Adobe is about to release its Creativity Suite version 5.5. Surprisingly, it is coming as a paid upgrade with new features for some applications (like support of jQuery Mobile framework in Dreamweaver CS5.5 or Mercury Playback Engine in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5, however we can use mobile devices like the iPad in Photoshop CS5 Extended (not 5.5 !) with free update 12.0.4 for Windows and Mac in May). Here’s a good review at Adobe’s blog. Whatever happens, Adobe has stepped into dot release strategy, which means longer refresh cycles for the major versions (24 months) and shorter cycles for the dot upgrades like 5.5 to catch up with new technologies. As per Vicky Skipp (Adobe’s regional manager for South East Asia): “Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 is all about allowing content providers to create their content once, and then delivering it across multiple platforms and devices. … The rapid adoption of tablets and smartphones has taught us that Adobe needs to be quicker in responding to the industry’s needs. If we wait 18 months for the next release, it is very possible that Adobe might be out of the game in various segments by the time it happens.”
For the customers though, I think CS5.5 will create a bit of confusion, because version 5.5 is not a service pack, yet it might be perceived so. Those who wanted CS6 may want to wait, but to me version 6 is not going to be released at all — it very well could be a different name. Number six is not a good number (symbol of imperfection). Besides, those who buy release 5.5 will be more willing to buy say new Adobe Creative Suite 7 or CS M1 (A suggestion. To start a new big cycle in the Mobile era)).
Is Creative Suite 5.5 is available to download and try? Not yet. I will take a look in the underworld and tell you if I find something.