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Home > Tools April 1st, 2010

CS5 Launches April 12th: When Will It Ship?

Adobe Creative Suite 5

[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 May 4 April 30*†
Ship Date for Other Languages
(e.g., French, German, Japanese)
November 3, 2008 May 24 May 7*†
Downloadable Free Trials Available November 10, 2008 June 1 April 30*†
New Student Editions Available November 17, 2008 June 7 April 30*†

Confirming this analysis to some extent comes actual word from Adobe, although not widely disseminated… Buried deep inside a transcript of last week’s first-quarter earnings conference call, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen was quoted as saying in response to an analyst’s question about the availability of CS5:

I know there’s been some confusion about what we mean by “launch” versus what we mean by “ship.” On April 12th, we’ll talk a lot more about the new features and function­alities of the suites, the various product configurations, and what we’ve done with pricing. We have some new products which will factor into the pricing moving forward. And then traditionally, four weeks later or so, you tend to ship the English version followed by the major language versions a few weeks after that. The early feedback has been very positive.

So there you have it – hopefully installing in May. Now the next most commonly-asked question out there is, “if I buy CS4 now, will I get a free upgrade when CS5 ships?” Also known as the Adobe free upgrade “grace period” question… We’ll cover that in a coming article.

[UPDATE (May 6th) – Adobe CS5 French and German versions are now available / Français Maintenant Disponible / Deutsch Jetzt Verfügbar]
[UPDATE (May 10th) – CS5 is now also shipping and downloadable in Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, and Portuguese.]

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  1. parker

    son of a……

    i JUST… not 5 minutes ago… purchased cs4 design premium. i cannot believe my luck. ive held out for months waiting for some news, and after checking this weekend, couldnt find anything. now, today, as i am actually installing… i run into this. just my luck.

    • Well such timing is always imperfect, but you’re not the only one – and CS4 is still a great release! (we use Web Premium here every day)

      We’re putting together an article about the grace period, which Adobe has previously offered to those who purchased after the announcement of a major new product release, but before it shipped… But I don’t believe such a period has started yet for CS5 though, as it won’t officially be launched until next week.

      If you like and if it helps, you can sign up for a chance to win a free copy of Photoshop CS5, a giveaway we just opened today!

  2. Harold Shipes

    Earlier than I thought, thanks for the explanation.

  3. Kyle

    I too have been holding out and waiting for news, for the launch of cs5 – thank you.

  4. Just chatted with adobe sales support. They confirmed that users who buy CS4 now will be entitled to free upgrade to CS5 when it ships. They also said this only applies to those who purchase through but I don’t necessarily believe them… could have just been trying to make the sale.

  5. Tom

    For some reason, I have a feeling Adobe will wait until after Labor Day for the student editions to ship

  6. Chris


    See if you qualify for the free update. You might fall in the timeframe.

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