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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’m currently using an annual subscription plan. It costs more in the mid-to-long term, but right now it’s the best option for me, waiting for the CS6 release. Anyway, very unfair and unreasonable move from Adobe. I would have understood the choice to move from a three to two versions upgrade policy, but only one version smells of greed.

  2. I think this has more to do with making their software subscription model look more attractive than any other person. I think we’re seeing the beginning of Adobe turn in to another Quark. They know they have pretty much encapsulated the creative market and now pricing behaviour is beginning to change.

  3. I am really disappointed with Adobe’s new pricing policies. Running a small design studio on a budget, I skipped CS5 and was eagerly awaiting to upgrade my Design Standard suite from CS4 to CS6. To be told now that I have just a month to upgrade to CS5 is unfair. Basically, If I want to remain current I need to dish out several hundred $ within the month, and then another several hundred $ when CS6 comes out shortly. This feels like bullying to me.

    Please, Adobe, don’t penalize your paying customers.

  4. Can you say greed has totally enveloped Adobe? I see cloud only for Adobe products in the next year with only monthly subscriptions and you damn well better have a strong Internet connection and a healthy bandwidth limit each month if you use the graphics apps much.

    Open source has never looked so good as it does right now. Time to jump off this sinking ship and find a viable solution. Hopefully one that actually has support would be fantastic!

  5. This boat won’t float, or, if it does, it will leave port without me. I’ll wager CS6 will be my last piece of Adobe software.

    It was fun while it lasted.

  6. @Kevin
    Adobe’s subscription service does not require a strong internet connection. The software is stored locally on your computer. You only need the internet to activate it every 30 days. And regarding Adobe being a “sinking ship” – I think not, they are the industry leader in graphics apps. You jump off the ship you better be a good swimmer with the other apps that can’t compare. I primarily use After Effects and Photoshop, and although I’m an Apple guy – even Motion (which is $50 from Apple) doesn’t come close to touching After Effects – my point is there is a reason you pay more. And regarding the pricing structure of Adobe – I don’t mind it, one project will pay for the Master Collection so it’s a good deal all around.

    Also – upgrading from older versions always costs more, and less from 1 version back.

  7. @Jason, I am happy for you and yes Adobe is in a class of their own but it is complacent users like you that accept this behavior that is cause for them to push this on us for the sake of profit. The thing is there is comparable solutions out there that will do everything I need to do and several of them are free. For an After Effects alternative try Cinefx. Unless specifically need professional level tools this one is quite capable of delivering the same quality results.

    The point is Jason, there are far more of us that love Adobe but don’t need every bell and whistle if push comes to shove. Small studios make up a much larger chunk of Adobe’s market than those with your opinion. If Adobe support did not suck and if Adobe gave a damn about major bugs that it refuses to fix until the next release I would be more likely to agree with you. However they don’t really care enough about their customers and believe it or not no-one has to know how to swim that well to find solutions that will do what they need done. So thanks for trying to throw me a ring buoy but it is not necessary!

    The simple fact that I will no longer be able to skip a version without getting pounded with a huge chunk of cash for a fix to a bug that they should have done for free and few feeble upgrades disgust me to no end!

    FYI: I am not talking about the subscription service, I am referring to the entire software living in the cloud where I would not have a full local copy on my system (only components of the full version). Google it and you will see what I am talking about. The future of software is trying to move everything to the cloud where they want you to access everything. In fact you won’t even need much of a hard drive if they get their way. Tell me how your connection will fare if you have to download an After Effects project just to work on it?

  8. I am also totally disgusted with this new policy. I, for one, don’t drive a mercedes or cadillac. I don’t like on a hilltop in a mansion. I don’t wear the most expensive designer clothes, or use the designer perfumes. But I am a photographer who uses Photoshop and Lightroom regularly. I skipped CS4 and jumped in with CS5 and I love it. (except for those pesky bugs) But if this is going to be how Adobe operates from now on, I may have to find something more financially appealing to my budget. Not all of us can fork out big (to me anyway) money every year to purchase the latest upgrade. I’ll probably have to be content staying with CS5 from now until it simply won’t run anymore. REALLY BAD IDEA ADOBE!!!

  9. Very bad idea, particularly during a very busy time for photographers. Its not the best time of year to install something new and get used to it. I guess I will have to do it during the week between Christmas and the deadline.

  10. I’m on CS4 and had once installed a Photoshop CS5 trial. The CS5 was much slower than the CS4 and made some problems – I was not at all happy with it and didn’t buy it.

    I think they fixed the problems but I have bought now my upgrade for the special price because I can simply not effort it to buy a full package later. Since I’m in production phase also, I will not install the new version. Maybe I skip it entirely and upgrade to CS6 when it comes out which is exactly what Adobe wants us to do.

    I totally hate it, but I see not many options. But after that I expect that any new Mac will run CS6 for years and probably from then on I will not buy new Adobe software but stick with CS6.

  11. I’ve been using PS for some time and am presently using CS5. Even though I can upgrade to CS6, I choose not to do so as I do not see any benefit to my workflow at this time. With Adobe’s new upgrade policy, I will be forced to pay full price for follow-on marginal upgrades. Adobe, you lost me as a future customer for Photoshop.

  12. they lost me too, after about 10 years of upgrading at least 5 times at the discount, I can’t do this every year…… I hope they are proud of themselves

  13. I love using Photoshop, I am always amazed at the depth of the programs. However I think the new policy stinks. Not every upgrade has something users want or need so people wait for the next before upgrading. Now people are being blackmailed into constantly upgrading. It is kind of in the same realm as the negative billing, a horrid practice.

