Adobe Wants You to Pay for Another CS5 Update!

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NOTE: Adobe officially announce CS5.5 Update on April 11, 2011. Read the press release.  Please see my new article Editorial – Just Say No to Adobe CS5.5 for additional information.

Blood from a Stone, Adobe??

I just completed a survey regarding a possible CS5.5 update from Adobe. And yes, they are apparently planning on charging you for the update! The survey featured two different options – either a flat fee for the update or a monthly subscription for continued updates throughout the year. Either way, it will cost you.

Now, you might be thinking that you need HTML5 support or one of the other new features listed below. Well, don’t expect a discount from Adobe when you upgrade to CS6! Adobe has a history of mid-release updates usually around the release of Acrobat Pro. Adobe never offers an additional discount for customers that purchase these mid-suite upgrades. Expect to pay FULL price for the CS6 Upgrade when it is offered!



So how much would this CS5.5 update cost? That depends on which Suite or individual product you plan to upgrade.  The upgrade includes a 12-month subscription to CS Live, whether you want it or not.  Adobe obviously realizes that pricing such a mid-level upgrade will be an issue.  The survey tests 16 different pricing options covering your choice of a flat-fee upgrade or a monthly subscription.  Take a look at two of the pricing matrices below showing the most expensive test price and the least expensive test price.  Is it really worth either cost?


Most Expensive CS5.5 Test Matrix

Most Expensive CS5.5 Test Matrix

Least Expensive CS5.5 Test Matrix

Least Expensive CS5.5 Test Matrix


Explanation of upgrade cost, flat-fee or monthly subscription cost


Email invitation to survey. Deadline is July 16, 2010 to participate. If you received this email, PLEASE respond and protest the proposed update fee!


Here is what Adobe has planned for the  CS5.5 Update across their product line, according to the survey:

Adobe InDesign CS5.5 – New Features

  • Flexible workflows let you efficiently publish on the Web, smartphones, e-Reading devices, tablets, and desktops
  • Create enhanced eBook layouts using EPUB 2.1 specification, with improved formatting for stylized lists and tables, as well as increased control over typography for mobile devices
  • Create interactive digital content like interactive slide shows, 360 degree rotations, sound, video for an immersive reading experience
  • Create layouts for mobile devices using horizontal and vertical orientation, gesture support and browsing content

Adobe Dreamweaver CS5.5 – New Features

  • HTML5 pack 2 update
  • Visual interfaces for designing with HTML5/CSS3
  • Updated CSS panel
  • New Rule dialog and Edit Rule dialog
  • Updated Property Inspector
  • Live View upgrades
  • Create multiscreen designs using Mobile Starter Layouts and Mobile UI Widgets

Adobe Flash Professional CS5.5 – New Features

  • Latest Flash Player and AIR runtimes for new Android, RIM BlackBerry, webOS and Adobe Digital Home platforms
  • Multi-target project setup allows coding and asset reuse to create, test, package and deploy content across multiple screen types
  • Enhanced support for different device resolutions and improve rendering performance
  • Support for expanded mobile packaging and deployment test, simulate and deploy stand-alone AIR applications to App Stores, devices and tablets
  • Open Source Media Framework (OSFM) media component support for high-quality video playback media player playback

Adobe Flash Catalyst CS5.5 – New Features

  • Roundtrip workflow with Adobe Flash Builder – Finally bi-directional workflow between Flash Catalyst and Adobe Flash Builder allows designers and programmer to work in parallel development on the same project, using Flash Catalyst for design and Flash Builder for programming
  • Resizable applications and components – Applications, layouts, and components can be  resized, stretched and moved by the user.  Also, support Scale-9 (allows nine sections of an image to be defined to scale independently) with round-trip support for Illustrator
  • Enhanced timelines and animations – Smooth transitions created automatically by designers setting and controlling transitions between states
  • Rapid wireframing and interaction design using a new wireframe library with roundtrip editing between Illustrator and Photoshop
  • Enhanced workflow with Adobe Flash Professional – Finally, Flash Catalyst can create SWF components which can be  imported and edited in Flash Professional.  Also, artwork, applications and component states can be exported to Flash Professional

Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 – New Features

  • Developing mobile applications – Flex framework can now be used to build and deploy applications for mobile devices.  Support for existing and new application mobile development
  • Bidirectional workflow between Flash Builder and Flash Catalyst – Developers can begin a project in Flash Builder  and hand-off to an interaction designer for use in Flash Catalyst
  • More Spark Components for Enterprise application development – new Spark skinning and component architecture to customize and skin Flex components.  Includes Spark components  like the datagrid to build  enterprise applications faster using both Flash Catalyst and Flash Builder

Adobe After Effects CS5.5 – New Features

  • Remote Render Queue Monitoring: monitor the progress of renders by web and mobile devices with instant updates for problems and project completion
  • Persistent Disk Caching: saving previews to disk on a per layer and per comp basis to minimize re-rendering previews.
  • Enhanced Stereoscopic 3D workflows:  use stereo camera rigs inside of After Effects and render from multiple cameras sources without duplicating the comp.
  • Source timecode support:  share frame-accurate timecode  information with other post-production tools.
  • New support for importing and exporting tapeless formats

Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 – New Features

  • Faster performance and stability with enhanced Mercury Playback Engine – continued improvements for performance and stability enhancements with faster projects opening, scrubing and play back  of complex long-format and effects-heavy projects
  • Powerful editing and user interface enhancements to simplify everyday tasks and workflow whether you are a user of Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro or Avid software
  • Expanded native support for P2, XDCAM, AVCHD and DSLR cameras to avoid transcoding or rewrapping the original file’s quality
  • Easy Closed Captioning support for tape, disc and web playback that meets Section 508 standards.

Adobe Device Central CS5.5 – New Features

  • Emulation support for Adobe Flash Player 10.2
  • Emulation support for AIR 2.0 for smartphones and Digital Home (such as television set top boxes)
  • Enhanced Mobile Web emulation with HTML, and mobile Flash content using built-in WebKit support.
  • Additions of iPhone, iPad, and iPod profiles to the device library

Adobe Acrobat Pro 10 – New Features

  • Easily convert Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Internet Explorer, Project, Visio, Access, Publisher, Autodesk AutoCAD and Lotus Notes to PDF
  • Create a compressed PDF Portfolio with documents, drawings, e-mails and spreadsheets using stylized layouts, visual themes and branding
  • Add interactive content like audio, video and animations for use in the Adobe Reader
  • Apply passwords protection or permanently remove sensitive information
  • Enhanced preflight checks and fixes to control costs, reduce errors and improve print
  • New single click automation through new Actions Wizard
  • Documents compare different versions of same document
  • Use to share large documents, collect form data, and review documents

Adobe Audition CS5.5 – New Features

  • New Mac version with superior noise reduction capabilities
  • Optimized for audio post-production workflows with OMF support for ProTools project exchange
  • Native 5.1 Surround Sound support and Surround Reverb effect
  • Non-destructive XML session format and Undo history
  • New effects  like de-hummer, de-esser, and volume leveler

Adobe Business Catalyst – New Addition

Adobe Business Catalyst (BC) is a new, all-in-one solution for creative professionals to build everything from beautiful websites to powerful online businesses without back-end coding.   BC is completely customizable, enabling full creative expression for all of your website projects.  Your CS Live subscription includes a Standard BC Partnership, which enables you to build and sell BC sites to your clients.  Use “Muse” to assist building Web sites that enables you to express the site structure, layout and visual look and feel of a website in a free-form manner, experiencing the creative freedom

SiteCatalyst NetAverages – New Addition

Site Catalyst NetAverages will drive design by focusing on the most popular user configurations for web access on either desktop or mobile devices.  See the latest trends for browser types and versions, operating systems, screen resolution, device names and manufacturers, JavaScript version, and more.  Set up custom email alerts to notify you when a threshold you determine is reached.  Integration with AdobeBrowserLab and Device Central provide trend data directly within your creative workflows


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14 Replies to “Adobe Wants You to Pay for Another CS5 Update!”

