Non-Billable Hours

Welcome!
Let me start by introducing myself. I manage the engineering team responsible for the Creative Suite and its installer technology for CS4 (plus a few other odds and ends). For future versions of the Creative Suite I’ll also be responsible for the licensing and update technologies. I’ve been working at Adobe for over sixteen years as an engineer and, later, as an engineering manager. In the past I’ve done hardware design, core PostScript implementations, Acrobat Distiller, Acrobat plugins and various pieces of technology shared across Adobe products.
This blog is intended as a two-way communication about the “out of box experience” that users of Adobe software have when they purchase our products. Through posts on this blog we intend to communicate what is happening with the deployment (installer/updater) and provisioning (licensing) aspects of Adobe software. The scope includes everything from the time of purchase through download, installation, licensing and later updates of Adobe applications. Along the way we will provide some historical perspective for why things are this way today and where we’re going tomorrow.
In addition, we want to hear back from the Adobe community about your out of box experience. We’re under no delusion that the world of installers, updaters and licensing is just peachy. Some of you experience problems installing or updating Adobe software, particularly in enterprise environments. Likewise we have a few problems with the licensing technology for some customers. We want to hear about the problems you face and, hopefully, help to solve them. In addition, the information we get from you all through this blog will help us prioritize your needs so that we address the most important issues first, so please do respond in comments to the posts. We’ll do our best to keep up with you.
Most of the posts on this blog will be from the OOBE (“Out of Box Experience”) group for the Creative Suite products. Folks from various roles within the group will post, from engineering and program management through product management and customer care. We hope to bring in some individuals at Adobe working on similar aspects of non-Creative Suite products for guest posts as well.
Lastly, I want to thank a number of individuals in the Adobe user community for suggesting that the installer and licensing group have their own blog. It is through constructive and pointed feedback from such users that we’ve been able to address some of the more painful issues our users face. Hopefully this blog serves its purpose to educate both sides about what is happening so that Adobe’s installation and licensing experience continues to improve.
Thanks,
–Eric Wilde
Sr. Engineering Manager
ewilde@adobe.com

138 Responses to Non-Billable Hours

  1. Matthew Rigdon says:

    As a Mac user, I’m accustomed to programs just being dragged to the Applications folder. I don’t know if this is ever a possibility, but it would be nice.
    The real problem I have is with the activation. Specifically, the problem I have is that I have to call up Adobe to activate because the installer doesn’t recognize my legitimate upgrade situation.
    I owned a Web Premium upgrade to CS3, as well as Macromedia Studio 8, which entitled me to an upgrade to the CS4 Master Collection. Unfortunately, the installer does not allow me to enter my numbers from those products and move forward. instead, every time I install, I have to call up Adobe, sit on hold until someone can get to me, verify with the person that I own the two products in question, then wait for them to generate a valid activation code for me. I don’t know if you’re trying to punish upgrade users or you weren’t briefed in time about what upgrades would actually be valid. It’s an extra set of hurt that I don’t appreciate.

  2. “Welcome to the jungle…” :-P
    Seriously, this is good to see from y’all. Nack should be happy to have somewhere to refer the installer complaints from his site ;-)

  3. Lynn Grillo says:

    This is awesome! Best wishes with it, Eric et al.

  4. Daniel Farnworth says:

    OOBE + Acrobat/CS + Enterprise+ Updaters = Ouch you guys must be masochists!

  5. Ben Martin says:

    Is it possible for Adobe to release a universal install of Acrobat Reader for enterprise?

  6. Chris says:

    I don’t know if this pertains to your group but… The other day I had to re-install windows due to a hard drive failure. When I went to download and install PSE7 I downloaded the trial from the website then tried to enter my serial number. Unfortunately it was rejected by the red X… I made sure I was typing it correctly but no dice. I decided to go back to where I originally downloaded it from the adobe store and download it yet again. This time it worked. What a pain having to download it twice. I know I probably should have just downloaded from the right place the first time but who knew they would be different….

  7. Eric Wilde says:

    Lot’s of comments came in quickly. Thanks for the engagement, all.
    As a Mac user, I’m accustomed to programs just being dragged to the Applications folder. I don’t know if this is ever a possibility, but it would be nice.
    This will not be possible due to many actions that must be performed at install time other than just placing files. I agree that it would be nice; but, I don’t see it happening in the foreseeable future. Please note that even most of Apple’s installers no longer support drag & drop installation anymore, so I believe the industry is moving away from that workflow overall.
    The real problem I have is with the activation. Specifically, the problem I have is that I have to call up Adobe to activate because the installer doesn’t recognize my legitimate upgrade situation.
    I’m sorry to hear about the troubles you’ve experienced in the upgrade path. That’s definitely not the intended design. We do know that some users experience this problem, primarily caused by the inability to detect a currently existing installation on the system (known as “sniffing”.) This problem is most common for users who have Macromedia Studio 8.
    Although we don’t have an easy fix for CS4, we are simplifying the activation implementation for the future. We do expect that the success rate for sniffing should increase when upgrading from future versions. We hope it will increase for upgrading from CS4 to future versions as well; but, I don’t want to promise anything until we finish our testing in this area.

  8. Eric Wilde says:

    you guys must be masochists
    Thank you, sir! May I have another? :)
    Note that I’m not responsible for Acrobat, just that I worked on the Acrobat team some years ago.

  9. Eric Wilde says:

    The other day I had to re-install windows due to a hard drive failure. When I went to download and install PSE7 I downloaded the trial from the website then tried to enter my serial number. Unfortunately it was rejected by the red X…
    PSE7 Windows does not use the same install technology as the Creative Suite, so its a little difficult for me to quickly state what happened. On Mac, PSE7 does use our install technology.
    I can let the PSE team know about the problem; but, since you now have a working copy on your system I’ll not ask them to follow up with you.

  10. Murrey Walker says:

    Been on board with Adobe since 1985/86.
    Your installer technology’s history is one which you should reflect upon.
    It’s clearly evident that piracy drives 99% of your specific enterprise.
    Shouldn’t you value your customer base, instead of coming up with new schemes to thwart those who pirate? Do you REALLY know how much revenue you loose?
    How about giving those of us who are loyal customers a permanent (for the current upgrade) key with each successive upgrade purchase?

  11. Klaus Nordby says:

    Thanks, Eric, for starting this blog! It will take some load off poor John Nack’s shoulders.
    I’m on Vista x64, and all my CS4 apps (in Design Premium Upgrade) have installed fine and activated fine — except Acrobat 9, which has *refused* to accept the CS4 serial number as valid, and thus expired after 30 days of “trial”. So I’m reduced to using Reader for basic PDF viewing, but of course all the functions in the Motherload are currently denied me. Not good.

  12. kate says:

    I have always thought Adobe did a great job on their installation system. I’ll keep an eye on your blog and see what I can learn :)

  13. Jonas says:

    Please, please please make the installer work on case sensitive file systems on the Mac. While I would agree there’s no apparent gain in using a case sensitive file system, the hassle of having to reformat the drive, reinstall the OS and all software really is not a good experience at all.
    And it IS doable. Customers have been creating custom installations for case sensitive file systems for a while now.

  14. Eric Wilde says:

    Murrey,
    Your installer technology’s history is one which you should reflect upon.
    It’s clearly evident that piracy drives 99% of your specific enterprise.
    Shouldn’t you value your customer base, instead of coming up with new schemes to thwart those who pirate? Do you REALLY know how much revenue you loose?
    How about giving those of us who are loyal customers a permanent (for the current upgrade) key with each successive upgrade purchase?

    Thanks for your comments. I’m glad you brought this topic up since I’m currently figuring out what posts to do in the coming weeks and our “philosophy” behind the licensing and activation approach going forward is one of the topics to cover.
    Since I became involved in this domain in CS4 our guiding philosophy has been to trust the users. If something fails we should still allow people to use the software. We shouldn’t treat our users like criminals. Let’s assume honesty on the part of the user unless something obviously points to piracy. That will continue to be the guiding philosophy so long as I’m involved with this project.
    The technology concerned here isn’t so much the deployment (installer). Its more about the provisioning (licensing) technology. As such there was only so far this philosophy could be pushed in CS4. Expect much more friendliness going forward now that this same philosophy is guiding the provisioning technology as well.
    I do intend to have a separate post on this specific topic in a few weeks. There are a couple of other important posts to get out first.
    Is there something specific that you want to address in this area? Please feel free to email me directly if you want to talk more about this issue.

  15. Eric Wilde says:

    I’m on Vista x64, and all my CS4 apps (in Design Premium Upgrade) have installed fine and activated fine — except Acrobat 9, which has *refused* to accept the CS4 serial number as valid, and thus expired after 30 days of “trial”. So I’m reduced to using Reader for basic PDF viewing, but of course all the functions in the Motherload are currently denied me. Not good.

    Hmmm. This is a new one for me. Let me circle back with the Acrobat team and see if we can figure out what’s going wrong. I’ll have someone contact you by email in the next couple of days.

