With Adobe Creative Suite, if you’re just looking to set up and run CS6 on either a Windows PC or a Mac OS system, the instructions for that are easy. And in fact, as we discussed earlier, it’s relatively straightforward to install and activate the software on up to two machines of the same operating system type – in other words, either two Mac computers, or two Windows PC’s.
But in most cases, with the platform selection for Creative Suite and Acrobat products, it’s “either-or.” Either Apple or Microsoft. Either Mac or Windows. That’s the story for the retail and education versions of the software. And, if you want to change or swap platforms entirely, and move your tools from one o/s to the other, you can do that with an Adobe CS “crossgrade.”
However, there is another possibility if you want or need to have the applications available on both operating systems (Windows plus Mac OS) at the same time – and that is to get an Adobe volume license. Despite the name, anybody can buy them (not just businesses and even for just one copy), though they do offer discounts for larger purchases… and there are some additional advantages too. They’re easy to get – no signature contracts are necessary and you can pay online with a credit card, and download right away.
[UPDATE (February 2013) – Please see this comment below for an important change on how to buy multi-platform Adobe software… The company is no longer offering the older option described here, so now customers who would like to run their apps on multiple operating systems are using this solution instead.]
These volume products are offered “multiplatform” and are supplied with two license keys – one for each operating system – allowing you to install the software on both platforms… Just select “Multiple Platforms” on the simple online order page, it’s right there. You can even upgrade to these licenses from most older versions, including standard retail and education editions – with the same discounted upgrade pricing for all. Here is the relevant section from Adobe’s volume licensing policies page:
Adobe Volume Licensing (AVL) customers receive product serial numbers for both Windows and Mac OS, as long as the product is available for both and the two platforms are the same version.
Program members can choose to use either platform, as long as the total number of licenses being used does not exceed the number purchased.
As we’ve covered previously, each license purchased from Adobe allows the user to install and activate the product on up to two computer systems, so long as they are not both used or run at the same time. These are the same terms as for all customers written in the Creative Suite licensing agreement.
As more Macs make their way into the world, and as more folks acquire and own or use both types of computers on their networks, the need for multi-platform usage will grow. Recently, Adobe has begun to offer some shrinkwrap retail software for universal use – most notably Photoshop Elements and Lightroom in their latest releases. Subscribers to the Creative Cloud can also install the tools on both a Mac and a PC. But, if this is what you need to do now with your permanent software licenses, then you may want to check this out…
If you happened to make a purchase recently and didn’t get what you needed, you may also know about Adobe’s 30-day Return & Exchange Policy.
[UPDATE (September 2012) – Good news: there is now also the availability of the same volume licensing solution for education purchases on both Windows and Mac, with up to 80% off the regular prices for students, teachers, and schools.]
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