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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 Creative Cloud versions, Adobe described new CS6 sales as “de minimis,” with customers overwhelmingly choosing subscriptions instead of perpetual model licenses.

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 newer operating systems and is not supported on them, meaning that officially Windows 8.1 and Mac OSX v. 10.9 (“Mavericks”) are the last 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 official 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:

https://www.adobe.com/products/cs6.html

So really the only path forward for Adobe creative products now is Creative Cloud, 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 (CC plus CS6) with your subscription.

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 makes or sells CS6 in any way, some readers may ask if is it still possible to find it secondhand on sites like eBay or Amazon? The answer is perhaps – but it doesn’t matter, because even if you could, you wouldn’t even want to try buying it from those places… Because if you do happen to see a copy for sale out there, it’s likely neither legitimate nor safe.

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 as of January 2017, Adobe has finally closed the last door on this. But now you know the full story, and why.

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

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194 thoughts on “Adobe Just Stopped Selling Creative Suite 6 Entirely - Here's Why”

  1. This is utterly insane. What kind of site thinks a one-time purchase model being erased is a good thing, instead opting into a forever monthly payment system to this monopoly? Either you are a fool or clearly this is an Adobe dummy site.

    Reply
    • Maybe you didn’t read the article? We simply reported on what happened, already over five years ago now… The one-time purchase model didn’t work for issuing product updates, and the large majority of customers had already stopped buying CS6 anyway.

      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 Creative Cloud versions, Adobe described new CS6 sales as “de minimis,” with customers overwhelmingly choosing subscriptions instead of perpetual model licenses.

      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.

      But with the official CS6 software EOL (end-of-life) on June 1, 2014, 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.

      Don’t blame the messenger.

  2. I used to purchase a new Lightroom every few version at the upgrade price. Renting this would cost me twice as much.

    Reply
    • Well, most customers don’t think $10 a month for the latest full desktop versions of both Photoshop + Lightroom (plus all related mobile apps and workflows) is too much to ask, considering that these two best-of-breed professional tools used to cost well over $1,000 upfront just to get in the door, not including upgrades! And people who previously upgraded only once every 4-5 years are probably not the customers Adobe had in mind with the new model.

      There’s no question that some folks weren’t happy about the transition from perpetual-only to subscription-only products – but as a Pulitzer Prize winner once said, “I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.” Adobe took a risk and it could have crashed and burned. They may have lost some customers, but at the same time gained many new ones because of the far-lower cost of entry than before.

      By any objective measure, it’s hard to argue that Creative Cloud hasn’t been a major success, surprising a lot of skeptics and even exceeding the company’s own original expectations. Never before (not even with CS6), have so many millions of customers upgraded and been running the same single release of Adobe software, which adds to the power of the platform. There are thousands of advance­ments and new features in CC 2022 as compared to CS6… If you haven’t missed what you don’t have yet, that’s fine – but if the latest releases can help millions of people get better work done faster, then time is money.

      Here’s just one example. To accomplish the work in this piece took 10 hours in Photoshop CS4, but just 10 minutes in the latest version of Lightroom:

      Using the Newest Adobe Tools Can Save You Money – Here’s Why

      How much is your time worth?

      Looking back to 2012, it’s clear now that Adobe didn’t move to subscriptions to make anybody upset but rather made a decision on what would be best for the future of the business. The subscription model is more flexible in many ways and allows them to keep the tools current with fast-moving technology, as well as make record investments in their product line and advance the state of the art in creative software.

      Bottom line, you are quite free to stay in the old days. Sure, you can mutter darkly about how you personally don’t like the change but that really isn’t going to change anything. The train left the station a long time ago, but of course you don’t have to be on it – it’s a personal choice. Either way, those CC adoption numbers are impressive and pointing unambiguously to the future, and the company is clearly not looking back now.

  3. It is not even possible to just get Lightroom Classic. I have no want or need for anything on mobile devices or cloud backup. My internet access certainly would preclude Cloud backup.

    If there was a basic Lightroom Classic plan…

    Reply
  4. I have some old CS6 Adobe files (InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop) saved from a few years ago when I was working on an Apple Mac. I will be designing again soon as part of my job and will be purchasing the new Adobe monthly subscription, but for a Windows computer. Would I be able to still use these old files on a Microsoft/Windows computer?

    I am concerned about the change from Apple to Windows and the old Adobe version (of for example .indd files) to the new cloud version? Will I still be able to use these files?

    Reply

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