Adobe quietly drives a nail into the coffin of CS6

Back in 2013 when Adobe announced that all new Creative Suite releases would be done under the Creative Cloud banner as subscription only, they threw a bone at those who insisted on “owning” their software by continuing to offer CS6 as a perpetually licensed version. At the time they stated that it would be offered indefinitely but with the rapid pace that operating systems and hardware have changed it was inevitable that the time would come that CS6 would show its age and sales would end.

That time appears to be approaching. Until very recently, visiting Adobe.com would allow you buy any CS6 product or even get upgrade pricing if you were a CS5 or CS5.5 license holder. Anyone looking to buy CS6 now will be directed to a new page which states:

Let’s be honest: Some software upgrades are necessary, and others are just nice to have. Upgrading from Creative Suite 6 to Adobe Creative Cloud falls into the first category: It’s essential.

CS6 is almost three years old, and Adobe has no plans to update it. Ever. In contrast, Creative Cloud features all the latest creative software, including more than 500 features that have been added since 2012. Want the latest version of Photoshop or Illustrator? You need to join to Creative Cloud.

Yes, you can still buy CS6 products by calling an Adobe call center, but why would you? The features in Creative Cloud will take your creativity further, with more ways to create, collaborate, and share.  To purchase by phone, call 800-585-0774.

I can’t recall anything quite this blunt in all my years of using Adobe products. This is obviously only the first nail in the coffin. How long til sales are discontinued completely? I don’t know but Adobe continued to offer Pagemaker for sale for more than 10 years from the time development was discontinued so I’m guessing that phone number will be valid for a while yet.

 

23 Comments

  1. The content of the message isn’t that startling – Adobe doesn’t leave a chance unused to promote their upgrade to CC. The directness and the tone is indeed something else. Like a parent who’s had enough of telling their child kindly to stop whining and just come along, like a politician at a last resort to find supporters, like a singer in a rock band who begs an unwilling audience to sing along…

    But CS6 is still available to those who want to upgrade their print-media tools, and who really don’t need anything else. For the rest of us, upgrading to CC is imminent.

    @Matt: the comparison with Quark does’t hold. The two companies, their solutions, and the current situation couldn’t be more different. And saying “they really do not care what their users want” is quite exaggerated. Let’s turn it the other way around: these users don’t care what Adobe has to offer !

    • ” these users don’t care what Adobe has to offer.” Disagree I’m afraid. We are interested, just not in a position to part with £46 / month ($852 / yr), infinitum with no buy-out clause ever; with 30 days to download your own work and back-save in order to not render it unusable upon cancellation? You serious?! Adobe have more than tripled the cost of their suite of products since shifting to CC. I was prepared to pay the approx £550 upgrade price from CS2 to CS4 to CS6 every 3 years or so, but with their current pricing structure Adobe have priced themselves out of the game.

      • Dear Jay, you describe exactly my point of “users [who] don’t care what Adobe has to offer”. You’re comparing a few apples and pears to a whole fruit buffet including yoghurt, whipped cream, and various smoothies. If you don’t see the difference and/or just need apples and pears, then just stick with CS6 – nothing wrong with that. Adobe has agreed to offer “maintenance” updates for CS6, just like they’ve done (and still do) with lots of legacy software. So you should be settled for the coming years.

      • So, you were prepared to spend the bare minimum every three years? You realize if all customers were like you they’d go out of business. You are one of the reasons for the subscription model.

        You can accuse them of greed if you’d like…and that’s your right…but I’d say you’re just as guilty. You want something for nothing? Good luck with that.

      • Dear Studea. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the benefits of multiple device synchronisation, cloud storage and the regular updates CC affords – all of which are only possible with CC of course. We don’t appreciate the over inflated price tag however and complete disregard for subscription loyalty over the years upon cancellation, i.e. deletion of all apps & software. I’m happy to pay for more than just maintenance. Am happy to pay for upgrades. Just not prepared to sign-up indefinitely without a cancellation option. Of course you can cancel, but the option isn’t really an option – your own work rendered unusable after 30 days unless all of it is back-saved to a legacy version to which you have access. If you don’t…

        Are most CC users even aware of this?

        Can’t Adobe offer both CC to those who ‘require’ the creme de la creme, and CS to those who’re happy with perpetual upgrades as and when genuinely required?

