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New Adobe Upgrade Policy for CS6: What Does It Mean for You?

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Adobe’s New Upgrade Policy for CS6: What It Means for You [Poll]


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83 thoughts on “New Adobe Upgrade Policy for CS6: What Does It Mean for You?”

  1. Adobe’s products are of superb quality, and anyone expects to pay for quality. For those of us who are on low incomes (in my case living on a pension) it has been possible to maintain contact with this high quality software by upgrading only every second release. In my case, there is an additional expense because one of my computers is PC-based, and one Apple. I therefore have to maintain two legitimate copies of software, even though the package comes with two licences. For me, in a vulnerable sector of society, the price has effectively doubled. I do not have to have this software, so I am likely to continue to use increasingly antiquated versions until I die.

    I have never used pirated software, even in the early days when it was easy to obtain bootleg copies and licensing was rudimentary, because I believe that this is dishonest. However, it would not be difficult for me to obtain cheap or free copies of CS software. It is especially galling to see cheaper legitimate versions available in other parts of the world. At a few hundred pounds every five years or so these products are only just affordable, at this amount every two years they are not.

    I understand that development costs are very high for Adobe as for anyone in software development. But it seems that this technique for raising revenue will have only the effect of making this excellent software unavailable to all but corporate users, open source software will develop further, and use of Adobe products by amateurs such as myself will no longer be possible.

    These changes are bad for consumers, but above all they are bad for Adobe as well. What could be the justification?

  2. I’m not cheering for this change, but I understand that business is business.
    The only thing that really pisses me off is the way they introduced this change.

    For me it would make a big difference if they would have put it this way:
    – We are changing our upgrade policy
    – CS6 is the last update that still lets you take advantage of the the old policy, so if you want to be on the train, update your software.

    This way I wouldn’t be half as mad at this. I’m now at CS4, I would be glad to upgrade to CS6 and then CS7 etc. I wouldn’t really mind. But I skipped CS5 cuz I thought I will still have a change to upgrade to CS6, if I would have known, I would have upgraded to CS5 when it was released.

    – Now Adobe is forcing me basically to ditch my CS4 and maybe buy a new license for some future version… maybe CS7 or CS8.
    I would guess that this way they end up losing money. Or maybe I’m alone in this.

  3. I spend an enormous amount of time “lecturing” responsibility in purchasing software if you are professional status. This is a huge kick in the gut to independent boutiques trying hard to pay their employees a wage that is deserving of their hard work, and at the same time trying to offer competitive deals to keep work from outsourcing.

    Why am I being punished for maintaining an ethical and moral attitude? I hear all day long about places and people hacking the suites because they can’t afford them at the current prices. The main reason I have been able to keep up is because I skip a generation.

    What happens when half of the clients I work for and build toolkits for aren’t using the “latest greatest packages”? You can’t tell me they are going to upgrade too. I know for a fact after dealing with houses all over, that there is still a range from CS2-CS5 in use. I also know that they will not rent, and when I asked them many laughed and stated that they are “considering all of their options.”

    If you don’t want to go back 3 versions, I personally could accept that. What about 2 versions? I can’t imagine that the “every other suite” crowd is confined solely to those I know in the industry. I beg you to reconsider the impact and potential damage that your decisions may impact, because it doesn’t really seem like you are looking out for those who have fought for you for the last decade or more.

    Please allow small businesses and freelancers the opportunity to stay competitive, and keep work out of the “sweat shops.”

    I am sincerely hoping that you will take another look at this and find another offering so we can continue to work and grow as a legitimate artist community!

    Thank you!

  4. @Rinne

    I am 100% with you on this Rinne. Whatever the merits Adobe thinks the new “Creative Cloud” may bring, it is all about the way they are doing this.

    I commend the company for the recent increase in openness of when future Creative Suite releases will be coming out, that information has helped… however some of us have naturally incorporated that guidance into our plans for upgrading and version adoption.

    Now, in a rush, late in the cycle, Adobe is switching up the rules. Which basically invalidates what my company has had planned for years since we purchased CS4. Gradualism and moderation seem to have flown out the window, for the sake of something else.

    It used to be that you could upgrade any older version of Photoshop et al. Then, just the last 3 versions. Now, unceremoniously, only 1 version back.

    Not even a transition period with 2, which would make more sense and be better for everyone.

