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Adobe Just Stopped Selling Creative Suite 6 Entirely - Here's Why

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Update: You Can No Longer Buy CS6 from Adobe – Here’s Why


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

  1. Hi, I purchased CS6 boxed set “design and web premium” (student/teacher version) and promptly misplaced the box. Just found, opened, and came up to speed that the webpage is no longer available to obtain the serial number to install, and the standalone product is no longer supported. Is it just (expensive) trash now? Should I commit to Inkscape and other open source source software? I don’t use design software often enough to justify a subscription. Anything to salvage from the CS6 discs? Thanks.

  2. Look at Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer from Serif about £50 each, one time purchase. Very good alternatives and can open adobe illustrator and photoshop files

  3. @ProDesignTools

    It doesn’t matter the excuse. People who purchased physical software in the past should be grandfathered into the monthly program by at least being granted the basic features. Not every human being updates their operating systems & devices. My computer is still overstating on Windows 8 no problem. Still running PS CS6 no problems.

    If you pay for it, it’s yours. Period. They don’t have to provide support but people should

    Also, a non-Adobe reseller that would sell key only would be any university bookstore in any college across the United States up until I believe 2010ish.

    • A university would be an educational volume licensee… That is not at all the same as a reseller. So what we wrote stands.

      No legitimate commercial reseller was/is ever able to offer CS6 downloads other than Adobe themselves. Because Kerry didn’t have actual CD/DVD disc media, it sounds like all she really bought was a (black market) serial number, unfortunately, which Adobe later revoked.

  4. @ProDesignTools

    Same for me. I have two computers bought in 2005 and 2007.
    Those two premiere pro systèmes ( premiere pro 1.5 SD in the first and, and CS3, 4 and CS5 for the second for HD édit ) have acceleration and breakout boxes made and sold by the Matrox company that add input/output connectors. Matrox RTX100 for my SD edit suite and Matrix Axio LE for the one for HD/ and SD edit. I have all the DVD set for those for versions of premiere, but can’t install and/or activate those from adobe and the answer I got is, we do not support it anymore. I do not want support, just the right to use them. For example, I just want to replace my C: drive in one computer. Made a ghost of the disc and put the image on an bigger hard drive and the premiere pro message when I started it said: a change happened on your computer and you need to re-activate it to continue using it, but the server or human to do the re-activation no longer exists and I can’t use my system anymore. Even if my computer is the same when I installed that software, adobe does not let me use those versions that are still strong enough for what I have to do.
    Me too, I just want Adobe to let me use my old things that I had paid for. I don’t want a “by month paying solution” when my old version does all that I need for the family video that I do with my two old systems …

  5. ProDesignTools:

    Well, another anonymous comment with few specific details… While it’s true that CS6 is generally no longer supported, it is untrue that issues with genuine product activation of validly-purchased licenses are unsupported. So something’s not right there.

    Hello again, Mr pro design,

    It’s the same for me. I can’t have support on how to make my legal and registered version of Adobe Premiere Pro that it is installed in the same computer since 2005, if my memory is good, they (Adobe) do not want to help me make my product reactivated for me to continue using it like all those past years.

    • Bonjour Clément,

      Which version(s) – precisely – of Premiere Pro are you trying to reactivate without success?

      And on which release of Windows? Thanks.

  6. I purchased CS6 Master Collection in 2012. I primarily only use about four applications in the collection. The CS6 version of these more than meets my current and foreseeable requirements in this area. At the time of buying the Collection I was still employed, but shortly after I retired. Not requiring all the bells and whistles of the Creative Cloud (CC) versions of the applications I utilise I saw, and currently see, no need to upgrade to CC – to say nothing of the fact that as a pensioner, I cannot afford to ongoing monthly cost. The version of CS6 I purchased was the Apple version. Several months ago, I decided that I wanted to install CS6 on my Windows-based laptop so that I could work when away from home.
    I accessed my Adobe account and sought out the Download and Install page. I was able to access the link for the Windows version of CS6 download. I tried to do this but had problems. It took my some time to resolve these. By the time I had it was early last month. I retried to access the Windows download link again but was unable to do so. I contacted Adobe help via the online chat. It appears to me that the people manning this site have little comprehension of the English language. I explained my problem and was provided with a link. This turned out to be the link for the Apple version. Numerous attempts proved fruitless because the result was the same every time. Yesterday I was given a link and this advised that I was now unable to download CS6 for a platform other than that that I purchased in the first instance.
    If my laptop was an Apple, I could download it and install it on that laptop – but as it is a Windows laptop, I am unable to do so. Adobe’s web page still advises that I am able to install CS6 on two computers regardless of the platform, yet this is not the case. WHY?

