CS3: Switching platforms, free upgrades

Q. Can I switch my product from Windows to Mac or vice-versa?
A. Yes.
Just call Adobe Customer Service (800-833-6687 in the US; 020 7365 0733 in the UK; more country-by-country numbers here) for assistance. The process, as I understand it, involves signing an agreement stating that you’ve destroyed the product on one platform, and in return Adobe will send you the product for the other platform.  According to the service folks, there may be a cost involved; verification of product is required; and restrictions apply.
Q. Why are Customer Service hold times so long?
A. The CS3 launch is far and away the single biggest in Adobe’s history, and during the first week or so I heard many stories of long waits on hold.  I’m not surprised that the phone lines were slammed, and although I’m not hearing the reports now, you may want to open a Web support case instead of calling, or contact us during non-peak business hours.

Q. I purchased a CS2 product after CS3 was announced.  Do I qualify for a free upgrade to CS3?
A. Yes.
Again, call Customer Service in your region to discuss the details. Verification of CS2 product is required and restrictions apply.  When in doubt, call; these folks are there help.

0 thoughts on “CS3: Switching platforms, free upgrades

  1. Fantastic! I haven’t purchased CS3 or tried switching yet, but after purchasing my Mac Pro was hoping for the ability to switch platforms without paying the full cost. Kudos to Adobe for being lenient with their long time customers.

  2. I just made the jump from CS1.1 on Windows to CS3 on a Mac. I’ll vouch for the fact that the process wasn’t too bad. It took a little extra effort, and I did need to send in the letter you mentioned, but all in all I’m a happy camper. (Oh, and since I was cross-platform upgrading rather than just moving platforms there wasn’t any extra cost).

  3. How about those who’ll be making the switch from a PPC Mac to an Intel Mac in the next few months. My InDesign CS3 install disk contains both, but what will happen when I try to install on the Intel Mac?
    Can I install and run both during a transition period as long as I don’t use both at the same time? How about dual, laptop/desktop use, as long as only one is running at a time.
    Inkling Books is just me. There’s no one else who could even be running it here.
    [CS3 apps are Universal Binaries, meaning they’ll install and run natively on either PPC or Intel-based Macs. The license agreement permits you to install the app on two systems (e.g. a desktop and a laptop), and that’s what product activation enforces. Activation puts a kind of token onto your machine, which you can elect to return (via Help->Deactivate) in order to free it up for use on another machine. So, I think you’ll be all set. –J.]

  4. Speaking of upgrades, I was looking at the store to find the upgrade pricing. I saw the “Product Activation” link, clicked it, and nothing happened. Clicked it again. Nothing happened. Anywho, it doesn’t work in Safari if “Block pop-up windows” is enabled.
    I know, kind of off-topic, but your post made me check out the pricing.
    [Thanks for the heads up; I’ll let the Store team know. –J.]

  5. Oh, So I guess that answers my one question. Adobe CS3 does require activation then? The list doesn’t mention any CS3 apps. I found that list on the activation FAQ McDealie.
    [In short, yes. –J.]

  6. Cross-platform relicensing is the minimum expected, but is not really enough. Many of us are dual platform users. Windows desktop/OS X laptop or vice versa. If we need to run PS in both (at different times) we need to purchase 2 licenses. Many software houses these days offer far more liberal licensing, allowing non-simultaneous use in 2 or more platforms for the same licensed user. Incidentally, that’s the model Adobe offers with the new Lightroom.

  7. im in the process of cross-upgrading. Adobes help center has been very friendly so far (when the 20 minutes sit-out on the phone is over …)
    Originally bought a ps 4.2 back in 97 and have just been upgrading since that. My only problem is to gather all the necessary old receipt + scanning my orig. cd’s. Here in denmark father tax says i have to keep my old company accounting, receipts and stuff for five years – adobe calls for 10 years …
    [Really? That’s a drag. I would expect that you can upgrade without much fuss as long as you keep your previous serial number. In the case of switching platforms, however, I can imagine your needing more documentation. –J.]

  8. There has been a great deal of confusion on the U2U forums regarding cross-platform upgrades. I switched a few years ago and it was pretty painless, so it’s good to see that things haven’t changed.
    However, and number of people have bought straight upgrades from one platform to another and wonder why theu don’t work. Perhpas the online stores couls be more specific on this point, with a link to the x-grade policy? It might help out a number of people in future.
    Just a thought.
    [Agreed. What may not be obvious is that I do what I can to share information, and that getting things onto the blog sometimes takes some doing. So, the fact that this info is now in the public record one way or another makes me happy. –J.]

  9. I’m currently running on Wintel but considering to switch to a Mac Pro this fall and upgrading to CS3. Will my CS3 recognize my CS2 disks / key that are for a different platform? Or should I get the windows version, then call like suggested?
    [You’d need to buy the Windows version now, then make the switch if/when you go to the Mac. –J.]

  10. Thank you for “semi-official” publishing this crossgrade possibility. You’ll not find the smallest bit about that anywhere on the official Adobe site.
    [Yeah, I don’t know why the company is coy about some things. Say what you mean, do what you say, and move on. In any case, “hence the blog.” –J.]
    I’m currently in the middle of a crossgrade from CS2 Win to CS3 Mac. Signed already my “Letter of software destruction” and luckily found all the invoices from the entire upgrade path in my book keeping folders. Currently I’m waiting.
    I’m grateful that Adobe lets me switch for the usual upgrade price with no extra costs. If I had to buy my entire Creative Suite for Mac again I wouldn’t do it.

  11. I had planned to do a cross-platform upgrade from windows to Mac and was very disappointed that I was refused. I started with Photoshop 2.5 while still on Windows 3.1 and have upgraded through Photoshop CS2, because I can’t produce that original serial number I’d not being allowed to upgrade to CS3. I would be more than happy to return all disks I have going back to Photoshop 4 or 5 right through CS2 if that is what it takes.
    I have purchased Elements 4.0 for Mac
    as well as Lightroom 1.0 while waiting for the release of CS3. to be told the upgrade price would not apply to me after years of using Adobe products is very disappointing to a long time user and supporter of Photoshop.
    [James, let me look into this one. There must be a better way to handle cases like yours. –J.]

  12. With you there James, I can’t find the original receipt for Photoshop 7 any more despite having CS1 and CS2 upgrade receipts. Hence I am not allowed to upgrade and have to buy the full version again.
    [Hang on: are you trying to upgrade, or to upgrade and switch platforms at the same time? Just upgrading should be no problem using your CS1 or 2 serial number. (You’re not required to show proof of ownership while making a purchase; you just need to supply your previous serial number while installing–something that the installer should do automatically if you’ve already got a previous version installed on that machine.) –J.]
    Sucks big time. Its not just the price gouging in the UK which make me start to hate Adobe, although some people like Jack here are good.
    [Thanks for saying so. 🙂 –J.]

  13. Sorry Jack, I am trying to upgrade and cross platform at the same time.
    [Ah, got it. I don’t quite get this whole situation. I’m investigating. –J.]

  14. just a slight update:
    26 days and Still waiting – more disappointed than impressed
    Began my cs3 crossgrade journey on may 3, 2007. Allready on the phone I told customerservice that it was kind of emergency since I had a total corrupted Parallelinstallation running out of space daily.
    Got my letter of destruction and spent the whole weekend scanning my original cd’s, collecting the different PS-serialnumbers and the receipts I still have in various formats. We are talking about licenses ranging a period of ten years – since ps 4.2.
    It probably didnt speed things up that I also apply for a crossgrade for cs3 web standard (DreamWeaver version 1.2 and up plus plus) and adobe acrobat.
    It all summed up to:
    – 8 photoshop licensenumbers
    – 13 other licencenumbers
    – 15 Links to online versions of scans of original cd’s
    – 8 links to online pdf-versions of scanned receipts
    and a lot of additional mail-info on the diff purchases whereof several were online/download purchases without hardcopys of the cd’s
    All the material I mailed back on may 7, 2007. The two letters of destruction were signed and faxed back to customerservice as they were asked.
    Two days later i again contacted customer service ‘following up on my case’. The message was that they had received the mail but not the faxes. Fortunately I had foreseen this so I could read them the printed activity report from my fax. Err – just a minute sir … and then ‘oh yes I found one of your faxes in another department but the other fax hadnt made it’. Silence when I told him that it was a two-paged fax and that they had received it precicely on bla bla bla
    So I now also scanned the allready signed letters of destruction into pdfs which i then forwarded. The next day I received a mail that they had received my material and that it now were forwarded for further processing.
    Its now 20 days since I send my material and still nothing but silence. Took the 20+ minutes wait for the customerservice center on the phone just to be told that it now wasn’t a case for their own department anymore and that they (probably) would be back soon.
    I could offcourse just get my programs for free on ‘the big internet library’ but I have since day one paid (a lot) for my software. Honesty may be the best policy but it sure ain’t the fastest …

  15. Free upgrade for those that bought cs2 after cs3 was announced seems to have expired according to customer service. is there a link where this free upgrade was announced on adobe site because i can’t find it.