    I don’t want your Cloud. I have read all about it, I know exactly what it is – but I’m not interested for many reasons, at any price. I’ll stick with my own permanent software and data resident right here on my own systems, thank you. I’ll pass on having a permanent monthly draw from my bank account.

    So regrettably, here, this looks like Adobe’s “Netflix Moment.” This is all happening the wrong way for the wrong reasons.

    Trying to force your customers to a new model for your own sake never works, they have to want to go on their own.

  5. This policy will make the CS suite even more out of reach for non-professional users or “light” professional users. I have seen other products where there is a discount for the previous version but smaller discounts for 2 or further back discounts. That would be at least understandable. It will be interesting to see how sales go with this new policy. I personally see it as a way to wring out every last dollar out of the consumer. I wonder if people will start moving away from Adobe products and using competitor’s products like Corel products.

  6. Hi All
    The cloud is only OK/viable if you have the bandwidth, out here in the sticks it’s just not an option.

    (not really that far out but slow speed )

  7. Don’t they realise we are heading into a global recession, where taxes and cost of living will increase so spending will decrease. This means if they really want more dollars simply reduce the price and sell more copies, otherwise everyone will either go with gimp and other not-adobe products or download pirate in preference to paying more than its worth, which we are already btw!

  8. About the ‘cloud’ offer…zero interest, zip, nada, rien,…subscription, monthly, no thanks. As a one person studio I have no use for this service. I use two of the programs Adobe offers in its suite, Photoshop and Indesign, with an occasional trip into Illustrator. The offer is way too expensive to make any kind of sense for me.

    I don’t like the surprise of the ‘buy it now or lose out on upgrades’ decision. I mean I get it. Adobe wants a clear view, year to year, of how much to depend on for income via upgrades. Maybe it’s too sketchy now, and they run into cash problems if one upgrade doesn’t appeal to a large number of the user base. And a monthly income via subscriptions also gives them a base of cash that they know about in advance. I get that.

    It would have been friendlier to tell us that after CS6 everyone has to be up to date for future upgrades. It gives us time to plan our finances. Now, if I don’t upgrade Indesign and Illustrator, both of mine are CS3, by 31 December, I can no longer buy an upgrade. So, come up with the cash in six weeks or eat the cost to buy new programs, if needed, down the road. Not nice Adobe. As a customer for about twenty years I say, bad on you.

    Don’t get me wrong. I love Photoshop. It’s a great program. I feel the same about Illustrator and Indesign. And I know we have to pay the people who keep these programs up to date and loaded with new innovation. No one wants you guys working for free. But, why force your user base to purchase this way? Are you guys that hard up for cash? I wonder if this all comes from the marketing and accounting heads at Adobe. I guess we’ll never know.

  9. The December 31st date was also mentioned because they’re offering a 20% discount off all CS5.5 upgrades until that time.
    Note this briefly moves up to a 30% discount (plus other offers) during Adobe’s Black Friday Deals period going on now.
    That may not make you feel better but hope it clears it up a bit.

    Thanks for explaining that…that’s what I had in mind, get the 20/30 percent savings on the upgrade by 31 December…I’m thinking I may do that for Indesign…I already have Photoshop CS5…but I may just let Illustrator CS3 go by the wayside…we’ll see…maybe I’ll upgrade at a later date…

  10. Adobe’s changes here are incredibly myopic and the irony is they don’t even see it.

    Which would be better for them – AND we the users?

    Scenario A:

    Announce that CS6 will be the last release with the previous upgrade policy. Heck, even extend it back four versions to CS2. After that, starting with CS7, it will be one version back for upgrade pricing.

    Result A:

    Everybody and their brother plans for and upgrades to CS6.

    Scenario B:

    Current handling of situation. Try to get buying now, plus buying again later.

    Result B:

    Alienate your loyal customers. Many fewer of us will likely wind up upgrading to CS6. Fracture the user base.

    Which scenario is the right one, and best for everybody?

  11. Sadly Adobe is forgetting their amateur customers in this new policy. Many amateur photographers who use Photoshop (and there are many) can’t justify the cost of upgrading to every new version of Photoshop. This is why many choose to upgrade every other version (which is what I have done) or even every third version. This helps offset the high cost of Photoshop for amateurs who are not using the software to earn a living and who can’t write it off as a business expense.

