Upgrades, Creative Cloud and the future

So, CS6 and Creative Cloud are announced – and it’s make your mind up time with regard to upgrades. For those of you on older versions, right back to CS2, there are some important dates coming up.

Adobe’s upgrade policy and options seem to get more complex on each release, so I thought it would be a good idea to summarise some of the key info.

Currently you have the opportunity to purchase upgrades for Adobe software up to three versions behind the current version – that’s major versions, ignoring the number after the dot. That means CS2 users can currently upgrade to CS5.5 That opportunity will end soon – 6th May, when the policy will be shifting to a ‘one version behind’ policy. If you don’t upgrade CS2 products by then, you won’t be able to upgrade them at all. CS3 and CS4 users have been given until 31st of December 2012 to upgrade to CS6.

If you’d like to upgrade to CS5.5 before jumping to CS6 you can also do that. Purchase the CS5.5 upgrade before May 6th and you’ll get a complementary upgrade to CS6 shortly after launch.

Adobe’s stated intention is to deliver a full version upgrade (CS6 > CS7) every two years, and a dot upgrade (CS6 > CS6.5) every year.

Creative Cloud

If you’re a user who could benefit from access to a wide range of Adobe applications, Creative Cloud is well worth considering as an alternative to a conventional perpetual licence. You get access to the full Master Collection products, plus a few others, plus some cloud hosting. All yours for a modest monthly or annual fee.

As you might expect there is a tempting ‘first year at a discount’ offer to tempt current users – that’s CS3, CS4 or CS5 – on board. Available until 31st August.

The big benefit of Creative Cloud is that improvements or additions to the suite will be available throughout your subscription period. The downside: if you stop paying, your software disappears.

Personally I’ve decided to stay with my perpetual licence – for now. But it certainly looks like the future for us all is in the Cloud.