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Adobe Listens to Users, Defers CS6 Upgrade Rule Change to Yearend

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Adobe CS6 Upgrade Policy Changes Postponed! CS3 & CS4 on Track


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100 thoughts on “Adobe Listens to Users, Defers CS6 Upgrade Rule Change to Yearend”

  1. It was always a stupid policy, but full respect to Adobe for listening, and actually responding. At the moment it seems most companies listen to their customers, and then fully ignore what they hear anyway.

  2. I’ve just bought CS5.5 Design Standard for upgrading from CS4 in order to upgrade to CS6 when the CS6 comes out. I might cancel my purchase!

    • Hi Panda, Adobe does have a Return & Refund Policy if that’s a possibility you want to consider.

      Although historically, those that have a more recent Adobe release get lower upgrade pricing than older customers. In other words, owning CS5.5 already should give you the lowest possible upgrade price for getting to CS6.

  3. Your assumption about CS7 seems very odd. Adobe is only opening this 3-version-back upgrade window for CS6 until 12/31/2012. There’s no indication that the window will reopen in the future for CS7.

    • Sorry if that wasn’t clearer Jim. The statement was meant for folks who upgrade to CS6 this year, looking forward to after the policy change eventually goes into effect. Based on a chart of the CS release schedule, anybody who moves up to CS6 wouldn’t be obliged to upgrade again until almost four years later, while Creative Suite 7 is still current…

      Basically that’s why Adobe made the policy change in the first place – with the CS releases now happening every two years, it can be up to four years between customer upgrades – even with “one-version-back.”

      But for now, it looks like Adobe’s upgrade policy will be back to how it was originally, at least for 2012, and you’re right that we probably shouldn’t expect that to be extended again. Starting in 2013 it will be more in line with how things usually are in the rest of the software market.

      So while the future setup won’t be as good as before, it conceivably could have been worse – like when Microsoft killed upgrades entirely starting with Office 2010. Similarly, there are no longer any significant discounts (just 13% off) for upgrades to current releases of Quickbooks, and Intuit now discontinues support entirely for any release over three years old.

  4. Well, now I feel as if I have been completely screwed by Adobe. I was on Photoshop CS4. I had planned on upgrading to CS6 under the old pricing model.

    Then Adobe came out with their new pricing, forcing me to get CS5.1 (5.5 whatever) in order to qualify for CS6.

    So now I learn, I just spent money I did not have to.

    So is Adobe going to give an extra low upgrade price to CS6, for those of us who were “forced” to CS5, as we had taken Adobe for their word on the last pricing model?

  5. Unfortunately, I bought CS5.5 in December due to the original policy announcement and the discount they were offering thru the end of the year. I originally wanted to upgrade from CS4 to CS6, but now that I’ve paid for CS5.5 I guess I’m out of luck!

    And frankly, there isn’t much in 5.5 that made it personally worthwhile to me to u/g from 4.

    • @Dave, @Doug,

      As far as we know there has been no information from Adobe on particular CS6 pricing or discounts, but from comments so far you’re not alone on that. As mentioned above, you could check out Adobe’s Product Return Policy if that’s something you want to consider.

      Also don’t forget that with Adobe’s tiered upgrade pricing, customers who own recent versions will pay less to upgrade to CS6 than those on older versions – meaning any outlay to get to CS5.5 would not be wasted but rather stepped closer.

  6. So I called Adobe Refund department, he understood the pricing model change, and he transferred me to the Sales Dept, who also understood the pricing model change, but he transferred me to the Customer Care Department……at which point the “English as a second language” issue took over and the whole dialog fell apart.

    I guess if Adobe announced that they would have lower special upgade pricing for those who were forced to CS5.5 under the last pricing model, then I would just go forward and skip looking for a refund.

    Will Adobe do the right thing. Probably not.

    • Hey again Dave, Adobe should indeed have lower upgrade pricing to CS6 for current CS5 and CS5.5 owners than for older versions – that’s the way it normally works with their tiered pricing plan.

      For example, if you look at how it works now with CS5, it costs significantly less to upgrade from CS4 to CS5 than it does to go all the way from CS2 to CS5. Adobe does it that way to encourage staying current and preserving value in owning a recent release.

