If you're still on CS1 and want to upgrade, now's a good time

If you own a product from the first generation of the Creative Suite (e.g. Photoshop CS, released in 2003) and want to be able to upgrade it to a more recent version, now’s a good time to pull the trigger.
I’m not hinting about the possible timing of future releases. I am noting, however, that Adobe introduced a “three versions back” policy a couple of years ago. That means that you can upgrade from CS, CS2, or CS3 to the current version (CS4). When the current version goes up by one, so will the cutoff for upgrades. Therefore if you’re holding onto a copy of CS and may want to upgrade it at some point, well, you shouldn’t wait too long.

32 thoughts on “If you're still on CS1 and want to upgrade, now's a good time

  1. Thanks!! still wish I could upgrade just the Photoshop component of my Creative Suite 1 Premium. I really don’t need everything else that’s included and would rather not pay the price for a full suite.

  2. @Florian
    No, not when you still have CS1, which this topic is about. If there will be a grace period you’ll only be able to upgrade if you have cs2 or higher.

  3. I’ve misunderstood your comment Florian. Sorry. Further I think that Adobe will take of the oppurnity to upgrade from CS1 when they announced the next CS.

  4. I believe the grace period would cover the CS4 upgrade, so if a CS1 user were to upgrade to CS4 during the grace period then presumably they would be eligible for a free upgrade to CS5.
    While John may not be hinting about the timeframe of the CS5 release, there is enough buzz going around to make it clear that it’s going to happen fairly soon.

  5. Of course , is there a better time to upgrade to CS4 than a month before the release of CS5 . C’mon ,you’re better than this πŸ™‚
    [This isn’t some cynical ploy on my part to get people to drop a bunch of money, only to end up with less-than-current software. It’s a sincere attempt to let CS1 owners know that if they wait until CS5 is announced, it’ll be too late. –J.]

  6. Any idea whether upgrades will be available for student editions? I realise we already get a big discount but I’ve paid full whack for Master Collection CS3 and CS4 as well as Macromedia Studio 8 and MX editions (I’ve been a student for a looooong time) so it would be nice to upgrade to CS5 without having to move back in with my parents πŸ˜‰

  7. Thanks for the heads-up John. I wish we knew something…even which half of the year this was coming, but I trust your numbers folks have a better sense for what should and shouldn’t be said at what times. As a guy teaching this stuff on a college campus, makes it a bit tricky to figure out if I’m going to spend this summer testing for a rollout and new training next academic year, or if I’ve got until next summer.
    But, as I said, any heads-up is better than none πŸ™‚
    This actually reminds me a but on Windows releases of late; in Vista, a ton of stuff went on under the hood with little improvements that made a big difference, and folks looked at it as an unwanted update. It didn’t sell well. Win 7 has nicer decor, shinier interface stuff, not a whole ton under the hood, but on the surface, it has flashy, powerful new ways to interact. And folks are singing hallelujahs about it. My understanding is that CS4 didn’t sell as well as it ought to have, and most of what I’ve seen/heard of CS5 is powerful new tools and interfaces (advanced cloning/healing, puppet tool-like features, advanced brushes, et cetera). Nothing about expected timelines for release and fundamental under-the-hood changes (like apps running on layers last go-round) Similar stratagem?
    Anyways, I don’t suppose you are able to say at least this one thing…but I might as well ask. Supposing that CS5 were to be released in June, and I had folks attending workshops in March and deciding to buy the Creative Suite. Since the next suite hasn’t been announced yet, this would historically mean that those folks buying today wouldn’t receive a free (or trivially-priced) upgrade. But, June is really pretty close.
    I’m not going to ask if we’re getting CS5 in June–obviously you’d tell us if you could. But, if that sort of timeframe did occur, where folks were buying CS within a 2 or 3 months of the announcement, and the announcement was within a month of release…do you think there would be something in the cards for them? With all the buzz going around, I don’t want to tell folks to buy and regret in 2 months, but I really don’t want to tell folks *not* to buy, too (especially students–no upgrade pricing!)

