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Adobe Creative Suite 3 Preview
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by Rob Williams on March 27, 2007 in Windows

Adobe has kept many secrets about their Creative Suite 3 over the past few months, but today they are unveiling everything you need to know. This includes product lineup, pricing and bundle information and also the Photoshop Extended edition feature set.

Introduction, Pricing


Where content creation is concerned, Adobes name is never far from thought. For years, they’ve provided the tools needed to get things done quickly and efficiently. Just about 17 years ago, Photoshop 1.0 was released and today we are seeing version 10 being ushered in. I’ve spent the last few months using the CS3 beta, so I had a few ideas of what was new. However, it wasn’t until recently that Adobe announced their Extended edition, so we will cover what’s new there in todays article.

Just to make things clear, CS3 doesn’t only represent Photoshop. All new products that Adobe releases will carry the same version to keep things simple. It would be difficult to tell if you were up to date while using Photoshop CS3 and Dreamweaver 2004, for example.

With these new announcements are revised upgrading schemes. Adobe listened to your pleas and developed new methods that should please everyone. The Extended edition is a new entry as well, but will not likely matter that much to photographers or artists alike. You can be the judge of that after we take a look at it’s key features.

First and foremost, you are probably curious about retail prices, upgrade information and release dates. I’m not here to be lazy, so I’ve created a few reference tables. All of the products listed in the table below will be available on April 20th as upgrades and full versions. If you run Windows Vista, you will be more apt to upgrade (or forced) because Adobe recently mentioned that they don’t plan to add this support to previous versions for the OS. As it stands, CS2 and older versions do not run flawlessly under Vista. If you find some absolute need to upgrade to the new fangled OS, this might be one more reason to upgrade to CS3.

Since Photoshop is at the forefront today, we will focus on that. Like previous versions, the full version will set you back $649. The upgrade price has been slightly increased, from $169 to $199. The extended edition retails for $350 more to sit at $999. If you have Photoshop 7, CS or CS2, you can pay $349 to upgrade directly to the new top-end version.

Product
SRP (USD)
Upgrade (USD)
Upgrade Requirement
Acrobat 8 Professional $449 $159 5.x, 6.x or 7.x (Standard or Professional)
After Effects CS3 Professional $999 $299 5.x, 6.x or 7.x (Standard or Professional)
Contribute CS3 $149 $79 1, 2, 3 or 4
Dreamweaver CS3 $399 $199 MX, MX2004 or 8
Fireworks CS3 $299 $149 MX, MX2004 or 8
Flash CS3 Professional $699 $199 MX, MX2004, MX Professional 2004, Basic 8 or Professional 8
Illustrator CS3 $599 $199 10, CS or CS2
InCopy CS3 $249 $89 CS or CS2
InDesign CS3 $699 $199 2.0, CS or CS2
Photoshop CS3 $649 $199 7.0, CS or CS2
Photoshop CS3 Extended $999 $349 7.0, CS or CS2
Premier Pro CS3
Encore CS3
OnLocation
$799 $299 Any version of Premier, Premiere Pro or Encore DVD
Soundbooth CS3 $199 N/A N/A

At quick glance, none of the prices really seem to have shifted that much. There is an exception with Flash CS3 Professional however, which used to cost $299 to upgrade but has decreased to $199. Along with that, there is no longer a Flash Basic. I’m sure this has to do with simplifying their product line, and luckily it carries the same upgrade price as the Professional version, so no one is burned.

One addition to the list is Soundbooth CS3, a program created in the spirit of Cool Edit. I was a huge fan of that program, so I imagine (or hope) that Soundbooth will make its predecessor proud. There is a beta available for those interested.

There will be six bundles to choose from, ranging from a modest $999 all the way up to $2,499. For the all-around developer, the Web Premium might prove the best value, because it includes all of the key tools such as Flash, Photoshop and Dreamweaver. The Web Standard confuses me a little bit, because it doesn’t include any version of Photoshop at all. The Web Premium however includes not just the regular version of PS CS3, but the Extended version. Why Photoshop is not included in the Web Standard, I have no idea. Adding a separate copy of Photoshop CS3 on top of this bundle would cost you more than the Web Premium bundle, so you will have to evaluate the best way to do things.

Bundle
Products Included
SRP (USD)
Design Standard Photoshop CS3
Illustrator CS3
InDesign CS3
Acrobat 8 Professional
$1,199
Design Premium Photoshop CS3 Extended
Illustrator CS3
InDesign CS3
Acrobat 8 Professional
Flash CS3 Professional

Dreamweaver CS3
$1,799
Web Standard Flash CS3 Professional

Dreamweaver CS3
Contribute CS3
Fireworks CS3
$999
Web Premium Photoshop CS3 Extended
Illustrator CS3
Acrobat 8 Professional

Flash CS3 Professional

Dreamweaver CS3
Contribute CS3
Fireworks CS3
$1,599
Production Premium Photoshop CS3 Extended
Illustrator CS3
Flash CS3 Professional
After Effects CS3
Premier Pro CS3
Soundbooth CS3
Encore CS3
OnLocation
Ultra CS3
$1,699
Master Collection Photoshop CS3 Extended
Illustrator CS3
InDesign CS3
Acrobat 8 Professional
Flash CS3 Professional
Dreamweaver CS3
Contribute CS3
Fireworks CS3
After Effects CS3 Professional
Premier Pro CS3
Soundbooth CS3
Encore CS3
OnLocation
Ultra CS3

$2,499

You may have noticed that I didn’t include upgrade prices, which is because the table would literally triple in size. I’ve already mentioned that Adobe unveiled new upgrade schemes, and I think they should please most anyone. There are three methods of upgrading:

  • Using a recent single product to upgrade.
  • Using a previous bundle to upgrade.
  • Using one of the new bundles to upgrade to a larger one.

If I haven’t confused you yet, please allow me to try harder. As an example, say you want to upgrade to the Web Premium suite, which retails for $1,599. If you have a copy of Macromedia Studio 8, you can upgrade to this bundle for $499. If you own a copy of Dreamweaver 8, then you can upgrade for $1,399.

Another example would be upgrading to the Web Standard, which retails for $999. If you own Macromedia Studio 8, you can upgrade for $399. If you own both a copy of Dreamweaver and Flash separately, you can upgrade for the same price.

Adobe is really trying hard to cater to everyone here. These products are expensive, so it’s nice to know that you are not going to lose a lot of money when taking the upgrade path. To see the entire pricing and upgrade scheme, you can view the official chart here.

While there are many new CS3 products on the way, I am only going to touch on Photoshop and Photoshop Extended. Adobe hasn’t discussed the other products as much, despite their release date sitting the same as Photoshop. We will likely hear a lot more about those in the coming month.


Page List:
Top

1. Introduction, Pricing
2. Photoshop CS3
3. Photoshop CS3 Extended, Final Thoughts


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