  16. Eric Wilde says:

    Please, please please make the installer work on case sensitive file systems on the Mac.
    That’s a really good topic and it deserves a post of its own. It will probably have to wait a few weeks while other queued posts go up.
    The short answer is that we still won’t support case sensitive file systems in the next version. I don’t have the details readily at hand, so I want to gather them before giving a full explanation in a separate post. Sorry for the delay in a complete answer.
    While I would agree there’s no apparent gain in using a case sensitive file system, the hassle of having to reformat the drive, reinstall the OS and all software really is not a good experience at all.
    I have to disagree about no apparent gain. There’s at least 26 more characters that can be used in file names. Personally, I grew up in UNIX and so I really do like case sensitive file systems myself.
    Your point about the pain involved in reformatting the drive is a good one. Since we are really trying to improve the installation experience it would be nice to support case sensitive systems. We do have to prioritize and there are plenty of other issues (as you’ll see if you keep reading these blog comments in the coming weeks.) Thanks for bringing it up.

  17. Eric Wilde says:

    How about giving those of us who are loyal customers a permanent (for the current upgrade) key with each successive upgrade purchase?
    Oops, I didn’t address this point yet.
    This is an interesting idea. I’ll have to study it a bit more with some of our business folks to see what makes sense. Thank you for bringing it up.

  18. Andrew Odri says:

    Hey guys, great to see this division also branching out for some real world community feedback :)
    Actually, I have one issue that I have recently come across – crossgrades between platforms. I less than 2 years ago I purchased Adobe CS3 Web Premium. Then shortly after I bought Adobe Premiere CS3. And then I switched to Mac. I think having a fee to switch is a great idea, and makes a lot of sense. And behind the scenes, for web downloads, it should just be a matter of accepting the payment, and activating the different collection of downloads for the different products on the platform. However, after the CS4 suite of products had been released, my only option is to do a full upgrade, rather than paying a small fee to switch my CS3 licenses. New versions of Creative Suite + Premiere really adds up.
    Not major, but I have given so much of my money to Adobe, only to be told I have to essentially purchase all the products again. Perhaps a policy where 2/3 versions prior you are allowed to do a platform switch would be worth considering (perhaps the same threshold as products eligible for upgrade pricing).
    Anyways, great to see you blogging, and hope you are able to implement some of the user feedback you get :)

  19. Kevin O'Shea says:

    As a Mac user, the Adobe installers have generally represented a ‘less than ideal’ installation experience historically (me being nice in the spirit of cooperation).
    Short request: Use the standard OS installers. Drag installs would be nice, but there’s no good argument (that you can make to a customer – I know there are plenty you can make internally) for needing to use a different install engine.
    The OS X Installer architecture may not give you everything you want, but it should certainly give you everything you need.

  20. Eric Wilde says:

    Short request: Use the standard OS installers. Drag installs would be nice, but there’s no good argument (that you can make to a customer – I know there are plenty you can make internally) for needing to use a different install engine.
    Believe me, if we didn’t have to build our own install engine we wouldn’t. It is incredibly painful for Adobe as well as Adobe’s customers. Unfortunately, the PKG and MSI install technologies really don’t satisfy our needs.
    As for “no good argument”, you may be right. Unfortunately, there are technical needs for installing the myriad products that go into the suite which MSI and PKG don’t satisfy. The short answer is because of our package management needs; but, there’s a lot more to it. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this one deserves its own post. I’m actually in the midst of writing it up and should get one up shortly (its second on my priority list for future posts, right after some history of how we got to where we are today.)
    Also, pretty much every enterprise customer says exactly this same thing. We realize the pain it is causing. Its an extremely high priority technical issue for us that, unfortunately, is a lot harder to fix than it appears to be on the surface.

  21. Jeffrey Jose says:

    Appreciate the idea behind the blog. Hope to see what goes behind those secret walls and (if possible) get some gossips from inside.
    Good Luck !

  22. Neil Bradley says:

    I was wondering if there are any future plans to offer some different price points that would more appealing to freelance designers?
    Starting out on your own is not easy in terms of financing all of the tools that you need, particularly in the current climate. The individual applications that I need are packaged up in a version where I would only use half of the apps, but purchasing them individually would cost more.
    The Educational price point for CS4 is a substantial discount, at a third of the price and I was told that I could ask a student to purchase the software on my behalf to get the discount – is this applicable?

  23. keith says:

    Great a team interested in the CS out of the box experience. Yep, let’s just say there have been not so nice experiences installing the newer versions of CS. At the same time, it must be a struggle to develope a suite of programs that will (hopefully) run on such a variety of computers & systems.
    But when things do go awry like just the other night when I went to use CS3 Acrobat Pro and got a warning message about a licensing issue and wouldn’t run. So its great that I own various versions of CS on different computers so I’m never totally at a loss when things won’t run.
    Installing CS3 on Vista I had/have issues with installing Acrobat Pro. They had some sort of a disagreement, Vista vs Acrobat Pro. Eventually they seemed to have settled down.
    PS emailing Adobe customer service….blah.

  24. Hello:
    The post by Ben Martin, is in reference to Adobe Acrobat Reader on Mac OS X has two separate versions based on processor. An Intel & PowerPC version, which in enterprises that have both Intel & PowerPC Mac’s increased work & managment.
    We have created a page that outlines, issues we have found with many applications that we consider enterprise unfriendly. It is a little outdated, but if other that post here want to email use details of Adobe and other vendor applications, we would be happy to add it to the site.
    http://www.macos.utah.edu/documentation/administration/poorly-made_apps.html
    I was considering creating a list for developers needs for enterprise environments for software installation, distribution, serialization, etc.
    http://www.macos.utah.edu/documentation/administration/poorly-made_apps.html
    Also, here is white paper I wrote with another person, that goes over many of the issues we run in with software in an enterprise environment…
    http://www.macos.utah.edu/docroot/osx_app_mgmt-best_practices.pdf

  25. Eric Wilde says:

    Followup From Klaus. His initial message contained:
    I’m on Vista x64, and all my CS4 apps (in Design Premium Upgrade) have installed fine and activated fine — except Acrobat 9, which has *refused* to accept the CS4 serial number as valid, and thus expired after 30 days of “trial”. So I’m reduced to using Reader for basic PDF viewing, but of course all the functions in the Motherload are currently denied me. Not good.
    After a short email exchange we discovered the root of the problem. I’m posting it here in case others have run into it.
    Acrobat 9 Pro actually shipped earlier than CS4. So the licensing technology used in Acrobat 9 Pro is not as fully featured as the licensing technology used in the other products (e.g. Photoshop.) A new feature went into the CS4 products, except Acrobat, that allowed the individually installed products to activate using Suite serial numbers. This feature should be in Acrobat 10; but, it wasn’t completed in time for Acrobat 9.
    People should be able to rectify the situation by uninstalling Acrobat the re-installing it with your Suite installer. If you use an Acrobat 9 Pro standalone installer then you must use an Acrobat 9 Pro standalone serial number. If you use the Suite installer then you can use a Suite serial number.
    Again, this should be fixed for Acrobat 10.

  26. Glad to see the new blog and thanks for coming to the party!
    One thing I didn’t see in your introduction was something specific to the enterprise. Having to install or reinstall a single non-volume license suite is one thing but having to push a volume licensed copy to machines is quite another. Would love to get a dialog going about admin pain points in terms of deployment.
    Looking forward to your post about packaging issues “which MSI and PKG don’t satisfy”. I don’t know if I believe it but I’ll reserve any judgment ’til then.

  27. Eric Wilde says:

    Richard, thank you very much for the clarification of Ben’s comment and the great links.
    We’ll spend some time studying those links to see where we can improve. We already have heard a lot from our enterprise customers about the problems encountered; but, the more data we have the better we’ll be able to respond.
    As for universal binaries on Mac, Acrobat Reader 9 does not have universal binaries. It has separate builds for Intel and PPC. Going forward there will only be support for Intel, so only one build.

  28. Eric Wilde says:

    One thing I didn’t see in your introduction was something specific to the enterprise. Having to install or reinstall a single non-volume license suite is one thing but having to push a volume licensed copy to machines is quite another. Would love to get a dialog going about admin pain points in terms of deployment.
    Yes indeed! That’s a great topic for a post. As mentioned above, we realize there are issues for enterprise deployment and provisioning. We have a fair bit of data already; but, are happy to get more to see where else we can improve. As you’ll see in the upcoming “history” post in a few days, in CS4 we focused on the deployment problems retail customers had with full knowledge that we weren’t satisfying the enterprise customers. In our next version we’re trying to do a lot more for enterprise customers, though the details are still not quite ready to share.
    I’ll try to get a post going soon where people can pile on their enterprise deployment issues. I’m sure it will be lively. :)
    Looking forward to your post about packaging issues “which MSI and PKG don’t satisfy”. I don’t know if I believe it but I’ll reserve any judgment ’til then.
    We couldn’t ask for any more than that.

  29. Keith Humm says:

    I’m curious as to why exactly the PKG and MSI installers don’t suit your needs.
    Sorta hints to me (as a software developer) of bigger issues behind the scenes. Too much reliance on dodgy legacy code, or something along those lines. And I do know it’s easy to say.
    We’ve never had an Adobe install go well here – mainly due to licensing.

  30. Michael Tissington says:

    I posted a issue to the forums shortly after CS4 came out about Photoshop CS4 failing to install because of language files not being found (USA) … someone contacted me and asked for the log file, great I thought you are going to fix …. that was a long time ago now and no follow up from you to say it has been fixed or otherwise… followup would be great, fixing it even better.

