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When Will Adobe CS7 - or CS6.5 - Be Released?

[UPDATE (May 6th, 2013) – Major news out: Adobe Unveils New “CC” Release (CS7)…]

What New Product Features Would You Like to See in Adobe CS6.5 or CS7?

Six months ago today, Adobe released Creative Suite 6… While that wasn’t long ago, this is usually around the time customers start asking when the next release might be coming out, and what new features and improvements will be included in it.  We’ve covered this topic before for CS6, ahead of its original launch date, so let’s take a look at the future…

What should we expect going forward?  Will the next version out be CS7, and when will that be? Or will we instead see a mid-cycle release like CS6.5 available first?  Fortunately Adobe has already answered all these questions, and in fact they answered them last year.

Back when CS5.5 began shipping in May 2011, the company for the very first time shared a great deal of information about their future Creative Suite product release schedule. Previously the cycle had been for a new version of the CS software coming every 18 months or so. But beginning with CS5.5, Adobe rolled out a new plan in response to accelerating creative needs:

This launch marks a major change to Adobe’s product release strategy for Creative Suite, the industry-leading design and development software for virtually every creative workflow across print, video, mobile and online media. Adobe now plans to have milestone Creative Suite product introductions at 24-month intervals and – starting with Creative Suite 5.5 – significant mid-cycle releases designed to keep the worldwide creative community ahead of the latest advances in content authoring.

And further to that:

Adobe plays an important role here, and we have realized that our historical 18-month release cycles are not going to be sufficient to address these rapidly-evolving trends. So Adobe decided to ship major milestone releases of Adobe Creative Suite software approximately every two years, with mid-cycle releases that incorporate the most critical features customers need in the interim years. The first mid-cycle release is Creative Suite 5.5, and it addresses these challenges.

So add it up and what does it mean, how does the future look? It means we might expect Adobe CS7 to be released in the spring of 2014, with an interim CS6.5 release coming out in between, probably in May of 2013…  As with CS5.5, we may not see all Creative Suite applications upgraded for CS6.5 – for example, there wasn’t a CS5.5 version for Photoshop or Illustrator.

[UPDATE (May 6th) – The next release is announced! Learn more about new Adobe CC.]

Here is what the big picture looks like – and see further below for new product features that are expected:

CS ReleaseDate
Creative Suite 3Spring 2007
Creative Suite 4Fall 2008
Creative Suite 5Spring 2010
Creative Suite 5.5May 2011
Creative Suite 6May 2012
Creative Suite 6.5Mid-2013 (est.)
Creative Suite 7Mid-2014 (est.)
Creative Suite 7.5Mid-2015 (est.)

Any beta versions of CS6.5 or CS7 applications should be anticipated 1-2 months ahead of their final releases.

[UPDATE – Wondering about LR5?  See: When Is Adobe Lightroom 5 Coming Out?]

What New Features Will Be In Adobe CS6.5 – or CS7?

We actually know some of the new product features that will be in the next formal release of Creative Suite… We know this because of the Creative Cloud, where some of these additions since CS6 have already been released early to Cloud members.

Here are some we expect would be included in the next version (click each for more details):

In addition, by 2013 all major Adobe tools should natively support the new MacBook Retina and HiDPI displays, for which Adobe says free updates will be coming for all current users before the next release. The list includes Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro and Lightroom. InDesign is more uncertain… Adobe says it’s its most complex software product, so InDesign support for Mac Retina may not be available until the next major release is shipping. The same goes for Flash Pro.  Meanwhile, other applications like After Effects are said to be already compatible with Retina displays.

If you would like early access (now) to some of the new features listed above, consider checking out the Creative Cloud via either a free membership or paid subscription… Adobe says Cloud members will always have the latest versions available to use, which in a nutshell means that all product upgrades are included in the program.

Wondering which path is best for you?  Don’t miss:

    Creative Suite vs. Creative Cloud – Which Should You Choose?

Wondering why Cloud subscribers get exclusive updates that CS6 doesn’t?  See:

    Why Creative Cloud Gets Free Upgrades but Adobe CS6 Doesn’t

Give your input before it ships – what would you like to see in CS6.5 or CS7?  Share your thoughts in the comments below or at Adobe’s official feature request “wishlist”

See Also

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73 thoughts on “When Will Adobe CS7 - or CS6.5 - Be Released?”

