From Jan 1, 2013, only CS5 owners can upgrade to CS6.
Everyone else must pay full price for CS6 or join the Creative Cloud.
Last year, there was a special offer from Adobe for CS3 and CS4 owners to upgrade to CS6 but that offer expired on Dec 31, 2012.
The upgrade net's been tightening for several years.
Until CS5, there was a "3 versions back" upgrade policy so CS2, CS3 & CS4 owners could upgrade to CS5.
With CS6, that was abruptly revised to a "1 version back" upgrade policy.
Only CS5 owners qualified but there was an outcry from everyone else - traditional version skippers - who suddenly, without warning, had no chance to upgrade.
Following a high profile public campaign http://scottkelby.com/2011/an-open-letter-to-adobe-systems/, Adobe offered a 12 month window throughout 2012 for CS3 and CS4 owners to upgrade which expired on 31 Dec 2012.
I understand from various posts in these forums that emails were sent out to registered users of CS3 and CS4 late last year warning them of the expiry date. Presumably you did not receive one.
Did you register your software with Adobe?
You can still become a Cloud member and get a discount (first 12 months) as a CS4 owner ($29.99/month)
I did not receive a notice, though I am registered for CS4.
I am not interested in using Cloud: I am frequently offline and even the $29.99 discount comes to $360/year. I don't see how that is an advantage over a $199 upgrade even if I was frequently online for work.
I was planning on buying both After Effects as well as Premiere to replace Final Cut Pro, but I'm glad I learned about Adobe's lack of loyalty to customers before investing. Perhaps I will suck it up and learn to use Final Cut Pro X.
Basically, I'm shocked that Adobe would do this. Even if they just did it for new customers and allowed their long-term loyal customers to receive the same service that they bought into Adobe for. I use Vuescan for my film scanning. Since I was an early adopter, I get free upgrades for life. THAT is service. I'm not asking for free upgrades from Adobe. I'm expecting fair pricing on upgrades - not being required to throw away the slightly outdated program and completely repurchase it for the minor tweaks. If this policy stands, Adobe has lost a customer for life.
This was a hot topic when revealed some 9 months ago. And your feeling are not unique. I keep hoping they reconsider as users like you make a stink to Adobe directly, not on some user to user forum.
To be fair I think a good compromise would be something like this:
One version back $200, two versions back $350, three versions back $500.
I am frequently offline
You don't have to be online to use the Adobe Cloud. It will check your membership once a month and needs an internet connection to contact the Adobe servers for that. Other than that you use all the software offline, locally installed as normal and get early access to Cloud-only new features.
even the $29.99 discount comes to $360/year. I don't see how that is an advantage over a $199 upgrade even if I was frequently online for work.
I was planning on buying both After Effects as well as Premiere to replace Final Cut Pro,
If you join the Cloud, you don't have to fork out extra for After Effects and Premiere Pro - they're all included in your Cloud membership.
With the Cloud you get access to the full Master Collection plus other apps and services for the monthly fee.
But after the first year, the subscription becomes $600/year, correct? I have been operating Final Cut Pro Studio 3 for years as well as Photoshop. I continue using them for the price I paid upfront. The subscription model would have me paying thousands for a few years of use and then have nothing to show (no ownership of the software) after the term. That is not cost-effective for me.
I guess I'll stick to what I have. I own it and it costs nothing to use. Monthly payments for software that I don't own just doesn't make sense for me.
Many, including myself, agree with you.
Once, one could upgrade over several versions. I think that I went from AI 1.x to version 4, and all it took was my fee, and then some tweaking by Customer Service, as the S/N database had changed. Still, doable.
Then, with the CS products, things tightened, as John points out.
I have had at least one, stand-alone (usually two) licenses for PS, from version 2.5, bought the day that it hit for the PC. I upgraded that through every version, except 5.5, all the way to CS 2. Then I had to check my calendar, and make sure that I did things within the changing rules.
After about CS 4, the requirements tightened, yet again. As I had skipped CS 3 & CS 4 (what was once called Production Premium with Premiere and After Effects), I did get the notice (plus saw many threads on these forums), and upgraded to CS 5, then CS 5.5, and finally CS 6.
While I am not pleased with Adobe's decisions, the upgrade paths for many programs have been strict, and for a very long time. I had Corel Draw about version 1.5, but skipped two. Then, with Corel Draw 4.0, was informed that I had to buy the version 2.0 upgrade, then the version 3.0 upgrade, and finally the version 4.0 upgrade, costing more than just buying a new license for version 4.0. Such is life.
OTOH, I have made a lot of $ with my various Adobe programs. They have run very well, and most have been upgraded, as new versions were released. Then, I could easily amortize the cost, based on the income that they generated. Now that I have retired, I will most likely settle on CS 6 (or maybe CS 7?), and just work with those. I did that with CS 3 & 4, as some of the programs had issues, and did not offer me anything that my clients needed. However, when the upgrade policies changed, I made the decision to keep on the allowed path - just a financial decision.
The Creative Cloud offers me very little, other than that some updates are ONLY available. Now, or very soon, I will just stick with what I have, and be done with it. I do not begrudge Adobe for their policies, though I would like to have seen things go a bit differently. Again, such is life. Heck, my wife's first Mercedes had a warranty that covered everything for 5 years. Her second one did not cover any major services, and provided a warranty for less. Her third has limited things even more. "Stuff" changes. Like Adobe programs, I still buy Mercedes, and live with the changes.
I feel your pain, and wish that I had something useful to offer, but you, I and many others, are in the same boat, and it was "cast adrift," so to speak. Now, will Adobe change the program? We users do not know. They relented on a bit of the upgrade policies, stated at about CS 5, but not by a lot.
Maybe we can all meet up at a local bar, and drown our sorrows?
