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News: Adobe to Offer CS6 Upgrade Discount for CS5 Versions Only

[UPDATE (January 11th, 2012) – Adobe has listened to customers and just reversed this change! CS3, CS4, & CS5 are all good for upgrade to CS6 now.]

HUGE breaking news out from Adobe, regarding substantial changes in upgrade pricing and policies for their very popular Creative Suite software

Save 20% extra on your upgrade to Adobe CS5.5

For several years, the company has offered a “three-versions-back” upgrade policy – meaning anyone who owned a prior CS product up to three major versions back would be eligible for discounted upgrade pricing when moving up to the latest release.

Meaning, if you’ve got CS2, CS3, or CS4 – either a full suite or an individual point product like Photoshop – you can receive price reductions of up to 80% when upgrading to CS5.5.

Adobe now says that will be ending – the policy is going to shift dramatically, worldwide.

Starting in 2012 when CS6 comes out, this will be changing to a “one-version-back” plan – meaning to receive a price break when upgrading to CS6, you need to already be on some flavor of Creative Suite 5 – either CS5 or CS5.5.

So, what does this mean for anybody still running CS2, CS3, or CS4 at that time?  Basically, if you want to upgrade later or have been waiting for CS6 to do so, it would cost you full price… To receive a discount from older versions, you’d need to upgrade to CS5 before CS6 ships.

Here it is straight from Adobe’s “Conversations” Blog:

With regards to upgrades, we are changing our policy for perpetual [permanent] license customers.

In order to qualify for upgrade pricing when CS6 releases, customers will need to be on the latest version of our software (either CS5 or CS5.5 editions).

In other words, soon Adobe will only be offering the traditional upgrade savings for one major version behind…  This will apply for both suites as well as the standalone applications.

There is a saving grace however – the company wants to help folks using these older versions to get current now with an extra 20% off the currently-discounted upgrade price:

If our customers are not yet on those versions, we’re offering a 20% discount through December 31, 2011 the extended date of March 15, 2012, which will qualify them for upgrade pricing when we release CS6.  [see banner below]

Why is Adobe doing this?  It’s part of extending their CS subscription offerings to encompass the recently-announced Creative Cloud initiative, which is also a subscription-based program.

Basically, they want to make more frequent innovation updates to the software to reflect our increasingly-dynamic environment with the web, smartphones, tablets, and mobile applications – and are adjusting the model to try to encourage customers towards cloud membership and keep them as current as possible with the products.

However, you can stick with traditionally-owned software if you desire, just like now:

For customers who prefer to remain on the current licensing model, we will continue to offer our individual point products and Adobe Creative Suite editions as perpetual licenses.

So if you’re one of them – and are happy and comfortable with your current permanent product instead of renting – then you might want to take a closer look at this fleeting window of upgrade opportunity, particularly with the extra 20% off worldwide – while it lasts.

Please spread the word and share this news with anyone who you think should know!

Last chance to upgrade from CS2, CS3, CS4 to CS5!

[UPDATE (Dec. 1st) – Share your thoughts and take our new poll on Adobe’s model change, or see the impact on Acrobat, Lightroom, and Elements.]

[UPDATE (Jan. 11th, 2012) – After feedback, Adobe has now deferred this policy change.]

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98 thoughts on “News: Adobe to Offer CS6 Upgrade Discount for CS5 Versions Only”

  1. I bet the additional revenue generated by move this will be more than offset by the customers Adobe drives away, and the people who turn to piracy to save a few bucks.

    Bad move, Adobe.

  2. Considering the lousy service and tech help I have gotten for problems with Photoshop and especially Lightroom, this is not surprising. Charge more, give worse service and expect people to buy into it. So what else is new.

  3. My income is very limited on Social Security, so I have only been upgrading every two upgrades. This is a big blow to me as just a personal user. I do have Photoshop CS5 Extended now, by saving for it…

    I always get disgusted with the HUGE break Adobe says they give to students and teachers; that sucks because the ones I know who get this NEVER use it for studies, only themselves, The price should be the same for everyone! You could keep me as a happy customer if I knew that I was paying the same as everyone else, students are some of the biggest offenders of the use of the product. JMO and sadly this will probably be my last version if I have to pay full price now… either that or not eat for a few months !

  4. Ahhhh. I know many people that buy this product. Many of them would definitely move to another option. Oh well, a loss to Adobe.

  5. @ProDesignTools
    <<>> and there are individuals who have supported Adobe with full payment for years who CAN’T afford more. I don’t see that students and teachers are any better than anyone else, I can name many who aren’t… We aren’t talking about other companies, we are talking about Adobe… and I don’t want to “join them”… I already said it isn’t right so why would I want to do that ??? Adobe is NOT very loyal to individuals who have footed most of the bill IMO.

  6. It appears the Adobe is not offering the 20% discount for standalone to suite upgrades.

    For example, Photoshop CS4 to CS5.5 Production Premium Suite. That upgrade has been $1099 USD. It is not available for the 20% discount.

    • Thank you for bringing that to our attention Dave – that is very strange… The discount should definitely be available for that upgrade.