  16. 20 Days feel lucky…Two n 1/2 Months, 2 Unanswered Recorded Delivery Letter’s, 20 or more emails, and at least 2 hours of chases up calls, multiple resends of documentation, I finally received the software, Very Poor Service. And All Cross Platform is a full version which your platform requires as a discounted price. Nothing Special just a Special Term: Cross Platform.

  17. My experience of the cross-platform upgrade process concurs with others here. The whole process is a fiasco, with layers of incompetence built upon layers of incompetence, both at the management level in Adobe and at the customer service level. Who on earth are these people and why are they allowed to run riot in a corporation?
    Has anyone here considered the insanity? I have CS3 Web Premium on my machine (expired). All I need to do is to type in a serial number. Asking me to send a Letter of Destruction is reasonable. Making sure of anything else Adobe needs to make sure of is reasonable. Insisting on shipping a physical box to me and quoting a time of 3 to 5 weeks? – an insane waste of time and money and a classic sign of a company that’s big, bloated and out of touch with reality.
    That’s all before we even get to the fact that I was told one of my serial numbers won’t ‘decode’ and I would have to provide them with a genuine serial. Pretty strange really, considering it’s the one listed in my purchases download area on my account in Adobe’s own online store and the one that is accepted by both the software and the online activation process. Needless to say, I spend a couple of hours copying their own information and sending it to them.
    And then I was told that I couldn’t cross-platform upgrade because Adobe doesn’t ship to the country I’ve moved to… resulting in another round of communication explaining that not only does Adobe ship to this country, but it has an online store for this country.
    And these are different people dealing with me, so there’s no excuse.
    And so it goes, on and on and on.
    I already have the software. All I need is the serial number but Adobe doesn’t seem to be competent enough to take my money and provide me with a serial number.
    Cool products, naff company. Love the products, hate the company (especially the inept management).
    [I’ll drop you a line in hopes of sorting this out. Sorry that it’s been such a pain. –J.]

  18. > [I’ll drop you a line in hopes of sorting this out.
    > Sorry that it’s been such a pain. –J.]
    Thanks for replying. I really do appreciate it, especially now that Adobe Customer Services have stopped responding to me… and by the way, I was impeccably polite at all times.
    I haven’t got any further than the what I described above. There were other problems such as, the girl told me on the phone that Studio MX 2004 was not a valid upgrade path to CS3 Web Premium and could only be upgraded to CS3 Web Standard, but I think that’s nailed now.
    I live in Malta, having moved to live here in April this year. I simply use it as a base to work out of. While I was correct that Malta does have an online store (I bought Flex on the Adobe Malta store a couple of days ago), they were correct that Adobe doesn’t ship boxes to Malta. The Malta store is download only, which is fine by me.
    But I now find myself in the position of being forced to have a box shipped to me, but not being allowed to have a box shipped to me. I already have the software and I neither need nor want the box. All I need is a serial number that I am very happy buy.
    This is crazy. I’m a valid customer, with a valid upgrade product, that I bought in my valid home country (the UK), living in a country with a valid online store and I have money that I want to give to Adobe.
    All I need is a serial number which upon receipt of necessary paperwork (already done) and payment, could be emailed to me in a heartbeat. That would be the end of that – happy productive customer, and from Adobe’s point of view “next customer please”.
    As it is, even if they were willing to ship the box that I don’t want or need, Adobe would have to create an order, which would then go to a warehouse. A guy (or girl) would have to package it up for a guy with a truck to take it to a distribution terminal, where more guys with trucks would put it on a truck, which would take it to an aircraft, which would take it to an airport, which would put it on another truck, which would take it to a terminal, which would put it on another truck, which would take it to me, the customer.
    This is my idea of customer service hell, although it doesn’t even look as if I’m lucky enough to get the hell option since I’m forced to have a box that they won’t let me have. Whose idea was all this?
    Meanwhile, as the quoted “3 to 5 weeks” roll on, the customer is calling Adobe to find out where the package is. More time, money, lost productivity, lost reputation, pollution, a very unhappy customer, multiple angry blog posts across the internet…
    Anyhow, genuinely, thanks for replying.

  19. John, thanks again but there is now no need for you to intervene. You must be extremely busy anyway.
    Things seem to be moving now. The problem with the license numbers was resolved. They had been noted down incorrectly at Adobe’s end. I am also now getting prompt responses. (Maybe you did intervene?)
    [I did. –J.]
    What happens now is that I will pay for CS3 Web Premium from Malta and it will be shipped to the UK, either to friends or to one of the national newspapers I work for. Whoever gets it will open the box, read me the serial number and throw the box in the bin.
    I did ask customer service if they could simply ship the box directly to the bin and just give me the serial number but that doesn’t seem to be possible.
    Anyhow, hopefully in a few weeks time I’ll be up and running.
    Take care.

  20. Do you know if I will be allowed to change suites?
    I have purchased production premium, but after attending an adobe conference, think design premium will be more beneficial to my needs.
    [I don’t know, but I can ask. –J.]

  21. I have gotten mixed responses from Adobe, my professor, etc. as far as if I can cross-platform from Windows to Mac at some point with the educational version of Creative Suite Design Premium 3 I am going to be purchasing.
    I understood at first that I would not be able to switch platforms when I decide to get a Mac and will then want to use my CS3 on that instead of my Dell laptop. On Adobe’s website it says, “Upgrade pricing is available only for products listed above and requires a qualifying previous product on the same platform, with serial number.”
    But now in talking to Adobe support, it sounds like I could switch platforms.
    I also understood, in talking to Adobe, that there would be no cost at all (other than shipping) to do a cross-platform switch only?
    So I just want to verify (before I proceed to buy the Windows version) that this can, in fact, be done.
    Thank you!

  22. An update on my posts above. It’s now several weeks since I was told by Adobe that I would be contacted for payment and have not heard a thing.
    Several communications later, they tell me that I’m now on high priority but nothing ever happens.
    Truly unbelievable. How complicated can it possibly be to simply call me and take my money! This is so bad.
    [What a drag. Let me see what I can find out. –J.]

  23. Thanks for posting this info. I just x-graded from pc to mac Adobe production premium via customer service. It was a headache. Then I bought and cross graded another version through sales and it was pretty easy.

  24. Can anyone let me know the price of a cross-grade WIN – MAC studio CS3
    [It’s free, as stated in the article. –J.]

  25. Hi,
    I recently purchased CS3 Premium for Mac, I have an Intel Powerbook with basecamp installed and XP.
    Am I able to get a serial no. to use the same licence on both OSX and XP?
    [Short story: No, the licenses for Mac and Windows are sold separately, and having one doesn’t mean you have the other. –J.]
    I’m confused a bit by the different licencing policies I’ve read on here

  26. I just bought an upgrade to CS3. In the past I have been able to put a copy on my lap-top and my desk top computer which was very convnenient. With this version you want to have both versions freely available, you need to buy a second copy.Now if you want to do this you have to deactivate one copy before you can activate another. This is taking copyright protection too far.
    [What’s the last version you used? You’re able to install and activate Photoshop CS3 on two machines, just as you could in CS2 (and CS on Windows; the Mac copy protection code wasn’t ready in that version). If you’re finding that this isn’t the case, something is not working properly, and I recommend calling Adobe technical support. –J.]
    I also use Phase One’s Capture One. They require you to activate before use, but permit a limited number of activations over the life of the product, which is much more user friendly. In the future, I think I will be doing without future updates of Photoshop and just stick with CS.
    [As I say, please make sure that things are working as designed. –J.]