  31. Reuer says:

    There is a bug in the After Effects installer (I think). When installing CS3 MC on a Windows Vista 64 machine (dual language Japanese/English enabled) the installer installed the Japanese version of the software instead of the English version that was specified. AE when run has all Japanese menus. . .

  32. fjf says:

    Glad to see Adobe talking to the folks who pay the bills :-)
    Not sure if this is your baliwick but would you be so kind as to provide a txt file with the installer that lists all of the user relevant files and the Adobe default locations.
    I typically move files from the defaults for ease of backup and for performance but had a recent hiccup with LR in which a critical preference file was located in C:/docsand settings/user/AppData/Adobe. Rather than me hunt for your installs please just let me know what you have done so I can protect my investment.

  33. Steven says:

    Dear Eric,
    please do not write “We will do that in CS5 and future versions”.
    Please consider to improve CS4 with an update. Free to all customers who bought CS4 as a bugfix to CS3.
    I still found the bugs in Ai CS4 that I and 8 other persons reported to Adobe two years ago with CS3. It’s the overlapping anchor points bug.
    Please consider an improvement before CS5 & CS6.

  34. Gareth says:

    Hi,
    I have to say I am not at all comfortable with this new style of software protection. The Microsoft model is far more user friendly (and trust me I don’t say that lightly!) i.e. if it is reactivated on the same hardware it just works. As I do tend to play about on my PC’s a fair bit it is a concern to have to remember to try to deactivate every time I try something a little different in case of a drive crash. I have recently experienced that and it took me four phone calls before some-one finally gave me another activation – this is simply not acceptable, I now live in fear that my drive will crash and the next time I will not be given another activation.
    Also I USED to have several boot partitions that I could very quickly switch between builds – all on the same OS, but some would be specifically for an individual set of applications and have nothing installed apart from the necessary programs. However now because your new activation scheme does not recognise that it is the same machine it prevents me from doing this!
    By the way this was with CS4 Web Premium, and no having literally only just purchased CS4, I am not at all happy to see posts stating that it will be much better in CS5, if it was not ready to be used then it should not have been put in in CS4!

  35. Barry Hills says:

    Hi Michael T-
    >>Someone contacted me and asked for the log file, great I thought you are going to fix …. that was a long time ago now and no follow up from you to say it has been fixed or otherwise… followup would be great, fixing it even better.
    Please send me an email with your case number and contact info and I will make sure someone in support gets back to you quickly (bhills@adobe.com)

  36. Çhris says:

    “I have one issue that I have recently come across – cross grades between platforms.” Andrew, we will explore this with our Business & Operations teams to see if it can be supported. Thanks for the suggestion!

  37. Çhris says:

    “How about giving those of us who are loyal customers a permanent (for the current upgrade) key with each successive upgrade purchase?” Murrey, per our email exchange, this is something we plan on addressing in the future. It will not be a key, but it will make the installation process much easier.

  38. Eric Wilde says:

    Steven,
    please do not write “We will do that in CS5 and future versions”.
    Please consider to improve CS4 with an update. Free to all customers who bought CS4 as a bugfix to CS3.
    I still found the bugs in Ai CS4 that I and 8 other persons reported to Adobe two years ago with CS3. It’s the multiple anchor points bug.
    Please consider an improvement befor CS5 & CS6.
    This is a very good point. Let me try to clarify exactly how things get done. Maybe that will help both Adobe and users figure out what to do with these sorts of problems.
    We have a long list of items we need to improve for deployment (installers and updaters) and provisioning (licensing.) That list is prioritized based on the impact of each issue. Items which end up causing the most pain generally are given higher priority. We then try to tackle the list in priority order. Some of these items can be addressed in the short term with workarounds for already shipping products. Some of these items really require so much work that getting an interim fix before the next major release isn’t feasible. Some of these items require multiple major releases in order to get it right.
    A few examples:
    – There is a known issue around licensing all of a sudden failing even after the product has been working for months on a system. This problem has existed since CS3. This failure seems to have multiple causes. Some of these causes we’ve been able to address; but, we’ve not been able to capture repeatable cases for a few of them. So isolating and fixing all of the causes of this problem has been difficult. In this case we have a workaround for what seems to be the most common cause, corrupted licensing data. There is a License Repair Tool delivered by World Wide Customer Care to work around the corrupted licensing data. This tool was just released a few weeks ago for users to try when they run into the problem. This is a case where we’re able to find a workaround and apply it to a shipping product. Note: One of our users, John Welch found a problem with the tool. We’re fixing and reposting the tool ASAP.
    – The CS3 and CS4 installer technology leverages javascript for some of its functionality. This is causing lots of problems for enterprise deployment. Removing the javascript dependency is a lot of work and very destabilizing. Its taking a couple of months to redesign the technology so that there is no dependency on javascript. In addition, the change is dramatic enough that more months of testing are required to ensure it works. Given that time frame and cost, it isn’t reasonable to try to get a new release out prior to CS5.
    – The upgrade “sniffing” problem mentioned above has tendrils going back as far as Macromedia Studio 8. The different serial number and licensing technologies used by different companies (Macromedia and Adobe) over multiple releases causes a fair number of challenges in accurately sniffing existing versions on a system. In order to adequately fix the problem we have to have a single, simple way to sniff products on a system. Putting that simple way in place takes a product cycle. Then it takes multiple cycles after that before we no long have to sniff products as far back as Macromedia Studio. So this type of problem really does take multiple releases before it is ironed out.
    Hopefully this helps explain why some fixes come in updates, some in the next release and some multiple releases away. I can’t really speak for Illustrator both because I’m not familiar enough with the product and I don’t know the exact problems you’re referencing.
    After saying all that, if there are items that come up in our discussions here that can be reasonably fixed in the CS4 time frame we’ll do what we can.
    Updated: It looks like the link to John’s comment isn’t working. I’ll try to get that fixed. In the meantime, here’s the URL:
    http://www.bynkii.com/archives/2009/02/adobe_takes_back_the_crown.html

  39. Eric Wilde says:

    fjf,
    Not sure if this is your baliwick but would you be so kind as to provide a txt file with the installer that lists all of the user relevant files and the Adobe default locations.
    That’s a good idea. Referring to my last comment, its also an example of something that may possibly be done for CS4 now rather than waiting for a future version. Let me check into it. I’ll try to respond here again in a couple of days after investigating with the engineering team.

  40. Eric Wilde says:

    I have to say I am not at all comfortable with this new style of software protection. The Microsoft model is far more user friendly (and trust me I don’t say that lightly!) i.e. if it is reactivated on the same hardware it just works.
    Our intent is to indeed have the activation based on the user’s hardware. What we want to have happen is if you activated on a particular machine you should always be able to reactivate on that same hardware. The error seems to be a technical flaw in our implementation (i.e. a bug.)
    What we’ve experienced is that there isn’t any foolproof way to ensure that hardware for a Windows system is consistent. There isn’t any world-wide standard for how a set of hardware is uniquely identified on Windows systems. There are many vendors for motherboards, drives, internet cards, BIOSs, etc. We’ve taken a shot at being able to uniquely and consistently identify the hardware; but, there are clearly problems. We continue to try to improve this problem and believe we know how to improve it for upcoming releases for your particular case.
    Note that on Mac this is less of an issue since Apple has stricter control over the manufacturing of Macs.

  41. Klaus Nordby says:

    Related to Gareth’s posting on the hardware/licensing/activation issue, I want to second his concerns. I like to custom-build my own desktops and therefore I change drives, RAM, CPU and whatnots all the time. Win XP and Vista both take this tinkering pretty well — the MS activation has *never* caused me real trouble — but I greatly worry that my CS4 apps might suddenly be deactivated, due to paranoid hardware locks. So please look into this ASAP — and make this whole mechanism more “forgiving” of hardware changes.
    Also, my CS4 auto-activated itself a few days after installation, when my desktop went online (it’s usually offline). I GREATLY dislike that hat happened behind my back: I wanted to CHOOSE the right timing for that, when I knew my desktop was properly tweaked. Now, that activation has been used up — before I was really ready to press the button. So please: NEVER let your apps activate behind our backs, without any way to “just say no”.