  1. I have recently gotten a new computer and have had to upgrade Dreamweaver from CS3 to CS6. Is there a way to transfer the website from CS3 to CS6 without rebuilding?

  2. Creative Suite 7 in 2014, wow I will need to wait almost two years :)

    What about changes in Adobe Premiere and After Effects? Will they make something new?


    • Yes, you should expect changes in all of Adobe’s video tools as well, although we haven’t heard anything yet on what features or improvements might be coming then.

      We will keep this page updated on an ongoing basis with whatever we learn going forward, for the next release of all CS tools… Thanks for your comment!

  3. These .5 releases are a bummer. Adobe should stick to full COMPLETE releases. I feel like Adobe is just trying to get more money out of every user with these .5 releases. They are never complete.

    Does anyone else share the same feelings?

    • Hey there Willie, we don’t know yet what applications will and won’t be upgraded for CS6.5… As mentioned above, not all of them received major updates the last time, and we don’t have other examples outside of CS5.5, so it’s hard to say at this time.

  4. I have got my files moved over from CS3 to the CS6. The items I ‘put’ before the change are on the web. I am now trying to add items to the site and it is not happening. Any ideas where I might look to figure out the problem?

  5. I’d agree with Willie. I own Suite CS6 Web & Design Premium I’m very pleased with. I’d say, I love Adobe, which is platonic love of course :) Seriously, I realized now that I need Production Premium after playing with the Premiere Pro and Audition trials. If I purchased today, it means I’d pay for two suite upgrades soon (CS6.5). If I waited for CS7 the cost would be double or half of full version. This is why Willie is right here. I’d like to have Master Collection but it’s too late now as I’d have to do something with Web & Design Suite. On the other hand, to have two separate sets might be good. Anyway, love Adobe products

    • Greetings Adam, you actually have a few options. You could get the second (complementary) suite now as you mention, which would allow you to install the software on more machines, and be more productive now with the excellent CS6 video tools.

      Or you could consider going with the Creative Cloud as a short-term solution to give you the additional applications you need for video & audio, until CS6.5 or CS7 come out.

      Once the next version arrives, you could upgrade your suite from CS6 Design & Web Premium to CS6.5 or CS7 Master Collection to get all the products you want, permanently.

      Really, the choice you make all depends on how and where you want to end up in the long term. And importantly, there is no price penalty with the addition of the midcycle or “.5” releases (a common misconception) – and here’s why:

      1. Up until CS5, new product releases came out every 18 months. To upgrade from CS4 Design Premium to CS5 costed $600. To upgrade from CS4 Master Collection to CS5 costed $900. And you received software that was 1.5 years newer and better than you had.

      2. Since CS5, major releases are now every 24 months. To upgrade from CS5 Design Premium to CS6 costs $750. To upgrade from CS5 Master Collection to CS6 costs $1,050. But you receive products that are a full 2 years newer and better for that slightly higher price. And if you want to split the difference and and go with only 12 months instead of 24 months, just get the upgrade to the dot-five release instead, for half the upgrade cost. So, customers actually now have more pricing options and flexibility than before.

      Those figures are in US dollars, but the math works similarly across all countries and currencies. Adobe does not get more money simply from changing the release schedule as they have, on the contrary the numbers suggest they get less for upgrades spanning the same amount of time.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  6. I am not a big fan of the cloud subscriptions. I would rather switch to another software, than make monthly payments. I don’t like making monthly car payments so I don’t like making monthly software payments. I think a better solution for Adobe is to focus on providing COMPLETE upgrades every year. This is much better than the .5 half done “upgrade”, which to me they are not upgrades, they are more like UPDATES.

    • Well it’s true that some products were not upgraded for the last midcycle release (like Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks) and that lent to CS5.5 seeming incomplete, most of the tools (like Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, InDesign, Flash) did receive quite substantial improvements at that time, and most customers were happy to have those new features earlier than they might have otherwise…

      So, there are different ways to look at it, and it’s too early to say what Adobe has in store next year for the entire CS6.5 suite. Thanks for stopping by Willie!