      The terms for the 20%-off offer are very clear on that:

      “Customers with valid licenses to use one of the following … are eligible to upgrade to any current suite edition with this offer:
      Adobe Photoshop® CS4, CS3, or CS2
      Adobe Dreamweaver CS4, CS3, or CS2
      Adobe Illustrator® CS4, CS3, or CS2

      So, you should certainly be able to receive the savings. We have just been in touch with Adobe on this issue and it appears to be a bug, something broken on their site as to why it isn’t reflected there yet.

      Fortunately, there is a workaround on this. You can just use Adobe’s online “Business Store” to get the upgrade instead – the products and prices are the same, and you don’t need to be a business at all. And the software will run fine on your same two computers as usual.

      So, if you go there to that link above, make sure your geography is correct, select your upgrade configuration, and you should see the 20% discount reflected – and can then complete your purchase, using either instant download or via disc in the mail.

  7. This is a really bad move, and a betrayal to people who’ve been using Adobe’s products for years and upgrading every couple of versions. If like me you use Photoshop and Illustrator, this is expensive enough, but to upgrade both every version is more than I can reasonably afford. Big thumbs down. I’m really disappointed.

  8. So lately there has been huge news from Adobe. First Flash Player on mobile discontinues (bad decision), then the details of Creative Cloud come out – and this.

    Coupled with some of the bold moves Adobe made lately (like acquiring Typekit, Nitobi and Auditude – while Adobe acquisitions are normal, these three were bought within a month), I’m actually a tad worried about if it can handle all these changes. I’m sure semi-frequent upgraders will see this negatively, and Adobe’s plan could backfire.

  9. I upgrade every other version so my chances to upgrade to CS6 is now NIL since I’m still using CS4. Well, I’m going back to Paintshop Pro!

  10. Does any of this negative feedback get back to Adobe? Can they see that they may be shooting themselves in the foot with this decision????

    • As longtime partners of Adobe, we have regular conference calls with them and always share what we see out there.

      We’ll also probably be writing another article about the issue, reflecting customer response.

  11. Adobe loyalty to the little guys is nil. It’s the little guys that have got Adobe there with the milions of licences that have been bought. Little thought to those small business struggling to keep up with the updates…

  12. Adobe did a masterful job of marketing Photoshop… Up to and including Version 7, people could share the disc… After everyone–amateur through professional–was hooked on the program… The one-user license came into play… FYI… Unless you do commercial work 24/7, one can–if one is talented enough–do everything necessary on CS3… In the end folks, it is all about money… Just like everything else…

  13. I have no choice but to buy the upgrade now since I’m a one-person design studio and have to work with Adobe programs. But I really hate Adobe for their monopolist decisions. First they killed Freehand and now they are on a good way to kill my small business. Unfortunately Corel stopped developing for the Mac, but probably they should give it a new try, they will have a lot of new customers – and they would not even have to advertise. It seems the Adobe marketing is living on an entirely different planet and have no idea how hard the rest of us on planet earth struggle to earn a few bucks.

  14. This might not be as bad as it sounds. If part of this change is a drop in the upgrade price then we may all be much happier. That is what Apple have done with OSX. I currently upgrade every other version but would happily upgrade every time if the price was appealing enough. Likewise with the cloud/subscription system: if it were priced reasonably it could be more appealing than one-off licenses – but not if it is going to cost us more. I would love to be able to only pay for what I needed rather than buying a full suite with items I don’t need.

  15. What would you switch to anyways?? Do you really need to upgrade?? It’s better they do this now rather than later. I don’t see the issue. Enlist in your local CC for a course and buy as a student.

  16. I’ve got Design Premium CS5.5. Is it possible to upgrade it to the Master Collection, or will I have to wait until CS6 to purchase an upgrade, considering this isn’t really a version upgrade?

  17. People who are not in Education should realize that there are no Education discounts for upgrades. That is, if you want Design Premium, you pay $450 (a good price, but not exactly inexpensive). If Adobe then releases a new version a month or two later, then you pay another $450 to get that version. Historically, the Education price has been in the ballpark of the upgrade price, so this decision shouldn’t substantially change the game for Education customers.

    The only change will be for those leaving Education (e.g., graduation, employment change), who have traditionally been allowed to upgrade to the non-Education version; they will be caught in this snare. I’ll be advising students to grab a copy as late as possible before they graduate for this reason.

  18. If you read the license for the education edition, you will find that it prohibits the use of that edition for commercial use. Here, again, those of us with small businesses are “legally” obligated to purchase the full version.

    From a marketing perspective, this move will ultimately hurt Adobe… as well as the rest of us!

  19. If it is allowed to use educational editions for commercial purpose I feel even more fooled having a small business and paying for the full version. Maybe this attracts new customers, but what should those think or do who buy the expensive full versions for years now?

  20. Thank you for the clarification. But I knew that one must be eligible to obtain the educational software. It seems to me Adobe’s rule that you may not use such versions for commercial practice was kind of a figleaf for separating the different versions and justifying the big difference in prices. Not that too many people who want to use educational versions for commercial work would have cared, but that even Adobe seems to say that such use is OK means that a lot more people will feel OK providing services at prices a person buying the software at full price can hardly beat.

    That was my thought because I watch this discussion about Adobe’s new policy in several channels. In some of those channels people complaining about the high prices they are not able or willing to pay for the software are getting the answer “You pay the full price stupid? Become a student at your local College and buy the educational software.”

    I have no idea how easy this is in real life, but that is something I have seen quite often now in several discussions.


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