  42. Pixels says:

    Hi, great blog, and it ist realy a good idea, that someone asks the users directly. That i missed in the last years!!!
    My short sory: I#m Adobe and Macromedia User since 1996. In the first years I made every update because of the new functions and so on. In ca. 2002 I graded my Photoshop up to the CS-Premium-Suite, becaus of the graceperiod i could get the CS1. The CS1-Premium was installed fine. Then began a horror with the next Update to CS2. The install won’t work and i had to call realy many times the support because i couldnt get the installer and the Software back to work. After 7 calls, there was the first support guy, who could give me an working answer. He said it’s not official allowed, but he gave me a short number for the installer, that i realy could use the installer to install the update….
    Thes licence model is realy fucked up. Nobody pays me the hours ore these calls! As a loyal customer who payed a lot of money (in Europe the double of the Dollar price!) for new software an updates over years after this expeareance I felt like rubbish. Since this i stuck at CS2. I have a big box with many adobe software cds, manuals and I think 25-30 serialnumber and registration cards. If adobe wants me to update to CS4, then this livence thing must be an easier job. If my workcomputer gets down, i do not want to call hours of hours with the support to get the thing fast to work again. This licence thing makes me realy angry …

  43. Blain Hamon says:

    Out of curiosity, what qualifies as hardware? Obviously it wouldn’t be tied to something as exchangeable as RAM, but would someone have to worry about authentications failing if they were to upgrade the CPU? Hard drive? If the motherboard fails? If the motherboard fails, and the replacement motherboard is a different design revision for the same model designation? All these situations can and do happen on Macs.
    I was going to ask about multiple computers, but it appears the Adobe licenses by system and not by user, so that issue is moot. (For the record, I use Intaglio and Graphic Converter, since I have 3 Macs)

  44. Eric Wilde says:

    There is a bug in the After Effects installer (I think). When installing CS3 MC on a Windows Vista 64 machine (dual language Japanese/English enabled) the installer installed the Japanese version of the software instead of the English version that was specified. AE when run has all Japanese menus. . .
    This should work; but, its been a while and I’ve not had the opportunity to try it out recently:
    In the AE CSE 3 folder is a folder named “Languages” with shortcuts. Try launching by using the E shortcut to launch English – if you check the properties for that shortcut you can see the target path and the flag used for launching in available languages. If the path had double byte chars you also need to switch the win locale before trying this.
    For CS4, the license purchased limits the language that can be used.
    Hopefully this helps.

  45. Eric Wilde says:

    Also, my CS4 auto-activated itself a few days after installation, when my desktop went online (it’s usually offline). I GREATLY dislike that hat happened behind my back: I wanted to CHOOSE the right timing for that, when I knew my desktop was properly tweaked. Now, that activation has been used up — before I was really ready to press the button. So please: NEVER let your apps activate behind our backs, without any way to “just say no”.

    Thanks for the input. Making such a change will require us (engineering team) to negotiate with the business team, so I can’t promise anything yet here.
    You should be able to deactivate this system through the Help menu so that you get your activation count back.

  46. Eric Wilde says:

    Pixels,
    As a loyal customer who payed a lot of money (in Europe the double of the Dollar price!) for new software an updates over years after this expeareance I felt like rubbish. Since this i stuck at CS2.
    Thanks for the input. I’m sorry to hear about the terrible experience you’ve had. I’ve heard the same type of horror story from other users. Indeed, it is this type of horror story that made me get involved in the installer and licensing area recently. If you had told me a couple of years ago that I would spend so much time on installers and licensing I would have quit; but, here we are….
    It is my sincere hope that over time we can learn enough about what customers need in order to provide a simple, elegant and WORKING solution to installation and licensing. Even beyond the point of pride in trying to make quality software, the upgrade/install/update/licensing problems are blocking sales and must be fixed.

  47. Eric Wilde says:

    Nobody pays me the hours ore these calls!
    Pixels, good point again. This is exactly where the title for the first post came from.

  48. Eric Wilde says:

    The other day I had to re-install windows due to a hard drive failure. When I went to download and install PSE7 I downloaded the trial from the website then tried to enter my serial number. Unfortunately it was rejected by the red X…
    Here’s a followup on this particular issue.
    For Photoshop Elements this behavior is as designed. You cannot serialize a trial with a retail serial number. PSE only takes a “Try and Buy” serial number that you purchase form the link inside the application to convert it to a regular version.

  49. Klaus Nordby says:

    @Erik: “You should be able to deactivate this system through the Help menu so that you get your activation count back.”
    But THAT “solution” is precisely the ghastly problem! For IF I tweak my system in such a way that the activation breaks, that deactivation possibility will be null and void — since the CS4 apps will stop me at the gate, refusing to launch. This is *exactly* what happened to my CS3 installation in August! And I so dreaded to deal with the dread customer service rigamarole that I procrastinated about the whole CS3 installation — resigning myself to my laptop’s CS3 install — since I knew CS4 was coming. And this dreadful scenario could happen again anytime — and CS5 is a loooong time away!

  50. Eric Wilde says:

    Klaus,
    I’m not sure about CS3 (which I’ll check on in the morning when I get back to the office.) For CS4, if you have serialized and after deactivating you never go back online again then you should still be able to continue using the product.
    Not the best scenario in the world, I agree; but, you are essentially back to where you are today for your system.

  51. JRF says:

    Eric Wilde responding to Matthew Rigdon on drag-and-drop install:

    This will not be possible due to many actions that must be performed at install time other than just placing files. I agree that it would be nice; but, I don’t see it happening in the foreseeable future.

    Complex things break in complex ways.
    The “many actions that must be performed” are the chief source of the great complexity and subsequent user pain and frustration in the installer. There are a great many “requirements” beyond copying files, fabricated by folks insulated from the complex consequences of those “requirements”. Until someone in a position of real power can stand up to a PRD with 150 “requirements” for the installer and say “NO!!”, the installers will continue to break in complex ways. I agree that drag-and-drop install may never be achieved in the end, but there is much to be gained by looking very critically at what “requirements” stand in the way, and removing as many as possible.
    For example, since this topic has come up, the installer does some gymnastics on Mac to determine if the target volume is case sensitive[1] because it is a “requirement” to forbid installing on case sensitive filesystems. Well, why not just fix the applications so they work on a case sensitive filesystem, then rip that unnecessary “requirement” and resulting complexity out of the installer? The current situation is the road-work equivalent of putting a barricade around a huge pot-hole in the road rather than fixing the pot-hole. It is also a barricade in the way of drag and drop install. But who has the respect and clout to tell all the application teams to fix their case sensitive filesystem problems? Right. I didn’t think so. So barricade it is.
    That said, it really is true that the Apple installer is woefully inadequate. Essentially all it provides is unpacking a pax archive with hooks to call some user supplied scripts before and after that happens. But in a variety of cases, it even fails at the basic function of copying files. Take, for example, the arguably reasonable requirement that when installing, say, a font, that you not overwrite a newer font already on the system with an older one delivered by the installer. There isn’t any way to hook into the unpacking of the archive to catch that, so you have to provide your own file copying functionality for fonts and a variety of other file types with well defined versioning semantics.
    So, if given the requirement of not overwriting newer files with older files, the Apple installer can’t even copy files correctly, there simply isn’t any residual value in using it, except possibly as a wrapper to ease deployment with tools like ARD.
    The merits and limitations of MSI are too complex to explain in anything resembling a reasonable length comment. Suffice it to say that MSI has numerous merits, and sufficient limitations to cancel out most of the merits.
    [1] Which is actually a bit tricky since you can have both case sensitive and and case insensitive segments anywhere in a path name.

  52. Eric Wilde says:

    JRF,
    Extremely well put. Thank you so much for your comments. I agree with everything you’ve stated. Please do weigh in on the post about MSI/PKG scheduled to come week after next.

  53. JC Niemeyer says:

    You guys (Eric!) really seem to be listening, that’s a start. Hope that you can sort out at least the most annoying things of the OOBE. I installed CS4/Design Standard on a Mac a few days ago and allow myself to name what disturbed me:
    – installation process took too long
    – i had to close firefox during setup
    – i had to insert the second dvd but the installer obviously didn’t copy anything from it (i only installed ID & PS)
    – it wasn’t clear for me that (or if) the installer detected the installed trial version of ID (would be nice if the installer would explicitly say “already installed, i keep it (but don’t waste your time by copying it again)”)
    – even if you now think of me as kinda stupid: i had to search for the serial number (wasn’t in an email, wasn’t on the invoice, i needed the installer to hint me to look for a sticker (which i probably would have found by myself – or at least faster – if it would be a little bigger or if it would be placed on a more prominent place)
    btw i liked the box.

  54. pixels says:

    Hi Mr. Wilde,
    many thanks for your response. It is really good to know that, finally, also somebody wants to look after this annoying and really irritating system of the installation and registration. But Adobe should also understand really, the frustration and annoyance about the last years is really big away that I would still like to say, to sum up:
    This registration procedure is not a problem under many no matter whether for the user transparent or in the background, this registration procedure in this kind and the technical conversion is the real problem. The service necessary then and support often does not fit to it and falls short and extracts only the frustration.
    It is always a nuisance for a paying and loyal user when he is led around thus and in this manner on his own property in and is patronized. Finally, here one must drag in Adobe the emergency brake and bring a change in thinking again.
    Only if really thoughts were done themselves therefore and a perceptible relief was also transformed for the loyal user, only then it will become again attractively to invest this large amount of money in software.
    Even if I refused such kind of copy protection earlier, today and under these circumstances I would prefer a well functioning USB-Hardwaredongle. After Problems with a machine or a broken system etc. a backup system could be put into operation thus in the shortest time and without wider annoyance with Adobe. Thus such a Dongle could be offered, perhaps, on customer request alternatively?
    Time is money, also for us and our customers! If my new car is defective, I do not want to have to ask only the manufacturer for new wheels to be able to go on with my work! If Adobe wants to produce furthermore customer-friendly and also customer-oriented software, the setting of loyal customers should be roofed here basically towards. I am still ready to spend money for good software. But I really want to be taken seriously in my annoyance! I do not want to feel handled like a gangster, i am a loyal customer who payed for a toll for work!!!.Here this Blog must have corresponding sequences in Adobe!

  55. Klaus Nordby says:

    Eric, I’m confused. For I thought that once I deactivated CS4 on a system the 30-day activation clock would start ticking again — and at the end of that period the apps would stop working?

