[UPDATE (May 7th) – Creative Suite 6 is now shipping!]
This morning Adobe opened an official “grace period” for free upgrades to Creative Suite 6 for anyone who purchases the current Creative Suite software version today (full or upgrade), and for the next six weeks. This is a “first” for the company – formalizing and announcing a complimentary upgrade offer in advance – and means that if you buy CS5.5 or CS5 now (depending on the application), you will receive a free upgrade to CS6 when it comes out, which can save you significant money…
This news follows on the heels of the release of the free public Photoshop CS6 beta version last week (download here) – and opens the door for owners of older versions of Creative Suite such as CS4, CS3, and even CS2 with a clear upgrade path to CS6 at today’s current prices. Adobe puts this plainly in the Offer FAQ:
“If you upgrade to or purchase CS5.5 today, you’ll be paying the current price, plus you’ll get CS6 at no additional cost. If you wait until CS6 ships, you’ll pay the price to upgrade to CS6, which may be higher.”
This Upgrade Assurance promotion is valid largely worldwide* for all commercial, education, government, and volume customers, and is good for individual applications as well as suites. It includes most current CS products (but not all – Acrobat, Flash Catalyst, Flash Builder, Contribute, and OnLocation individual products are excluded – although suites containing them are covered). The free upgrades are definitely included for all new orders of Photoshop CS5 and Illustrator CS5, and CS5.5 versions for all the rest.
The “grandfather” offer begins today and expires on May 6th, which could give somewhat of a confirmation on the expected CS6 shipping date… After all, it wouldn’t make much sense to stop the offer and flow of orders before the new version became available. Then, within ten days of the Creative Suite 6 release†, customers will receive an email with instructions and a unique coupon code to receive the one-time free upgrade (download version) to the equivalent CS6 product. Full CS6 product support and free updates/fixes are included, as with all purchases.
So the advantages here are threefold: (1) you get current software available for immediate download, (2) you will receive a more mature release if you prefer and can move up later at your leisure, and (3) you save money by winning a lower upgrade cost (e.g., from CS2, CS3, CS4, or CS5.0), because you’re buying fewer steps to go up. For example, you’ll save almost 50%(!) by moving from CS5.0 Design Premium to CS5.5 today (with a gratis upgrade later), than to go from CS5 to CS6 after this offer expires… If you wait it will cost you more!
And with Adobe’s Three Versions Back Upgrade Policy, present owners of CS2 will not even be eligible to upgrade to CS6, except temporarily here via this offer while it lasts… So really this is the last chance to upgrade for anybody still running CS2 tools.
With this new Creative Suite Upgrade Assurance Program, you no longer need to worry about purchasing the latest version as you’ll receive a complimentary upgrade to CS6 upon release. You get tomorrow’s software at today’s prices, with the best of both worlds: buy or upgrade to CS5 to use now, and then later get a free update to CS6 when you—and it—are ready. To get Creative Suite 5, just look for “Can’t wait? Order the previous version now” when you order.
There are some specific terms for eligibility – so you might want to double-check the policy to make sure you’ll qualify…
If you want to try the software out for free first, no problem – you can download the Creative Suite 5 trial and then convert it to permanent by May 6th.
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* Offer valid in the following stores: Europe – Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the UK. North America – U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Elsewhere – Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
† Adobe customers will receive instructions by email no later than May 25, 2012, which will be sent to the email address you used for your qualifying order. The email will contain a unique coupon code that you’ll need to claim your complimentary upgrade by August 5, 2012.