Is Adobe Really Giving Away Photoshop CS2 For Free? Yes And No.

Yesterday, the tech media went nuts reporting that Adobe, makers of Photoshop, began giving away their CS2 product for free. It sounded too good to be true, which is partly why I waited on writing about it. But then, this page on Adobe’s site provided download files for Mac and PC, along with a working serial number to activate the product. But let’s back up for a moment.

What really happened here is that Adobe decided to stop maintaining the servers that verify serial numbers prior to unlocking and activating the software when a new user installs CS2 products. According to a post from an Adobe community manager on their forums, they aren’t intending that users download it free of charge. Instead, they made the change so that existing CS2 users could download the software they already hold licenses to, and be able to successfully install it on their machines without having to activate through Adobe’s servers.

To make a long, convoluted story short:

Yes: you can get a working copy of the entire Creative Suite 2 (CS2), directly from Adobe.
No: That version doesn’t officially and legitimately belong to you, unless you already have a CS2 license.

So, whether you decide to download and install it is entirely up to you. As always, we aren’t advocating you steal or pirate any software.

Note: the installers for these files are designed for older computers. For Mac, it will only install on pre-Intel machines, namely the PowerPC. For PC, it will install on Windows 2000/Windows XP. I can confirm the Mac version doesn’t install on my MacBook Pro (Retina) with OS 10.8.2, but can’t confirm anything on the PC installation. If you try and find out, let me know on Twitter and I’ll update this post with your response.

[Update: Thanks for the responses on Twitter! I've heard from a few of you that this version of CS2 installs and works correctly on both Windows 7 and Windows 8.]

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[Source: Adobe]

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