Nick Jones reminded me last week that I pointed out in Nov that Adobe initially announced that only CS5 users could upgrade to CS6. But I did not pass on the fact that Adobe finally caved in to public pressure and changed their upgrade policy. Here is Adobe's current upgrade policy for the up coming CS6 that is coming some time in the first half of 2012.
I think we can thank Scott Kelby for this change in direction. Scott spanked Adobe pretty bad about their initial policy. Thanks Scott for getting Adobe to listen. Too bad they can figure this stuff out on their own.
Basically it appears that CS3 and CS4 users will get some special pricing break to upgrade to CS6. But after CS6 you better stay current or you can't upgrade.
Personally, although I dearly love the full version of Photoshop and I've paid the upgrade price religiously every upgrade since the early 90's, I have to say that the Creative Suite applications are beginning to feel obscenely expensive. And I've never felt this way before. Also, I find the concept of paying a monthly fee for their cloud suite rather offensive. It may make sense for some but I don't like the concept of paying a monthly charge for software. I guess I'm just old fashion. I think what we are going to see in the future is a continuing pricing assault on Adobe's key creative applications by Apple. The two most recent pricing assaults from Apple are $79 Aperture (vs $199 LR) and $399 FCP X (vs $799 Premier Pro). There is a long deep seated rivalry between Adobe and Apple that goes back to the early days of the Macintosh. Oh yea, another example of this is before last Thursday you had to use InDesign CS5.5 ($699) to build beautiful multi-media iBooks for the iPad. Last Thursday Apple announced iBook Author (free) which is way easier and faster than InDesign.
Photoshop Elements (PSE) is still a good value at $79. An for real estate photography PSE with Lightroom or Aperture is all you need.