If you want to move one of the licenses to a different machine I would guess you have to deactivate/uninstall on the current machine and install/activate on the next. The other criteria that you can only use one installation at any given time remains. So if you intend to have two or more users active at the same time, you need to buy that number of licenses.
I believe the intention of allowing for two installations is to provide the utlility of having different places where you can use the software, such as at the office and at home, or on a laptop that you travel with and at the office, etc. It is not the intention to provide for every machine you might own or have access to. When you intend to have many machine licensed, that's where volume licensing comes into play. I don't see anything draconian in that... I believe most software companies place similar limits on their products.
Your best bet for getting the bottom line answers is to contact Adobe. These are user to user forums and you are only going to get user's understandings of the licensing rules. I have heard where user understandings fall short and people violate license terms without realizing it, such as the right to the use of older versions depending on whether there was an upgrade versus a full purchase.
I have a regular desktop which obviously has the most processing power of all my machines, a regular laptop I use around the house, a netbook ...and a laptop I use exclusively at work. Thats 4 machines ...and I'm the only one who use those machines ....a situation you'll find in millions of homes of very average Americans.
So I think this limitation is a bit heavy handed and getting into the draconian territory of the RIAA (music industry) who's destroying themselves by trying to find ways to force the consumer to buy the same song multiple times. Sure their product is being stolen ...so who better to hurt than the paying customer?
A simple fix is to use a physical license..... that way I can load the software on every machine ...and there can't be multiple users of the same license.....and Adobe don't have to check up on anybody when they are online. My 2 cents.
Now the last statement in your post really scares me ....if I buy CS5.5 today ...and it satisfies my needs for the next 20 years .....could I be violating some license agreement to forgo subsequent upgrades?
For $700 am I buying it or leasing it?
They can force you to upgrade .... sorta like Obama-Care where the government is forcing you to buy health care!
I better find out what the hell this is all about. Thanks for the heads up.
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There is no requirement to upgrade, ever, and you can use it for as long as you have hardware that will work with it. You will lose support for it at some point though, such that if your installation fails and you need to reinstall and have an issue doing so, you can expect little assistance with that from Adobe.
What I was referring to is something I read in another thread, and it is only hearsay since I haven't researched it thru Adobe myself, but it is supposedly based on feedback from Adobe legal folks... if you purchase an upgrade for a version, then you only retain the rights to use of the upgrade version and cannot use the version it upgraded. You would need to buy another full version at full price in order to retain the license to use the older version. Alot of people will probably do a doubletake on that one since they assume they can use any of the versions they have installed due to a series of upgrades.
I think I'm going to buy an older version CS4.
Ofcourse it will be shrinked wrapped and usually even if the latest version was CS4, some stores usually have them on the shelves so long that you will need to get patches for whatever bugs were not addressed in the initial release. When you buy a software through download you usually get the upgrades right away ....so my question is ...do you know if Adobe still supports CS4?