  7. I bought Creative Suite 2 in about 2011 and it has CS6 Illustrator and PhotoShop, but it says on the box CS2.

    The program on my computer with windows 7 says it is CS6 64-bit and I have always known it to be that.

    Is there an answer for that, plus I’m ready to get a HP laptop with Windows 10 and they are assuring me at Best Buy (the manager of that dept., who is a Windows employee) that it will run in compatibility mode.

    I want to run it on Windows 10.

  8. I purchased CS6 in 2012 and used it until my iMac crashed in 2019. After moving and misplacing my CD, I purchased a new iMac, retrieved the files from my old mac but it will not open on the new mac. What can I do?

  9. The Creative Suite (CS) nomenclature only began with the bundled products that targeted various workflows, starting with CS, CS2, CS3, etc.

  10. So, the only possible way to get CS6 is to use an illegal version, really??? If it’s so much worse than CC, why isn’t it for free on their website? I’m not willing to pay monthly. I’ve just changed AutoCad for ZWCAD because of the subscription and not regretting it :))

    • CS6 is completely unsupported with no further updates for years, so Adobe does not offer it in any form. It was also written back in 2011-2012 for older operating systems, so it is not at all compatible with modern platforms like macOS Catalina.

      And if Adobe gave it away for free on their website, then users would no doubt be contacting them for assistance, and perhaps fewer would end up being paid customers for CC. Vulnerabilities and incompatibilities would persistently arise, as this is dated software.

      In any case, Creative Cloud is the evolution of CS6 and has added thousands of new features, performance improvements and other enhancements since then. 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.

      How much time (and money) will you lose by using outdated and less-productive tools indefinitely? In most people’s lives and/or careers, the amount of time needed to complete your work is important. In other words, work smarter, not harder.

      As for trying to get/use an illegal version of CS6, that would not be a good idea:

      A Word on Adobe Software Piracy – “If It Sounds Too Good To Be True…”

  11. @Clément Paradis
    I upgraded my 2009 iMac OS several times since 2009 until the Mac OS High Sierra, and my CS3 is working as it should be without any problem that I know. I still use CS3, it does everything I needed to. IMO, you pay more for newer version just to get more tools, but I prefer to do everything with just simple pencil, brushes and paints and that’s how to develop your skills as real artists. It’s real, cheap, and cheerful!

  12. I’ve used After Effects CS6 for these 8 years. Of course I’ve tried the newest versions from CC2014 till CC2020, but I was not so comfortable with some changes in the interface and application and most of all I didn’t like constantly lagging playback and render. I thought that’s because my computer is pretty old for new applications.

    Now I’ve upgraded my computer and after installing Windows, it turned out that I’m able to install only the current version of After Effects… I’ve been trying to work in AE2020 for a month now and it’s lagging and freezes constantly and out of memory on the simplest projects. I understand that new users just can not compare this with a normally-working application because they started their learning from CC versions. Now I understood all these memes with AE errors. I saw these error messages once a week with CS6, now I see them many times a day.

    I don’t know how I can get CS6 legally. It seems like piracy is the only option and I don’t want to do that.

    • Hi Oleg, we haven’t had any issues with After Effects 2020 here – do you have all the latest updates available?

      Regarding CS6, please see our previous comment just above.

  13. @Cindy Harrison
    Make sure you do not have Catalina OS installed, as it will not work properly. High Sierra will work and maybe Mojave. I tried the Catalina upgrade and completely messed up my Mac. I had to reinstall the original OS using the online recovery tool (Command + R on boot up). Then I had to do an upgrade to High Sierra. I still had a few issues but came across a blog that gave the info need to do a bug fix so that CS6 would still work.

