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Adobe Kills Upgrade Pricing for Older Versions of Creative Suite

11.21.11 @ 4:30PM Tags : , , ,

I just took advantage of Adobe’s 20% off upgrade for Creative Suite 5.5, and it’s a good thing, because apparently Adobe is killing upgrade pricing entirely for the Creative Suite — and its individual components — unless you’re running the latest version. This means when CS6 is released next year, if you’re not on CS5.5, you’ll have to pay full price. Here’s what they had to say:

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). If our customers are not yet on those versions, we’re offering a 20% discount through December 31, 2011 which will qualify them for upgrade pricing when we release CS6.

Okay, so they’re also allowing upgrading from CS5 — probably because CS5.5 was not a universal suite release (though it did update all of the major video apps). Not surprisingly, comments on the post are closed — no one’s going to be happy about this news, especially when Adobe buries the lede in a blog post about Creative Cloud, their new monthly subscription model for Creative Suite that includes touch apps and other extensions. Creative Cloud will cost $50/month (or $70/seat for businesses), but whether or not you want to pay a monthly subscription fee instead of periodically buying a suite of applications, it looks like the days of skipping a few versions of the Adobe suite are over. Were they feeling ironic at Adobe when they titled the post “New Choices for Customers?”

[via Toolfarm]


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Description image 21 COMMENTS

  • A little speculation: I think this is one step further to subscription model that Adobe wants all their customers to be in. That would kill piracy… not sure that Adobe would take it all the way, that would make a lot of people upset but they would love that more than anything.

  • This info came through almost two weeks ago. But it never hurts to get the info to more people.

    My only comment to their policy is I hope they figure out how to make CS6 torrent and hack proof otherwise they are guaranteeing more piracy than ever. Good people will pay for fair priced goods. When pricing loses fairness, risk of piracy will increase.

    • My thoughts exactly. I don’t believe that each pirated copy is a lost sale. I believe the vast majority of piracy is by people who wouldn’t have bought it anyway, and making it harder for paying customers only drives them away (for instance unskippable crap on DVDs).

      However I doubt this will make much of a difference in Adobe’s core market, since businesses will pay what they need to, but I think this kind of policy tends to reduce the market of (paying) amateurs like myself.

      • Anyone who doesn’t believe that pirated copies aren’t lost sales you’re living with your head in the sand. I know of so many companies running pirated copies and it iirritates me that they get away with it. Not to mention every backyarder that takes away work from professionals. I too hope that Adobe can work around those issues. There’s no positive side to piracy if youre a professional.

        • I’ve witnessed firsthand a local large ad agency using unlicensed copies of Adobe software and Final Cut Pro. They commented on it right in front of me. They have large national clients so paying for using the software shouldn’t be an issue.

          But I’ll lay out the law right here and now. I’ve been guilty of using unpaid software. I know friends who don’t exactly do their taxes by the book. I know photographers who teach and buy equipment/software with educational discounts but then use the equipment and software for their own business, daily shoots and paying clients. Cheating is pervasive in the creative community. Reason why is money. When no one is “watching” and there’s a way around something, people will convince themselves of some justification.

        • Fair enough; I’m surprised to hear of that. Honestly, I don’t know why companies would operate like that, it doesn’t make sense to me. It’s such a small cost compared to other things…

          I would point out that still, this change and indeed a hypothetical change to a full subscription model does nothing to stop piracy. There simply is no software that cannot be cracked. Some takes more effort than others, but someone will do it. Probably sooner rather than later.

          • Perhaps they’re figuring out the marketing aspect of it prior to eventually offloading the subscription versions to a completely server-side version. Unlike non-interactive media which suffers from the “analog hole,” this approach could in theory actually prevent piracy unless someone managed to steal/leak the actual software (which is of course still very possible).

            Along with preventing piracy this could actually be good for people on a low budget, because a server-side version could render/edit more quickly independently of the speed of the users’ machine. Of course, the server architecture would need to be good enough to accommodate a large number of users with good render speeds, but if this was done correctly, it would be a strong incentive to use the subscription service rather than a local (pirated or otherwise) copy.

            This is all speculation, of course, but it seems totally reasonable because it would make legally renting Adobe products more feasible for independent developers while also making piracy substantially more difficult.

        • People go on and on about piracy being theft. Yet has nobody pointed out that killing a loyal customer base is also theft. I bought their products in the past and now have no advantage over any other Joe. The monthly cloud thing sounds interesting and not bad value at all, but I don’t like this being the only choice.

          There seems to be a wave of hiking prices and giving less for the money. The airline industry have been doing this making people pay premium prices then charging for everything like they’re all Freddie Laker from the 80s.

