I’ve got great news! While I was in India last week, Adobe announced that they have reconsidered and have officially changed their upgrade policy to Photoshop CS6. You spoke and they listened!

Now Adobe is offering CS3 and CS4 users special introductory upgrade pricing all the way through the end of 2012. Since Adobe has indicated that CS6 is due in the first half of this year, they are basically giving the community a year’s notice, along with an upgrade discount, and I think that’s more than fair. Especially since Adobe releases free 30-day trial versions of Photoshop, so users will be able to take CS6, and Creative Cloud, for a spin and still have at least six months to kick the tires and see if it’s right for them.

You can read Adobe’s official announcement right here, and I believe more details are still to come in the near future, but in the meantime I wanted to thank all of you who took the time to leave comments on my “Open Letter to Adobe” post. It really made a difference.

I also want to thank the folks at Adobe — on behalf of us all — not only for listening, but for caring enough to be flexible about their upgrade policy to give all the CS3 and CS4 users a fair upgrade path (either by simply upgrading Photoshop, or through the new Creative Cloud) and the opportunity to continue on as Adobe Photoshop customer.

About The Author

Scott is a Photographer, bestselling Author, Host of "The Grid" weekly photography show; Editor of Photoshop User magazine; Lightroom Guy; KelbyOne.com CEO; struggling guitarist. Loves Classic Rock and his arch-enemy is Cilantro. Devoted husband, dad to two super awesome kids, and pro-level babysitter to two crazy doggos.

67 Comments

  1. Seconded. And thanks to you as well, bruddah, for taking charge of the dialogue.

    Looks as if Adobe also adapted to much of your wish list for Lightroom 4. Just one more example of the myriad ways you constantly improve our lives as photographers.

  2. This is great news for those who haven’t upgraded to Cs5 (and it was a big upgrade from Cs4). I can’t wait to see what is new in Cs6!!! I felt all along that they would not leave folks stranded, Adobe rocks and so does Scott for standing up for his followers!

  3. Scott! You are so influential! You rock! You have a great heart and courage to speak out and share your thoughts and get things happening. I respect that! Even though I’m already on CS5, this upgrade path will help a lot of people. Thanks man!

  4. Thanks for all you did, Scott.
    It’s a good thing Adobe has listened and changed this.
    But it still sucks for those who upgraded already upgraded because of the “threat” (I don’t know how else to describe it).
    I have waited ’til the very last minute to order my upgrade.
    I’m one that at this point could hardly justify upgrading my CS3 to CS5. But I wanted to be able to go to CS6 now things are going a bit better again, so I saved money while looking for announcements that Adobe was not going through with the new policy.

    I hope that they will have a special offer for those who upgraded in the period between the “threat” and the announcement of the new policy.

    I’ve read of people who got a refund (and their update canceled) after contacting Customer Service.
    I will contact them one of these days and see what happens…

    But again: thanks for what you did for all of us, who don’t want to pirate software, but can’t afford (nor need) every upgrade that comes out.

    • Marco,

      I agree with you. I was on CS4 but shelled out the $’s so that I could go to CS6. This was really too late in the game to go to CS5 but what do you do… I just get tired of the constant upgrade cycle’s. Elements is an annual thing but at least you can get that for $50 on sale. Guess they have to keep the stock holders happy. (Hmm, maybe I should check their stock prices.)

  5. That’s good news. Really looking forward to seeing this new upgrade!

  6. That is very good news. Thanks also go to you, Scott, for representing our community in such a diplomatic yet forthright tone. Speaking as someone who did upgrade to CS5.5, I hope the upgrade price reflects the ‘half-way’ money that I and others paid out. Best wishes to all. Have a great day!

  7. Great new Scott, and many thanks for bringing this matter to our attention in the first instance and, using the power of social media via your blog, allowing our voices to be clearly heard.
    Now do you think you could maybe write another open letter to Adobe asking them to review the high prices for their products in the UK vs the US prices …… just asking ;-)