  14. If you have a boxed, licensed and registered copy of CS6 Design & Web, are you still able to use it? I will no doubt need to upgrade my laptop at some stage and would like to reinstall the software with the disks I have (including serial number). It’s a student edition paid for in full in 2013. I only have it installed on one computer so can I just install it onto a new Windows 10 computer, then deactivate and uninstall it from the old computer, to avoid chances of completely losing the use of the software altogether.

    • If it is a legal and legitimate version that you purchased yourself, then you should still be able to use it provided that the operating system you’re running supports it.

  15. Hello,

    I was working in Flash CS5.5 and CS6 for some time and I really liked it. CS6 was the best version. At school they had to upgrade to CC and every graphic design teacher hated and was every time swearing during lessons on how terrible the CC is and that it’s updated so fast, that it’s hard to even orientate in the UI. To be honest, I found the CC versions very unkind… And since I legally have PS CS6 and AE CS6 for some time, I want to use CS6 myself again but now on my device. I really don’t want to pay monthly for something I won’t even use. (Tools which CS6 has is all that I need to create what I want) I don’t worry about compatibility because I tried to install a trial on win 10 and it worked all right. I saw you wrote on your site that it’s available to downgrade CC to CS6. Is it still available? And if I downgrade the software, would it be mine forever without paying monthly? Myself I see that Adobe doesn’t like beginners of their own carrier… I finally want to make something with it but the CC is useless in my experience and it costs a lot of what it can do. Also as I said above, you pay for some tools which you won’t use. One of the examples is auto- lip synch. I really don’t need it since I can make it well… So if there’s some possibility to downgrade I would be really glad :)

    Best regards

    • This article is a few years old and due to recent changed in licensing terms, last year Adobe revised their policy about CC subscribers being able to download and use CS6 instead… Please see:

      Adobe Limits Software Version Downloads, Incl. Some Direct Links

      In our opinion from using the Creative Cloud tools every day, both the performance and ease-of-use for virtually every Adobe product has improved since the Creative Suite days… Especially for Photoshop and Illustrator.

      Adobe has generally streamlined and improved the user interfaces and continues to increase deep GPU support within the CC products. We think the applications are smoother, faster, and better-looking. You also benefit from regular upgrades included in the price, keeping your tools fresh, relevant and useful.

      For example, the current featuresets for Premiere Pro and After Effects 2020 are now light years ahead of that they were back in the CS days.

      So on the whole, we would not want to go back to using the older releases if we had a choice.

  16. I suppose that the real reason of unavailability of old versions is some legal issue with copyrights, that they spoke of a year ago… Because After Effects got some new or updated tools but it became slower and less stable and all these ‘light years ahead ‘ improvements are just an excuse. (I am speaking only about AE, not Photoshop or Illustrator.)

  17. I have been using the “Adobe Creative Suite CS6” for years. Since it’s no longer available, I would like to purchase the latest which features Adobe Illustrator; Adobe Photoshop and InDesign. What item should I now ask for?

    • Hey Bernard, that would be the Creative Cloud “All Apps” plan; it’s the subscription plan which includes everything – all creative tools (those you mentioned plus many more) and all services…

      You can compare & choose Adobe’s different options here:

      Hope that helps answer your query, and just post back if you have any follow-up questions.

  18. Hallo,

    ich habe mir 2012 CS6 Design Standard gekauft. Bin bislang sehr zufrieden damit. Da ich einen neuen Computer habe benötige ich die Installationsdateien nun erneut. Gibt es noch irgendwo einen Download-Link. Alle Links, die ich auf dieser Webseite gefunden habe landen bei der Adobe Cloud-Version.

    Vielen Dank

  19. @faye toby
    All they want is to bill everyone monthly.
    Do you realize how much money they are making on these idiots paying monthly for software.
    How fracked up is the world now.

    • Actually, 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… Creative Cloud has steadily grown since then and the total number of paid subscribers is now over 30 million customers – far more users than Creative Suite ever had.

      So this ship has sailed – Adobe is not going back and they’re not changing the 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 flopped or flown. They may have lost some customers, but at the same time gained many more new ones because of the far-lower cost of entry than before.