  56. Eric Wilde says:

    i had to close firefox during setup
    This is a particularly frustrating issue for us as well. Some versions of Firefox are locking a color profile on the system and blocking our installation. This is true even though they only open the color resource for read (not write.) They don’t release the lock until Firefox is quit. No other browser has such a problem with our installer.
    It is a fair point to say that we should handle this error condition in a much more friendly way. Shutting down your primary browser for possibly hours is no fun for anyone. It prohibits getting your work done while you run the installer. There’s not much we can do in CS4 to fix this particular problem; but, a better experience around handling such error conditions in the future is definitely required.

  57. Eric Wilde says:

    Here this Blog must have corresponding sequences in Adobe!
    It is my sincere hope that our discussions on this blog are reflected by improvements in Adobe software. Things aren’t going to change overnight; but, at least we’re now moving in the right direction.

  58. Alan G says:

    There’s an installer issue I haven’t seen mentioned, but that comes up often in other forums: when an upgrade version has been installed, and an earlier version of the same product (or an earlier point product within the suite) is uninstalled, there’s havoc created with file assocations, at least in a Windows environment. This is particularly true with Photoshop (PSDs aren’t recognized by the OS, stuff like that), but also affects other products.
    The ideal situation would be for the installer/uninstaller to recognize that another version of the same app has already pre-empted the association and not mess with the registry entries.
    The painful upgrade scenario I went through from CS 2.3 to CS 3 that requires me to call customer support every time I have to reinstall CS 3 (because there was no CS 2.3 serial number issued with the download upgrade) is what decided me against the CS3 to CS3.3 upgrade. I waited for CS4.
    A point that should be kept in mind, just in general, is that design workstations will OFTEN have multiple versions of the suite installed simultaneously, for backward compatibility issues with clients (applies especially to InDesign, which converts legacy files to the current format and can’t backsave). It’s even necessary, once in a while to reinstall a version one thought was dead and buried. Going forward, it would be good if the installer would allow for this scenario without (as with the uninstalls) breaking file associations and forcing a reinstall of later versions.

  59. Michael Renner says:

    One thing very anoying on my Mac:
    Make uninstallers “app trashed” aware!
    Once in while I happen to through SW away. Say, I installed Acrobat and want to install CS4 xyz later. I through Acrobat away, ak move it to the trash and flush.
    The CS4 installer will complain, that Acrobat is already installed and wants me to uninstall it first before installation.
    The acrobat uninstall complains it can’t uninstall due to missing Acrobat. The solution in such a case is: re-install the trashed app in order to uninstall it, to install it with CS4…

  60. Hi Erik,
    I’m glad to see your group is more “public facing” now with the blog and it was good to see the dialog you had with John C. Welch a little while back.
    Adobe products have been always been some of the most difficult products to deploy and update in an enterprise.
    Is it your group that handles the CS4 Deployment Toolkit? I’ve just started trying to use this and it work for the most part. The only problem I’m having so far is that during the “silent” install it is throwing up messages about needing to install Adobe Air. From what I can tell, Air is part of the very installer I am installing.

  61. Blain Hamon says:

    For CS4, if you have serialized and after deactivating

    That—deactivation—is precisely the problem. One can’t deactivate an upgraded or repaired system, because the ‘active’ setup no longer is viable. And in the case of the latter, it’s unpredictable so there is no way to deactivate before the system change.
    Apple’s iTunes offers a ‘get out of jail free’ card, in the form that you can tell iTunes’s servers to de-authorize all computers from that account, allowing you to re-authorize on the computers that you actually own. To prevent abuse, you can only do that once a year, but you do this without any phone hassling. Has this been considered at Adobe?

  62. J G Brown says:

    Yesterday John Nack posted a link to download a PS CS4 extension to view Julieanne Kost’s blog as a panel.
    The “installation instructions” were to double click on the downloaded mxp file to open the Extension Manager.
    With the Windows Vista X64 installation of PS CS4 this fails. The Extension Manager must be run in Administrator Mode in order to create the needed subfolder for installation.
    I am not sure your team is responsible for the installation experience of extensions, but ask you pass this along elsewhere if appropriate.
    Regards,
    Jeff

  63. Sébastien Périer says:

    Ho please, please, please, give us back the ability to change our software language. In AE CS3 i could switch from french to english, and so on. Now i can’t.
    Nice to see a OOBE blog :)

  64. Eric Wilde says:

    Alan G writes:
    when an upgrade version has been installed, and an earlier version of the same product (or an earlier point product within the suite) is uninstalled, there’s havoc created with file assocations, at least in a Windows environment.
    Yes, this is a known problem. Unfortunately we don’t have a good solution at this time for CS4. We’ve played around with having a stack of registry entries but that solution is buggy as well. We’re still investigating a solution that is reliable. I wish we could give you better news here.
    A point that should be kept in mind, just in general, is that design workstations will OFTEN have multiple versions of the suite installed simultaneously, for backward compatibility issues with clients (applies especially to InDesign, which converts legacy files to the current format and can’t backsave). It’s even necessary, once in a while to reinstall a version one thought was dead and buried. Going forward, it would be good if the installer would allow for this scenario without (as with the uninstalls) breaking file associations and forcing a reinstall of later versions.
    Yes, this is true. Illustrator is another example of a product where people often have multiple versions on a system.

  65. Eric Wilde says:

    Michael Renner writes:
    Make uninstallers “app trashed” aware!

    I’d love to be able to automatically (and maybe even silently) launch the uninstaller when the user drags the application to the trash. We don’t do this yet. In CS4 we are somewhat aware of throwing an app away: If you throw away an application in the Suite (as opposed to other Adobe applications) and then run the uninstaller for that application or for the Suite then the uninstaller should successfully uninstall the trashed application.
    It has never been standard practice to drag applications to the trash on Windows.

  66. Eric Wilde says:

    Patrick Gallagher writes:
    Is it your group that handles the CS4 Deployment Toolkit? I’ve just started trying to use this and it work for the most part. The only problem I’m having so far is that during the “silent” install it is throwing up messages about needing to install Adobe Air. From what I can tell, Air is part of the very installer I am installing.
    Not in CS4; but, going forward yes. I’ll follow up with the engineers to see what they have to say. I believe the error messages are coming directly from the AIR runtime installer; but, we’ll see if we can find a workaround for you.
    Updated:This is a known issue addressed in the following Knowledge Base article:
    http://www.adobe.com/go/kb408168

  67. Eric Wilde says:

    Blain Hamon writes:
    That—deactivation—is precisely the problem. One can’t deactivate an upgraded or repaired system, because the ‘active’ setup no longer is viable. And in the case of the latter, it’s unpredictable so there is no way to deactivate before the system change.

    OK. I get it. We have to go back to the drawing board on this piece. The problems look intractable with our CS4 approach. Thanks for the data here.
    Apple’s iTunes offers a ‘get out of jail free’ card, in the form that you can tell iTunes’s servers to de-authorize all computers from that account, allowing you to re-authorize on the computers that you actually own. To prevent abuse, you can only do that once a year, but you do this without any phone hassling. Has this been considered at Adobe?
    Good point. I like the idea. Will raise to our business folks.

  68. Eric Wilde says:

    J G Brown writes:
    With the Windows Vista X64 installation of PS CS4 this fails. The Extension Manager must be run in Administrator Mode in order to create the needed subfolder for installation.
    I am not sure your team is responsible for the installation experience of extensions, but ask you pass this along elsewhere if appropriate.

    In CS4 the Extension Manager was also my responsibility, though its an entirely different team than the rest of the installer or update. This is because Extension Manager originally comes from Macromedia. It is slowly converging with the rest of the installer technology; but, it will take a little while.
    I’ll pass on this information to the testing team and let them file a bug. Thanks for the help!

  69. Eric Wilde says:

    Sébastien Périer writes:
    Ho please, please, please, give us back the ability to change our software language. In AE CS3 i could switch from french to english, and so on. Now i can’t.
    This isn’t an installer or licensing issue. This is due to the application itself. I’ll forward your comment to the appropriate person.

  70. Eric Wilde says:

    Blain Hamon writes:
    Out of curiosity, what qualifies as hardware? Obviously it wouldn’t be tied to something as exchangeable as RAM, but would someone have to worry about authentications failing if they were to upgrade the CPU? Hard drive? If the motherboard fails? If the motherboard fails, and the replacement motherboard is a different design revision for the same model designation? All these situations can and do happen on Macs.
    While I can’t comment on the specifics of what goes into hardware signatures, all of the situations you mention (other than the RAM changes) would likely force the use of a new activation. One way to understand this is to consider that changes in the CPU and other motherboard components are indistinguishable from changes that would would arise from backing up a hard drive after installation, and then restoring the backup onto a different computer.