        Dear Bob. Oh dear! ‘”Bare minimum” I wouldn’t say over $900 every 3 years is the bare minimum. I don’t expect something for free. Am, and have been, prepared to pay for over 10 years, whilst many have opted for piracy – which I think you’ll find is more accurately known as “something for nothing”. Purchasing legitimate versions for over a decade doesn’t come for free.

        Their pricing architecture was more than sufficient, given the initial outlay without upgrade legibility.

        Their current pricing would would suggest more isn’t enough. Hence the backlash and growth in viable software alternatives on the market. You may find this, more accurately, the reason they “go out of business”. We will see. There is life outside of the Adobe stratosphere.

      • What you want is for Adobe to continue fixing old software. Ironically, having to support old versions of software for free is what would put a software company out of business. What you say is more than sufficient, wasn’t. That is why a subscription model was adopted. It costs millions of dollars to develop each version, and with customers like you that passed on them, that forced this.

        There is very little backlash at this point. Yes, there are loud voices out there, but they are fewer and fewer of them and with well over 5 million subscribers, Creative Cloud has proven to be the right move. Of course, there are some very good alternatives, so if you insist on moving to a new operating system at the drop of a hat, then you should be exploring them immediately.

      • Hi Bob. Sorry, no, got to correct you there. I don’t expect Adobe to continually support ‘old’ versions of their software. As I’ve already stated I’m more than happy to purchase new versions. Purchasing an upgrade every 2 years or so is perfectly acceptable and sufficiently profitable. (Adobe’s annual profits prior to the release of CC only serve to agree). I’m not prepared, however, to purchase new versions every single year as I don’t require the very latest feature or a new action the moment it is released.

        Adobe supported perennial versions of their software for many years and weren’t ‘almost out of business’ prior to the release of CC several years back. Far from it as their previous annual accounts show. I believe one of the major reasons for the CEO driven switch to subscription based versions is financial – to further increase revenue and shareholder profitability – not because they were ‘forced to’. Their profits were pushing a record $0.8 billion / year up to the release of CC. Interesting how their profitability has supposedly since dropped, however, whilst revenue now dwarves all pre CC levels.

        So it does somewhat bemuse many why you’re such an outspoken exponent for Adobe, are critical of those who refuse to subscribe at the drop of a hat, and almost gleefully herald the latest ‘nail in the CS coffin’ Adobe announcement; all whilst receiving no financial reward?

        With 5 million subscribers, CC has proved to be the right move for Adobe and those who financially benefit. 5 million subscribers can’t be wrong, can they? As far as Adobe and their profiteers are concerned, not whilst they can continue to afford the monthly subscription fee.

        As a foot note: since running Disk Utility’s ‘First Aid’ several weeks back I haven’t had any real issues with CS6 and El Capitan.

      • I’m glad you got things working, but you are missing a few points. One, I’m a proponent of subscription software and for that I will not apologize. That holds for Adobe, Microsoft, AutoDesk and any other company that chooses that model. It allows for fast updates for users and a steady cash flow for the developers. However, I’m not critical of those who refuse to subscribe…I’m critical of those who whine about the situation as though any company they’ve done business with owes them a lifetime of gratitude. You paid for CS6. You got CS6. You don’t owe Adobe anything and they don’t owe you anything, either.

        Frankly, I don’t care if you subscribe or not. It is YOUR decision as to how you spend your money. I deal in reality and this is the reality. Adobe is not going back to perpetual licenses and I would imagine more developers will follow in their footsteps. Operating systems and hardware are changing at speeds we never saw before. On the Mac side, especially, there is complete disregard for backward compatibility.

        My advice stands for you and anyone else. If you want to keep running CS6 then you’d better maintain an older machine. While you may have managed to get things working again, that doesn’t mean others will. At some point you’re going to accept and update that’s going to kill your software all together.

  2. Looking at the positive side of it, the whole tech industry is moving to cloud and subscription model. Look at the latest Creative Sync feature that they enabled…your creative genius can strike at any time…you draw a comp on tablet, take a picture on phone and its automatically available in your library in ID, PS etc. You want to try an image in your project before actually buying it, sure try it, if you like it then only you need to pay for it and the high res version gets automatically updated in your project.
    No need to transfer files via flash drives, emails or pay for images in advance. There are just two examples.
    All this would not be available without cloud sync which is integral part of subscription model.
    I think Adobe has done a great job of moving forward with time, as is reflected in the stock price as well.

