Even though Creative Suite 5 has been out for over a year, and CS 5.5 since the spring, some components of Creative Suite 4 remain surprisingly popular… In particular, the two applications After Effects CS4 and Premiere Pro CS4, which were released in the fall of 2008, are still sought by many. At first this might seem odd, but there’s good reason… Why does this duo of earlier tools remain in demand?
It’s no doubt owing to the 64-bit-only requirement for those two products (and only those two products) in Creative Suite 5… Adobe explains the reason for this is because developing in native 64-bit gives the best optimized performance benefits with the demanding technical requirements of working with high definition video. But these won’t run on many older computers.
Note this is more of a Windows factor and does not affect the majority of Mac systems using Intel processors… But with no 32-bit Windows versions of After Effects CS5.5 or Premiere Pro CS5.5 offered, perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising the CS4 releases continue to be needed. After all, statistics show that 43% of the broad Internet community still runs on Windows XP – making it still the most widely-used Microsoft Windows platform – but which isn’t supported for those CS5 apps.
The question then becomes, what to do about it? If you’re still on 32-bit or XP, but need one of these products after the free trial has run out, would your best choice be to buy the previous generation version of CS4? Doubtless your next computer will be 64-bit – so wouldn’t it be better to invest and get both – CS4 (for current use) and CS5.5 (for future growth) – two for the price of one? Especially since these two latest releases have been getting stellar reviews from many sources…
Purchase CS4 and CS5.5 Together, Same Price
Adobe has never sold the previous version of any software once a new major version is out, but fortunately in this case they have made arrangements. Today if you purchase a new suite edition, either CS5.5 Production Premium or CS5.5 Master Collection, you will receive both the CS5.5 and the CS4 releases for these particular applications – two versions to cover all possible installation scenarios, at no additional charge. The solution comes in the form of an extra 32-bit Support Package that contains the two CS4 releases.
So with this bonus, Production Premium becomes a pretty sweet deal as it includes seven major CS5 products but costs less than two of them – plus now you also get two CS4 apps on top. Add it all up and you’re getting a total value of $6,641 in the suite for the price $1,699, or almost 75% off individual prices with the collective package.
[UPDATE (Jan. 2012) – This could become an even better deal now with Adobe’s new discount: save an extra 20%-off on CS5.5 upgrades.]
If you qualify for it, the Student and Teacher Edition is an even bigger savings at $449, which is an incredible 93% off… And naturally you can try it out first for free if you like (separately from those CS4 links), completing the trial picture.
Or, One Other Option – For Buying a Standalone CS4 Product
There is one other way to do it, if you prefer not to buy a suite – but instead want to buy just After Effects CS4 or Premiere Pro CS4 by itself… or, if you want to purchase any other CS4 product or suite.
You can get an Adobe “business” license (a.k.a. volume license) – even if you are not a business or not buying in volume… With this option, you can purchase CS5.5 online but request a previous version instead. In other words, you order the current version but receive and use a prior version – see the Backward Licensing Policy. Thus (for example) you could buy After Effects CS5.5 via this method, but actually get and run After Effects CS5 or CS4 (genuine and safe) in its place. Or pick any other product and do the same thing.
And with this approach too, you can switch back up to CS5.5 later if you want, at no extra charge… So in all cases, you’re effectively buying CS4 and getting CS5.5 free as a bonus, for future use.
[UPDATE – Learn Adobe After Effects at your own pace with a free 3-hour training course.]