Last week we reported that starting with Adobe CS6, only people who own the previous major release of the software (i.e. CS5 and above) will be eligible for upgrade pricing. Needless to say, Photoshop users are’t too happy about the changes, and now National Association of Photoshop Professionals president Scott Kelby is weighing in. In an open letter to Adobe, he writes,
While I understand that Adobe needs to make business decisions based on how it sees market conditions, I feel the timing of this new pricing structure is patently unfair to your customers (and our members). Here’s why: You didn’t tell us up front. You didn’t tell us until nearly the end of the product’s life cycle, and now you’re making us buy CS5.5 for just a few months on the chance that we might want to buy CS6 at a discount when it’s released. Otherwise, we have to pay the full price as if we were never Adobe customers at all.
Kelby also makes a plea for Adobe to either start the new policy with CS7 or to offer a tiered upgrade structure in which upgrade price is based on how recent your version is. That definitely makes more sense than having CS4 users pay full price to upgrade to CS6.
If you’ve been waiting to upgrade Photoshop CS3 or CS4 to CS6 when it’s released sometime next year, here’s some bad news: the upgrade price won’t apply to you. Starting with CS6, Adobe will be enforcing a new upgrade policy:
[...] we are changing our policy for perpetual license customers. In order to qualify for upgrade pricing when CS6 releases, customers will need to be on the latest version of our software (either CS5 or CS5.5 editions). If our customers are not yet on those versions, we’re offering a 20% discount through December 31, 2011 which will qualify them for upgrade pricing when we release CS6.
The existing policy is that customers with software from three versions back quality for upgrade pricing. For example, owners of CS2, CS3, and CS4 and upgrade to CS5. Buying the full version of Photoshop CS5 right now costs nearly $500, while the upgrade is only priced at ~$150.
Early beta versions of Photoshop CS6 (codenamed “Superstition”) have already made it into the hands of testers, and information about changes and new features is slowly starting to emerge. AppleInsider has published some screenshots of the new program, which apparently comes with a darker, Aperture-esque user interface. There’s a number of new features geared towards working with 3D, a mysterious new “Remix Tool” inside the healing brush pallet, and a “Perspective Crop” tool. There’s also new auto-save options that help you save your work automatically in the background.
At this point, it doesn’t seem like we’ll be seeing Image Deblurring appear in CS6. Adobe is rumored to be shooting for a CS6 launch around May 2012.
Demos at graphics conferences are often interesting to watch because they offer a sneak peek at technologies that may soon become available to the general public. The video above is a demo for “PatchMatch“, an algorithm developed by researchers at Princeton and Adobe. Although you might be unfamiliar with PatchMatch, you’ve probably heard of its most famous feature: Content Aware Fill. Only a small piece of this amazing technology was introduced in Photoshop CS5, so the amazing image manipulations seen in this demo are likely a sneak peek into what we’ll be seeing in Photoshop CS6.