  7. @ ProDesignTools

    Actually a good idea. I didn’t take into consideration another way to get everything, which is upgrade from Web Premium to Master Collection. I even didn’t know it was possible. I checked today on the Japanese Adobe website and such an upgrade (box) costs over $1600 !! Download is about $50 cheaper. I was wondering if Adobe would take from me Web & Design Upgrade and replace it with Master Collection. I would pay only the difference.

    • Hi again Adam, if you bought your software within the past 30 days then you can return it to Adobe and get a different one instead. Otherwise, the only easy path to change the product you own is via one of Adobe’s upgrade options. Or alternatively, you could transfer it to someone else (sell or give) and then buy the new one you want instead.

  8. @ Willie

    Agree. I’d prefer to pay monthly my credit card and have a hard copy rather than cloud. The best way however is to pay cash or with CC, but with a one-time payment option ;-)

  9. @ ProDesignTools

    I bought in May, so it looks like the the only option would be to sell and transfer ownership to someone else. It`s good such an option is possible after all. Thank you.

    Is it possible to sell only upgrade?

    • Well, it could be more challenging to try to sell an upgrade… Most folks are looking for full versions really. And it’s also hard to begin with, because secondhand venues like eBay are untrustworthy.

      In any event, you would have to see which choice would be easier/faster and work out better for you on the bottom line – selling/transferring and getting a full new version, or just buying the upgrade you want straight from Adobe.

  10. You’re right. Besides, a buyer would have to already have a CS5.5 version, so I came up with idea to sell CS5.5 with a CS6 upgrade. Let’s try at least :-) I don`t use eBay. I found it easier to have free ads e.g. Craiglist. Thank you again for your input and replies. At least now I know what to do next :-)

    • Sure Adam, glad to help – but be aware that Craigslist is even worse than eBay for trust and reliability when it comes to Adobe software… Both should really be avoided.

      It’s great to catch up and hear from you again – thanks for stopping by!

  11. We are in the middle of entering into a CLP at work for our Adobe licenses and I was told on good authority that upgrades will no longer be available for more than 1 version old and that the new release schedule was every 12 months. Meaning that if we don’t upgrade every time a new version comes out we will need to fork out for a full license.

    What has been stated in the comments here seems to shine a light on some of this and it also raises the question, are point releases not counted as 1 version prior? I.e. they treated as .5 versions prior? And what prices will we be asked to pay for minor point release upgrades?

    • Yes, Adobe’s policy is changing starting in 2013 – it’s true… Their new Creative Suite upgrade policy will be to offer discounted upgrade pricing for up to one major version back.

      One major version is CS5.x to CS6.x, CS6.x to CS7.x, etc. Midcycle releases are not counted as one version prior – in other words, you can upgrade from either CS5 or CS5.5 to CS6 (or CS6.5).

      Similarly, if you own CS6 now (or CS6.5 later), you will be able to upgrade to CS7 or CS7.5 down the line.  CS7.5 won’t be until 2015, so everyone has years to use CS6 before having to make a decision about upgrading further.

      The immediate effect of the policy change is that beginning next year, current users of CS3 and CS4 will no longer be able to upgrade to CS6 (or beyond).

      We cannot know or comment on future pricing plans, but thus far Adobe has priced the mid-cycle (.5) upgrades at half the cost of major version upgrades.

      Hope this helps!

  12. I guess this is pushing me to the cloud, and spend more money. But in reality I’m going to spend less. I decided that CS4 is good enough for what I need.

    • Thanks for your thoughts Doug. It’s too bad we’ll be losing the three-versions-back policy, but that was actually pretty generous compared to virtually every other upgrade policy out there from other software companies… (For example, CS3 is nearly six years old – try upgrading Microsoft or Corel products from a version that far back!)

      While folks like you with versions of Creative Suite from 2008 and earlier will no longer be able to upgrade, Adobe says their ultimate goal here is lowering entry costs and upfront prices to make their flagship products more accessible to a broader audience. Creative Cloud is very interesting as an option and is getting five-star reviews from users, but it isn’t right for everyone… Here’s a new guide to help answer this question:

      Compare Creative Cloud vs. Creative Suite 6 – Which Is Best for You?

