Some MacCentral readers have expressed confusion over Adobe’s upgrade policies. Company spokesperson Stephanie Krueger explained the situation to us.
The question: is there a time limit on when Adobe software is upgradeable. For instance, if I have a copy of, say, After Effects 1.0, am I eligible for any sort of upgrade to the latest version? Or is there a “line” at which point upgrading isn’t allowed?
“Customers are eligible to upgrade from the previous version — for example, I can upgrade from GoLive 4.0 to GoLive 5.0, but not from earlier versions,” Krueger told MacCentral. “Also, there is the grandfather clause, which is 30 days. Meaning that if I bought Acrobat 4.0 and version 5.0 was announced 10 days later, I can upgrade to 5.0 for free (because it’s within the 30 days).”
One person who ran into some upgrading glitches was Todd Harrell of Techna Design Studio, who decided to upgrade After Effects after a long period.
“I have been an Adobe user since the late 1980’s,” he told MacCentral. “From the early 1990’s, I still have numerous fully legal copies of CoSA After Effects 1.0. Now that my business is redirecting its focus on video rather than print, I decided to upgrade my older copies of After Effects. I was surprised to find that Adobe no longer upgrades versions of After Effects prior to 3.0.”
Harrell said that the policy has “serious implications” to those who make large software purchases. Sometimes, for one reason or another, a version may not make every upgrade, he said.
“I do not believe forced upgrades should be mandated in order to maintain a legal license,” Harrell said. “This is a step backwards for those of us who support the legal purchase and use of software.”
Other companies follow an upgrade policy similar to Adobe’s, while others have more flexible plans. There doesn’t seem to be any industry standard on policies regarding upgrading from previous product versions.