  3. It’s true that it’s not supported on the latest o/s’s. But what’s odd is that the figures on that page are incorrect!

    CS6 is actually 3.5 years old now (spring 2012), and there have been thousands of new additions & improvements since that time.

    Surprising they would have missed the occasion to emphasize those aspects.

      • Yes, that’s the explanation ! The regular staff were all too tired from all the MAX hoopla, so the ambitious and still energetic marketing junior saw his chance to push his own ideas just a little too much and too quickly… 🙂

  4. Bob – I’m not sure if you are aware that that Microsoft have seen sense and now offer both subscription and perpetual licences for the latest version of Office (2016). It seems that they were prepared to listen to their customers, and offer them the choice.

    It isn’t too late for Adobe to come to the same, sensible, conclusion.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Steve.

      They’ve made their decision and after a year of trying to handle both models it was apparent that it simply didn’t work (CS6 was the first version of Creative Cloud). Again, I get that you don’t like it and I respect that but you simply can’t compare Office (and yes, I’m well aware you can buy a perpetual license) which gets major overhauls every few years to Adobe’s main apps which are now updated several times a year.

      They’re not going back to perpetual licenses…ever. And for them, that is the sensible conclusion.

  5. I know they won’t go back to perpetual licenses, but as a small business owner with a graphics team, they’ve actually made the product completely unaffordable. They were expensive to begin with, but at least we could use the software for 2, 3, 4 years before we needed to pay for an upgrade.

    I wish there were another company that provided a competing suite with similar features- one that either offered a perpetual license or a lower monthly fee. I’m sure larger corporations can afford it, but this type of software pricing is just not practical for us little guys. I have some people working part-time, one or two days a week. $50 per month… times three computers/users… for software that will be used maybe 30 hours per month? (Often less, as they have other, non-graphics responsibilites as well.)

    I will be calling the number for another perpetual license for CS6. And I hope it lasts a long, long time.

    • If you’re going to spend good money on CS6 I would suggest doing the math first. Any suite you buy will be well over a $1,000 and will cause you nothing but headaches on newer hardware and operating systems.

      And FWIW, I strongly disagree on your stance as far as cost goes. It’s actually a huge benefit for small firms and freelancers. The big cost is to enterprise level customers.

      Honestly, if you can’t afford to spend $50/month per employee to serve you customers, you might be in the wrong business. Or you’re just not putting the software to work as hard as you could be. Based on 30 hours a month, I would have to ask if you couldn’t make better use of it.

  6. Bob:

    Everyone is switching to subscriptions. I don’t need to pay $30/month for Quickbooks or $8/month textexpander. I use may 15 textexpander scripts. I could go the rest of my life without upgrading QB or textexpander. What value can QB add that justifies upping my costs? I need to invoice, mark it paid, enter deposits and checks and send my accountant a report at the end of the year. CC is my bread and butter. I too upgraded every other year. I had two licenses. I upgraded each license every other year. Adobe I can sort of live with since I get all their apps, fonts and other stuff. But do I really need to subscribe to QB, MS Office and the dozen of other little apps I use a few times a week? I don’t think so. It is a form of coercion. I’m seriously considering giving QX a shot after reading the terrific reviews. I never thought in a hundred years I would ever say that.

    • You can still “buy” Quickbooks. I’m still using QB2013. I don’t use it for much more than you do. But for people really running a business with multiple employees and/or locations, it’s a very powerful accounting package. You can buy a license for MS Office, too, but that’s nuts in my opinion with the inclusion of 5 machines and a boatload of online storage for OneDrive at $99/year it’s a steal.

      As for QX2016, it’s a very nice application with some very compelling features. Your call, but again, Adobe is done with perpetual licenses. But as you can see, others are quickly following in their path.

  7. I have been on hold for over an hour on the phone # Adobe provides for ordering CS6. I think I’ll hang up now. No chance it will be answered. Until viruses ate up my CS3 Design Premium, I was perfectly capable of a day’s work. I think I’ll just download CS3 (I’ve got the serial number) if Adobe will let me.

What do you think?