  20. It is upsetting that Adobe has once again prioritized profits over their customers. Adobe Creative Cloud in 2021 is an absolute nightmare and costs users and companies so much money to maintain. For anyone wanting a sustainable solution: get Adobe CS6 and learn Python. Anything you want to add, you can, but Adobe is greedy and will not help you.

    • Why would you say Creative Cloud is “an absolute nightmare” in 2021? Are you just talking about cost?

      CS6 is nine years old now, end-of-life, no longer sold, completely unsupported, and won’t run at all on modern operating systems like Catalina or Big Sur… (thanks, Apple 🙄) It is not a recommended solution now or going forward.

    • let’s be real, people will go back to linux days and use softwares like GIMP, inkscape, and for video use Resolve by blackmagic; also if you stick in animation, use opentoonz, pencil 2D; for drawing use firealpaca, medibang, krita; these all are free, and yes you can use blender as well ! Let’s get a life!

  21. I have many nine-year-old applications that work just fine, age has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with cs6 not working; it’s because Adobe does not care about its cs6 customers. PERIOD

    • If CS6 still works for you, then that’s great. But it’s Apple that pulled support on macOS, not Adobe. The biggest issue is about the core operating system support for older runtimes and dated API’s in programs that were written in many years ago. And it’s worse for macOS than it is for Windows… Apple is notorious for doing this. Microsoft is a bit better at managing old interfaces and compatibility in later Windows o/s releases.

      But saying that Adobe should still have ongoing development and updates for CS6 today is like saying they should have continued to provide full support for Photoshop CS (2003) after Photoshop CS6 (2012) came out.

      They’re only going to ride one horse forward. Focusing development efforts on modern versions of Windows and Mac operating systems allows Adobe to concentrate on building the features and functionality most requested by customers, while ensuring peak performance that takes advantage of modern hardware. In order to benefit from the continued developments in hardware and software, inevitably older releases become dated and obsolete.

      But again, if CS6 still works for you and you don’t need or want anything better/newer, then that’s fine.

    • ProDesignTools, sorry, but what does this have to do with macos or Windows, or their comparison? Nobody asks for the new updates of CS6, or its further development. Just leave it at that. Let us use the old version of the applications. CS6 works fine with Win10 as well as Win7, much better than for example CC2020, without permanent crashes and freezes.

    • Actually, there have been people who have asked for new updates to CS6, as well as further development. Perhaps you’re not one of them, but that doesn’t speak for everybody.

      Nobody is not “letting you use” old versions of CS6… Not us and not Adobe. That’s up to you, if you can get them to install & run on your current hardware/software platform.

      However, it is true that Creative Suite will simply not work on newer releases of macOS like Catalina and Big Sur, because all support for 32-bit software was dropped by Apple. Perhaps you weren’t aware, but that’s what we were referring to.

      Your last statement is not accurate. We’ve had no problems at all with the latest releases (2021, 2020) of Creative Cloud. The vast majority of customers are the same. Occasionally some folks run into issues, as can happen with any version of software, including CS6.

    • I disagree with the ProDesignTools’ reply to you.
      “But saying that Adobe should still have ongoing development and updates for CS6 today is like saying they should have continued to provide full support for Photoshop CS (2003) after Photoshop CS6 (2012) came out.”

      That is not the same at all. CS6 was the last of a product line. And it is now unsupported by the company that created it. What’s the same is if after I buy a Ford car for $40,000, you tell me it will be the last Ford car I can buy that I can fully pay for and own. You do this because you are rolling out this new Ford model that will be rental only. I can keep it at home but it will only run if I make the monthly payments for life, or until you change your mind about the “subscription” requirements. And support for my older model keeps dwindling, suggesting that eventually I may have to buy a “subscription” for a car and pay for it monthly for life. :)

    • Andrea, if all new Ford cars were electric (which is the direction they’re going actually), would you expect them to retrofit all nine-year-old cars to also be electric?

      No, the older cars are going to stay in the technological era they were developed in, and it’s the owner’s responsibility to maintain that environment as it was.

      It’s the same for running CS6 and maintaining the older hardware and operating systems that it was built for. It still works in those conditions, the same as when it first came out.

