[UPDATE (March 2012) – Adobe’s grace period for free upgrades to CS6 is here!]
This seems to be the question of the week. Adobe’s policy for major product releases has been that you may qualify for a free upgrade if you buy the old version after the new version has been announced, but before it ships… The advantages are threefold: (1) you get software available for immediate download, (2) you get a more mature release if you prefer and can move up later at your leisure, and (3) you win a lower upgrade cost (e.g., from CS, CS2, CS3), because you’re buying fewer steps to go up (to CS4 rather than to CS5).
The question now is, does this apply now for CS5? Creative Suite 5 was officially announced on Monday, April 12, and CS5 is now in preorder. However, you can still buy and download CS4 on Adobe’s site. So, we are in that relevant eligibility period right now… But will it work – could you get the best of both worlds and buy or upgrade to CS4 now, and then later get a free upgrade to CS5 when you—and it—are ready?
Well the official page on the matter at Adobe is called the “post-announce upgrade policy” (for retail and educational versions) – and it has not changed since CS5 was launched. If there were any change in policy, it would already be reflected there. So Adobe’s historic policy remains in effect. Arguably this free policy and its name could be a bit clearer, but it is what it is – and probably Adobe doesn’t want to broadcast it too much.
Supporting the case is anecdotal evidence. Folks who have recently contacted Adobe have reported, “Adobe Sales confirmed free upgrade when CS5 ships” (also here) and “you can install and run CS4 and CS5 on the same computer.”
[UPDATE (April 30th) – CS5 is now shipping!]
As you may have heard, Creative Suite 5 will be launched on April 12 with a big rollout event that Adobe anticipates over 200,000 people to sign up and attend… So we’ll all learn about what’s coming – but we won’t be able to use or download the software yet – for that we have to wait further. But when will that happen? Well, there’s a lot of misinformation and stray guesses out there about when the shipping date(s) will be, so we thought it might be instructive to take a look at exactly how things happened last time for CS4, eighteen months ago…
So here is our analysis on what CS5’s important dates will be, if the CS4 model is followed – although please note these are our own working estimates and not from Adobe:
|Product Release Matrix||Creative Suite 4||Creative Suite 5|
|* Our estimate † Updated 4/23 to reflect latest intelligence|
|Preannounce Date||September 6, 2008||March 23, 2010|
|Official Launch Date and Event|
(with Pricing Out and Preorder Open)
|September 23, 2008||April 12, 2010|
|First Product Shipping Date|
(Full Release Date in English)
|October 15, 2008|
|Ship Date for Other Languages|
(e.g., French, German, Japanese)
|November 3, 2008|
|Downloadable Free Trials Available||November 10, 2008|
|New Student Editions Available||November 17, 2008|
The wait is over, the date is set! Moments ago, Adobe confirmed they will be officially launching Creative Suite 5 on Monday, April 12, 2010… This lines up well with our earlier forecasts of a CS5 release date in “mid-April” and “just around the corner.” The event will be webcast worldwide at 11am ET / 8am PT and 3pm GMT on the thriving Adobe TV, and is open to all who sign up here.
Naturally there are a lot of details left to unfold but here are some of the earliest:
And the pithy invitation:
[UPDATE (April 29th) – Creative Suite 5 is now shipping!]
When will Adobe Creative Suite 5 be released? That seems to be a big question of the season… Now that it’s March, let’s take another look. If you search the Adobe site for CS5, you’ll find some good tidbits, particularly about Flash Pro CS5 and Photoshop CS5, but little that’s concrete on timing.
But if you look to coverage of a financial conference the CEO spoke at last week, the Wall Street Journal writes: “CS5 is slated for release in April, though Narayen wouldn’t comment on a release time frame at the conference. Narayen said Adobe will ship its new version of Flash around the same time as CS5, in the first half of this year. ‘Data points and reviews point to a really solid release’ of CS5, he said.”
So it sounds like at this point there is still no official date from the company, but the financial community (whose jobs depend on researching this type of info) is expecting it to be available in the mid-spring. And if it were to come three years after the CS3 release, and eighteen months after CS4, then it would be in the second half of April – so with any luck, not too much longer to wait…
“SAN JOSE, Calif.–Adobe Systems today announced Adobe® Photoshop® Elements 8 and Adobe Premiere® Elements 8, the highly anticipated new versions of the No. 1 selling consumer photo- and video-editing software. Available as standalone products or as a single retail package, the bundle offers the most complete photo and video solution by seamlessly integrating two powerful, yet easy-to-use, products. With this landmark release, Adobe has … [continues]”
OK, we’ve had a look inside these new products and there are a lot of cool new features, much inherited from their big brothers Photoshop and Premiere Pro CS4. In addition to many new automated options and smart editing tools for saving time and effort on your photos and videos, there is also much improved media management, tagging, and integration. Yet the Elements versions remain significantly easier to learn and use (not to mention less expensive) than their CS4 brethren…
So what exactly is in there, and what exactly is new? Fortunately Adobe has put together a great feature comparison page giving all the details.
Other points of note: In contrast to version 7, Adobe is issuing a brand new and fully-featured version for the Mac with Photoshop Elements 8. And PC World magazine just published a product review where they gave Elements 8 a Superior rating with a score of 94 out of 100.