  8. As an artist whose market has nearly dissolved in the current economy I was unable to afford to upgrade to CS5 (I had CS4 Design Pro) and nearly flipped over Adobe’s announced upgrade policy for CS6. It’s not that I didn’t need the features of CS5, it was just more money than I could get together. And Adobe’s policy left me feeling they enjoyed having me by the …. and so I started considering other tools.
    I have purchased several copies of Photoshop and many other Adobe products in addition to the Design Pro package. I have been a customer since PS Version 1.0 (actually since before the release) and recognize the quality of the tools but am unsatisfied with Adobe’s pricing structure. Whether you upgrade your Adobe software or buy a educational copy (which I am eligible for but which can’t be upgraded) Adobe has determined how much money you will pay a month for their software and so it costs the same no matter how you manage your purchase. Again, I really needed CS5 yet worked without it because I couldn’t afford the upgrade.
    Faced with the possibility of losing my investment I borrowed the money on Dec 31st and upgraded so I could remain eligible for the CS6 upgrade. Now I own CS5 but still owe over $500 for the purchase of an upgrade to a soon to be outdated version and face another upgrade (which I won’t be able to afford) in less than six months. Now Adobe has found a way to get my money yet keep me from the newest version. How will Adobe bring me back to the family of happy customers? Do they care?
    I understood that Adobe required me to upgrade before the end of the year and so I did so. Why did they not make the change before the end of the year as I had hoped and I had waited for.
    Now I wait to see what the pricing will be, not that I will be able to upgrade anything else this year in the current market conditions. This announcement doesn’t make me feel any better.

  9. I wish they’d listen to the European market crying out to be treated fairly on pricing. We’re ripped off in a way so despicable that most users here hate Adobe as much as they love Photoshop. It’s very hard to stomach knowing that you are paying twice what US customers pay for the same software, even if it’s a digital download.

    It is literally cheaper for me to fly to New York and buy CS5.5 and fly home again than it is for me to buy it from Adobe’s UK online store. If that’s not the very definition of madness, then there is no such thing as insanity.

    I’m a young startup photographer, I can’t afford Photoshop here. If I was in the US, I could probably stretch to it. That’s wrong and it leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

    • Isn’t it the case with pretty much anything? Why singling out Adobe for higher prices when most merchandise happens to be more expensive in Europe. It’s your government you should be complaining to for this difference.

      • Not really, or at least not mostly, companies seem to think that a 1 for 1 conversion factor is the norm when importing goods, and as this is a software download there isn’t even any shipping costs involved!

  10. Great news Scott,

    The power of the social media and your personal blog has been proven again. Let’s see, what else would I like addressed…. how about ‘world peace’? ;-)

  11. Thank you, Scott, for speaking out for so many of us in your open letter to Adobe. I am pleased that they have reconsidered their original decision. That said, for those of us who do have no particular need for the Cloud (all Adobe products), I would hope that Adobe decides that a tiered upgrade pricing for their products (in my case, a maximum of two) is worth their while. I agree that owners of the “current” version should be rewarded at upgrade time, but also feel that one or two additional upgrade prices for owners of previous versions would be appropriate. Again, Scott, thanks for being a Voice in this matter. It really made a difference.

  12. What’s the deal for folks who already have the CS5.5 Suite?

  13. Thank you, Scott!

  14. It’s nice that they’ve partially reversed course but it’s still just a delay for the inevitable, though.

  15. Scott,
    Though I’m a CS5 user, it’s really cool that people had your blog as a platform to speak from. One centralized location that people all came together on this issue, and Adobe listened to it’s customers. Thanks Scott!

  16. Thanks Scott & Adobe. It’s so great that we can all work together and get along! :)

  17. It’s good news but still a bit scary. Don’t get me wrong – the delay is great but the future remains to be upgrade to every new version or subscribe monthly. From what I see online, the Adobe team is fantastic so I don’t want this to sound negative, but this model also makes it easier for Adobe not to develop must have features to ensure upgrading. The new licensing alone almost forces everyone to move to CS6 regardless of improvements if they want to continue to move forward to CS7. However from a business point of view, I completely understand it and this might be the biggest upgrade in the companies history.

  18. Perfect! I purchased PS4 less than 6 months before PS5 was released and always wish I had had time to wait for the upgrade. Having just relocated to the US and starting my business back up here everything is about budgeting right now however with this discount I will definitely get PS6!

    You rock :)

  19. Thanks for taking the initiative and leading the charge. It’s easy to feel powerless when large corporations make policy changes like this. It’s good to know that sometimes “the people” do have a voice.

  20. Thanks Scott, for speaking out for all Photoshop users!!

  21. Good news Scott, thanks! Do you, or does anyone reading this, know if the licensing for the Cloud works the same as it does now? For instance, the current license allows for software to be installed on a secondary machine at home or a laptop in addition to your work computer. I ask because on their site it mentions you don’t need an internet connection all of the time to use it so I’m worried that the multi-computer per user thing might be in jeopardy. We have a small business with four artists that work at home frequently and we’re in the process of upgrading two computers and we will no longer be able to print from Illustrator CS3 so we have to upgrade Adobe as well. Sorry for the long-winded reply, lol. :)

  22. Firstly a thank you to Scott for having expressed a significant concern on behalf of NAPP members and other Adobe users. Secondly a thank you to Adobe for having listened to its’ customer base and for having responded in such a positive fashion.
    I am a senior living on a fixed pension and an avid photo hobbyist and as such have been a long time PS and LR user with concerns that the discussed policy would result in my ultimately having to wean myself from the product.
    The decision reflects that Adobe has shown corporate recognition and responsibility to its’ customers recognizing that we are living in times of extreme economic uncertainty.
    Again, thank you Scott and thank you Adobe.

