I received this email the other day from reader Randy Arnold:
I know you keep up on things like this, but just in case you didn’t know Adobe is changing their upgrade policy. This is where I found out.
I believe you have mentioned you are using CS3 now and it is probably like your favorite pen and you may not care to upgrade.¬¨‚Ä† Wouldn’t mind hearing…seeing…reading your opinion on upgrading software on your blog.
This from Adobe on their new upgrade policy:
“Special upgrade offer for CS3 and CS4 customers. Take advantage of our special introductory upgrade pricing on Creative Suite 6 for customers who own CS3 and CS4 individual products and suite editions. This temporary upgrade offer is valid through December 31, 2012. After that date, only customers who own CS5 or CS5.5 products will qualify for upgrade pricing to CS6.”
This change in Adobe’s upgrade policy is pretty lousy. Up until now they allowed users to wait up to three versions to upgrade and still qualify for their upgrade pricing. That meant that if you used, for example, CS3 Standard, you could still upgrade to CS6 for the “upgrade” price of $275. As of January 1st, they will only allow the upgrade pricing break from the most recent full version. That would mean paying full price for CS6 if you use earlier than CS5. The full price for CS6 Standard? $1,299.00.
That’s right. $1,299.00!!
That is outrageous. ENTIRE COMPUTERS COST LESS THAN THAT!
I can’t seem to find information on buying upgrades of older versions, which might be considerably cheaper depending on the pricing. If Adobe still allows users to buy an upgrade to CS5 somehow, and keeps the pricing the same, CS4 users could upgrade to CS5 for $275, and then buy the upgrade to CS6 for another $275, or a total of only $550. ONLY? Bleech.
This really is ridiculous. The upgrade pricing on Adobe products is already an outrageous amount. To force customers to upgrade to every new version, or have to go back to full retail pricing is a slap in the face to users who don’t resort to pirated software (very easy to get), and are willing to support the software developer with legitimate upgrade purchases. If a user already purchased the software at full retail price, and let me tell you charging $1,299.00 for a suite of computer programs borders on a criminal offense, then those customers should be able to choose when they want to upgrade for an upgrade price, within reason.
I am currently using CS5.5. I have no interest in upgrading to CS6. There are no features worth the $275 upgrade fee for me. Likely I would upgrade to CS7, simply because if you upgrade your operating system regularly, you need to stay reasonably current with major software as well or you may run into compatibility issues, and maybe this version does have some features I’d really like to have. Now Adobe is telling me if I don’t upgrade to CS6 by the end of the year, they are going to make me pay $1,300 to get CS7??? Unbelievable. No wonder software piracy is so rampant. This kind of pricing and practices like Adobe’s new policy are practically begging people to say “%@#$% you” and just steal their programs. I have NEVER used a pirated program and have always paid for legitimate licenses, even when I had to buy multiple ones for software like Microsoft Office, so each of my kids could have the programs on their laptops for school. Paying twice for the same program just so you can use it on several computers really rankles as well, but I get that policy and paid the money without complaint. Developing software costs money, employs people, and deserves to be supported. This new upgrade policy, however… this is just putting the screws to the people that do legitimately support Adobe and their products.
Why the change? I think they are trying to get people to switch to their new “cloud membership” program. This is a subscription service, wherein you pay a monthly fee, currently $50 a month, and you are automatically upgraded to the latest and greatest with every release.
I can see some attraction here for those who must have the latest version no matter what, but other than those types of users, I don’t see how this idea makes any sense. First of all, my math says that $50 a month equals $600 a year. That’s double the price of a next version upgrade even if that version came out in only one year, and word has it Adobe’s upgrade timetable is going to be about 18 months between major versions. That means you’d be paying $900 in monthly fees to get the next version in 18 months. Why would anyone do that, when you can upgrade for $275? The other features the subscription model offers, like 20 GB of cloud storage, is something you can get many other places for free or next to it. Also, who would want the latest version automatically? Adobe has sometimes added or taken away features I don’t like or didn’t want to see removed. Now I have to deal with that whether I like it or not? New software is also often buggy, and drivers for things like scanners or Wacom tablets/Cintiq might need to catch up to work. No thanks.
This new policy is terrible and a real disservice to longtime users like myself. I’ve been using PhotoShop since version 2.5 around 1993, and have only skipped two upgrades, version 4 and now version 6. I also had separate versions of Illustrator and PageMaker, then InDesign, and got the combined Creative Suite once that came out. I don’t know how much of my money I have paid Adobe over the last almost 20 years, but it’s been in the many thousands. I would think customer loyalty like that warrants highly preferential treatment, not the opposite. I think Adobe needs to step back and rethink their new policy, but I’m not holding my breath they do.
In the meantime, I don’t know if I will surrender to Adobe’s upgrade ransom… uh… OFFER, or stick with version 5.5 until it won’t work with my OS anymore.
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