    I like to upgrade when the lure of excellent new features is irresistible to me not because I am going to get charged extra if I do not do it now.

  14. Frequent innovation updates? LOL! This policy is in effect precisely because they know there are many freelancers, small studios and in-house design teams that only upgrade every 2-3 years. These yearly upgrades have little to do with improving customer satisfaction and everything to do with getting all the aforementioned to spend more money, more frequently. Adobe’s release cycles seem to be shrinking, which would be great if their prices weren’t so high with each new version offering quirky new features that few serious designers use while ignoring the volume of complaints and feature requests in its own user forums. Worse yet is that when an obvious, basic function is implemented or a major bug is finally fixed (if ever), expect it to be called a new feature in the latest CS, not a quick update in the existing version you already own.

    When Apple (already one of the most restrictive companies around with the biggest premiums on its products) doesn’t want to deal with Adobe, you know something is seriously wrong.

  15. this new policy that Adobe is trying to force on its users is just what causes many people to try to pirate programs on shady hacker sites with no registration number. I’m not going to do it, but this is one of the reasons it is done. It’s a fantastic program, but they are shafting many users who have been faithful to them and sent them LOTS of money over the years,,,,, really sucks imo

  16. I agree, I’ve never done it, but it does happen and this is one of the reasons,,,,, rather than change programs from something they are very familiar with and satisfied with, many would find ways to try to get it back… many people, me included are very strapped for money to spend on “luxuries”,,,,, I don’t use the program for profit, only for myself and things I do for friends and clubs,;;; and living expenses have to take priority now with the government as screwed up as it is, just can’t afford to be extravagant with “hobbies” ….. very sad. but no worries about me getting software illegally…..even if I feel that “some” developers are trying to gouge their followers…..

  17. ProDesign – There is no need to attempt it since it has already been done. I think it is a vicious circle where companies like Adobe want to gouge their customers and then the bad guys use that as an excuse to do the inexcusable. Then the Company that has put their hard work and efforts into the software and use that as an excuse to raise their prices or do some other unethical practice. Neither of them have a leg to stand on and it is all wrong no matter how you shake it!

  18. This new policy sucks and smacks of greed. And it reminds me so much of a complacent (and greedy) Quark in the 90’s when they believed they held an unassailable market position. Yes Adobe, we love your software (for the moment), but not your new policy.

    Yes, Adobe SEEMS to be in an unassailable position at this time, but now more than ever the software market is subject to change – and rapid change at that.

    When the next ‘big thing’ in software comes along to challenge Adobe, mark my words, people will desert them – like they did with Quark – like rats jumping off a sinking ship. Adobe are you listening? We have long memories. Don’t shaft us – your loyal paying customers. We deserve and… demand respect.

  19. Now maybe we can get some competition happening. What’s happening at Adobe now is what happened with Quark Express when they forgot to care about their customers. Now they have lost probably thousands or millions to Adobe. Adobe saw the weakness and gobbled them up seemingly easily with InDesign. Now we need another company to come along and begin to offer some credible competition for Creative Suite. It’s not good that they have such a monopoly but currently they’re the only game in town for super high quality graphic tools.

  20. This has been a true headache for us. So many variables, so many unknowns. We have 19 copies of CS4 Standard and 16 copies of Acrobat 9. We don’t need that many suites but we want everyone on Acrobat X. If we abandon some of the CS4 Suites, we would have to purchase new copies of Acrobat for those remaining users since you can’t downgrade CS to Acrobat. Surprise, surprise, it costs more to buy Acrobat than to upgrade CS4 at this point. Or say we decide to put those occasional users on month-to-month subscription. Which versions of Acrobat will it be compatible with? Can I install a monthly subscription on several machines and activate/deactivate them as needed for that month? Like I said, more questions than answers at this point.

  21. But the price for monthly subscription is significantly higher than that for annual subscription paid monthly. I would not be surprised if you would pay the same amount or even more for the single months you really need it than paying for annual subscriptions from the start.

    What angers me most at the moment is the total lack of communication. There are lots of complaints about the new pricing policy, but you can’t get one single relevant word from Adobe. It’s as we would all be stupid cattle that do not deserve an answer to our open questions. But there is always time for marketing bla bla.

    • Sorry for your frustration Silvia. We hope Adobe will be saying more about it soon. In the meantime, we can try to answer whatever questions you may have.

      On your point about subscriptions, you’re absolutely right.

      And generally speaking if you’re a long-term user of the products, right now subscriptions are a pretty expensive way to go, even if annually.

  22. I usually upgrade every second major release. I went from CS to CS3 Master Collection, and would’ve upgraded to CS5 when it released, but due to some other financial considerations at the time (and the rotten economy), I decided to hold off upgrading until CS6, counting on Adobe’s 3 versions back policy.

    Had they announced this back then, when CS5 came out, this might not have been quite as infuriating. But to be told now, probably just a handful of months before CS6 comes out, that I need to pay around $1100 (assuming I bought before the 20% discount expires, which I won’t) for a product which is about to be replaced, just so I can be eligible to upgrade to the software I’d been so looking-forward to buying? Adobe is simply using this to force some extra copies of CS5.5 off the shelves before they usher in CS6. It’s exploitation, pure and simple.

    Sorry, Adobe, but I’m not playing. Coercive upgrade policies rub me the wrong way, and I’ll have no part of it. If the policy doesn’t change, they’ve lost a customer. And I’m sure I’m not the only one.


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