  23. Great news, Scott!

    Thanks for being a major reason for why this happened!

  24. Thanks Scott for standing up for all your peeps.
    I have CS4 Design Pro and was going to update to CS6 after I got a new computer with more horsepower. With the Adobe change in upgrade policy I reluctantly pulled $561.03 from the computer fund and bought CS5.5 on the last day of the upgrade discount. I got the disk and loaded it and realized now there are years of actions, brushes, shapes, fonts and plugins (OnOne, Nik, Topaz) plus other stuff I don’t remember until I need it. Then I though of having to do it all over again when I get a new computer and CS6. So I went back to my broken in CS4 and tried not to think about it. Then on Jan 12 I saw a notice on G+ that Abobe had changed it’s upgrade policy and I went to the Adobe website to find out more and a chat window popped up and I asked about sending the disk back and Mary said that all she needed was the serial # and order#. She then ask me to deactivate the software on the computer and to just toss the disk and it was all over in about 10 minutes. Today I got a email saying that my money has been sent back to my account :)
    Thanks Again Scott now I’m back on course.
    ps Is there an easy way to transfer all your custom settings to a new computer?

  25. Thanks for the effort Scott, and at great success!

    I haven’t upgraded my CS4 Design Suite yet, so they would have lost me as a customer if they didn’t come to senses… But they did. Guess I’ll be saving for CS6 after all. :)

    Thanks Scott!

  26. Scott, you said in your blog “You spoke and they listened”. Actually, Scott, YOU are the one that spoke to Adobe………..and loudly! So we want to thank you for leading the charge! BTW, I am sooooo happy I finally saw the light and joined Kelbytraining.com few months ago. Wow, I’m in a learning mode I never thought possible.

  27. So i can upgrade from cs3 for cs6 at the upgrade price??

  28. The way that I read the upgrade offer is that this upgrade applies to Creative Suite owners. What about those who only own Photoshop CS4 (and not the full Suite), do they also qualify?

  29. Thank you, Scott, for being vocal about your (and our) concerns!

  30. Nice one Mr. Kelby! We may all have spoken, but you provided the microphone. Thanks for standing up for the little guy.

  31. Thanks for the info, I’ve been for this quite some time, cant wait til i have it!

  32. Nice one Mr. Kelby. We may have all spoken together, but you provided the microphone. Thanks for standing up for the little guy.

  33. So maybe Adobe have realized how they make money. I’m sure they make more selling Photoshop then Elements. But then I saw today that Nik Software have just released Snapseed for the Mac and its coming to Windows soon. Obviously Snapseed is not Photoshop but as a quick, on the run, editing tool it’s pretty sweet.

  34. Well there you have it…proof yet again in the power of the written word & social media!

    Great result but also hats off to Adobe for not just listening but taking action; gotta love ’em ;)

    Cheers,
    Glyn

  35. From now on, I will be looking at Adobe products skeptically, wondering when they plan to abuse me again. My upgrade was purchased as a Christmas present, displacing other things I need more urgently. While they changed their position, even their reversal was ineptly timed.

    I feel like a wife who discovers her husband is cheating on her. We’re still married for the sake of the children; but I am now constantly distrusting, wondering when they are going to stray again. Adobe, you may have my money (now), but you’ve lost my love. I wonder what that will be worth to you in the future.

    PS: Scott thanks for pursuing this issue with Adobe. You get nothing but praise. It’s not your fault that Adobe took too long to see the error of their ways.

  36. Great to hear that Adobe have come round. Thanks Scott for being so vocal on this.

  37. Thanks, Scott, for speaking on behalf of the community. In the long run, I believe that Adobe will benefit from their changes, as well as their customers.