  27. I am sure this isn’t your department, John, but Adobe could sure use some improvement to this cross-grade, platform swap process. I wanted a Mac for a while, but my investment in the PC Creative Suite software kept me from buying one. When I found out about the cross-grade, I decided to take the plunge.
    Over a month later and a half dozen calls to Adobe, I still do not know for sure what the status of my request is. I have had to repeatedly call to check the status and each time something else is different. The agent I was just on the phone with said that he has resubmitted the cross-grade request and I should call back in a couple days to check the status.
    I’m sorry to rant, but this is really annoying. I am a legitimate customer. I have had projects delayed because of this. With Adobe being a big web player, I don’t understand why this process isn’t automated more. I don’t understand why I have to supply serial numbers over the phone when they were in my LOD. I don’t understand why I can’t get notified when something significant happens with this my case.
    I love just about everything about Adobe, but I wish that the customer service side of the business could be improved. I feel a little bad for posting this here, but it does seem relevant to the cross-grade discussion. As others have indicated, it’s not a simple and straightforward as it seems like it will be.
    [I’m sorry to hear about this, Peter. I don’t know what causes these snafus. I do hope these cases are unusual, and that the vast majority are resolved quickly. That said, I really don’t know. I’ll look into it. –J.]

  28. Hello, I was wondering if it was possible to switch platforms like this with Creative Suite CS2?
    [No, as CS2 is no longer offered for sale. The method for switching is to call Customer Service, upgrade to CS3, and tell them you’d like to switch. –J.]

  29. Update on my case (thanks, John, if you had something to do with it): it appears that you have to fax in the Letter of Destruction instead of attaching it to an e-mail. The LOD itself says that it can be returned via e-mail, and I had done that at least twice. The note I received from customer service today said they hadn’t received it, so I figured I would try the fax route.
    Got my fingers crossed that this is the last hiccup. Thanks again, John, for this blog entry and any further assistance you provided.

  30. Quick update: received my cross-grade CS3 on January 22nd, over two months since I started the process. Now I can really start to enjoy my new Mac.
    For anyone doing the cross grade: be patient and be proactive. Very rarely did I get updates from customer service. Even when my software eventually shipped (free, btw, which I wasn’t expecting), I didn’t know about it until I called and was given a tracking number (after first being told my order had been canceled).
    I still say thank you to Adobe for allowing us to do this. CS3 Design Premium costs as much as my 24″ iMac. I simply could not have afforded to switch if not for this cross-grade policy.

  31. I have the education version of CS2 for Windows. Can I upgrade to CS3 (education version) and crossgrade to the Mac version at the same time?
    [Yep; just call Customer Service. –J.]

  32. I have the education version of CS2 (entire Creative suite with Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, etc.) How can I upgrade this to CS3 and how much will it cost? Am I better off upgrading my standard CS Photoshop version?

  33. Hello, John. I found out about your blog on the LightRoom forum. Thanks for providing this info outlet on your blog.
    Here’s my situation: I currently have Adobe LR 1.3, Photoshop CS3, and Dream Weaver CS3 installed on a PC desktop. I’ve been wanting to get a mac book pro for some time, and I’m planning to do so pretty soon.
    I would like to install these 3 adobe products on the mac book, and continue to use both the PC and Mac platforms.
    I’m a little confused as to what my options are, and would appreciate your input.
    [Sorry, Ade: your software license isn’t cross platform, meaning that you have to pick one platform on which to use it. You can switch your license to the Mac by calling customer service, but they’ll require you to sign a letter of destruction stating that you’ve gotten rid of the Windows media. –J.]
    Thank you for your help.

  34. John,
    If you’re looking for another area within upgrades that Adobe is in need of improvement, its another aspect of “not screwing over longtime customers”. In this case, its those who own multiple products that fully (or significantly) duplicate the current ‘Creative Suite’ bundled configurations.
    I currently own InDesign, Acrobat, Illustrator & Photoshop, which are exactly the four primary Apps in the “CS3 Design Standard” product bundle. As such, does it not sound reasonable that I should be thus eligible to upgrade all four of them for the $399 CS3 Design Standard “Bundle” upgrade price?
    Well, the answer from Adobe is “no”. This is documented in Adobe’s Customer Service center’s Case #0200216498.
    It is precisely because I’m a longtime faithful customer that I have multiple individual licence#s. And it is becuase of multiple licence#s (instead of a one neat CSx licence#) that makes my four (4) Apps bureaucratically ineligible for the CS3 DS upgrade price. Hey, that’s Adobe’s paperwork problem, not mine.
    Thus, the only upgrade path to CS3 Design Std that I’m officially eligible for runs $899 (that’s $500 more than the above upgrade price).
    But what’s apparently utterly lost on Adobe that because I already own all four apps, I can simply upgrade all four of them individually and only have to pay $759 (15% less).
    Also lost on Adobe is that I have no compelling need for pulling all four of them up right now to the CS3 revision, so its also to my advantage (no Adobe’s) to ‘skip’ upgrade if I really wanted to be a cheapskate.
    I’m not trying to be a cheapskate…I simply don’t enjoy being raked through the coals.

  35. I have CS2 and am about to upgrade to CS3 but did not get a serial new serial number with the software. Do I use the CS2 serial number???
    [How is it possible you didn’t get a new serial number? If you bought the software through a legitimate channel, you got a new number. –J.]

  36. This is kinda on the point, but a year later…
    Anyone know why I can’t upgrade from my 3 month old CS3 Design Premium to the CS3 Masters Collection??
    I’ve only had Design Premium for 3 months b ut realise I need CS3 Masters Collection because I’m getting more of that type of work.
    Adobe won’t let me upgrade to CS3 Masters – I have to buy the full version, leaving me with 2 copies of CS3 for a single user.
    If I had CS1 or CS2 products, I could upgrade. But I’ve only got the latest version.

  37. I purchased CS2 education a couple of years ago, then purchased a regular retail CS3 upgrade a few months back. I called customer service to upgrade, provided serial numbers to both CS2 and CS3, and was told the CS2 number doesn’t check out. I read it to the rep right off the original CD jewel case, but it won’t check out. Any reason why a valid serial # such as this wouldn’t check out?
    [I don’t know. Are you sure the company that sold you the CS2 number is reputable? –J.]

  38. John,
    Thanks for the response. The CS2 came from my school–the University of Chicago. So, I would assume so. Is it common for legit serial no’s to not check out sometimes? Thanks again.

  39. By the string of unflattering comments toward Adobe’s Customer Service, I don’t feel so alone now.
    I placed the order on April 5th. My Letter of Software Destruction was received on April 11th. I’ve called several times since the receipt of the letter. Each time I’ve been told by a different representative that he/she will “personally” check the status of my cross-platform upgrade request, and that I should have the approval the following day. I’ve also been told that processing should take no longer than 48 hours for approval or denial a cross-platform upgrade request.
    I have to say that my impression from the past 2 weeks of working with Adobe customer service representatives have been disappointing & unreliable at best.
    It is obvious that no one “personally” checked into my inquiries. Nor is it apparent to me that anyone actually acted on my requests to expedite the processing after the allotted 48 hours has passed. If the 48 hour turn-around time isn’t accurate, please stop telling customers so.
    At this point, I would appreciate an idea from everyone who’s been through this. How long did the entire process take from order to receiving the shipment of software? Calling for follow-ups have resulted in nothing but run-arounds & non-answers consistently dished out by friendly but incompetent CSR’s—like many have already gone through.

  40. Do you need a receipt to do the cross platform exchange? There is a guy at school that won CS3 Production at an Adobe/Maxon seminar and he’s now selling it, BNIB unopened. The bad news is that it’s for Windows. I would like to buy it and do the cross platform exchange but not sure if Adobe would deny my claim. The only proof he has is an email stating that he rightfully won the software. Also, I live in Canada.
    [I checked with Customer Service, and they tell me that the guy who originally won the product at the seminar should be the one that performs the cross-platform upgrade. After that you can purchase the product from him. Let me know if this is something you want to do so that I can have CS get in touch with you. –J.]