  71. Eric Wilde says:

    Patrick Gallagher writes:
    Is it your group that handles the CS4 Deployment Toolkit? I’ve just started trying to use this and it work for the most part. The only problem I’m having so far is that during the “silent” install it is throwing up messages about needing to install Adobe Air. From what I can tell, Air is part of the very installer I am installing.
    This is a known issue addressed in the following Knowledge Base article:
    http://www.adobe.com/go/kb408168

  72. Eric Wilde says:

    Some followup on activation/deactivation behavior. Although this doesn’t really resolve the problems that Klaus and Blain were describing, at least this should clear up the behavior.
    Assuming the following steps:
    (1) User installs Master Collection CS4 (using one system should be adequate, say Vista.)
    (2) User activates.
    (3) User deactivates.
    (4) User disconnects system from network. No internet communication is now available.
    (5) User launches products. They should still execute in the grace period.
    (6) Grace period expires.
    The resulting behavior depends on whether or not the serial number is available on the system (or entered again if the system has been refurbished but has the same machine ID.
    In the case it is deactivated with erase serial number:
    Behavior in CS3:
    After the grace expires in step 6, user would not be able to launch the product, even if the user is offline, but will be presented with a trial nag.
    If the user enters a serial number, user will get another 30 days grace, but would have to connect to internet to activate so that he can continue using the products
    Behavior in CS4
    After the grace expires in step 6, user would not be able to launch the product, even if the user is offline, but will be presented with a trial nag
    If the user enters a serial number, user will be able to use the product forever if offline
    In the case it is deactivated without erasing serial number:
    Behavior in CS3:
    After the grace expires in step 6, user would not be able to launch the product, even if the user is offline, but will be presented with a trial nag with the serial number filled in.
    User will not be given 30 day grace.
    The user will have to activate by going online to continue using the product.
    Behavior in CS4:
    The product will keep running forever even if the user is offline.

  73. bunnyhero says:

    i was just pointed to this blog by jd. i’m looking forward to the future articles about the history of adobe installers. i’ve had to fight with the updaters and installers far too many times in the last few months and wasted way too many hours in the process…

  74. Edward Burns says:

    I have been using CS3 for over 1 year. I have only installed it once on one computer. Last week it said my license has stopped working. What do I do?

  75. Çhris Hohman says:

    Edward Burns writes: I have been using CS3 for over 1 year. I have only installed it once on one computer. Last week it said my license has stopped working. What do I do?
    Hi Edward, please see the following KB article. http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=kb401528&sliceId=1

  76. I’m sorry to not sound like everyone else on this blog but just to give a different perspective on the CS4 installer side — I had absolutely no problem installing CS4, it was clear, unobtrusive and fast. Everything worked. o.O

  77. Jeff Vandehey says:

    Hello, as a SysAdmin, I would love to know more about deployment and updates. It’s very difficult to get these products deployed in the enterprise. I have used the CS4 Deployment Toolkit, but I have to be honest in saying that it’s very lack-lustre. It’s basically the same deployment method as CS3 (that most people disliked), except the toolkit configures the XLM configuration and a couple other small bits. I have yet to get it to deploy properly over ARD, despite following the steps on the manual. I think that a reliable ARD deployment should be the first step in getting a good experience for enterprise. I admin an OSX network, and did a demo with Casper. They said that they are working with Adobe to help develop methods to deploy Adobe products and updates via casper. I saw the demo, it looks pretty good. If this is true, Adobe missed the mark. They should be working with Apple, to improve deployment and update via ARD! Not Casper, which has a pretty small install base compared to ARD.
    Next is updates. Again, very painful for enterprise. There must be a way to host these updates on a local update server. Having 100 computers hitting the adobe servers for 500MB+ updates kills our bandwidth (and certainly yours).
    Lastly, I look forward to hearing why a standard OSX package will not work for the Adobe products. I hear of many people using LogGen and PkgGen to create Adobe installers that work great, and are deployable via ARD.
    I’m glad to see this communication channel open.

  78. Eric Wilde says:

    Jeff Vandehey writes:
    Hello, as a SysAdmin, I would love to know more about deployment and updates. It’s very difficult to get these products deployed in the enterprise. I have used the CS4 Deployment Toolkit, but I have to be honest in saying that it’s very lack-lustre. It’s basically the same deployment method as CS3 (that most people disliked), except the toolkit configures the XLM configuration and a couple other small bits. I have yet to get it to deploy properly over ARD, despite following the steps on the manual.
    I have to agree that our CS4 Deployment Toolkit missed the mark. It could have been so much better if we had focused more on it rather than focusing on the retail customer install experience. Although we are severely constrained by United States accounting rules on what we can deliver as follow-ons to CS4, we’re trying to see what we can deliver to make life a little easier prior to the next version of the Creative Suite.
    I think that a reliable ARD deployment should be the first step in getting a good experience for enterprise. I admin an OSX network, and did a demo with Casper. They said that they are working with Adobe to help develop methods to deploy Adobe products and updates via casper. I saw the demo, it looks pretty good. If this is true, Adobe missed the mark. They should be working with Apple, to improve deployment and update via ARD! Not Casper, which has a pretty small install base compared to ARD.
    There are as many enterprise deployment strategies as there are enterprise deployment customers. ARD is a tool for some customers. There are many more. ARD is indeed prioritized highly among the various enterprise deployment tools, including others such as: SMS/SCCM, Casper Suite, LANrev, Filewave, Radmind, LanDesk, etc.
    Unfortunately, we may be constrained by accounting rules as noted above when it comes to addressing CS4 volume deployments. We’re trying to do what we can here.
    Next is updates. Again, very painful for enterprise. There must be a way to host these updates on a local update server. Having 100 computers hitting the adobe servers for 500MB+ updates kills our bandwidth (and certainly yours).

    With the CS4 and prior AUM solutions it isn’t possible to host updates on a local server and still have the client AUM software deploy the update. For future versions we have a possible way to resolve this problem. I cannot, however, guarantee that the problem will be resolved in our very next version of the Creative Suite. There are other fish that must be fried first.
    Lastly, I look forward to hearing why a standard OSX package will not work for the Adobe products. I hear of many people using LogGen and PkgGen to create Adobe installers that work great, and are deployable via ARD.

    That topic is scheduled for next week’s post. I’m planning to bring in the engineering manager for the development team to write that post.

  79. Gareth says:

    I’d just like to second the itunes reset idea. This would give me a HUGE amount more confidence and would have totally solved my isses. I still think that the hardware recognition issue needs fixing but the reset would be a great start.

  80. Jake says:

    Eric
    The updater keeps downloading and installing the same updates over and over again:
    Adobe Camera Raw 5.2 Update, Adobe Output Module Update, Flash lite 3.1 update for Adobe Device Central CS4 and Adobe Extention manager. I download, authorize (on Mac I enter my password) and it installs and says the update process is complete. But when I run the updater again, it still says I need to download these same files again!!! Will take response online. Thanks

  81. Eric Wilde says:

    Jake,
    Let me check our bug database and get back to you…

  82. estou ativando o meu illustrator cs3 do meu pc

  83. Eric Wilde says:

    Jaime writes:
    estou ativando o meu illustrator cs3 do meu pc
    I’m sorry; but, we don’t have anybody on this team that speaks Portuguese. I did contact a person at Adobe who speaks Portuguese to understand the comment. Going forward, I can only commit to answering comments in English or Japanese because those are the only languages I understand. Please try to stick to English, though.
    As for this particular comment’s content: I’m glad to hear all is well. I hope your activation of Illustrator CS3 continues to work fine.

  84. John Dito says:

    Im currently using the deployment toolkit to TRY and deploy cs4 master col. via sccm07. Ive followed the directions but am still getting errors and have not succesfully deployed. My uberinstaller works flawlessly so im pretty sure its not the xml.
    Please Help, thanks John

  85. Çhris Hohman says:

    In response to “Im currently using the deployment toolkit to TRY and deploy cs4 master col. via sccm07. Ive followed the directions but am still getting errors and have not succesfully deployed. My uberinstaller works flawlessly so im pretty sure its not the xml.” John, there is a known issue when SCCM 07 trys to set relative distribution points. The fix involves deploying the entire installable package to the local client. If this sounds like your issue, we will be publishing the fix in a KB article soon. Please refer back to our support site. If this is not your issue, please contact me directly: chohman@adobe.com and we can discuss further. Thanks, Chris

  86. Don Montalvo says:

    Kevin O’Shea wrote:
    > Unfortunately, the PKG and MSI install
    > technologies really don’t satisfy our needs.
    Adobe flew off on a tangent over the past few years with regard to installers and enterprise deployment (“Silent install” is a complete joke).
    Adobe seriously need to get back on track, and work with Apple to get us proper package installers, where stuff is put WHERE IT BELONGS.
    Then, give us a license server (ala QLA).
    Don Montalvo, NYC

  87. Eric Wilde says:

    Update to the comments above about After Effects and language switching:
    It is still possible to switch languages in Adobe After Effects CS4. Here’s a post on the topic:
    http://blogs.adobe.com/toddkopriva/2009/02/running_after_effects_cs4_in_e.html

  88. beverins says:

    One thing you can do immediately (hopefully) is to unbundle the Updater from having to be started when an Adobe application starts.
    I dunno who thought of this, or who thought it was a good idea, but it is NOT.
    Make it a SEPARATE PROGRAM that the administrator has to START UP MANUALLY at the VERY LEAST.

  89. P Peterson says:

    Cannot install new (unopened box CS4 extended) the serial number is denied, whether on Vista or XP. It was purchased thru a reputable dealer.

  90. Eric Wilde says:

    beverins writes: Make it a SEPARATE PROGRAM that the administrator has to START UP MANUALLY at the VERY LEAST.
    Changing the behavior of a shipping executable will be a little challenging at this time; but, that’s certainly excellent advice and along the same lines of thought for what we plan in the next iteration of the product.

