Adobe CS2 for Free (with catches)

Yes, as DealMac reports here: … 55589.html

you can download from Adobe, completely free, a legitimate copy of their older CS2 Creative Suite of applications for Mac or Windows, including:

Creative Suite 2.0
Acrobat 3D for Windows
Acrobat Standard 7.0
Acrobat Pro 8.0
Audition 3.0
GoLive CS2
Illustrator CS2
InCopy CS2
InDesign CS2
Photoshop Elements 4.0/5.0
Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0

The primary catch lies in the specs. For Mac users, you’ll need a older PowerPC G4 or G5 chip running an older version of OS X. Nothing is said about whether the PowerPC emulation in 10.4 and earlier Intel Macs will work. Adobe Framemaker worked that way on my old Mac mini, but it had some quirks. Here is their spec description.

Mac OS X v.10.2.8–v.10.3.8. PowerPC® G4 or G5 processor
Microsoft® Windows® 2000/Windows XP. Intel® Pentium® III or 4 processor

It also comes with a specific serial number, which undoubtedly means no upgrade privileges. And I am sure there is no call-in support for a give-away.

You’ll also need a (free) Adobe login to get to the offer.

For those on tight budgets with older Macs or PCs, it at least offers a chance to get familiar with Adobe’s products perfectly legally.

–Michael W. Perry

CNET is reporting that there may be more catches to this offer than I mentioned: … -for-free/

Read the article in its entirety. As best I can tell, Adobe is doing this because it no longer wants to support the licensing servers for versions this far back. Technically, this release, along with the magic, ‘don’t need a licensing server’ numbers, are only for those who own licensed copies, but it appears Adobe isn’t going to enforce that except perhaps with torrent sites.

Here’s what one commenter posted, perhaps the best summary of what is happening:

in short, Adobe didn’t intend to offer free versions of this software to the general public, but it seems to be behaving like a good sport and accepting that is, in effect, what it has done.

In the long run, it may even help their sales as people grow accustomed to those older versions and find them valuable enough to be worth purchasing in the latest version. I know that, with each upgrade, Adobe tends to add enough new features to InDesign to make the time it saves more than worth the upgrade cost.