hand, “traditional” customers can purchase a single software with a one time payment for unlimited use, forever.

  18. Looking forward to these updates… InDesign in particular.

    I just ordered the CS5.5 Design Premium upgrade (coming from CS5) to get upgraded to CS6 for only $399 (instead of $749).

    But now I’m wondering if I could preorder the Production Premium upgrade as well, which is $375 from 5.5… this appears to be a way to upgrade to the CS6 Master Collection (all the major programs at least) for just $774 total. Does anyone know of any problems going this route (rather than going for the actual Master Collection upgrade, which is $1,049)?

    • Wow, that’s brilliant Chad! Yes, that absolutely will work… You can definitely have multiple suites/products – and the installers will recognize that and only install the additional applications and services that you don’t already have yet.

      So yes, if you upgrade to both CS5.5 Design Premium and Production Premium then you will effectively have the CS5.5 Master Collection – and later this month when CS6 ships you’ll receive the free upgrade for both products to their CS6 versions, ultimately giving you the CS6 Master Collection and all CS6 applications for a much lower price.

      With the complimentary CS6 upgrade offer, there is no limitation of “one per customer” as there sometimes is with other specials – the reason is because Adobe recognizes that many customers own more than one product. But don’t delay because it’s only good for purchases until May 6th.

      Thanks for your comment Chad – well worked out and nicely done!

      [See here for official terms]

  19. I pre-ordered mine today :-) I’m excited and not because I had no other choice but purchase the upgrade from CS5.5 Suite to CS6 from Adobe Japan. Cost equaled $610.

    The good news is that InDesign will be included now and I sold my DW CS5.5 purchased earlier this year, so my upgrade cost dropped to the US level. According to the email I received from Adobe JP, they start shipping the boxes on May 11th.

    • All new releases from Adobe are standalone and entirely self-contained. So both the upgrade and full versions are complete packages, it’s just the activation procedure is different.

      So actually you can use a trial for either full or upgrade – the serial number you purchase will work to permanently activate your installed trial either way…

      The main thing is that the product and language of the trial have to be exactly the same as the version you purchase – but even if they aren’t, you can uninstall the trial and then install whatever you bought.

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