      As far as refunds go, if you meet the terms of the return policy then you should be able to get a refund even if you purchased the product from somewhere else. You shouldn’t need to talk to anyone special outside of that department.

  7. It’s only a six month reprieve. This is a bittersweet announcement for those of us who upgraded from CS 4 to CS 5.5 by Dec. 31, 2011 to take advantage of the 20% off pricing. We’re still glad we upgraded (it’s much faster) but it would’ve been a whole lot better if they’d made this announcement last year.

    • You’re absolutely right EC – it will extend the upgrade window by about six months to give more notice, plus a chance for older customers to upgrade… And we agree it would have been better if it had been this way from the start. But we’re happy the company was willing to listen and change in response to customer feedback, because we just had so many comments about this issue.

      Also glad to hear CS5.5 is working out for you, even if it wasn’t originally on your plan. Thanks for your thoughts.

  8. I feel just devastated at the moment. In November I learned I can’t update my CS4 Premium Package to CS6 and have been forced to an unwanted CS5.5 to be able to upgrade to CS6 because I couldn’t afford byuing it completely new when CS6 comes out. I bought it via credit card to be able to pay the price for the software in monthly installment because I couldn’t really bring up the money to pay it full immediately. In fact I couldn’t really afford to pay that money at all, but felt I have to because I had no other options. And now I learn that all the sorrow that this price politics caused me has been unnecessary. Thank you Adobe, thank you so very much for not thinking before talking. Thank you for making a complete idiot out of me because I gave the information (of not being able to upgrade to CS6 from CS3) to my friends and colleagues who bought the software too – due to my advice they spent large sums completely unnecessary. And of course the 30 days warranty is over and I can’t give back the software I never wanted in the first place. BTW it is not installed yet but stays untouched at my shelf because I never meant to use it but I wanted to be able to upgrade to CS6.

    • So sorry Silvia if it’s too late for you to get a return if that’s what you want. Since we don’t have power in those things, you might try sharing your story also with Adobe Customer Service directly to see what they might be able to do for you.

      But don’t forget too that your upgrade cost from here to CS6 should be considerably less than if you hadn’t done that, as outlined in some of the comments above. In other words, your investment in what you spent shouldn’t be lost.

  9. Thank you for your kind words. I think upgrading from CS 5.5 and then to CS 6 will nevertheless cost me more than upgrading form CS 4 to CS 6. And then there is the fact that the whole transaction will cost me a high rate of interest on my credit card. I would have found it much easier to upgrade at a later date next year; Adobe acted irresponsibly in my opinion.

  10. Silvia, I too told others about Adobe’s pricing model change. My brother spent $800+ in upgrading, when, it turns out he did not have to. I told a very large user group about the change. Now I feel I have egg on my face. I relied on Adobe, and others relied on me. Never again, I will always hold Adobe with suspicion.

  11. Dave, I feel with you. One of my friends bought even a new Mac system “because he has to change next year anyway.” I think this is the worst part for me: others relied on my advice – as they do it quite often ’cause I’m a kind of Mac + software wizard to many people here (some friends are designers and I know many agencies because I work as a Freelancer). And now I feel sad for my bad advice.

  12. So glad to see this. Thankfully Adobe got back to their senses, the previous plan wasn’t well thought through.

    I had previously written off upgrading from my CS4, but this puts it back on the table now so I am looking forward to CS6. Yes, I had been a version skipper. Thanks for the update.

  13. Props to Adobe for hearing users and redoing the policy change. It’s unfortunate about the runaround, and still not ideal with the end of year upgrade cutoff, but it’s a lot better than what it was.

  14. Easy for them to back off the policy now that they have already sold a bunch of CS5 upgrades with the promotion they ran through the end of the year. I’m more than a little miffed that Adobe has backed off the policy after the first of the year. I made a completely unnecessary purchase to save myself some money with PS6 following the release of this policy and a full-on marketing effort from Adobe to purchase CS5 while it was slightly discounted.

    • Welcome Dale, thanks for your comments. The 20%-off upgrade discount was actually extended through March, although you’re right in that it initially went to December 31st. On the rest of your thoughts, there have been some other commenters above feeling the same way. So if you’re unhappy with your purchase, please see our earlier responses regarding that.