          Instead of bleating on about piracy being theft, companies should be offering more of a carrot than a stick if they want to entice loyalty. Apple have been slashing their prices for goods bought over their store (Final Cut Pro from $1000 to $300), why cannot Adobe follow suit.

  • I hope the subscription method takes off. It removes the huge upfront cost and gives amateurs access to a set of pro tools with resorting to piracy. I can see no downside to this.

    • The downside is that over time, you end up paying way more for the same tool. That’s probably not true if you’re the type who wants to upgrade with every new version, but since our tools are all already way beyond “good enough” one could feasibly plan to shoot with the same cameras and use the same NLEs for, say, the next ten years. And even if the price remains $50/month for individuals (which I highly, highly doubt), after ten years that means you paid $6,000 for your copy of CS. Of course, with the subscription plan you get free upgrades I think, but if you’re the sort of user who doesn’t care and/or need those upgrades, wouldn’t you prefer to have the choice to just buy the software once and be done with it?

  • Let’s be honest, there’s never a need to upgrade to the latest version of any software unless you need a feature or that’s the only way to get hold of a bug fix.

    Adobe knows that not all of their users want to always update to the latest version, this new requirement makes them do so. Adobe used to have a very lenient upgrade policy. I can see that’s out the window now.

  • Adobe has been more than fair with the Suite pricing, because buying it all separately would be a lot more. Even $50 a month for 2 years would still be less than the cost of a MC Suite upgrade.

    Piracy under any situation is never a “resort to option”, as that is the same as stealing. We need to focus on dealing with piracy on a moral level rather than trying to work so fruitlessly hard from a techno-physical level.

  • We were “forced” to upgrade some of my wife’s Adobe apps when her printer quit. I bought a new printer, and it wouldn’t run on her old OS. We bought the new OS, but it came on DVD’s and the old Apple G3 didn’t have a DVD drive. We had a SuperDrive installed and tried installing the new OS. No luck. Bought latest Apple desktop and it would accept her Photoshop CS (through Rosetta), but not Illustrator 10 or InDesign 2. We wound up buying her the CS5 Design Premium Education Edition (I’m a student). It turns out those education versions aren’t upgradable, so we’ll be stuck paying full price, regardless.

    I run the Design Premium CS4 and Production Premium 5.5 on my Windows machine. I’m likely to stick with it for a LONG time. The new versions often offer features which permit a faster workflow, but the average Photoshop user could do just fine with Photoshop 6.0. The average user could probably do fine with Elements for how few of the features they use.

  • Just a heads up for further savings, 30% off for upgrades this week.

    • Just a heads up–no discount if you are upgrading from 5

    • I just bought the “Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium Upgrade from CS4″ from Amazon for $452.99 which is roughly a 30% saving off the regular $649.99 upgrade price.

      I upgrade only if I have the duckets to do so (I’m an Indy filmmaker and don’t have a corporate account to buy software because it comes outta my pocket) and/or if there’s significant features worth upgrading to. Obviously a lack of duckets trumps anything else.

      So I decided to upgrade this time around because of the expanded and native support for H.264 (Nikon and Canon DSLR cameras) video; not having to take valuable time transcoding H.264 video (.MOV) files to .AVI which takes up more hard drive space and no loss in video quality; the mercury playback engine; Adobe Audition 5.5; and overall native 64-bit support.

      I took Adobe’s recent online survey which took look 15 to 20 minutes to fill out and among the myriad of questions was the subject of “upgrades” and how often I upgrade and such. I suspect (and some others as well based on reading the posts at this website and other websites) that most people upgrade to every other version of their software. And again, pricing (having the duckets) and value (feature sets) determines this trend.

      On another matter, I think Adobe getting rid of upgrade pricing (if you don’t have the latest existing version of their software) might hurt them in the future. Ultimately, all consumers can hurt companies by voting with their wallets. So for Adobe to force me to upgrade to every new version just to get an upgrade price savings is not qool in my book despite the capitalist corporate structure.

  • “This means when CS6 is released next year, if you’re not on CS5.5, you’ll have to pay full price. Here’s what they had to say:”

    They say something different than what you just claimed:

    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).

    CS5 OR CS5.5…..
    Don’t scare me like that….

    • Well, for some of them, there is no CS5.5, only a CS5. For the ones that do have a CS5.5, I wonder if you can still upgrade with CS5?

    • I note that later in the post… which I think is a one-time exception since there aren’t .5 versions of every suite.

  • Task Tanner on 11.26.11 @ 4:50AM

    Go ahead Adobe, do what you must. Demonoid here I come.

  • I have had a lot of problems with upgrading to CS5.5
    I do not know exactly what is going on but it seems much slower and the programs are crashing more often.
    I am using a brand new iMac and the latest version of Lion. Tried updating everything and still just slow and not as sharp as CS5. Anyone else?