Deciding on which CS3 to buy.

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Before deciding to upgrade to CS3, I had a hard time trying to decide between Web Premium and Design Premium. I’m primarily a web designer these days, but I do some print work every now and again. Either version would work well for me.

Web Premium comes with Photoshop CS3 Extended, Illustrator CS3, Acrobat 8 Professional, Flash CS3 Professional, Dreamweaver CS3, Fireworks CS3 and Contribute CS3. It retails for $1599 for the full version and $599 for the upgrade. Design Premium comes with Photoshop CS3 Extended, Illustrator CS3, Acrobat 8 Professional, Dreamweaver CS3 and InDesign CS3. It retails for $1799 for the full version and $599 for the upgrade. (Fortunately, I was upgrading from CS2 so I qualified for upgrade pricing.)

My decision rested upon whether or not to get Flash (plus Fireworks and Contribute) or InDesign. I figured Web Premium would probably work the best, and got it. I assumed that could always buy the upgrade version ($199) of InDesign CS3 if I needed it. And that’s where I went wrong.

The thing that irks me most about the new CS3 Editions is that there is that Design Premium is the only set that was comparable to CS2 Premium. And yet, Adobe did offer a bundle at one point that included CS2 Premium PLUS Macromedia Studio 8.

Even though InDesign came as part of Creative Suite 2 Premium (what I used to run), it’s not a product that can be upgraded individually. Had I known this, I wouldn’t have even bothered getting the upgrade. My only option at this point is to buy a full version of InDesign CS3 for $699. If I were to do this, it would bring the cost of upgrading to CS3 to $1298. Know why this is stupid? Creative Suite 3 Master Collection’s upgrade price is only $1399. For an additional $101 bucks I could get everything I got in the Web Premium PLUS InDesign, After Effects, Premier, Soundbooth, Encore, OnLocation and Ultra CS3. I don’t need all of the extra video and sound-editing apps that come with the Master Collection.

I know that Adobe can’t offer bundles for everyone. But I don’t see why, in this case, they won’t allow add-ons to the Suites at upgrade pricing. It just doesn’t make sense…