  13. Thanks for your feedback. I understand what you mean.I think if I worked in a design studio, it would make more sense for me to keep up to date. But as I really only use photoshop and dreamweaver on a very stable version of CS, it hardly seems worth paying that much money for some improvements. I think cs4 is awesome – i jumped up from cs2 recently, so I guess it’s a matter of perspective :) The main thing I am interested in with upgrades is speed and robust programming so things don’t freeze or hang, but cs4 so far has been a breeze. Extra features don’t mean much to me, at least so far. Sometimes I think they are scraping the bottom of the barrel. Some of their features seem indispensable, but as it is in cs4, i think it’s solid enough for now for me. I look forward to seeing just what cs7 will have, perhaps it’ll be a no-brainer reason to reconsider things.

  14. @ ProDesignTools

    I took into account your first advice regarding Creative Cloud. I need only Adobe Premiere, so I will probably take just a one app subscription until CS7 is released, then go for Master Collection upgrade from CS6. Adobe should have up to 3 apps for the price of one. Some people need only two. I think the point is they want us to pay $100/month (CC price in Japan without a 1-year commitment) then give up to 3 apps for the price of one, which is JPY3200 ($40/month without commitment). If I wanted to use Premiere Pro, After Effects and Audition, it would be more than $100 a month. So, for time being I can stick with Premiere. My Sony Studio Vegas 12 will go aside ;)

    • Nice going Adam, and thanks for following up to let us know how it went. Adobe is basically trying to make the Creative Cloud pricing irresistible, so that folks will consider paying just a little more to have every single major application they make.

      Keep in mind too that CS7 won’t be released until sometime in 2014. You could also consider upgrading from your current (permanent) CS6 suite to CS6.5 Master Collection which will be due out mid next year, and you’ll get upgraded versions of all the applications you want. In the meantime, enjoy your new software!

  15. Thank you. So far so good with Premiere on the Cloud. It was the cheapest option to have it right now. The reason I didn’t go for a one-year commitment was because of an upgrade to CS6.5 Collection in my mind, which as you said will come out in the middle of 2013.

  16. Why there is no updates for 32bit systems?
    They update only the 64…

    I have a 32bit PC with super great graphics card and I’m stuck on CS3-CS4

    • Hi Dan, not sure exactly what you mean there – which Creative Suite applications are you referring to?

      Except for After Effects and Premiere Pro, all current CS tools still fully support and run on 32-bit systems – that includes Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Acrobat, Flash Pro, etc…

      So unless you are talking about those two video products, you can definitely upgrade to CS6 with a 32-bit system. In in fact, if you’re still on CS3 or CS4, then you have only until the end of the year to do so.

  17. I think we will absolutely see a 6.5. I believe the key feature of this release will be a 64-bit version of InDesign. On the Mac this means the last major component of Creative Suite will be on Cocoa, and will have Retina display support. I’m going to guess the same will be true of Dreamweaver (which I do not use), but that we won’t see a 64-bit Fireworks until CS7.

  18. I’m a Adobe Flash designer since 2000, and me and my team are eager to use Flash CS6.5 or CS7.0 with multicore support and 64bits (CS6.0 could have multicore in an update if possible). That’s much more important in our business than new features like mobile support, because some applications and games developed in its IDE (be it AS2 or AS3) use many resources whose compiling times can touch 10 minutes on a Core i7 with 16gb of RAM. Its sad for us to see only 12,3% of CPU capacity being used during compile time. We do tons of testing, and even splitting in multiple FLA’s for concurrent development, the end compile time is still negligible when we need to compile 20 times a day.


    • Greetings Wesley, we can’t say because Adobe has not announced their plans yet for the next release… We expect more news and details on the next version sometime around May 2013.

      Around the software industry in general, and as Internet access becomes ubiquitous and relatively inexpensive, the trend has been away from physically-shipped boxed software and more towards download versions of everything… Just look at App Stores, the Creative Cloud, digital music, etc. Even CD/DVD/disc readers are now completely disappearing from today’s modern laptops and ultrabooks.

      So while we can’t say what Adobe will do in the future, we wouldn’t be surprised if someday they stop offering a “box” option for Creative Suite.

    • No, that’s not what we said – nor what we thought you asked… We cannot speak for Adobe but were speculating on the future availability of a physical box for CS6.5 or CS7, versus download-only. The majority of CS6 customers already today download their purchase instead of buying it in boxed form.

      Is that more clear?

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