Adobe Creative Suite 5.5: Reason to Upgrade?

June 20, 2011

Just last month, Adobe made available the first “mid-cycle” release of Creative Suite: version 5.5. This is part of their new release strategy, where they will move milestone releases (such as CS3, CS4, CS5) to a two-year cycle. Mid-cycle releases will keep designers and developers ahead of technology changes, such as what we’re now experiencing in the rise of mobile communications.

Adobe Creative Suite 5.5

Brief highlights of this release include the following:

For the Web: substantial updates to HTML5 and Flash authoring tools to improve mobile application development.

For Print and Publishing: InDesign 5.5 adds new levels of interactivity to page layouts targeted to tablet devices. CS5.5 is tightly integrated with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite to support the publication, sale and analysis of content on iPad, Android tablets and BlackBerry PlayBook.

Adobe also debuts a pay-as-you-go subscription-based pricing plan that ensure customers are always working with the most up-to-date versions of the software, without the upfront cost of full pricing. For example, Adobe Photoshop is available for as little as US$29 per month and Adobe Design Premium CS5.5 for US$89 per month. More details here.

It’s interesting to note that not all of the software included in CS5.5 Design Premium exist at version 5.5. Photoshop Extended, Illustrator, Fireworks and Bridge remain at version 5. Acrobat is updated to Acrobat X Pro. Check out a more comprehensive summary of all the new features included in Adobe CS5.5 Design Premium here.

If you’re currently using CS5 for print production, CS5.5 is not necessarily a must have upgrade, but for those of you involved with extending the creative process beyond the desktop and into the realm of tablet devices and electronic publishing, there may be compelling reasons to upgrade.

Will you be upgrading?

So with CS5.5 now available, will you be upgrading? We’re curious to know as it would give us an idea of how soon (or if at all) we should purchase upgrades for our six design and premedia workstations that currently run Adobe’s Creative Suite 5. Please let us know in the comments or by participating in our Facebook Poll.

Find more like this: Emerging Technologies, Featured

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June 21, 2011
5:22 pm

Interesting concept. I wish Adobe would invest some of those clever resources in making CS4 and CS5 InDesign files backward-compatible. Not all my clients keep pace with upgrades (or need them) and it’s frustrating to have to keep CS3 and CS4 versions of InDesign loaded on my computer just so I can share files. Even Quark doesn’t do that.

Still Creek Press
June 24, 2011
8:22 am

Hi Pika, thanks for sharing! You know that frustrates us as well. Adobe discontinued their Adobe Print Service Providers program last year that at least gave a small monetary break to Printers and Service Providers by providing a complimentary copy of Creative Suite Design Premium for a small annual fee. Now at the first instance of receiving a client’s InDesign file in a version we can’t open, we’re required to make a quite visit to the Adobe Store.

Of course, Adobe would counter that the client could have easily provided us with a press-ready PDF (our preference as well) however, some clients are just more comfortable sending native files and that’s okay with us too.

If it’s possible for Microsoft to write a translator that enables users of older versions of Office to open and edit files created in their most current release (a radical software rewrite), then any software company should be able to. It’s obvious that Adobe would prefer to use these incremental upgrades as an annual cash grab from those of us that need to collaborate with clients at different software purchasing cycles.