  41. I am planning the switch from a PC to Mac and plan to upgrade all my Adobe software. If I buy the upgrade for a mac will my pc software serial numbers be accepted to qualify as a previous edition? Or will I have to go through the whole platform switch paperwork hassle? Thanks

  42. I stumbled on this while I about to make a call to Adobe support for platform switching. So they let my initial query sit for two weeks without telling me anything, and when I asked they had me send in the serial numbers again. To be fair, I think I screwed up one of the serial numbers on the first letter of software destruction–but they should have told me that! Then another couple of weeks of back and forth.
    Anyway, this really is ridiculous. Why do they make their customers go through this? I can’t imagine a good reason for not allowing their customers to use both Windows and Mac platforms at the same time. They already allow customers to use the product on two machines now, and the platform in use shouldn’t make any difference to their licensing scheme.
    We’ll see if I actually get the software or not.

  43. I have the original version of CS installed on my laptop, installed by the IT department of my old company (I no longer work there). So I don’t have the original serial numbers.
    Is there anyway to buy the Upgrade version of CS3.3 and install it without those original serial numbers?

  44. I currently own both CS2 for Mac and windows. I want to upgrade for CS3 Mac and wanted to know if its cheaper to upgrade thru the Windows version vs. Mac version? If so, what is the exact amount difference? Thanks!

  45. I have the Adobe CS3 education edition for Windows. I do not have any previous versions beyond this. Am I eligible for a crossgrade to Mac?

  46. Week 1: I submit a case on the Adobe site requesting a cross-platform. After four days without a word in reply, my case is updated to inform me that the web support people will not help with this; I have to call. So I call, get an order number, fill out and fax my LOD, and wait.
    Week 2: No word from Adobe, not even an acknowledgement of my fax (I had made sure when I sent the fax that Adobe’s fax machine sent back confirmation of a successful transmission). I continue to wait.
    Week 3: I call to find out what’s taking so long. The agent assures me that my fax has been received and my request is being “processed.” He helpfully chirps, “No news is good news when it comes to Adobe!” I resume waiting.
    Four days later, I receive an email from Adobe stating that my fax was never received. I realize that the agent I had spoken with didn’t even look at my case, or else he looked and lied about what he saw. I send the LOD by email this time and request confirmation of receipt.
    Week 4: A full seven days later, I receive confirmation that my email was received and my request “would be reviewed.” No indication is given of how long this might take. I wait some more.
    Week 5: Still no word, so I email again, having no faith that phone support would give me a straight answer. Two days later, I receive a reply that Adobe had shipped the software three days prior. That’s right–Adobe didn’t bother to send any notification of approval or shipment.
    I now have my software, and with it a newfound realization of why people I know talk excitedly about the possibility of programs like Pixelmator and VectorDesigner maturing to the point where they can compete with Adobe’s software. I had imagined it was just the natural human tendency to root for the underdog, but now I realize they probably had their own unfortunate encounters with Adobe and simply want to be treated with respect and sincerity when they need support for their software.
    I know that I, for one, want as little to do with Adobe as possible in the future, and when upgrade time comes around, I’ll be taking a long, hopeful look at the competition. I may even sacrifice some non-essential features for the sake of having software made by someone who demonstrates something other than indifference towards their customers.
    However, I must express my gratitude to John here for providing this information in the first place, as it is impossible to find anywhere on the official Adobe site. Without this blog, I’d be trying to run CS3 in VMware right now.

  47. I appreciate the opportunity to crossgrade from windows to Mac. The process is not without it’s problems however. I obtained an upgrade to CS Design Standard 3.3 from a single product (Photoshop CS). After my first call to give them the serial# from the new package I was told that they also needed the PhotoshopCS number. Fair enough, but after giving them that number I was told that my CS was an upgrade CD and they needed the original software serial#. I have been a Photoshop user at work for quite a while, beginning with v3. My first at-home version was v5. I called this serial# in (fortunately I still had the CD sleeve) and I am now waiting for email confirmation that my Mac software is on it’s way. It seems to me there needs to be some clarification and simplification of this procedure, maybe on-line like most other software upgrades. Here’s hoping that everything works out OK, otherwise I’ll be stuck with a version of CS 3.3 that I cannot use on my PC running windows2K.

  48. The process, as I understand it, involves signing an agreement stating that you’ve destroyed the product on one platform, and in return Adobe will send you the product for the other platform. According to the service folks, there may be a cost involved; verification of product is required; and restrictions apply.
    ehmmmm? Paranoid?

  49. hello! i’m a bit confused i think i went backwards on what i was suppose to do!
    i have photoshop 7 on my pc laptop and i got a mac desktop i want to use my photoshop on my mac so i purchased the upgrade photoshop cs3 which I was told to do so from MAC.i have my serial # but it is only 20 numbers(maybe its right) i don’t want to open it and try to install it in the fear that if its not right i can’t return it.am i doing this right should i have cs3 or am i going about it wrong? called customer service and they told me it was a sales issue and transfered me to a dept. that was closed! very frustrating.HELP

  50. hello! i’m a bit confused i think i went backwards on what i was suppose to do!
    i have photoshop 7 on my pc laptop and i got a mac desktop i want to use my photoshop on my mac so i purchased the upgrade photoshop cs3 which I was told to do so from MAC.i have my serial # but it is only 20 numbers(maybe its right) i don’t want to open it and try to install it in the fear that if its not right i can’t return it.am i doing this right should i have cs3 or am i going about it wrong? called customer service and they told me it was a sales issue and transfered me to a dept. that was closed! very frustrating.HELP

  51. If you do not have a 24-digit serial number for Photoshop 7, you do not own a legal copy. The 24-digit serial number is on the CD case.

  52. Is there any chance that adobe might change their policy and allow a copy on both a mac and PC? It seems like it would make sense since it already allows it to be used on two computers. And while I am really happy it is possible to switch platforms if I choose to in the future, I am not too enthusiastic about how long it takes to complete what would seem to be a straight forward process. I hope Adobe tries to make this easier for its customers. Thank you for all the helpful info!!!

  53. J
    You’ve said that cross-platform licenses (windows to mac) are good to go for educational versions. Does this include student versions. I have Photoshop CS3 student version on my Windows computer but have moved to Mac and on talking with the Adobe customer service this morning they informed me that Adobe policy was the only education versions were covered, not student and I was not eligible for anything and ‘closed’ my query. Is this the case? I’m in Australia if it makes any difference.

  54. Now that CS4 is almost here, I’m taking the plunge and upgrading my old InDesign CS to CS4… and I am now going through the hell that is a cross-platform upgrade. The hold times on the phone are a joke, especially as there is no local number so its all at international rates for me. Then the customer support dude can’t locate me in their system by my Adobe ID, email address, or the half-dozen licences I’ve registered (but is nice enough to call me back so Adobe pick up the phone costs). So I then email all the information and get no response (apart from the usual message received). A call today and the support dude finds my email and says he’ll email back the letter of destruction… but instead I get a request for the original CDs. I assume he wants me to email a scan of the CDs… and again, no response… I’m getting more than a bit frustrated at this as the whole process is messsy, complex, and not clearly explained (and since I work in process management its even more annoying to be on the receiving end). Why can’t Adobe get their act together and reduce the pain for those trying to switch platforms for their legitimate software?

  55. I’m busy in the cross grading nightmare in the UK. Any way to hurry the whole thing along? I’ve signed the LOD and uploaded it back but they have gone quiet for 3 weeks. Tried calling but I run out of patience (and minutes!) and hang up. any advice would be cool! I’ve asked for a timescale on the web support but nothing…

  56. So I thought I had this sorted when I found the adobe customer support site with the policy for platform swaps – only updated last month, so one might assume accurate (http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=kb405819&sliceId=1) which states that ALL software configurations are eligible for platform swap, however following the instructions and lodging a web support request or phoning the customer service centre both yield the same result, and that is that Student Editions are not eligible for platform swap. Please refer to the student edition FAQ where is says ” Can I exchange or return the product?
    No, the product cannot be exchanged or returned. For this reason, please
    verify before purchasing whether you are an eligible user. ”
    At least Adobe could make the policies consistent! So it looks like now that even though one policy says Yes and the other to me is kind of grey but could maybe be interpreted as No, I have to fork out for a new copy. Very disappointed. 🙁

  57. Adobe have Royally destroyed me. I purchased CS3 Web Premium a while ago, with the knowledge that I could crossgrade for free. I now have a Mac and no longer use Windows and can no longer use CS3 Web Premium. Numerous calls and support tickets with the same scripted response… Only new versions, you’ll need to sell your house and cough up. I will never purchase from Adobe again. I’m going to write to The Office of Fair Trading (UK). I think others should too. Adobe shouldn’t be able to do this. The only reason I purchased the product was because of the fact that I could crossgrade for free. They didn’t say that feature would expire within 3 minutes, when Adobe release CS3.1. Oh yeh, and the responses I have had on the support tickets are beyond bad, they talk complete non-sense, changing their story with every response. I’m going to quote all responses when I complain.

