Adobe was advertising on Life Hacker and other web sites that Adobe Creative Suite CS2 and individual apps like Photoshop CS2 were now free and the activation feature was removed.
Many Mac and Windows users rejoiced, free Photoshop CS2, yes! Just sign in with an Adobe ID and then register for the software and get assigned a serial key and then install the software with the serial key. There was much rejoicing on the Internet and Adobe's servers even went down and the web page at Adobe for the free software was 'temporary available' but forums where posting direct links to Adobe to download the files and serial keys (it turns out any valid key would work, for anyone, since the activation feature got removed that checked for duplicate keys) and so people kept downloading free versions of old CS2 software.
But wait Adobe now says it isn't so, you are supposed to have a license for the CS2 software before you download and install it. That it is only free for existing CS2 users because the old version requires activation and Adobe couldn't afford to run the activation servers anymore, so they released the old CS2 software without the activation part. Not what their original message said, not what people had Tweeted or posted on social networking sites, not what news sites reported. Adobe goofed on the press releases apparently and now has to wait for management to issue an announcement on the subject.
Let's face it the software is so old, 2005 old, so old that the Macintosh version only runs on PowerMacs and won't run on Mac OS X 10.7 or higher (Mac OS X 10.4 to 10.6 for Intel Macs had an option of a Rosetta emulator to run PowerMac software on Intel Macs, but Apple removed it with Mac OS X 10.7 and up) and it was told that the Windows version only ran on old Windows versions like ME and XP and 2000. (Not true people reported it working with Windows Vista/7 even in 64 bit mode and some in Windows 8) Linux users found that it works with WINE as well.
I won't post links to places to download it or that has serial keys. I want to report on this and let Adobe sort it out.
Photoshop CS2 doesn't have the features or power of Photoshop CS6, nor does it have Cloud support or support multicore processors or advanced graphic cards. Adobe doesn't support it anymore nor do they sell a license for it either.
This could have been a big marketing promotion for Adobe, use the old version for free and if you like it consider buying the latest version. Photoshop is one of the most pirated software applications out there, and this free CS2 version puts a damper on CS2 piracy. Why pirate CS2 when you can download a free version from Adobe? One that doesn't use a crack that is malware infected, one that doesn't take weeks to download, one that is fully functional and up to date (pirated versions didn't update for some reason and are old and outdated) one that you can register with Adobe and create an Adobe ID for future purchases.
Look a lot of video game companies have given out free versions of their old video games and it has lead to sales of their newer video games. For example Skyrim's sales keep going up and they offer free versions of older video games based on their series with Daggerfall and Arena. Steam offers a free to play version of Team Fortress 2, and then once the user creates a Steam ID to play it for free, they get offered other video game software, which they buy and Steam also has sales on video games every once in a while.
If you want to attract more customers to your business, you need to give something away for free. That is advice I learned from SCORE and retired business people giving me free advice for my small business. Adobe can take advantage of this and give away free copies of at least Photoshop CS2, and then offer Adobe ID users who download it a discount on Photoshop CS6 or the Creative Suite CS6, and then they will earn more revenue for more sales.
I mean people often go for free and open source alternatives to Adobe Photoshop like The Gimp, Paint.Net, even use MS-Paint but if Adobe offers a free Photoshop they will win goodwill, and that is something that cannot be bought, it has to be earned.
My son just told me something about this today, "Adobe is off to a good start in 2013 with this free CS2 giveaway" sure they may lose millions in sales right now, and that is a write-off, but later on when CS2 owners want to upgrade to CS6 it will be more revenue than they lost, and they will make it up with record sales. Just the thing Adobe needs because they are struggling anyway as the industry tries to get rid of the Flash standard with the HTML5 standard.
An 'Own Goal' is a term in Soccer (USA) or Football (Europe) in which a player on the team kicks the ball to their own goalie and it passes the goalie and scores a point for the other team by going into their own goal. In other words a big mistake. But Adobe can turn this around to their benefit if they wanted to do so.