Adobe CS5 ships in mid-May, and I can’t wait.
But this post isn’t about all of CS5′s awesome features, it’s about why you should actually buy it this time around.
In a few weeks, just about anyone will be able to find a torrent, download link or burned copy of CS5. It seems to me that Adobe unofficially condones this, similar to record labels unofficially allowing “leaked” videos on YouTube.
It seems to me that Adobe unofficially condones piracy
Let’s face it: readily available pirated copies of the Creative Suite allow Adobe to retain what is basically a monopoly on this software. Amateur users, who would never actually purchase the software, find illegal copies and not only learn the Creative Suite, but more importantly don’t learn something from a competitor. Adobe then depends on professional users such as design agencies and larger freelancers to actually buy the software.
Of course Adobe would never admit to being OK with it, but I think they’d remove their “verify by phone” licensing option if they really wanted to crack down on piracy.
Now don’t get the wrong picture here: I’m comfortable with ‘morally gray’ and definitely not some Boy Scout. I’m not going to talk your ear off about the ethics of stealing or the poor Adobe devs who need to feed their families.
But there really are a wide variety of reasons to go legit with your software.
1. No Bugs
Any version of CS5 that you download is most likely going to be a cracked version of the pre-release. In other words a ‘late beta’, which will only be 95% there in terms of functionality. All the core stuff will work but there will be little annoyances and bugs throughout the software.
The funny thing is that if you’ve always used these versions you may not even have noticed.
You can’t afford having an inferior version of the Creative Suite
The sad truth is that the Creative Suite still isn’t going to be perfect when it launches. And with the amount of time you spend using the Creative Suite, can you really afford to have an inferior version of the software?
There will always be minor bugfixes, which is why Adobe Updater runs so damn often. But don’t worry, you don’t have to run it every time .
On a side note, I’d like to point out that 7/10 of the top Google results for adobe updater are about disabling the updater, or why someone hates it .
3. Stop whining about Adobe’s release schedule
I used to be one of the biggest whiners when it comes to Adobe’s crazy release schedule, and I haven’t exactly changed my mind.
It sucks that every 18-24 months Adobe comes out with another version of the Creative Suite that you have to cough up another five hundred bucks for. Couldn’t they package more in each release or offer some enhancements as free upgrades?
But the truth is that Adobe doesn’t need to include anything extra in any of their releases, because each one has been justifiably a complete new version:
- CS2 was released in April 2005 and saw the introduction of Bridge as well as the addition of a number of filters. Additionally, Smart Objects were introduced, which allowed for much better integration between Illustrator and Photoshop.
- CS3 was released in March 2007 and packaged Macromedia’s suite of products in with the rest of the Creative Suite. Furthermore, Adobe made integration improvements between Flash and Illustrator, and added Actionscript 3.0 to Flash. Additionally, smart filters were introduced to Photoshop, which extend the smart object model started in CS2 with vector-based filters.
- CS4 was released in October 2008. It came with a variety of image editing advancements, most notably content-aware scaling, as well as ‘on-image’ controls to adjust Curves, Hue/Saturation, etc. Additionally, efforts were made to improve integration as well as the workspace UI of the various apps. Finally, performance gains were made in Bridge (which has always run like crap).
- CS5 is scheduled for release on April 12, 2010. CS5′s content-aware fill and improved selections are amazing improvements that will save designers a ton of time, and there are a variety of other advancements, such as painting and integration between Illustrator and Dreamweaver.
So I think it’s true that Adobe uses a hectic release schedule in order to suck more money out of the design community. But each of these releases is a “full release” so it’s well worth it, and I say more power to them. After all, would you rather get new releases every 1½ years or every 3?
4. Be a Big Boy (or Girl) Already
Another reason you need to buy CS5 is that it’s time to grow up already.
You’re only as professional as the tools you use
Let’s face it: you’re only as professional as the tools you use. So if you’re a professional web designer / developer who uses the Creative Suite software, it’s about time you go legit.
Adobe doesn’t have a lot to gain coming after individuals for piracy, except maybe to send a message. However, an agency, or even a freelancer with enough to lose could definitely be a target.
I’m no lawyer, but it makes legal sense that Adobe could sue you for any money you made using their software illegally.
So if you use something professionally, you had better get the license already.
5. Not a Big Boy? At least act like one.
OK I understand that not everyone is making money using Adobe’s software. But there are plenty of reasons for non-professionals to buy CS5, and if you’re a student Adobe has a special license for you.
Students & teachers can get any of the Creative Suite packages for under $450 (besides the Master Suite). Or get Photoshop alone for under $200 (Extended Version).
Sure $450 isn’t anything to sneeze at, but it’s a steal considering all the great software you’re getting. So start saving up today.
- CS5 Design Premium Student Edition [Mac]
- CS5 Design Premium Student Edition [Windows]
- Photoshop CS5 Student Edition [Mac]
- Photoshop CS5 Student Edition [Windows]
Or if you really want to go nuts, get the Student/Teacher Edition of the Master Suite for under $910. (Normally you’d pay over $2500)
Not a student and still not making money? Maybe you should just use Gimp .
I’d like to mention that Adobe didn’t pay me to write this article (although if they’re listening, a free copy of the CS5 Master Suite never hurt anyone ).