  58. I’d like to go from Adobe Web Bundle (CS2 design premium & Studio 8) Education (win) to CS4 Design premium (mac). If I purchase a regular upgrade and then call customer service, will this work? Or do I need to get a special version of software directly through adobe?
    I’m trying to limit the calls to customer service and the time spent on hold.

  59. Dear Adobe (and John Nack), you don’t have the squeeze the juice from every deal. I found I couldn’t switch from Windows CS3 to Mac CS3 because CS4 was released and I’d have to cough up $1000 and get CS4 just for the privilege. Yet I just switched Quark XPress 6.5 from Windows to Mac last month for $35, and this with QX8 just out. It seems Adobe switch polices are now far worse than Quark’s! $965 worse!
    [Did you buy the Master Collection? How is the upgrade price $1000? –J.]

  60. It was CS3 Design Premium. $1000 was what the sales rep told me, I’d have to upgrade to CS4 Design Premium for $1000 to get the Mac version as CS4 was shipping and CS3 was just running it’s course in the pipeline.

  61. I can’t believe a company of this size has such terrible support. Ordered a cross platform upgrade to CS4, been waiting almost 3 weeks. Call support, they have no tracking number, the product has not shipped and thy don’t know when it will ship due to “a lot of orders”! Support also told me they can’t cancel my order, which I”m going to do through my credit card company even though my software has been removed and the disks destroyed. With the economy is such a sorry state, you think Adobe would bend over backwards to please their customer. In this case, I was the one bent over.

  62. I just went through this process, switching from CS3 Web Premium Mac to CS4 Design Premium Windows, and it was painless. Customer support was very helpful and easy to work with, plus I received free shipping.
    [Really glad to hear it! –J.]
    Perhaps a new upgrade procedure has been implemented?
    [I sure hope so. The lag and ongoing confusion were very frustrating. –J.]

  63. I accidentally ordered the MAC upgrade from CS3 to CS4 production premium rather than the Windows one.
    This was shipped from the US to the UK (I was not going to pay the exorbitent UK price).
    I realised my mistake when I got the software and the supplier has told me I can send it back and they will send me the Windows version.
    I contacted Adobe this morning to see about doing a cross platform switch.
    I was told that this could not be done as it was from MAC to Windows and an upgrade.
    Just what are Adobe playing at; I have given them a lot of my money over the years; I have paid for the their software and am now having to post the package back to the US and wait for its return. I guess I will get stung for customs fees again too.
    When I have bought the license for the software, why can they not just swap one version for the other.
    No wonder so many people pirate their software when they charge so much for it in the first place and then make life difficult for loyal customers.
    I agree it was my mistake in the first place though!

  64. Hey John-
    I’m really hoping for help.
    In November I purchased a copy of CS4 Win for my laptop from Journey Ed. One very short day later, my laptop completely died and was going to require all new “guts”. After much gut-wrenching soul searching, I finally decided to take the plunge and get a Mac.
    I went home, called Journey Ed and unfortunately they had already shipped my product. “No problem” the Apple guy says, “call Adobe and they’ll do a cross-platform change”. I did just that. Got the Letter of Destruction, filled it out, emailed and got the confirmation that my letter was received and would be forwarded to the appropriate department.
    That was November 19. I have since called customer service twice and after having waited for over 30 minutes was simply told my letter had been received and was now in the hands of the appropriate department. Peachy. I asked if they could give me a time frame for how long it would take to get my SW to no avail. They have no clue.
    Normally I wouldn’t mind waiting….I’m a patient person. But I’m also in my last term of design school and I’m right in the middle of working on my portfolio. Illustrator and Photoshop are essential for this purpose. I graduate in two weeks! Just how, pray tell, am I supposed to finish my portfolio and graduate when they’re taking their own sweet time in deciding what the hell they’re going to do???
    Yes, I have a valid CS2 product (though I now have no access as it was on the dead laptop). This was an upgrade that also, due to unfortunate circumstances, got changed to an upgrade/cross-platform.
    Can you offer any help or advice? PLEASE… I’m desperate. I’m also doing my best to be a law abiding citizen and not go hit the internet torrent gurus. I’d love it if Adobe actually helped us do the responsible thing!
    [Thanks for sticking with us and trying to do the right thing, Rita. Let me see what I can find out through Customer Service. In the meantime can you use the 30-day tryout version of CS4 from the Web site? –J.]

  65. I hate to add to the chorus, and there’s likely nothing can be done, but my situation:
    I’m University staff, and I specify and manage dozens of computers running Adobe products. But since the higher ed CLP licenses don’t allow Work at Home rights, I purchased my own copy of CS3 Production Premium for Windows in the Spring.
    When my 5 year old PC laptop finally bit the dust, I figured that I should be able to do a cross-platform swap; but apparently now that CS4 is out my options are to (a) re-buy the entire product or (b) pay the upgrade cost, which is actually TWICE the academic cost.
    Now, I’m sorry if it seems wrong that I should complain about spending a few hundred dollars to buy a CS3 product compared to folks who have to pay the commercial products, but please understand that I work in education, have limited means, at this point I’m out of pocket just to be able to do some of my work at home.
    It’s a shame I can’t get a cross-platform swap for CS3, a shame I can’t get a work-at-home license through my school’s CLP program, and a shame that I’ll begin recommending against purchases of any further Adobe products for our faculty and staff who are not strictly dependent on them. We’ll start teaching Gimp or Pixelmator, Motion and Final Cut or Vegas…
    We have options, as does Adobe’s licensing department; let’s see who exercises them first.

  66. Bummer, same experience as Peter. I have CS3, tried to crossgrade for the new mac and Adobe said I have to buy the upgrade. Lovely.

  67. Having the same experience and feel quite frustrated. I purchased CS3 less than a year ago for Windows. My PC crashes, so I decide to make the switch to a Mac. After getting off the phone with customer service I have found out that I have to upgrade to CS4 when making the system platform switch. So, I have just spent $211 (in addition to the $300 I spent earlier this year for CS3) for a “system platform switch and upgrade”. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous. I already own the license to the Windows and will no longer be using it. I don’t want CS4 – I want CS3. There should be NO FEE for switching from same product to same product. I am so frustrated that I can’t even crack a joke about it. Thanks for letting me grouse.

  68. I have to caution anyone planning to do the cross-platform switch: be ready to invest significant time, and be ready to pull your hair out. The process is fundamentally broken. After rebutting incorrect information that I needed to pay to switch my month-old Windows license for CS4 Extended, I sent an executed LOD in November, got confirmation it had been received, then found weeks later I’d been instructed to complete the wrong one. I immediately fixed that, and when I called to follow up after hearing nothing, I was incorrectly told twice (once by a supervisor) that finally, all was fixed and the software was en route. Except it wasn’t. Why I need a physical box is beyond me, since I downloaded the original purchase, but this was only the start of the stupidity. Customer service reps had little to no ability to provide any continuity, e-mail service was completely helpless, and at all times the onus was on me to retell my sad story to each different rep I spoke to on my many international long-distance calls. Finally, nearly two months later and well after my Mac trial version expired, I confirmed today that the package was actually en route. The process, to the extent one exists, is guaranteed to alienate you as a customer. Good luck.
    [Sorry that you had to wade through a bunch of crap, Chris. I’m taking this up with Customer Service. –J.]

  69. Thinking of getting a Powerbook and this is a big issue for me.
    1. The license allows for two installations, on a laptop and a desktop. If my desktop is a PC and my laptop is a Mac, do they qualify for the same license?
    2. I see that many people say it takes a month or more to perform the crossgrade. While you are waiting for it to come through, can you still use the old license on the old platform? If I were not able to use my Adobe products for a month or more, I would be out of work for that month and losing 1000s of dollars.

  70. Sheri,
    I have been told by Adobe Cust Srvc that the software (and therefore the license) will not cross platforms (Mac to PC or PC to Mac). Actually, we are moving to Macs and have Adobe CS3. They told us we must upgrade to CS4 for the Mac platform ($899/lic) to move our CS3 lic to the Mac.