  8. CS5 will most likely be released in April. Maybe even announced next Tuesday. The only thing missing is the announcement of the announcement date, which happened about 20 days before the announcement of CS2 and CS3.
    April will be 18 months after CS4 and 36 after CS3.
    The post above yours links to an article that makes reference to the 18 month release cycle in relation to CS5.
    There is a class in early June that will use the new painting tools in CS5.

  9. Also as others have been alluding to, Adobe usually has a grace period in that they give free updates to people who bought the software X amount of time (30 days?) before an update.
    So if you have CS1, buy CS4 just before CS5 is announced then you likely will get a free upgrade of CS5. Only problem with this strategy is if you wait too long and CS5 is announced then you have to pay full price for an upgrade.

  10. I have CS2 now, would I be able to upgrade to CS5 then without moving to CS4 right now?
    [Yep, you’ll be fine. –J.]
    Sorry, I keep seeing conflicting information about this.
    I understand if you have CS you can’t but just wanted to make sure about CS2.

  11. Has a new PS ever NOT been announced at PhotoShop World?
    Don’t know when that is this spring, but soon I imagine.
    Something more serious though: I got the challenge question below wrong πŸ™‚

  12. I have CS3 and plan to ride it out until CS6 or whatever comes after CS5.
    The only application which I have separately and have it updated to the absolute latest is InDesign, and that license is separately covered by one of my clients.
    I’ve skipped CS4 entirely because I didn’t find it compelling enough.

  13. Had 1 student who was “sold” (not by Adobe) on a free upgrade offer if she purchased CS3 but the educational online store totally flaked out on their CS4 upgrade offer. Adobe stepped in to assist her with the upgrade and she remains a happy camper.

  14. Are education licenses eligible for upgrades? I thought they used to be but it doesn’t seem that’s the case?!

  15. Yes, you can upgrade student editions. For me, I bought Studio MX while I was a student, upgraded to CS3 Web Premium and then upgraded to CS4 Design Premium. After you upgrade a student edition it is considered a regular license.

  16. Well I guess it’s official, according to the Adobe’s conference call to investors CS5 suite of products will be unveiled on April 12.

  17. I just bought my CS4 upgrade on Sat March 20. Haven’t opened it. Should I just return it and upgrade from CS3 – CS5 on April 12? or will I get some kind of deal if I keep it?

  18. I’m wondering the same as Chachi. Unsure about the grace period regarding CS4 purchases. I need the suite for a new computer, but would hate to miss the upgrade window by a few days. If I buy it now, will I get a CS5 upgrade? Thanks.

  19. Hi, well, I am a student and we get a great discount on the software. We do not get it immediately when new suite is released though. I am in a situation where I have to buy now or I will loose the money to buy it. So, I will have to buy the CS4 LESS than a month before the CS5 release πŸ™ Does anyone know when the schools that qualify for the Adobe discounts (Art Schools for example) get the new suite releases, or how long the free upgrade grace period is? Thank you!

  20. No.
    There’s no need to return it. Adobe’s policy is a free upgrade if a new version of their software is released within 30 days of you purchasing their most recent version at the time of purchase.
    I used this method to upgrade to get CS3. I bought CS2 30 days before release of CS3 and received a free upgrade to CS3, saving me Β£700GBP.
    It’s a policy that guarantees that people won’t get duped into buying software just before an upgrade, possibly on sale, leaving them a version behind when the upgrade arrives.
    You can install and use CS4 in the meantime as it is down to the date you purchased it. You’ll only get an upgrade package though (discs only), not a full boxed set with manuals.
    Hope this is clear. Actually, I hope I’m right. πŸ˜‰

  21. Does anyone know if the upgrade deadline is the *announcement* of CS5 or the *shipping* date? I’ve got CS1 at present and am just wondering if I’m too late to upgrade?

  22. I guess I am too late for the upgrades… Noticed that most postings were done in 2010. I still have InDesign CS and would like to upgrade. Where can I go?

  23. Also as others have been alluding to, Adobe usually has a grace period in that they give free updates to people who bought the software X amount of time (30 days?) before an update.
    So if you have CS1, buy CS4 just before CS5 is announced then you likely will get a free upgrade of CS5. Only problem with this strategy is if you wait too long and CS5 is announced then you have to pay full price for an upgrade.

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