That is not cost-effective for me.
Think of all the mumbo jumbo as a way for Adobe to make even MORE money than the huge prices they charged for the software already.
Pretty much everyone starts with the "I've been a loyal customer" thinking, but pretty much any company would rather rope you into paying regularly to "lease" something rather than buy it once and maybe not again. They make more money that way! The old business models are giving way and "customer loyalty" is a bygone concept.
The subscription model would have me paying thousands for a few years of use and then have nothing to show (no ownership of the software) after the term. That is not cost-effective for me.
Fair enough. I don't begrudge you your logic.
However, my personal unsubstantiated theory is that perpetual licenses for software from major vendors will become a thing of the past soon.
Microsoft Office 2013 is far more attractive as a 365 Subscription than as a perpetual license
Similarly, I suspect that Adobe's middle to long term strategy is to discontinue perpetual licenses once they've gained a critical mass of general acceptance of the Cloud model from the market i.e. it's profitable and sustainable.
Killer new features, sneak peeks and road shows are giving way to beta software (Adobe Labs) and online tutorials (Adobe TV) and early access new features in the Cloud.
Adobe don't need to wow us into upgrading any more: neither Cloud customers nor perpetuals have any choice (if they want to stay eligible for future upgrade pricing).
So we now need to see value to stay with Adobe rather than the bi-annual "upgrade or skip a version" dilemma. Hence all the blogs, betas and online tutorials keeping us interested and excited.
I think software will become a utility item with monthly or quarterly payments like gas, electricity and cell phone plans are now.
That is truly unfortunate.
Many people who end up in the ignorance column of math get excited about "low monthly payments".
Take my beloved Subaru WRX wagon. I paid $24,000 cash in Sept 2004.
Another other option was to lease: That would have only been $289/month. The real cost of that: $1700 down plus $289x36 (first three years) plus $1900 down + $299x36 (the next three years - new lease) plus the current deal of $2100 down + $309x27 (months thus far on a third leasing period).
$35,211. And I would own nothing. Instead, I bought it cash. And I still have it and love it. (It has less than 70K miles on it.) The same with Sirius XM: I paid $400 for lifetime subscription 5 years ago instead of $16/month. Same with 24 Hour Fitness: $700 upfront. $24/year afterwards.
Subscriptions are a bad idea for long-term users. I don't make money off of Photoshop. Their current deal is unattractive to me. I guess I will continue with CS4 until I find another photo editing program that does what I need. Or enroll in a community college class and buy the student version. That's not what the deal is designed for, but Adobe is digging their own hole.
I was on with tech suppost the other day for 2 hours, I even would have purchased the upgrade to 5.5 they said no. I never receievd a notice that the last day was in december, I certainly would have upgraded at that time. I never upgrade to each version just every other one. They said someone else would call me back, I receievd no call back. Unconsionable that they would do this to its customers and have to pay 600 dollars for this, as a 15 year user and purchase all my software directly from adobe online with my napp discount, I am done, I may as well cancel my napp membership that I pay 100 bucks a year for the past 10 years as well.
Ileen, another user recently reported success in finding an upgrade package in stock on Amazon.com. Even though Adobe themselves no longer sell it, you may still have a way to buy Photoshop CS6 on upgrade pricing. But be very wary that what you're buying is directly from a reputable buyer (e.g., make sure it's Amazon itself, vs. "sold by").
I agree with you. Cloud subscriptions are a ripoff if you're not running a business. You pay and pay and still have nothing unless you keep paying. At least perpetual software users have something they can use for as long as their computer can run it. With some of the new products coming out that are only subscription based, I can see perpetual licenses will be disappearing quickly.
I expect CS6 to be my last upgrade. I don't see a whole lot of difference between upgrades anyway. They're just bug fixes like the entire X.5 line. I don't make money from Adobe software either so it isn't cost effective for me to upgrade every year especially if they're just bug fixes. That's why skipping versions worked for me.
Like you, I didn't receive one of those emails from Adobe either. Fortunately I found the information on their website and in these forums, and was able to upgrade almost everything to the CS6 level. If we have to upgrade for every new version, I think I'll just stick with what I have. The only thing I will continue to upgrade is Acrobat.
It sucks being a little too late. Being a month too late may mean you're out of luck (I hope not).
Have you checked your local retailers? Most everyone will have done an Internet search by now, but maybe not everyone has visited all the local high tech stores and asked them to check stock. Maybe somewhere that people don't normally think to look for software, like a book store?
I'm in the same boat but I can't find a retailer selling this upgrade from CS4.
I've searched Amazon and Google Shopping etc.
Do you mind if I ask if you were successful and if it is still possible to go down this road?
At this point, you can only upgrade to Photoshop CS 6 from Photoshop CS 5 or CS 5.5. So if you can find a dealer that can sell you a retail upgrade to either of those versions, you can then upgrade from that version to CS 6. So you'll have to pay for two upgrades -- about $400 instead of $700 for a new perpetual license. The upgrade to Photoshop CS 6 is only available directly from Adobe, and you have to set up an "Adobe account" to get it.
As for me, I'll continue to upgrade my perpetual license as long as it's available. After that I'll continue to use that last version as long a I can. These days I find that the most compelling reasons to upgrade are improvements to camera raw. Adobe will lose me if they drop the perpetual license.
Newsflash, JackSparrow, Photoshop CC is the current version available through a cloud subscription - not CS6. And yes, it has some great features in it.
It may have been too late for the posters above in this thread to get a discounted upgrade for a perpetual license, but...
Check out the Photoshop Photographer's bundle deal. This is a VERY reasonable cloud subscription price from Adobe if you use only Photoshop and Lightroom.
Note that this deal is only good until the end of 2013.