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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. Not EVERYONE is making a profit off the use of CSX products. Artists notoriously have little cash. This seems like a great way to stifle creativity. Oo, I know, rename it to dull boring suite X. DBS6… I like it!

  2. Every year Adobe will come out with a version of CS and every year there will be a bunch of people eating it up like they were so handicapped with the version they had in the first place. Adobe is excellent at making things look great in their presentations and some things are an improvement but you have to be smart and think is it really worth it for this tiny change here and there. Personally until I use a demo that blows my mind, I won’t be upgrading ever again now.

  3. Sounds like a dangerous idea to me.

    Reminds me of when Quark thought they could treat their customers like crap.

  4. Definitely! I am disabled and can’t do much with my hands on art anymore so I am trying to upgrade my digital art skill, hoping to update myself and try and make some money hopefully. After saving forever I purchased CS5 in the past month, all I could afford, got a good price, now will this enable me to upgrade to 6?? I’m confused with the timing or would I have to buy CS5.5 also then upgrade? Help. Donna


    • Hello again Donna. thanks for your questions. A couple things. First off, Adobe is not going to make the cloud subscriptions mandatory, not at all… Here’s the latest update on this story.

      Second, regarding your recent purchase of CS5. In late March, Adobe announced free upgrades to CS6 for anyone who buys the current version now. “Current version” means Photoshop CS5, Illustrator CS5, or any CS5.5 suite or other individual product.

      So, whether you can take advantage of that offer depends on when exactly you made your purchase and what you bought. For more information, see this comment and response on a related post about the grace period.

      Hope this helps!

  5. Hi all, I am now victim to the upgrade policy as I upgraded before December deadline from CS3 to CS5 they now want another £190 to upgrade me to CS6. I challenged them on this and Adobe offered me a FREE copy of Lightroom ?? As all the studio & archive is on Aperture, it’s of no use to me so the saga goes on. Will try and keep you posted as the case has been, as they say, escalated.


  6. I bought CS5.5 Master Collection (paid a pretty penny), and now find out that being just before the March 26th date – I am SCREWED out of the free upgrade to CS6


    That’s good money down the toilet! Your sales staff promised the upgrade…however they forgot to tell people to hold off another few days! Nice one!

    • Hi Stephen, sorry to hear you’re unhappy with the software you purchased. The company does provide a 30-day Return Policy, but it sounds like you are now beyond that window for refunds.

      One thing we’ve learned after being an Adobe Partner for 5+ years is that it’s never possible to manage dates on special offers so that everyone is perfectly happy… No matter what period the company chooses, by definition there will always be someone just before or just after. So pleasing everyone all the time is unfortunately not possible – but if you’d like to share your feedback or experience with Adobe directly, here’s their Customer Contact page.

      Anyway, you did receive the software you ordered and paid for, so hope it does good things for you! Going forward feel free to stay tuned here (see the “Subscribe” box at the upper right), as we always try to give early word and estimates on upcoming major releases, and have been posting on CS6 timeframes since last summer.

  7. It is brilliant that Adobe reversed their changes concerning the upgrade policy, but… the majority of users probably quickly bought a discounted CS5.5 in late 2011 when Adobe announced that CS6 will require CS5 once it would be released.

    Now, once the policy is reversed, the upgrade from CS5.5 to CS6 (in addition) is substantially more $ than the direct upgrade from e.g. CS3 to CS6…

    This is not even about a Post-Announce/Grace-Period, but about regular updates.

    I myself will not buy any more Adobe products as long as I feel I can not trust a word Adobe says/as long as this issue is not resolved sufficiently…

    • Greetings Steff, thank you for your thoughts. Adobe realizes the situation they created and to make it up they offered concessions to those customers who felt compelled to upgrade to Creative Suite 5 in late 2011 and early 2012 as a result of the policy shuffle… For more information and details, see some of the comments and resolutions here.

  8. I got a Lightroom 3 as a compensation, one week before LR4 came out. So I had to pay the upgrade price plus these days I realized I pay 500 Euros upgrading to CS6 that I could have saved if I would not have bought the upgrade to CS5 because I thought I have to. I still work with CS4 90% of the time.

  9. Thank you both for the reply. Tried to open a case with Adobe as well as to ‘escalate’ the problem since the first attempts resulted in a stereotypical ‘not our problem’ textbook-beaviour unfortunately, far from realizing/admitting any situation that may have been caused.

    Sure, LR would be a nice gesture (at least), but then again it would only be have of what the (early and avoidable) update eats up in the first place… anyway – it would be a sign of customer support after all…

    • Good luck with it Steff, and please let us know if Adobe presents any options to you and how it turns out…

      As mentioned elsewhere, the fastest and most direct way to get in touch with an Adobe rep is either via their Live Online Chat facility, or by using Twitter if you begin the text of your tweet with @Adobe_Care.

  10. I got in touch via live chat which turned out to be a pretty disappointing experience… I asked to escalate the issue to a higher level – which is what has been done (at least I was told). No response so far. Got in touch @Adobe_Care now as well. Will see what happens…

  11. It seems after escalating the issue to a proper level, Adobe starting taking care and handling it the responsible way! Will confirm the solution as soon as I know more.

  12. Though it was a pain and a customer’s nightmare (one cannot deny) to finally get to a certain point of recognition, my faith is now completely restored! AdobeCare did take care!

  13. I am currently running Photoshop CS5 Extended on a Win 7 system. I have decided to change to an iMac, rather than buy a full CS6 does the upgrade policy enable me to upgrade from Windows CS5 to Mac CS6?

  14. Really like this software … over 3 months with this version without any problems …

    Adobe Photoshop CS5 is the TOP.

  15. How can I upgrade to CS6 from version CS2, I’m way behind on upgrades… Do I have to buy the whole complete package of CS6?

  16. If this is how Adobe treats their customers then if people hold out on upgrading from ineligible versions of Creative Suite for a number of years (if they have a version that is adequate to their needs), then it will really hit the Adobe bank balance. See how they like that sort of treatment themselves.

  17. The problem with the cloud as I see it is the fact, that I do not want to get new versions automatically. I did install a new version of Photoshop in the past for trying it out, and found it was slower than my old version, more unstable and had some bugs. I had to remove it and work with my old version. I do not want to get into trouble doing my work by being forced to use “banana software” (ripe after it has been shipped due to customer complaints).


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