      In any event, the fact that CS6 won’t run on newer releases of macOS is because of changes that Apple made, not Adobe.

  22. I legally own and use Lightroom CS6 and use it on a Windows 10 laptop when traveling occasionally and desktop for basic editing and filling. It’s working flawlessly and I love the minimalist and functional interface.

    I tried CC Lightroom just recently and struggled with the way it tried to commandeer my meager slow internet at inconvenient times, as well as the thought of yet another monthly payment to keep track of now that I’ve stopped working.

    How can I manage to configure it only to access the internet when I can spare the bandwidth?


    • Well, the Lightroom CC app is going to use more Internet than your current version because it is a cloud-based product…

      You may want to go with the latest release of Lightroom Classic instead. It works similarly to the old Lightroom 6 in both user interface and bandwidth usage. But, it has a lot of upgraded features and performance improvements compared to LR6.

      Lightroom Classic is also included in the $9.99/mo. Photography Plan, along with Lightroom CC and Photoshop, with ongoing updates included.

      It’s what we use here, so we’d say give that a shot.

  23. I have cs6 on an old macbook air. Can I copy these over to a new m1 chip macbook? I do not have the original install disks.

  24. I’m late to the party, but I’d like to add my two €0.02 to the fray. This will be a long post, so bare with me.

    I have used Photoshop off and on since 1990, from PS version 1.0.7 and AI version 3. They were always my favourite tools by far. Rock solid, stable and very high quality. I always used them at work, but then bought my own CS2 design bundle in 2007, which I updated every second release after that until CS5.5. However, by then, quality control problems had started creeping in to the software. I’m an IT system administrator for a largish design company and the problems we had with Adobe software on Macs around the time Apple moved from PPC to Intel processors were highly irritating, given how robust the software had been until then. During the transition period from Mac OS X 10.5 to 10.6, Illustrator would regularly corrupt files, so much so that Adobe even put out a small application to fix single files. InDesign was equally unstable and the constant upgrades regularly making older file versions needing updating was a giant pain. Even dear old Acrobat would invert greyscale images made in Rosetta on an intel Mac when viewed on a PPC Mac.

    Things improved after CS3 until Adobe decided that they wanted more moneys and introduced CC. In the years since the Adobe suite has evolved into a monster suite of applications that require an enormous amount of system resources to run. Numerous background services constantly running, no less than two node.js background web app servers, and apps that stumble along at a glacial pace on machines a few years old, and that with files that aren’t much larger and using the same features that were fine five years ago. But now we have automagic correction of photos and Artificial Intelligence, you say! But we also have Photoshop and InDesign crashing and running like dogs on 2017 iMacs.

    Adobe has manoeuvred itself into a corner with the constant need to add inane and mostly unneeded new features in order to justify the monthly or yearly dollars you pay them. Quality, while still generally very good, is less of a priority. They also know very well, that a good half of their customers would jump ship tomorrow if there were a decent alternative. Nobody likes the CC subscription model, notwithstanding that most companies do it these days, but very few deactivate the products when the subscription runs out like Adobe does.

    The alternatives: Affinity Designer, Photo and Publisher are decent, if flawed alternatives. I have licenses for all them (€50 per product, single payment). They sadly lack a number of features that we took for granted with Adobe software 20 years ago. Corel Draw and PhotoPaint are decent these days, but have a stigma of being trashy from years past. Pros usually don’t take them seriously. Open source software like Gimp, Inkscape and Krita have improved enormously in recent years, to the point that they can do almost all the basic tasks of Adobe counterparts as long as one doesn’t need the automagic AI stuff. They also run far better on older hardware than the Adobe stuff does.

    If one is up to the task, I think a combination of open source alternatives, paid cheaper apps like the Affinity suite and things like Davinci Resolve could manage just fine, but there are very few people who have the time or inclination to learn new apps if they aren’t braindead simple, like most Webapps are.

    Me, I use the ClassicMac emulator SheepShaver with MacOS9 on a modern fast Windows PC along with AI9, PS6 and a huge number of free classic apps available from Runs fine (should do so on Macs as well) and spares me the private aggravation that I would have with Adobe or messing around hacks to get CS5 running.

