Sick of the rip-off


A friend sent me this information about the upgrade prices for Adobe’s Creative Suite. In the US the upgrade prices from CS4 are (as listed on

Design Standard : $499
Design, Web and Production Premium: $599
Master Collection: $899

Here the upgrade prices are (in AU$, ex GST):
Design Standard: $762
Design, Web and Production Premium: $912
Master Collection: $1366

Our dollar is trading at US93c today. This should mean prices of:
Design Standard: $537 (a difference of $225, or 42%)
Design, Web and Production Premium: $644 (a difference of $278 or 43%)
Master Collection: $967 (a difference of $399 or 41%)

There is zero excuse for this kind of naked profiteering these days; especially when you get absolutely nothing extra in the ‘box’—no manual, nothing. Make the damn upgrade available via download, and stop the bastards skimming money off the deal at our expense. I won’t be spending an extra $400 for absolutely nothing.

Anyway, what do you get in an Adobe upgrade these days? A few more useless filters you didn’t know you needed, and another unfulfilled promise of speed and reliability we should have got five upgrades ago.

I’ve been using Adobe apps since 1989, and I wholeheartedly agree with Steve Jobs: Adobe is lazy.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Guy
    Apr 13, 2010 @ 11:56:34

    You didn’t calculate the 10% GST inclusive in those prices, but its typical of “local” prices we pay for just about everything.
    I heard CS5 has become a “convert to flash” suite, with every app having some kind of flash component. Adobe bought Macromedia for one thing, Flash and now it seems there going to be war to death between flash and HTML 5. I juts hope the CS apps I use everyday don’t hobbled by Flashs’ death throws.

  2. Universal Head
    Apr 13, 2010 @ 12:32:17

    Aren’t the prices above ex GST?
    Regardless, it’s still a joke. I had a similar problem with looking into upgrading Filemaker Pro, which is available as a complete download. However if I try to download it from the States I’m pushed to an Australian site where they try to charge me an extra couple of hundred dollars. Result: no upgrade, no money from me in company’s coffers.
    If you’re correct, and Adobe are integrating Flash so heavily into everything (I did read that there was interactivity output built into inDesign), it’s just another symptom of what a confused mess the Creative Suite is these days. The programs all overlap confusingly in functionality, never seem to share a completely common interface despite Adobe fiddling with it continually (some of the interface design in Adobe apps is so ‘old school’ it makes me laugh), and are completely bloated with useless bolt-on bits and pieces.
    I know someone who is fulltime Flash expert and they told me the latest version of Flash is a buggy mess, worse than the version before.
    I agree with you, there’s going to be a real shake-up around Flash soon, and we’re the ones who are going to suffer while they sort it all out.
    Adobe has no emphasis on the user’s needs anymore – they just bolt on junk so we all pay for another bloody upgrade. The Creative Suite is responsible for over half their cash flow, and they need to keep the cash flowing at all costs.
    I mean, I still get inDesign and Photoshop crashing when I quit – which is apparently a common problem. Come ON!

  3. Ken
    Apr 15, 2010 @ 11:50:11

    It is amazing that these companies still can’t comprehend that buyers can compare prices over the internet. This type of region locked internet pricing should be banned. There is no reason for such a large price differential.
    The US comsummer has to be subsidized by some-one.

  4. queenwilly
    Apr 21, 2010 @ 18:26:49

    It’s the same as book pricing.
    I count many Sydney bookshop owners as friends, having worked in lots of bookshops during Uni.
    But I can get a book from the States hand-delivered to my door for half the price of shopping with my friends.
    It’s not their fault of course – the RRPs set by Publishers in Australia are ridiculous. They say it’s to protect Australian bookselling – how can that be when even I shop online?

  5. Universal Head
    Apr 21, 2010 @ 18:36:51

    The point being, that in all industries the paradigms are changing, and you can either hang onto the old ways for dear life – and sink – or recognise that things have changed and do something about it.
    We’ve seen the same thing happen in the graphic design industry, with our traditional skills being overtaken by software and amateur design. And what did we have to do? Learn new ways of doing things.
    Adobe, supposedly the amazing innovator in the world of software (“astonishing innovation” is how they describe the CS5 upgrade), is still clinging onto an outdated business model, and it’s making customers mad.
    On Znet, the Australasian Adobe Marketing Manager came up with this explanation of the local pricing—or should I say, he avoided coming up with an explanation. You can see by the comments that his meaningless marketing-speak did not impress anyone:
    Z-Net Article

  6. Guy
    May 11, 2010 @ 10:55:18

    Just paid my Adobe CS5 tax. Hope its worth it.