    I hope that Adobe considers tiered pricing for the cloud-based version of Photoshop so that it is affordable for amateurs. I would be fine if the amateur version disabled batch processing.

  12. After using Photoshop since 3.5, this is a mighty poor way for Adobe to inspire customer loyalty!! Adobe had better hope an alternative does not come out.

  13. I’m getting so, so tired of turning the other cheek for Adobe to slap. So tired of not being able to talk to someone who can do anything but read a script and say “no”. So tired of applications that do not do what the sales rep promised they would. So tired of being milked and bilked. I so wish there were alternatives but every time I find something I like, Adobe buys them.

    I evaluated their subscription pricing offer. A win for them. A lose for me. Now this. This is how they reward my 20+ years of loyalty?

  14. Hi,

    My experience is that I use Lightroom more and more and Photoshop less and less. Unfortunately, I mostly use only that more ‘advanced’ features of Photoshop so a tool like Elements is worthless to me. I’m probably not willing to pay over 200 $US a year for something I use very seldom, but voluntarily paying 270 $US each third year may be OK.

    The proposed policy by Adobe would probably send me off looking for cheaper alternatives. Would I be a professional with Photoshop as a cornerstone of my business it would be different.

    I see three great advantages of Photoshop compared with the competition

    – Good integration into Lightroom
    – Many good books based on Photoshop, easy to find good info
    – It is common ground, what most photographers use

    I’d really recommend Adobe to have an intermediate version of Photoshop, that common users can afford. That version should have all tools (sixteen bits, HDR, curves, full color management, just to give an idea) but leaving out color separation and some other stuff. Everything an advanced photo amateur needs. I would gladly subscribe to that, for 100 $US a year. Higher than that, it’s “Photoshop, it was nice to meet you” for me.

    Best regards

  15. Hello all,

    What sad news! I’ve been using Photoshop since version 5.5, been buying InDesign from version 1 (when it was by far not what was expected but still), used GoLive for a long time and later upgraded to Dreamweaver (I just love Spry!!). I’ve bought ‘official’ licenses because I believe that this is the way to keep companies alive and working to improve their software products. I’ve upgrading every second or third generation of these programs because as an amateur I just can’t afford more than that.

    This new upgrade policy will just prohibit me from buying upgrades to use newer copies of the programs. So thank you Adobe for your excellent work, but I’m afraid the success of the company has put its head (and leaders) ‘in the cloud’. Your focus is now stockholders and profits rather than users. That’s THE recipe for failure, just look at what happened to Goldman Sachs!!


  16. I, like so many of the previous posters have bought Adobe products for personal use, and have upgraded when I felt able to justify the expense. Largely just before the opportunity expired.

    I owned Photoshop CS2 and upgraded that recently to CS5 standard, I own Lightroom 3, and I foolishly bought Web Standard CS4 late on thinking I would have a while to save up for the upgrade to CS6 / 7 – I’ve been caught out on two counts there! All these are full retail editions – paying the professional premium to use them for personal projects, without the ability to offset the costs as a business expense.

    If Adobe insist on alienating the casual user with this change in policy, why can they not follow Microsoft’s lead and change the student Teacher license to allow for non-professional home use – as the Microsoft model allows.

    For me the irony is that as part of my day job, I have Web Premium CS5.5, and the license agreement within that software allows for me to legitimately install it on my machine at home. Should I choose to do so I would no longer need to purchase the software personally, and would actually have access to more software titles for no cost, and still be legal.

    Perhaps I shouldn’t draw their attention to this as they’ll likely close that license “loophole” shortly too.


  17. I have and use both CS4 and PaintShop Pro X4; since PSP will do 95% of what Photoshop will do and at a very small percentage of Photoshop’s cost, well looks like I’ll be a PaintShop Pro guy from now on.

    Vaya Con Dios

  18. Adobe – get your head out of the cloud! A cloud architecture makes sense for some applications such as big data analysis, transactional form based ones but not highly interactive ones or ones that require high bandwidth. The vast majority of users do not have the bandwidth required for a photo editing type application to work in a cloud environment. I use highly interactive, high data transfer applications at work across a gigabit network and that is barely enough bandwidth for some of them. I can’t imagine doing it from home with a 1-4Mbps network.