  15. This is a relief to see. But I have a question. If I own just a standalone product like Photoshop CS3, will I be able to upgrade to Photoshop CS6? Or will I need to buy a larger CS6 suite? Thank you.

    • Greetings Richard, with this new policy you definitely will be able to upgrade all the individual point products like Photoshop, Dreamweaver, InDesign, etc — from CS3, CS4, or CS5.x — to a CS6 version in the same form. The pricing could be a little different based on how far back you are vs. customers who upgrade more frequently.

      Also you would have an optional upgrade path from what you own now to a full CS6 suite, if you wanted to. Thanks for your question and hope that helps!

  16. ProDesignTools :…, @Silvia, … – Please contact Adobe Customer Support on 800-833-6687, or via Live Online Chat, or on Twitter @Adobe_Care

    I have contacted Adobe Care via Twitter two days ago, but have not received any feedback whatsoever. My English is fairly good, but not my native language and I think a phone call is not the best idea depending on how fast or with what accent the other person on he phone is talking. Can you give me a clue what to tell them in case I’m finally able to find an email address? Thank you for all your efforts.

    • Hello again Sylvia, your English is fine… and sorry if you haven’t heard back yet. Generally speaking, using Twitter or Live Online Chat to contact Adobe customer service would be more convenient because you avoid any hold time on the phone.

      When you used Twitter, did you begin the text of your tweet with @Adobe_Care to make sure it got to the right place?

      We’d say try again using either Twitter or chat – and then if you still don’t receive a fast response, please email us directly with all your order details and we’ll help get it sorted out.

    • Thank you for all your help and the link to the live chat. That worked perfectly fine and I was able to talk to a representative. I really appreciate how things worked out.

  17. The U-turn on pricing is only for the users of the whole creative suites, no good for me at all as I only use Ps. I will still end up paying for an extra upgrade that I would not have under the old policy, as I have had to upgrade to Ps(CS)5 just to ensure I wont have to pay the full whack for Ps(CS)6.

    Not as bad a kick in the wallet as for the full CS users, I know, but still twice what I would have paid under the old policy.

    • No, actually the first part is not true Simon… Now with this new upgrade policy, all owners of any CS3, CS4, or CS5 products will be able to upgrade to CS6 though the end of 2012. And that goes for either a standalone product or a full suite.

      In other words, customers will be able to upgrade from Photoshop CS4 to Photoshop CS6, or from Photoshop CS4 to CS6 Design Premium (just some examples, more options will be available). In all of those cases the upgrades will be discounted off the full price, similar to how it works today.

      On your other point, if you’re unhappy about a recent purchase you made, please see our history of responses to other visitors above.

      Thanks for asking and hope that helps clear things up!

    • Thanks for your reply – and apologies if I got confused but there seems to be conflicting info out there :(

      I’ll get in touch with Adobe then and see what they have to say. I would certainly prefer to upgrade to Ps(CS)6 from Ps(CS)4 – assuming it will be cheaper than going through the Ps(CS)5 upgrade path. Unknown at the moment of course as there’s no pricing for Ps(CS)6 yet.

      I’ll ask if they’ll refund my Ps(CS)5 upgrade, if an upgrade to Ps(CS)6 is now possible.

  18. I’m glad I decided to wait before upgrading anything. I guess Adobe took Scott Kelby’s advice, and paid attention to how many people were upset about their new policies. I’ll probably upgrade my CS3 applications to CS6. For sure I’ll upgrade Photoshop from CS5 to CS6. Will wait along with everyone else for the surprises to come about their new services and how much they cost.

    I wish they would hire communicators that were clear and sounded honest. What a mess they made of things. ProDesign, thanks for all the updates and keeping us informed. Hey, are you one person behind this site or a group of people? Just curious.

    • You bet Moe! And good to see you again after your previous comments… Your upgrade plan sounds like a good one – and honestly, Adobe is sorry about all this. And you’re right, our partner contacts tell us that management heard all the ongoing feedback and rethought the policy change.

      As pointed out in our article above, the original change was brought about in part because major CS releases have moved to every two years, meaning a “one version back” upgrade policy could now stretch up to four years… But arguably, they didn’t give enough notice on it, and people had to judge about upgrading to CS6 before even seeing the new release. Also, plenty of folks with older versions had already been planning to upgrade to CS6 for quite some time.