  1. Just say no? Is that a joke? A lot of industries are rapidly changing and the 1.5-2 years between creative suite releases can be a long time. HTML5, stereoscopic workflows and other changes in the way creative work is being done needs to be addressed now, not in a few years. That is a pretty impressive list. I see things that could literally save me hours a week and as a professional my time is money. No one is forcing you to upgrade, if there is nothing of interest in this release for you then skip it. But why suggest others skip it? I personally have met some of the people that work really hard on these products and that suggestion is just insulting to their efforts. 

  2. HTML5 is something that should have been included in the original release of CS5. Adobe is double-dipping to get additional profits for features that should have been completed months ago. Customers have already purchased the CS5 upgrade. It is unfair to force them to purchase another upgrade just a few months later. THAT is the point!

  3. No, the point is no one is forcing you to upgrade. CS5 was a great release and it is unfair to say other features should have been included when the simple fact of the matter is there is only a finite amount of time on a release. If you think these features should have been in months ago, which would you have been willing to cut? I would bet others would disagree with your selection and that is the core problem with limited resources. It is either make that trade, or pay more. If you think this new release has enough to offer then upgrade, otherwise don’t and nothing will change. 

  4. Just added screen captures of the test pricing matrices to the blog article. All Suite upgrades include a 12-month license to CS Live whether you want it or not! Still think it is such a good deal?

    Keep in mind — this is starting a new update schedule for Adobe. Like the idea of paying for an upgrade every 6-months or a monthly subscription throughout the year?? Once Adobe adopts it, there is no turning back!

  5. This kind of behavior coming from Adobe doesn’t surprise me at all. Theirs is a corporate culture that demonstrates passion–but not for serving the needs of the global creative community first, but rather for extracting the highest possible tax from it. Adobe’s ever-more-burdensome struggles with image are testament to this fact.

  6. I loved Freehand!! Still prefer it to Illustrator. I never the Adobe-Macromedia merger would be bad for it. Glad to hear about your efforts to keep it alive!

  7. No surprise. Adobe is one of those greedy companies only interested in get richer no matter how. They dont give a sh$%& about you or the years of loyal upgrading. They are only interested in your wallet. I haven`t met yet anybody in the industry who have a positive opinion of adobe (as a company) , including developers or market analysts.

  8. When I read about 5.5, I cringed. What I really need in my life is another monthly subscription. I now pay monthly for cable, cell phone, and Tivo, all stuff that didn’t figure into my budget 15 years ago. I’m really disappointed about Adobe’s new direction. CS5 may be last edition of Photoshop for me.

  9. Adobe’s announcement to institute a half update every 24-months is very disappointing. Adobe is basically doubling your update costs by creating a lot of unnecessary filler. Hopefully, this CS5.5 update will flop and show Adobe the folly of their ways. It is important that their customers let them know! Join the protest on Facebook.

  10. Not surprised by any of this. Limited HTML5 and CSS3 support has been a plugin since CS4 – now we’re going to pay for it because JQuery might have been added? Who tests pages in an emulator (live view) and believes the results? Will Flash actually output clean code for canvas element? This is a meh for me. Unfortunately, we’ll update (I teach at a community college) because we must teach curent tools.

    notepad++ FTW. who needs live view when browsers are free?

  11. Unfortunately Adobe is forcing us to upgrade. I might not require any of the features included in 5.5 but if I need to work on a FLA file created in 5.5 by someone who did upgrade I’m forced to buy the update myself. Even though I don’t need it.

    You might argue that anyone using 5.5 can simply save for a lower version of flash but sometimes this doesn’t happen and sometimes you can’t reach the person who initially created the file.

    This is an issue with any new version of CS but in case of a payed update it can raise some debate.

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