  91. Eric Wilde says:

    P Peterson writes: Cannot install new (unopened box CS4 extended) the serial number is denied, whether on Vista or XP. It was purchased thru a reputable dealer.
    I’ll get a support person in touch with you. This could be a couple of different things and we’ll have to do a short investigation to figure out what is the cause of his problem. Expect an email shortly from our support folks.

  92. Sandy says:

    I recently bought a clean used mac and am installing a brand new “legit” copy of CS4 Design Premium onto this computer for a friend. After installing everything successfully and rebooting the computer I tried to launch all the programs and to my surprise each program came up with the same message “Your product license has expired”. So I took your online advise and did all the following: ran CS4 clean script, License Recovery, as well as other info I read on your support page like making the “system” administrator the “owner”. I did all this assuming the previous owner ran a trial, beta, or pirated version of one of these programs. But nothing has worked. I have again uninstalled the entire CS4 from the computer and am hoping you will have some advise that I have not tried. Is this commom, is it because there is a virus or something. Will the software never work on this computer. Ugh please help its urgent.

  93. Rory says:

    Has anyone had a situation like this? At our office we have CS3 Design Standard licensed and installed. In addition, we had later downloaded to my mac 30-day trials of Flash and of Fireworks from Adobe.com for demoing purposes. After the 30 days were up, the programs were not purchased, not used and ultimately forgotten about.
    Months later (last week in fact), the licensing for the entire CS3 suite died, rendering the programs dead and not usable – which required our IT person to examine my Mac. His assessment was that unregistered Flash and Fireworks programs caused the crash of the licensing – and further he then told my superiors that those two program must have been illegal pirate copies and not legitimate trial downloads.
    Now I am under a cloud of suspicion as a pirate putting the company in possible legal jeopardy, and my permanent record here now contains this false accusation as a black mark. I come from a Windows background and am not familiar at all with how Mac OSX operates – is there any possible way I can clear my name, find a trail in the mac’s CS3 registry or something to prove my innocence?

  94. Eric Wilde says:

    Rory,
    Depending on the failure situation there may be a trail of what happened. I’ll contact you directly in email today to help sort this out.

  95. Rory says:

    Thanks Eric!

  96. Jonathan says:

    Mr. Wilde:
    I recently installed a Photoshop Extended CS4 trial on Max OS, was pleased with the new version of the software, and then obtained a license key though a volume licensing program. When I attempted to activate the trial, the key I was provided was rejected and I received the dreaded “LICENSE EXPIRED” message. I therefore purchased a retail copy of PS CS4, but learned to my chagrin that there is no way to launch the software and enter a new key. Uninstalling and reinstalling does not remedy this situation.
    I have been a loyal, license user of Photoshop, the Creative Suite, and older Adobe products since the mid 90s. My messages to customer service have received no response.
    Despite my ire, if you’ll forgive me, that there is no upgrade path and I was therefore forced to purchase a full license because I made a business decision two years ago that there was insufficient value added to upgrade my CS2 Design Suite to CS3, I would like to get past these problems, activate the software I’ve been licensed for (twice), and continue to be a satisfied Adobe customer. Why can’t I get a response from your customer service department?
    Sincerely,
    Jonathan L.

  97. Shawn S. says:

    My computer decided to have a fit and die on me. I had CS3 on that computer, and I can’t “Deactivate” my CS3 License on it. However I was able to rebuild the computer by doing a complete format of the HDD and reinstalling the OS and et al. Now I have re-installed CS3 on this computer, but it says I can’t use it till I “Deactivate” my CS3 from the old computer…which is impossible. Any solution?

  98. Eric Wilde says:

    Shawn,
    Given this scenario, the only way forward is an actual customer service call.

  99. Mark says:

    My work machine has been upgraded to a new box running Vista Ultimate. I deactivated CS3 on the old machine and installed it on the new one. Bridge works, but that’s about it. Photoshop launches but then hangs before it even gets to the splash screen. Sending issues to Adobe support is laughable. Does anybody ever get responses from them? It seems there are many people with similar problems but any “fixes” documented on the web do not work for me. Suggestions?

  100. Mark says:

    Solved my problem! I applied the Acrobat update patch then everything worked. Hopefully this helps someone else.

  101. Eric Wilde says:

    Mark,
    I’m glad to hear that the apps are working for you again.
    Sending issues to Adobe support is laughable.
    I’m curious as to why you say this. Is it because of inaccurate responses from Adobe Customer Care or is it because of too slow of a turnaround time? I’ve had good luck escalating cases where Customer Care was not responding fast enough. So if you have a pending case that isn’t getting adequate response please send me the case # and I can escalate it.

  102. remorhaz says:

    Currently living in Thailand and I have an actual, legitimate purchased (from the U.S. at a hefty price mind you) copy of Photoshop CS3. Of course because my work involves security I do rebuilds on my PC rather frequently after crashes happen with dubious software. I have now officially had it with CS3 at least through legitimate channels. I am sitting here looking at my legit copy which I cannot register and need to use. Because my hard drive crashed before I could “deactivate” my last install I am now out of activation codes. I don’t have 72 hours to sit around waiting for tech support to open so that I get to pay $12 a minute overseas call charge to contact California and wade through GOD knows how many days of phone tree before actually talking to a human being who will of course only demand a support contract or such before curtly telling me to shove it. I can do this … or … being in Thailand I can simply say damnit screw this! pay 200 baht for a pirated copy and never have to worry about “Activation” ever again. . It is not the pirates of the world who fear your licensing schemes – it is the legitimate users. We are the ones who suffer for it, late at night, long after tech support is closed (unless we pay a gigantic fee and get a contract) and the choice comes down to PIRACY or getting fired.
    -thoroughly disgusted

  103. Eric Wilde says:

    Remorhaz,
    I hear your frustration and wish we could easily resolve this for CS3 and CS4 products. It is technically feasible for us to provide a web page or downloadable tool where you could enter your serial number and deactivate a product. The problem with this web page/tool solution is that it opens us up to yet another easy route for piracy. So, given the CS3 and CS4 technology the customer care call really is the best option that we’ve come across.
    What we’ve done with the new team is try to remove some of the common causes for this type of problem. For example, we shouldn’t experience the scenario you’ve described in the upcoming releases. In CS3 and CS4 the machine ID was bound with some disk drive properties; which meant that if the drive dies then the license is lost (just as you experienced.) We’ve removed disk drive properties from the machine binding code for upcoming releases. Thus, in future releases, if the disk drive dies you should be able to just re-install and re-enter your serial number to receive exactly the same license and machine binding as before the drive failure.

  104. Mark says:

    Re: “Sending issues to Adobe support is laughable.”
    I say this because I am still awaiting any kind of response. This was an issue on my work machine. If I hadn’t solved it myself, my kids would be left very very hungry. Customers with cases in the support queue shouldn’t have to find other ways to get their ticket escalated, should they? Shouldn’t they ALL be looked at in a timely manner?

  105. Eric Wilde says:

    Mark writes: Customers with cases in the support queue shouldn’t have to find other ways to get their ticket escalated, should they? Shouldn’t they ALL be looked at in a timely manner?
    You are absolutely correct. Let me touch base with you offline to get some details about your case so that we can actually have some accountability here.

  106. Jonathan Pitts Crick says:

    I didn’t have time to read the whole thread but I ran a find on “150:30″ and nothing came up.
    You must have seen from other posts to the site that customers are absolutely fed up with getting this error message. After paying to download a fully legitimate application (CS4) the use of it is snatched away after 5 days by defective part of the software and Adobe seems to have no published work-around (at least searching your site has not found one yet).
    I think this constitutes a breach of contract – I paid good money: you didn’t deliver a working product.
    Please let us have a solution – and soon. This is all extremely frustrating.

  107. Chris says:

    As for the registration issues, I don’t see why it can’t be as easy as these guys do it:
    http://universalscan.com/
    You can install it on multiple computers, but you have to have a special encrypted flash drive that comes with it plugged in to actually use the software.
    Another good example of clever registration is through a game application, Steam. They allow you to install their games on as many computers as you want, but you have to be logged in to play them, and you can only be logged in on one computer at a time.
    I really don’t like the activation thing. It really kind of scares me.

  108. KarenSC says:

    I have been a longterm single user of Adobe products for years and years. Adobe tech has been helping me install CS4 products to my new Macbook Pro – 10.5.8. CS4 Web Premium is fine, and my new single user Premiere Pro is fine, but my single user Indesign CS4 is not working. Together we have uninstalled, cleaned up, and reinstalled over six times in over 5 hours. The serial number for Indesign just won’t be accepted and comes up with a red cross – yet Adobe assures me it’s the correct one and the technicians have also checked it’s the correct one. Adobe has escalated the case to the highest person whom I am waiting on to call, but time is now running out on the trial and I’m getting really worried. Adobe and I have tried both the brand new discs and the download trial to no avail.

  109. Eric Wilde says:

    Karen,
    I’ll follow up with you in email.
    Likely the problem is that your trial install is US English and your serial number is International English. All that installing and uninstalling is unnecessary. We’ve been trying to educate tech support about this issue for a while now; but, this incorrect advice continues to come up.
    As for a long term fix, there isn’t much feasible for CS4; but, we do have this addressed for products coming out in the future.