  71. I’m in the middle of this right now, and the process leaves a lot of room for improvement.
    It’s been over six weeks now and I don’t know where I stand.
    Phone support is like russian roulette. Sometimes I was able to move the process along, and other times I was told outright lies.
    At different points in the process I was told, in order:
    1. It will ship as soon as we get it in stock
    2. Your Fax was not received
    3. Your product is ready and simply waiting for FedEx to pick it up
    4. Your LOD is invalid because it didn’t have the Adobe logo
    5. Your order has been expedited
    I originally hoped I would get it by Christmas. My trial has expired as well.
    It would be nice if Adobe would treat loyal customers with a little more respect; especially since we’re trying to get their software the “right” way.
    Now I know why the feds wanted to bust up AT&T back in the day.

  72. Upgrade question:
    I’m a running Photoshop CS3 (registered and activated on 32bit Windows) and I’m thinking of purchasing CS4 upgrade. I’m also going to be getting a new computer, so I want to know if I need to install CS3 on the new system and then upgrade or will CS4 setup allow me to provide the CS3 full product serial number without installing CS3?
    [You can install just CS4, then put in your new serial plus your old one. Having CS3 present just eliminates the second step. –J.]
    Also I saw on this forum that we’re allowed to install one licensed copy of Photoshop on two computers simultanously. Is that true? I don’t remember reading that anywhere else.
    [Yep, that’s the deal, though the idea is to let one person use the app in multiple places, not to let multiple people use it at once. –J.]

  73. My company recently purchased CS4 Web Premium for me to use for Windows but I’m switching to a Mac. The tricky part is that the license was purchased under our CLP volume license plan. I saw on an Adobe site (http://www.adobe.com/ap/aboutadobe/openoptions/faq.html) that most CLP license are already cross-platform. Is that the case with CS4 suites (particularly Web Premium)? If not, are CLP clients eligible for the platform switch?
    Unfortunately our internal purchasing folks are clueless in this regard, leaving me to investigate this on my own.

  74. After much ado I got my upgrade last week.
    The system works, but I advise you to plan for waiting for up to ten weeks.
    Also, beware what you are told by phone support. What they told me was on occasion very far from accurate.

  75. My experience with Adobe is such that I am left with contempt for their dreadful service. I gave them serial numbers for Photoshop CS2, CS3 and CS4 while looking for the media and licence to use PS CS4 on a Mac. Their contempt that Adob’e Indian staff have for customer vtime is considerable. The number of lost links and misdirection from printed or web based guidance is considerable. It seems petty in the extreme that Adobe demand unreasonable information which they have already had in previous upgrades.
    I am wondering where to go ofr software without the hassle of having to deal with ridulous time wastinbg by a company who is simply shooting itself in the foot.

  76. I hate to pile on, but here’s my dilemma.
    The background is that I had a macromedie devnet subscription for several years that gave me licenses to the entire suite of macromedia products. But I got a serial number for each individual product and never one for the suite product. After macromedia was bought and CS3 came out I wanted to upgrade. I checked with Adobe sales and they told me I could upgrade to CS3 web premium. I bought that and found the installer would only accept a suite serial number. Customer service was able to validate my licenses and give me a bypass code, but I have to call them every time I want to install (3 times so far).
    So now I want to do a cross upgrade to CS4 for Mac.
    Sales Guy #1 after initially saying no problem finds that he needs a macromedia suite serial number for the crossgrade. He has no way to use the individual product serial numbers – even though I have them for basically every macromedia product through their last release. He says the process will fail in whatever department approves the crossgrade (really, there is a department of secret crossgrade auditors?). He offers me $1200 upgrade instead of the $600 one I expect. Eventually he says if customer service can indicate on my record that my upgrade path is valid then it will work. Somehow all my interactions with customer service on this exact issue have gone unrecorded. He transfers me to CS.
    Customer Service says that since this is a cross upgrade and not just a crossgrade there is nothing they can do and I need to talk to sales. They have no idea what the sales guy was talking about and transfer me back.
    Sales Gal who is the nicest of all, is sure we can get this sorted, but needs a senior level person and there are none around at this hour. She’ll call back in the morning – we plan a time. She does not call back in the morning.
    Where do I go from here?

  77. just a quick question from me. I’m about to sign the LOD and return it to Customer Support. But I can’t get them to confirm to me what the next steps are. Do I buy my own cross platform upgraded product and they provide me with a serial number? Do they automatically ship out the new product version to me and bill me accordingly?

  78. Switching and Choosing is the stupidest marketing term ever invented. I don’t want to “choose” or “switch”. I run a platform independent business. I want to run my Adobe Software on both platforms!

  79. I’m somewhat hesitant to add my story to the already long list of unhappy folks, in hopes Adobe will change their policies; I fear that in that regard, we are wasting our time. Nevertheless…
    I am a long-time user of Dreamweaver, stretching back to 2002. I’ve upgraded 4 times, from 2004 to MX to 8 to CS3. Each time, I’ve followed the upgrade path, purchasing my upgrade and using my previous serial number as proof of eligibility to upgrade.
    Now, I’ve purchased a Mac, and I want to move Dreamweaver. I see that since CS4 has come out, I need to pay an upgrade fee of $199 yet again; I’m not happy but hopeful that perhaps the new version will have some cool features, so I’m willing to pay that. I stumble through the arcane process of putting in a ticket only to be told I have to call. On the call, all is going well until the fellow asks for my serial number. I get out my old-ish Dreamweaver 8 disk, which I had cleverly written the serial number on. Now I hear that having my previous version’s serial number isn’t enough; I have to have the serial number of the ORIGINAL product, purchased 7 years ago! Which I never dreamed I would need and therefore didn’t keep. So he searches based on my email address which, frankly, I don’t remember exactly what email address I was using then. So we come to a standstill…my only option is to buy a new copy of the software at $399. Which I’m not willing to do.
    It seems odd to me that I’ve purchased a string of upgrades, which should leave a trail of serial numbers, but Adobe is evidently missing a piece. Instead of a can-do help-the-customer attitude (after all it is Adobe’s shortcoming that they can’t find my entire upgrade history) I get a well-you’re-out-of-luck attitude. (The fellow was very nice, it’s not his fault the policy is inane.) Next I ask to talk to a supervisor and am told they don’t do that, but that I can put in an escalated case and I’ll get a call within 48 hours. The fellow writes a nice note about how I’ve been a loyal customer, etc. It’s been 3 days now, and no call.
    All this makes my original disbelief about not being able to get a download, but having to wait two weeks to get a shipped version, seem very small. I’m willing to pay $199 — I’m NOT willing to essentially start over and pay $399. Someone mentioned on another post that Adobe is perhaps paranoid with the whole LOD nonsense. Perhaps not so paranoid, as I’m sure their unyielding policies drive more than a few to use a pirated version, etc.
    John, if you can shed any light on how to resolve this, I’d be most grateful. And if you can somehow convince the powers-that-be, that their policies are ultimately driving customers away and giving them a bad reputation — that would perhaps turn this tide of complaints, frustration, and despair over something that shouldn’t be this hard!

  80. My wife is going through some cross platform issues right now as well. She bought the Mac upgrade at first before knowing that she needed to do a cross platform upgrade to switch from pc to mac. Adobe had her do a LOD and cancel the serial on the wrong version, then claimed they would refund her purchase price. That was 2 months ago and she still has not received her refund. Meanwhile Adobe wasted no time charging her the $650 it cost for her to get the correct version. If we had known getting a refund would have been such an ordeal we would have sold the wrong version on ebay instead. but now that Adobe destroyed the serial that copy is totally worthless. Basically they stole the software from us. I’m about a day away from contacting the Better Business Bureau. In my eyes this is downright criminal.

  81. I recently bought a MacBook Pro after being a long-time Windows user, and found this post here whilst searching to see if it was possible to transfer my Design Premium CS4 licence from Windows to Mac.
    I wasn’t exactly encouraged by some of the responses here, but I decided to try. Here’s my experience:
    I went to http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/405/kb405819.html and followed the instructions there. That was ten days ago. This morning, UPS turned up with my Mac version of CS4.
    It’s now installed on the Mac and I’m one happy customer. The whole process worked pretty well. I was emailed a letter of software destruction to sign and fax back, and then a week or so later, I received a call from Adobe asking me for payment of a pretty nominal sum for shipping of the new version. I paid by credit card and the box was shipped the next day.
    All in all, I’m very pleased with the how easy it all was.
    [That’s great, David. It’s so rare that people write in with positive feedback, so thanks for sharing yours. I’ll pass it along to the customer service folks. –J.]

