Can I buy the upgrade only to go from CS3 to CS6 ?
Yes, but only until 31 Dec 2012.
After that, you must pay full price for CS6.
In CS6, Adobe changed their "3 version back" policy for products which qualify for upgrade pricing to "1 version back only". i.e. only CS5 can upgrade to CS6.
However, due to the timing of the announcement being just before CS6 was released, they temporarily relaxed the new upgrade policy for CS3 and CS4 owners to upgrade to CS6 prior to the end of 2012. After that date, it's "one version back owners only qualify for an upgrade to the current version".
I'm very surprised that Adobe has apparently started a "one version back" upgrade policy. While this might work on a less expensive product, it is extremely problematic on CS products. I was planning on getting back into the CS upgrade flow, but now I see that I'll be pushed every time a new version comes out to "pay up" or get out. That's certainly not motivating. Now, I see that if I do get CS6, it will be a temporary thing, as I'm unlikely to get the very next version.
fantasy creative wrote:
I'm very surprised that Adobe has apparently started a "one version back" upgrade policy.
Yes, it generated a big outcry when it was announced in late 2011.
Originally the dispensation for CS3 and CS4 users did not exist. It was "one version back" across the board, effective immediately. That, frankly, stank. Made everyone mad, not least the habitual version skippers who were stranded on CS3 or CS4 still in the "three versions back" mindset.
Took a lot of concerted campaigning from grass roots users as well as some very influential key Adobe users such as Scott Kelby http://scottkelby.com/2011/an-open-letter-to-adobe-systems/to change Adobe's corporate mind and reintroduce some fairness and sanity to the situation.
Eventually Adobe saw the light and conceded to a 31 Dec 2012 cutoff for CS3 and CS4.
However, I'm expecting to see some irate CS3 and CS4 users in the forums in January 2013.
That said, I personally believe that traditional licensing (pay once upfront and use forever) for Adobe products is in its sunset phase being slowly prepared for retirement. Pure speculation on my behalf. I'm of the opinion that Adobe will go Cloud-only with all its software delivery sometime within the next 5 years so this "one version back" nonsense will probably become a moot point.