      Anyway, everyone makes mistakes and the important thing is realizing that and adjusting – but it’s just harder in a larger company as things move more slowly. But we can tell you firsthand that Adobe in no way tried to do a “bait and switch” on the policies and offers, things just happened in real-time and now everyone’s trying to work through it.

      As for us, well we’re one happy group here now in our fourth year working on your behalf! Thanks again for stopping back.

  19. The headline reads like it was written by Adobe’s advertising agency, and doesn’t reflect reality even a little bit. It’s not a “Big Change”, it’s a minor and temporary exception. The change in policy applies only to the Suite version, not the individual products. So if you use only Photoshop, you’re going to be stuck with the same 1 version back policy they announced earlier this year. And if you don’t update to CS6 now, you’ll still be stuck with the 1 version back policy when CS7 comes out.

    The new policy is still garbage, and still anti-consumer. I won’t be upgrading Photoshop again, ever.

    • Hi Bob, you might want to read the headline and the story again because your comments reflect some misunderstandings…

      The headline is, “Adobe Listens to Users and Defers Big Changes …”. In other words, the previous big changes were postponed. That is exactly what happened, in response to customer feedback.

      That’s not to say there won’t be changes down the road, but for now we’re seeing users of older versions relieved to have the chance to upgrade to CS6 if they want to. After that point, it looks like Adobe will be less generous with the upgrade policy so that it works like it does with most other major software companies. We wish it were different, but overall it’s better then where things stood a week ago.

      It is also absolutely incorrect that only owners of suites can upgrade to CS6. All customers with individual products will be eligible as well, and can move to the same application or to a suite – just as it works now.

      So bottom line, for now everything remains exactly as it was back before the prior change was announced, which is the point of the article.

  20. I’m an amateur Photographer who did the ‘right thing’ by paying for full Photoshop. It’s not cost effective for me to upgrade every version (and single-version changes usually aren’t that significant) – so I’ve upgraded CS to CS3 and I’m now on CS5 having skipped CS4.

    My only question is… do I need to buy Photoshop CS6 when it comes out, or can I skip it?

    • Welcome Andy, that depends on what your needs and goals are. And if the policy is still unclear that’s understandable, as even Adobe staff will tell you their communications haven’t been great here.

      So if you’re asking, “will I be able to skip CS6 and later get upgrade pricing from CS5 directly to CS7 without CS6?” – then as things stand now, no.

      They’ve said that going forward, “customers [need] to be on the most current version of Creative Suite in order to qualify for upgrade pricing when new versions are released.”

      In other words, discounted upgrade pricing will be available from CS3, CS4, and CS5 to CS6, but then in the future only from CS6 to CS7.

      For more details, see: What is Adobe’s upgrade pricing policy?

  21. We were planning to upgrade CS3 to CS6, but after the announcement we just forked out 10k at the end of December to upgrade our office to CS5.5. We feel rather misled now that they’ve changed their mind!

    Have spoken to their customer service, was offered a refund and we could return to CS3 – I pointed out that even if we were to uninstall from all the machines and reinstall CS3, we wouldn’t be able to open any of the files we are working on due to the lack of backwards compatibility.

    Then I was offered a free copy of Lightroom 3 for the inconvenience.

    Spoke to another customer service rep, he’s pushed us up higher in support, trying to get a complimentary upgrade to CS6 when it comes out.

    Anyone else in this boat, just keep prodding!

  22. I also contacted customer service. I was offered a refund or a copy of LR 3. I already have LR 3.

    So Adobe and I are still talking.

    Maybe we should all get a complimentary upgrade to CS6. I too was planning to go from CS4 to CS6, before being forced to CS5.5.

    Adobe got the money sooner with the forced upgrade to CS5.5. The complimentary upgrade to CS6 would at least save us from auditing our production files to see which are now on CS5.5.

  23. I have CS4 Premiere Pro, CS and AF with Bridge/Media Encoder/online etc purchased individually some time back. Will Adobe only discount for ONE OF THESE if I went for CS6 Production suite upgrade when it is released?

    • Hey there Warrier, that’s a good question but we’ve never heard of being able to upgrade from more than one individual product to a suite… If you check out the upgrade eligibility chart within the Adobe buying guide, the pricing levels are based on owning either a prior suite or a prior product.

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