  82. Adobe customer service is deplorable. I am trying to do a cross platform swap and I am met with ‘Catch 22’ situations. Adobe? If you are listening . . . Get an honorable Customer Service Department, or call it what it is: Customer Harassment.

  83. So about a year ago we bought CS3 for school, we are students and so got a student discount but still paid about $550. We have since been told by Adobe that about 6 months later CS3 was taken off the market to make way for CS4 and all support of CS3 went with it!
    So we have now purchased a Mac, once again for school, and we love CS3 and are the only people we know with a legitimate copy of the software. We would like to continue to use CS3 and will need it for school. So we called Adobe thinking that we could get a new product key for our legally purchased software for our Mac. We were treated very poorly both times that we called them. We were told that the product was no longer being serviced, and we both needed to explain several times to the agents that we understood what he was saying, and if he would just stop talking he could listen to us for a minute. We asked for a new product key, “this doesn’t exist” we were told. We asked for an upgrade to CS4, “this can be done” we were told, for $450! So I very nicely explained that we would be willing to pay for an upgrade but seeing as we are one of the few people in Calgary with a legal copy, we are poor students, we just spent $2000 on a new computer, and we purchased the product one year ago and within 6 months it was obsolete, perhaps we deserved a bit of a deal. We were told that this was simply not possible. Not only was it not possible, but there was absolutely no one in the entire company who would be willing and able to help us. They refused to give me contact information for someone, anyone, in Canada who I could talk to. So I thought, rather than FOIP the information I would see if you could help first.
    Our position is this:
    1) If we had been informed when we purchased the software that it would be obsolete within 6 months, we might not have bought it.
    2) Considering that we live in a Pirates paradise, it would make sense to take care of paying, legitimate, legal customers.
    3) All we did was change operating systems, from PC to Mac, we do not want to upgrade software, we are being forced to, and as we are forced to upgrade, we are forced to pay, sounds like extortion to me.
    4) Sales is about repeat and referral customers, so the rare customer service gesture to keep legal customers happy, is a small price to pay.
    5) We like the software, if we want to stay competitive we need this software, however, we can make do without it, so wouldn’t it make sense to help us rather than have us give up on the company entirely and never buy their product again. I mean, we like the products, we don’t want that. We would much rather keep using their product, and keep telling our friends how good it is.
    I am sorry for ranting, after three hours on the phone speaking with someone who doesn’t care, I am a little frustrated.

  84. Adobe: great products, but customer service… maybe they need a few more service agents.
    I’m also trying to swop from PC to Mac for web premium 4. Opened cases on May 24th.
    So far it has gone round in circles a few times and now the case is being ignored.
    1) requested LOD (but no link or reference to correct version)
    2) sent Adobe wrong letter of destruction for exchange (us version)
    3) Sent corrected lod for exchange (uk version)
    4) Out of the blue an email to say a refund would be sent (none received) I don’t want a refund I want CS4!?
    Just spent another two hours on hold again today and can’t get thru to 0207 365 0733 which explains my ranting.
    Case : 0202101699
    Customer : 120532171
    [Mark wrote with the update, “Just had a response from customer support that a mac version is on it’s way with free delivery due to delay.” –J.]

  85. Hi Mark Roberts,
    Where did you get the uk version of the LOD from. I am having the same problems swapping from windows to mac version.

  86. I’m doing a cross platform upgrade from pc to mac. The status says pending adobe response for a couple of weeks. I called customer service to get the status update on where the they are at in the approval and about how much longer will I receive my software. Customer service told me they have no idea. Can you please help???? I’m anxiously awaiting for my CS4.
    Case :202137643
    I have the order number that I prepaid the software, but I don’t see it on my order history.

  87. Wow, I have read the platform crossgrade horror stories but figured they were the exception not the rule.
    I requested a crossgrade from PC to Mac on 6/28/09. They’ve had my letter of destruction since 7/6/09 and Adobe even acknowledged it on 7/8/09 after having me send it to them 3 times.
    Now it’s been 7 weeks since I’ve initiated the crossgrade request. The demo version has now long expired and every time I call Adobe support I get a new case number and am told there is nothing they can do to speed up the process. The last time I called in late July, I was told the rep who originally initiated the request for me did it wrong, so they had me do the whole process again. When I complain the attitude of the representatives seem to be on the side of not caring or at least, unable to do anything about the situation. Can I get any help or at least get my case escalated? I’ve been patient, but this situation has become beyond ridiculous at this point.
    Customer Number: 0130407892
    Case #0202221312, #0202238305, #0202302725, and #0202302727.

  88. Update: Guess my patience just needed one more day, got our copy of CS4 in the mail today. Me and the wife are happy now. 🙂
    Still, it really shouldn’t be so difficult!

  89. Is it true now that CS3 is no longer available from Adobe that I can no longer crossgrade my Win version of CS3 to Mac CS3? I have to pay the upgrade price to CS4? There is no way possible to get a hold of a Mac CS3 version?
    [Not that I know of, as CS3 is no longer sold. Sorry. (You’ll find CS4 very worthwhile, however.) –J.]

  90. I logged a request (Case #0202325654) with Adobe on August 4th to enquire whether I would be able to do a CS3 platform switch from PC to Mac as I was thinking of purchasing an Imac.
    On August 10th I updated the case to say that I had now purchased the Imac anyway and wanted to proceed with the switch. I have still not had any form of acknowledgement from Adobe, not even an automated email reply.
    I now understand from subsequent posts on this forum that I won’t be able to switch from PC CS3 to Mac CS3 anyway, as CS3 is no longer sold.
    OK I thought, nothing I can do other than purchase an upgrade of CS3 to CS4 on the Adobe website, that’ll be quicker than waiting for a reply that might never come!
    Blast, plan foiled, upgrades must be on the same platform….
    Please please please Adobe, can I PURCHASE an upgrade from you (CS3 to CS4) and at the same time SWITCH from PC to MAC………

  91. I am currently on the phone to Adobe about switching from CS3 on PC to a macbook.
    I have officially had the most frustrating day of my life.
    I was told 2 months ago that I could do this for free
    I was told this morning that I couldn’t do this without upgrading to CS4 and paying £600.
    I decided to go ahead and do this (otherwise the £2000 I just spent the computer would be completely wasted)
    I was told this afternoon that the actual cost was £1500 because I now had to buy a Full version and not an upgrade version, and that when I gave my card details this afternoon I had authorised that amount to be paid.
    I am currently trying to speak to a manager because I am NOT happy!

  92. Update: (and reply to Nick Jackson)
    It IS possible to upgrade from SC3 to CS4 and switch from PC to Mac, but you have to grit your teeth and be patient!
    They tried to charge me for a FULL version (as they have to send you a full version to make the cross-platform switch), but I was VERY firm and made sure that I didn’t pay it!
    Finally – at 6.15pm after 3 different phone calls and a lot of hassle I have been told that my copy of CS4 for Mac will be in the post shortly…
    Let’s just hope Adobe’s Shipping Service is better than their Customer Service!

  93. Unfortunately, the Adobe license conversion process has many gaps and problems. I’ve been trying for nearly a month to convert my CS4 Web Premium Windows license to a Mac. I’m re-starting on my 3rd attempt. Anyone reading this post should be advised – this is not an easy or convenient process. Knowing what I know now – I would have just paid for a full license instead.
    [That sucks, Dave, and I’m sorry for the hassle. Do you have a case number or anything that I could use to try to expedite the request?
    If I had it my way, we’d save customers a bunch of hassle and save Adobe a bunch of money (in customer service calls) by making licenses cross-platform. But I often don’t have it my way. –J.]

