Despite the terrible icons, I'm a big fan of Adobe products – especially those found in the Creative Suite family. I use Photoshop for everything from my book interior images and website graphics, InDesign for my book layouts, Acrobat for PDF creation, and Dreamweaver for my websites (though not as heavily as in the past since I'm primarily using blogs with templates that simply need customizing). I rarely use Illustrator , but when I do, I enjoy it.
Creative Suite 3 was released earlier this week, and I was thrilled! I've been using the Beta of Photoshop CS3 since the day it was released to the public, and it's fantastic. As I'm working on a couple of new book projects, I was very excited to see what new features InDesign had to offer. I went to the Adobe website to check the pricing structures. I'm not happy that there's about 37 editions of CS3 to choose from (and I'm looking forward to the day when users can pick and choose their own bundles), but I found what I need in Creative Suite 3 Design Standard.
At only $240 for the upgrade, it makes a lot of sense to me – Photoshop and InDesign are my moneymakers, it comes with Illustrator for when I need it… but I've already got Acrobat 8 Professional because I've been using Creative Suite 2.3 Premium. The lack of Dreamweaver doesn't bother me much because I've already got version 8 (came with CS2.3 Premium). So, $240 sounds great for a pair of programs I'll use often and one that I'll use slightly.
I was confused about something though. On the product information page, the upgrade price was listed as $240, but when I went to the Adobe store, the upgrade price was listed as $399. In a grand coincidence, a window popped up asking if I wanted to chat with an Adobe rep. Sure! I got the rep in the chat window and pointed out the price difference, and asked which one was correct. I was told that the $240 price was correct. Fantastic! Unfortunately, there was no way for me to get that price online, because the shop was listing $399, and I was told to call and place the order over the phone. No problem. I thanked him for his time and went about my business. I decided to call today because my daughter was just waking up from her nap, and I didn't feel any pressure to get the transaction done right that second.
A little while ago, I got ready to make the call. I pulled up the product page for CS3 Design Standard, as a reference in case the person on the phone wanted to see the page I saw the price on. I was extremely surprised to see that the listed price had been changed to $399! You gotta be kidding! It looked as if I (or enough people) had pointed out the discrepancy to Adobe and they went ahead and changed it to the higher number. Was I going to get the $240 price?
So, I made the call and spoke with a very nice woman named Danielle. I told her about the price issue, and she said that the $240 price was only good for people upgrading from Creative Suite 2.3 Premium, that the price was not available online (had to place a phone order for it) and asked if I had CS2.3 Premium. I sure do, said I. Great! She started to set up the order for me, when I had a thought – if the upgrade for Design Standard was lowered to $240 from the regular price of $399, was the price for Design Premium also lowered? Danielle confirmed that the price for Design Premium was lowered from $599 to $440 for users upgrading from Creative Suite 2.3 Premium. Hey now… that's a great price. CS3 Design Premium includes Dreamweaver and Flash (as well as the beefed up “Extended” version of Photoshop), so upgrading to Design Premium would clearly be the better value – and although I don't use Dreamweaver as much as I used to, I still use it fairly regularly and the new Ajax and CSS features are intriguing. Hook me up, Danielle! She did, and my new software should be at my doorstep by this weekend.
If you're on an Intel Mac, as I am, upgrading to the Universal Binary Creative Suite 3 is almost mandatory. The speed difference is fantastic. If you're upgrading from Creative Suite 2.3 Premium, don't do what I almost did and accept the listed upgrade prices for any of the Creative Suite 3 bundles. Call Adobe directly and speak to a sales rep to make sure you're not paying hundreds more than you need to.