You say you read the other threads…well everything that is knows is in those threads.
Anyone who knows about future releases is not at liberty to discuss them.
Further, the very fact that you say “you” in your question leads me to believe that you think you are addressing Adobe here. That is not the case.
This is a user to user forum, not a direct communication to Adobe.
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Lots of things are probably going to change, and fairly soon. Adobe has announced that hey will be moving to a 12-month cycle for releases, with a .5 release in one year, and a new .0 release the next. InDesign CS5.5 is only the second time a .5 release has been issued for ID (last one was version 1.5, also not compatible with version 1.0), so it caught a lot of users by surprise that there was a compatibility issue. Personally, I would expect that to carry forward from now on and would not count on being able to open CS6.5 files (if and when CS6.5 is released) to open in CS6 (which, if you look at the calendar, you can probably expect before summer, based on when CS5 and CS5.5 were released).
HOWEVER, Adobe has also announced the new Creative Cloud model, release unknown, but probably not too far off either, and I think that may complicate versioning a bit, as one of the selling points of the cloud is the ability to to have a faster update time, and there may be many more patches and upgrades released for cloud versions, and your guess is as good as mine on backward compatibility for those.
Sorry Bob. I didn't mean to offend "you" in my general use of the word "you". It was meant to be a general rant with "you" having no particular target.
Looks like Peter was able to answer my question with a much more articulate and useful reply.
You didn’t offend me but you gave the impression that you thought were speaking to Adobe. You aren’t.
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Hey there PDX buddy,
I'm guessing from the rest of your username that you're not a professional user of page layout applications, but a sysadmin of some sort. So of course you'd be surprised to discover this:
Is it expected that with every release of the Master Collection that it means a major change to the product(s) underneath it such that they will not be directly backward compatible?
That's the case pretty much across the board for page layout applications. Note that it's not the Master Collection - many of the apps included do have pretty functional cross-version compatibility. Illustrator, in particular, I've found to be pleasingly verbose about possible feature loss when saving back, offering to convert type to outlines when differences between type rendering engines in versions were likely to cause incorrect text display, and so on.
But backwards compatibility is not a feature of page layout applications in general. It was the case for Pagemaker, it was and is the case for Quark, and it's been that way for InDesign all along. The same is the case with more obscure layout apps. The only exception I can think of is Publisher - and Publisher projects often crash and burn because there's one person who insists on sticking with Office XP or whatever, and when you use new features of Publisher in a file and then open it in an older version, it does not degrade well. I don't think that it even told you that it wasn't going to bother to try to display some of the content that came from a newer version. I even have a vague recollection of a Quark Passport issue where there was a failure of compatibility between 5.0.1 and 5.0.2, or something along those lines - just a bugfix dot release broke compatbility with the previous release.
I'd argue that, if you need to support designers or other graphics-layout types, that software maintenance for layout applications is more important that buying software maintenance for your operating system & other software infrastructure. Heck, it's arguably equally as important as offsite backups.