  94. We are about 2 weeks into our attempt to switch a CS4 license from PC to Mac platform.
    Having read the comments above about a 4-7 week process I am looking for some way to keep our request from disappearing down the same hole.
    It has been 10 days now since we submitted our Letter of Destruction. I also uploaded our original purchase receipt for good measure. I have had no confirmation or response.
    Thanks to John and anyone else who may be able to help.
    Customer ID: 171001652
    Case Number: 202379960

  95. Update after another 2.5 weeks on case #202325654, and after emailing the customer service address noted in Adobe’s ‘open letter to Adobe’s customers’ re poor service levels.
    I recd an email (from an actual person at Adobe!), explaining that the delay was due to the lack of a letter of distruction (that I’d not been asked for despite chasing Adobe for updates for a month). One was attached to the email however and so I printed it, completed it, scanned it and returned it within a matter of a few hours.
    Nothing more until yesterday when I recd an email advising:
    “Im glad to inform you that we have already received your LOD you just
    need to call our customer service number which is 0800 0280148 to
    complete the process.”
    FANTASTIC I thought, progress at last, 1 quick telephone call and the whole saga is at an end and I can get on with my life!!!!
    HOWEVER, have you ever tried getting through to Adobe by phone? Thankfully it’s a freephone number but after two attempts today, 2nd one for 30mins+ I gave up.
    What more do I have to do to get this sorted?
    What does ‘complete the process’ mean?
    Give me strength!!!!!

  96. As with others here we have seen incredibly poor customer service from adobe.
    We have now been waiting in excess of 10 weeks for our cross-grade of CS4. We were instructed to buy the windows CS4 upgrades (which we did) at a cost of over £1000. This money is now tied up in software we can’t use while we wait for mac upgrades to be approved. Our LOD’s have been with adobe since June but they didn’t confirm receipt of these until August.
    It seems incredible when we put a lot of effort into keeping all our software legal that we’re actually at an even greater disadvantage to other companies of our size who choose to run pirate software. We’ve spent hours trying to get through to adobe on the phone with no success and filled out numerous requests for an update from their online support form, as yet with no progress.
    With adobe serving as a pretty much complete monopoly in the creative software sector we have nowhere to turn.
    Our business has lost time and money over this matter and is on the verge of being disabled by this lack of software. We have taken to use the 30 trials to keep us going but this has just about ran out now.
    I see at the moment we have only two choices left to us. Go out and buy full versions of the software, which we will have to sell at a loss when this matter is resolved. Or we do as many of our competitors and break the law by downloading cracked software.
    As a software developer myself I feel adobe is letting down it’s own development staff by providing such poor customer service as to turn valued customers into thieves out of desperation.

  97. I just did a crossgrade from Mac to Win (Acrobat Pro) and it went without hitch. I even faxed in the letter of destruction before I was waiting for their response to the original request.
    I got an email saying I was approved and it’d be 5-7 days before I get the new license (which I got today).
    Oh, and I did all this at about 2am (Arizona time).
    So many, many thanks for making this post John. Just one of the reasons I love this blog
    [Really glad to hear it, Rosyna. –J.]

  98. Jack, we purchased CS2 Premium, Studio 8 a few years back for my daughter for Christmas. She has since switched over to a Mac Pro. The License allows her to have one on her home computer and one copy on a personal laptop. Can we get the Mac version for the laptop without having to destroy the copy for the PC?

  99. CS3 user. Considering a move from PC to Mac, but can’t have the downtime i’m reading about here. What is the best way to initiate and then expedite the process of changing platforms? Any idea what it would cost to upgrade to CS4 while I’m at it?

  100. Please tell me this is possible. I too want to do this only I do not want to be without my software for any period of time. Doesn’t Adobe have any business sense? Don’t they know the cost of being down?

  101. John,
    Just going through the Win->Mac process in UK with CS4 – PS, LR2 and DW. Customer services helpful and it’s proceeding well so far (although I’m only 3 steps in!). Just one strange point, my cross platform swap needs higher authority than customer services can give because I have more than 1 product. That seems to be in train now… but it seems odd that Adobe delays a switch for their better customers i.e user of 3 products, but would do it more quickly for someone who has only bought one product if I understand correctly.

  102. Gostaria de saber se este CS3 é um photoshop grátis e completo para pessoal humildes como eu! Amém!

  103. Hi
    I have had 2 conversations with Adobe customer support and I am slightly gutted at their stance on forcing me to take an upgrade and pay £599 to switch from windows CS3 Web Premium to Mac on CS4 Web Premium. They won’t do a straight swap.
    I don’t want CS4 🙁
    Any suggestions on how to proceed? Any help appreciated as I am currently hugely out of pocket by the looks of it.

  104. Infelizmente, não, Vitor Hugo. Adobe é uma empresa. A Adobe não se preocupam com a sua humildade ou arrogância, apenas sobre o seu dinheiro.

  105. I’m going through cross-platform hell myself. After being told TWICE by Tech support that I could switch platforms for a previous version, I called Sales, waited on hold for an hour, and was told, sorry for the “misinformation,” but no dice to cross-platform switch. They would, however, sell me a copy of CS4. I asked for a supervisor, waited another 30 minutes, then told again, sorry you were told you could switch, but you can’t.
    Adobe is engaging in predatory monopolistic practices, pure and simple. As has been pointed out many times elsewhere, the Creative Suite license terms DO NOT specify operating system usage, nor the limitation on “current” vs. “previous” version upgrades vis-a-vis platforms. It is a “Policy, ” though, so the majority of users are stuck in a no-man’s land between Adobe’s policies and its legal agreement with its customers.
    I would strongly support a class-action or antitrust suit against Adobe for its actions. In the meantime, I am going to avoid using Adobe products as much as possible.

  106. I’m going through cross-platform hell myself. After being told TWICE by Tech support that I could switch platforms for a previous version, I called Sales, waited on hold for an hour, and was told, sorry for the “misinformation,” but no dice to cross-platform switch. They would, however, sell me a copy of CS4. I asked for a supervisor, waited another 30 minutes, then told again, sorry you were told you could switch, but you can’t.
    Adobe is engaging in predatory monopolistic practices, pure and simple. As has been pointed out many times elsewhere, the Creative Suite license terms DO NOT specify operating system usage, nor the limitation on “current” vs. “previous” version upgrades vis-a-vis platforms. It is a “Policy, ” though, so the majority of users are stuck in a no-man’s land between Adobe’s policies and its legal agreement with its customers.
    I would strongly support a class-action or antitrust suit against Adobe for its actions. In the meantime, I am going to avoid using Adobe products as much as possible.

  107. A clarification as of Aug 2010.
    If you have the current version (CS5), you can transfer the license for free (plus shipping) between Windows and Mac.
    If you have a previous version, you need to upgrade to CS5 (cross platform upgrade).
    This is clearly described here:

  108. It sure is a good thing I got ALL the way to bottom of this post before writing the comment about disingenuous some people seem to be…. whew! Glad I caught that faux pas before it escaped my not-to-be-mollified fingertips…
    So, with a fond farewell, I give up any hope of finding some way of not overpaying for CS5 apps… $700 for a photo app that has only added maybe 10~11 new filters since version 7…? Ouch!
    But alack and alas! There could be a sneaky, devious way around this subterfuge…
    I buy a Mac Mini for $700, upgrade to Photoshop/Dreamweaver/Illustrator/Fireworks at basically $200 a pop, and lo and behold!
    I haven’t gotten anywhere….

  109. I am trying to switch my CS3 design premium suite on PC to Mac. Any other software you pay this much for includes both windows and mac versions… An interesting logical quandry here… from http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/405/kb405819.html above…
    “All product configurations, with the exception of OEM bundles, are eligible for a platform or language swap.”
    “You cannot swap from one platform or language of a previous version to another platform or language on that same previous version.”
    Huh??? I want to swap CS3 PC for CS3 Mac. I don’t want to pay $700 for an upgrade. Seems an unethical forced upgrade to me when I just want to use a product I already purchased on a platform of my choice… Meanwhile the EULA makes no mention of limiting users to platform AT ALL! Who wants to organize a law suit?

  110. After talking with Adobe for an hour and being told I would receive a callback from a manager I received this “resolution” email.
    Adobe is working hard to develop high quality products and services; however we are only able to replace current version products. Because warehouse space is limited, we only stock current version products.
    If you need replacement media for an older version, Adobe support recommends that you purchase an upgrade to the current version.
    thank you,
    Adobe support
    This is ridiculous. Their product is software for gods sake! They could send me a link!

  111. I just got my Creative Suite 5.5 Design Standard Student Edition in the mail but its for Windows and I have a Mac. Will I be charged for the support or for a new kit?