    • Well, we’ve used all of the CC versions and all of the CS versions of all Adobe tools, and we would never want to go back to the old CS versions. In our experience, the time-saving features, performance and ease-of-use for virtually every Adobe product have improved since the Creative Suite days… Especially for the heavy hitters like Photoshop, Lightroom, and Illustrator.

      The main video applications, Premiere Pro and After Effects, are scarcely even comparable from CS5/CS6 to CC 2022, because they’ve gotten so much better over the past decade.

      Further, one of the systems in our office here is an nine-year-old Vizio laptop, purchased in November 2012 when our website was just getting going…

      This old machine, obviously dated in hardware and constrained in memory and disk space, has run every single annual version of Photoshop flawlessly – up to and including the latest 2022 release. Surprisingly, it’s still extremely usable for editing in Photoshop 2022, even if it technically doesn’t meet Adobe’s newer system requirements.

      So can’t say we agree with you on much, as we have never had any issue with Photoshop and most other CC tools throughout the years, even on our oldest computers.

  25. I had used CS6 as a trial version (resetting it all the time) for years (never professionally, though). Even today Photoshop CS6 (especially Extended) beats the crap out of GIMP and a ton of other software out there.

    So I acquired a CS6 Master Collection for around 200€ and I am glad I did. I mainly use Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign (and don’t really care about any of the others, though I did use After Effects at some point). For what I do with it – e.g. making invitation cards, even creating flyers and a few pages-long catalogs – it works great.

    I am sure that CC would be better in some points, but I don’t want another subscription. If it had been a bit like JetBrains for IDEs, where you get to keep a certain release and use it offline after a while, I’d think it over, but not as matters stand now. The greed Adobe expresses baffles me. I did use InkScape at some point and it works great. For just painting, Krita is awesome.

    Since I am (luckily) not a professional designer or graphics artist, I don’t have to use anything Adobe. I did want to buy CS6, because it was great and year: I probably could buy a year of Photoshop CC or something for that – but then what? I use Photoshop once a week for some compositioning (UI mock ups, in conjunction with Illustrator) and CS6 gets the job done. I’ll wait until CC becomes worth it.

    • I don’t know about that. I’ve got a serial number, bill and a document stating, that the original user does not use this software anymore. It activated properly, too. The only thing I am unhappy about is, that the software is not multilingual as I’d have preferred it to be in English (I suppose I could make that happen though if I wanted).

      I’ve also read up on the other comments and it seems to me, that you are being paid by Adobe, because why else would you refuse to understand, that people simply want the older versions to work? Sure, some get it to work properly (I did, it runs fine on my Windows 10 machine – except for HiDPI), but some don’t and that’s what’s upsetting them.

      As I said in my original comment: if Adobe went with a similar model to JetBrain, e.g. letting the customer keep (and reuse) the last version of a piece of software they paid for after e.g. a year, people would take the subscription much better. I have my own private license for all applications of the JetBrain suite and I paid about 295€ total for the first year – which is perfectly fine for me since I am a professional software developer.

      I’d pay about the same amount for Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign if I got to keep and use the last version of the software I got (and be allowed to reinstall it if I decide to change my PC). However: in contrast to JetBrains, Adobe is greedy, which is why there’s no such option available.

    • Actually, we also want older versions to work, and agree that they should – provided the licenses are legal and valid, and the software is running on the operating system versions it was built for.

      In fact, we spend a LOT of time on this blog helping readers get their older programs back – whether it’s CS6, CS5.5, CS5, CS4, Lightroom 6, Lightroom 5, Acrobat XI, Acrobat X, and on.

      We still offer the direct download links to the installers for all of them!

      However, none of those older programs will install on macOS Catalina (v. 10.15) or newer, because they all had 32-bit software components and Apple removed all support for 32-bit applications.

      That’s on Apple, not Adobe. Apple is notorious for breaking backwards compatibility with older software.

      Microsoft is a bit better at managing old interfaces and compatibility in later Windows o/s releases.

      Regarding the purchasing model you describe, it’s been over a decade and Adobe has not offered anything like that, so we wouldn’t hold our breath. As to why they wouldn’t, it’s probably because the current model has been successful as it is.

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