  38. What about CS5 users? I just bought it a couple months ago?

  39. Ignore all the plus & minuses of a CS6 full or upgrade , Adobe want far to high a price for its products , fact that a student can purchase a version at nearly half the price to me tells its own story , I cant imagine that they sell it for a loss is my observation . R&D is the cost , manufacture in volume and sell higher quantity at a lower cost I think would more than double the people that purchase there product . Give us an Elements priced product with the layout of CS5 and leave out all the bits of CS5  that are seldom used by most serious photographers and we can purchase as individuals plug ins that we may need , thats cost effective and we dont have to pay for loads of features we never use . Me I use CS5  , and now LR 3 [and thats so cluncky, clumsey visual layout I am still trying to find my way to do things , nothing has a simple or advanced option ] , was a good cost effective tool even better if you started with LR4 that cost less than 3 , but you will spend a fortune on books and video tutorials  to really get  the best from this programme ,[ remember less can be more ] so its about time it realised a lot of customers are becoming disappointed with there attituded towards them . As a MAC user with aperture 3  I can say its a pleasing visual layout  gives a full screen image , provides a good Video tutorial and that most people will be using most of if not all of its features after a few hours use , to develope & catalouge there images .The IPad has attracted a lot of serious photographers to its use and the clever apps that are daily being availabe for photo enhancment ,correction etc at very low prices , even those from Adobe , should be screaming a message to them lower prices and better customer attitude if they are to remain the number one photo editing app that can give the very best image from a digital neg .  I am yours Steve J Reynolds ……..a photographer in the UK

  40. I upgraded a couple of months ago due to their policy – wtf did I waste my money for?
    really upset

  41. Only problem is I upgraded when they insisted. Which means I just wasted all my money on upgrading to CS5. And Adobe feels &^%+ 

  42. Me too. I upgraded to CS5 from CS4 when the original article was released and the discount offered. That now seems like a big waste of money. Let’s see if they try to screw us over again with CS7. The joke is – the context aware patching in CS6 is actually useful to me, so I may well choose to upgrade. CS5 had nothing particularly interesting, and I would have skipped it.

  43. Scott:  
    Well done on this.  However:
    Could you have a word with Adobe about their scandalous pricing strategy in places other than the US?

    Here in the UK, if I want to upgrade to CS6 from CS5, the cost is ~£190+, while in the US it is $199.  Adobe has replaced the $ symbol with a £ symbol. There’s no internationalisation of the product, colour is still spelt color; it is the same product, downloadable from probably the same servers.

    There’s a similar price hike in Australasia, and no doubt in other parts of the world.

    I’m afraid that the perception of Adobe outside the US is that it has no intention of becoming a global (as opposed to international) company, and is quite happy to practice money-grubbing by abusing its monopoly and fleecing foreign customers for whatever it can.

  44. I agree – I feel totally taken advantage of by Adobe. Like many others here, I recently upgraded to CS 5.5 (only to find myself wondering why I bothered – an all too familiar feeling with the CS products) and now 6 comes out and they want another $200 just for Photoshop? I like CS 6, I’ve been using the beta since it came out. But let’s face it – a lot of the stuff it does is really merely FINALLY getting around to fixing stuff that had been broken or poorly implemented in the past. Welcome changes, no question – but these are evolutionary changes at revolutionary prices…
    I upgraded the entire Master Collection, too – which hasn’t been cheap to maintain/upgrade – and Adobe is just nickel and diming me to death (only instead of nickels and dimes, it’s 100 dollar bills flying around).
    What on earth are you falling over yourself to thank Adobe for exactly?

  45. So, this is great; however, because of their initial announcement that Adobe would offer an upgrade path to only owners of CS5, in Dec 2011 I upgraded my CS4 to CS5, not because I wanted to use the features of CS5, but rather so that I could upgrade to CS6.  I feel screwed.  I think Adobe should give me the CS6 upgrade at no additional cost.  Any suggestions?

  46. Hi Scott – Just watched you on Youtube for the free version of ‘Crush the Composition’ which is great and more importantly FREE.

    My but you have really porked out again haven’t you and gone all the way back to being a complete lard assed blimp, with the florrid pink glow of high blood pressure showing all over your pock marked tomato face – nice work Scott. Oh and the grid, is it supposed to be interesting or do you do it because seeing yourself on screen gets your little pecker stiff??

    Have a nice day (Fatty)

    • Yes, what is it with all these overweight web photography people anyway? Bourne, Kelby, Hobby, McNally, Harrington. They’re all chubby. I strongly recommend the Eat Stop Eat diet guys, in case you’re reading this.

  47. Looking for an alternative to CS6 now, since they ruined the crop tool and did not provide a real classic mode.  We are now forced to upgrade every single year, and have to accept whatever they put in it.  Think about it.  We are losing options.  

  48. What is the latest information on this topic? I have CS5.1 for Illustrator, CS5.1 for Photoshop, CS6 for DW and CS6 for Indy. Do I still have a short window for Illy and PS to get to 6 in order not to have to buy 7 at full price?

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