    I asked all my photographer friends and our companies camera club (all amateurs) what they thought of the new Adobe upgrade policy and close to all of them said they would either stick with the last version they have before this takes effect or just look for other software. Most commented to the effect of no matter how much they might like to upgrade every other version there is no possible way they would pay full price and the cost of upgrading each version is more than they are willing to put into any software regardless of its apparent value.

    It would be very interesting to see the breakdown in Adobe Photoshop revenue by Professional vs Amateur. Given the rapid growth of digital photography I’d expect the total revenue from the amateur sector to have surpassed that from the Professional sector simply due to the much higher number of amateur users. If this is indeed the case and most amateurs decide to upgrade much less often it would stand to reason that Adobe’s total Photoshop revenue would drop significantly. That is probably the only way that Adobe would be forced to revert back to the current upgrade policies.

  19. between the upgrades, the new cloud scheme, and the recent flash news, adobe’s “suits” are ruining a great company!

    i’m so sorry to see it as i have loved this company and its products for many years

    where is the loyalty to longtime customers who have supported for decades?

    and it hurts me to say it but maybe steve jobs was on to something

    the worst part is they don’t even seem to see it

    save adobe, someone

  20. Goodbye Adobe, I’m outta here…

    You made my decision for me.

    I’ll be buying competitor’s products from now on, including replacements for my Premiere, Lightroom and PS instead of upgrading when the time comes.

    Bob – A formerly happy and loyal Adobe customer for many years – but no longer.

  21. Love the products, really getting over the attitude towards customers.

    Seeing as Australians already pay the huge different country, don’t care, price gap.

    The fact that Flash was all but killed off recently (thank god I didn’t invest those extra hours into Flex and Flashbuilder).

    The amount of bug fixes that only go towards the new software and do not get patched to the already-owned software in cahoots with the support that dramatically drops off once CS+1 arrives – hail the new golden child.

    To top it off, when my computer HDD died recently and I needed to re-install the software – Adobe all but treated me like a criminal for not deactivating it… hello… the HDD died without allowing me to de-activate my copy… save my work (thank god for archiving)… or revive my PC… but thanks for caring that I paid $2,500 for the software you’re trying to tell me I don’t really own as you’re holding the keys at ransom!

    Eventually allowed me to re-activate it after some time on phone support, guys, thanks so much for allowing me your presence.

    Honestly, I’ll probably shell out for CS5.5 but I’m fast running out of love.

  22. The responses here tell the story. This is obviously a misstep on Adobe’s part. As a photographer, there are more and more software choices every year challenging Photoshops’s once unquestionable dominance. A few years ago it was not the case, but now there is so much software out there that is aimed specifically at the needs of photographers that Adobe should be doing everything it can to keep us in the fold with PS and LR.

    I for one, have used PS for many years. I’m comfortable and reasonably proficient with it, and bundled with Camera Raw and Bridge, I’ve found it an effective set of tools at a decent value. I currently have CS4, before that CS2, so I tend to skip versions as I upgrade. But with this change, I plan to take a much more serious look at offerings from other companies to see if I can transition to an “Adobe free” workflow. I never thought I’d need to seriously think about that, but I can see the writing on the wall. Adobe’s products are soon going to be priced out of my reach. And even if they aren’t, I don’t really like the way the company seems to disregard its loyal users for the sake of bigger profits.

    FYI: I heard that Capture One is having a big sale next week. 50% off all their software. Better watch out Adobe.

  23. I’m fortunate enough to not truly NEED the “pro-only” features that the CS versions have. I have been using them since CS3 and now CS4 because I liked other features they had, but with this new announcement I won’t be upgrading any longer. While there may not be any “Photoshop equals” out there as some say, for many of us, there are other software choices that are “Photoshop close enough” to use – at much lower prices.

    Adobe could have made significantly more revenue if they simply increased the upgrade prices from $199.00 to $229.00 and left it at that. Inflation and rising costs cause things to increase periodically, and such a price increase while not thrilling users, would most likely not cause anyone to abandon Adobe. This new upgrade plan however, will cause enough folks to leave them to make a dent in profits. Some might stick with Adobe and simply “dumb-down” to Elements, but many will seek out alternatives such as Paint Shop Pro or others, which may very well suit their needs – even in some pro environments.

    As the CEO of Netflix discovered not long ago – the public will only handle so much in these trying financial times. Sudden pricing changes, and a disregard toward your regular customers, NEVER ends well. Adobe should listen to that.


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