  110. Kevin Lefebvre says:

    Well, as if this is surprise, but not only does it take numerous phone calls, you stay on hold 20 minutes or more just WAITING to speak with someone each time!
    I have CS4. I love it, HOWEVER, I had it on a second computer, which crashed. Obviously I cannot “deactivate” since the thing is essentially an expensive paperweight at this point.
    So, now I have put it on the replacement for that computer but cannot activate it because I cannot deactivate the original.
    It would be great if Adobe would put a link online which you could enter your serial number in and then choose from computers to deactivate; OBVIOUSLY you know which computers have it already activated.
    That would be totally PROACTIVE and perhaps worth the insane amount of money we fork over for your product.

  111. Eric Wilde says:

    Kevin,
    I may be able to escalate your case and will email you separately about it.
    Your idea about an online tool to allow deactivation is a good one that we’ve kicked around a bit since I became responsible for the licensing technology last year. Unfortunately, we only have so many resources and we’re trying to accomplish our tasks in priority order.

  112. Hi Eric,
    We use Adobe CS quite a bit here at our school, both on our school machines and purchasing the student editions for some of our kids who request it, of late the activation procedure has become really quite intense and annoying, not to mention time consuming and frustrating.
    Right now I am having an installation problem, I’m trying to follow the guide for Enterprise deployment of CS4 using ARD (We run an almost entirely Apple Mac Network here) and during the preparation phase (Running the installer to record the installation options) I’m getting a javascript error. Googling the error doesn’t give me much, neither does looking at the installation log.
    I’m really hoping you or one of your team might be able to both help me out with my current problem and offer us some advice as a school on how we can possibly get a better activation and registration experience for our one off installs.
    On a couple of more personal notes, my partner who is a graphic designer has been using Adobe and Macromedia products for more years than she cares to remember, certainly since long before the two companies merged. With the more recent versions of the software she has an absolute nightmare with activations, re-activations etc because we rebuild and re-install our machines regularly at home to maintain system stability and efficiency, I sincerely hope that future editions are actually going to be better with regard to activation.
    Secondly I am not a Windows user, nor am I typically a Mac fan, I use Linux and have wished upon a star for years that Adobe would release a Linux version of CS, so that I don’t have to mess around using Wine or running a dual boot system with Windows, in recent years I have stuck with a copy of CS2 that I’ve owned for quite some time because I can actually get it to run in Wine and I don’t have to run Windows at all, I would certainly like to purchase CS5 when it comes out, however if there isn’t a native Linux version available it’s highly doubtful that I will do so. Any sign of a Linux version in the pipeline? I am certainly very happy that you are now releasing Flash Player and Acrobat Reader natively on Linux, I would love to see it go the whole hog and bring the CS apps to Linux too.
    Yours
    Alex Williams

  113. Eric Wilde says:

    Alex,
    Thanks for your thoughtful and detailed note. I’ll respond in email since we’ll need to dig into the details of the problems you’re experiencing.

  114. Fredrik says:

    Hello,
    let me tell you a problem. I´m trying to install Adobe CS2 Premium in my computer. After registering the product i can´t launch it. Case the program tells me that the serial is non-valid. I call the support and they tell me that it´s valid and the program in validated in Adobe-systems.
    The put me to the technical support and the guy tells me that he hasn´t got the time to help me.
    Case he think that CS2 is old. So buing a CS2 Premium for 24000 SEK was worthless.
    It´s great! I´m buying a program and adobe dosen´t want to help me. Go search in knowledge database or userforum? Great!
    This turned out to me a really good day, cause i cant work and caunt do the ads for a nightclub launch and the posters for Saving the words children! =)
    So instead i can drink coffe and keep on beeing ironic!
    Go Adobe!

  115. Eric Wilde says:

    Frederik,
    There’s some information I’ll need to help resolve this problem such as case # or serial number, platform and language. I’ll follow up in email to get the details.

  116. Mark Troy says:

    I’m trying to install Contribute CS4 on a Mac running OS X 10.5.8. The installation looks complete except that the icons on the nav bar are broken and when I try to create a connection, the program quits unexpectedly. I look on system requirements and see I need 10.5.4. Is having an updated system the problem?

  117. Eric Wilde says:

    Mark,
    There should not be a problem installing Contribute CS4 on Mac OS X 10.5.8.
    I’ve created a WWCC escalated case. I’ll send you email with the case details.

  118. Catherine says:

    I bought Adobe Photoshop CS4 Ex from a company online that was a fraud, they gave me a serial number then many more, so i decided to do my research and get one from a good company, i loaded it and went to Adobe and registered the number to make sure it was correct, which it was, then i went to open it from my computer and got the “Licence Expired” box, I have called the adobe technical suport and it’s as if they have never heard of this probelm or what to do, I got dissconected twice and once I couldn’t hear through static and the other I couldn’t understand the guy, CAN ANYONE HELP ME !!! I just want it to open !

  119. two questions:
    question 1: i have uninstalled cs3 (using app cleaner because a saw no way to uninstall using the program or program disks) from my mac pro tower and would like to activate on an older computer.
    however, seems i cannot deauthorize on my tower since it’s no longer here.
    do not want to reinstall as i now have cs4 running on and i understand there are conflicts.
    how do i deauthorize cs3 from a computer that no longer has the program on it?
    question 2: i have installed after effects 7 on my mac pro tower.
    as the program opens, i notice that i misspelled my name.
    i’d like to correct that.
    how do i do it?
    thank you.
    genevieve.

  120. Eric Wilde says:

    Genevieve,
    #1: Unfortunately you’ll need to call customer service to increase the activation limit. If you’ve registered your product you can also log a request online by going to adobe.com, clicking the Support tab and selecting “Ask Adobe Support”. You’ll have to login with your AdobeID (email address and password) that you used when registering.
    #2 I’ll follow up in email. I don’t know the answer and need to ask around internally.

  121. jessica underwood says:

    I have just bought cs4 and loaded the first application disk and clicked on set up then it brings up a window saying loading set up and another smaller window saying installer alert but then the box is blank and i leave it to see if it takes time to upload but nothing ever happens?
    Trid uploading the second application disk there is nothing on here to upload and finally i upload the content disk and again can not see anything to upload?
    Am i just being really stupid but i have cs2 and do not remember it being this confusing?
    Do i need to uninstall cs2 first?
    Hope you can help
    Jess

  122. Eric Wilde says:

    Jess,
    This sounds like a bug. I’ll follow up in email with some questions to try to drive to a solution.
    Also, CS4 should co-exist on the same system as CS2. There is no need to uninstall CS2 first.

  123. Ladi says:

    I am trying to deactivate existing installation in order to install it on new PC. However I am getting response: deactivation denied (I am connected to the Internet). My questions are: a) why there is not possibility for off-line deactivatio or some assistance b) what I should do?
    Thanks

  124. Eric Wilde says:

    Ladi,
    Odds are that you’ve run up against the 20 limit for deactivation. This limit is slated to be removed in the coming months for all versions of Adobe products that activate (CS3 and up.) In the meantime, you’ll have to contact customer care in order to alleviate the deactivation limit. You can do so either through the telephone or online through the support pages on adobe.com.
    If you end up not getting the responsiveness you need or cannot for some other reason get through customer care, please send me email and we’ll try to sort it out from the core engineering team. (ewilde@adobe.com)

  125. Wes Craft says:

    In event of hardware failure there is no clear or convenient path of user action regarding deauthorization of the inactive licensing. Calling customer service with 4-7 hour wait time is not a user friendly experience. Could we deauthorize in the cloud instead of on the hardware? In iTunes, from my web based account settings, I can deauthorize all computers to play my itunes purchases and reauthorize them one by one. What am I supposed to do?

  126. Eric Wilde says:

    Wes,
    Yes, calling customer care is definitely less than ideal. The ability to deactivate or change serial numbers in the cloud is something we’ve kicked around a bit; but, it hasn’t come to the top of our priority list. Thanks for hte suggestion.

  127. I liked what you posted here but I must say that it can be improved, although it is good but some more effort can get this blog to the top. And blog style is cool

  128. Cammy Fegaro says:

    Hello,nice post thanks for sharing…. I just joined and I am going to catch up by reading for a while. I hope I can join in soon

  129. Anonymous says:

    I have an error 150:30 when i click to edit photos upon starting up Photoshop Elements 8 that tells me I have to restart my computer. I have restarted my computer many times and the result is no different. I have also tried to uninstall the program to reinstal it, but I am having trouble deactivating my serial number so i can reinstall it. THIS BLOWS

  130. Eric Wilde says:

    Anonymous,
    You didn’t leave any contact information so I cannot easily get back to you. Did you try contacting customer care?

  131. Brian says:

    I am an enterprise admin recently taking over the Adobe support at our college. My predecessor tells me Adobe does not support a license server. We need to distribute CS5 using lab imaging software and we’ll need a volume license server preferably with floating licenses. All of our other per seat licensed products supports the floating license feature. We are trying to be more responsive and flexible while expanding all of our course offerings but the Adobe package is the least flexible. When will adobe be getting on board with more flexible (and secure) licensing solutions?

  132. Eric Wilde says:

    Brian,
    Thank you for your input. I sincerely wish to provide a floating license solution; however, the priority of such work hasn’t risen high enough to accomplish yet. There are clearly customers who need such a solution and further sales could be driven by such a solution. The problem is, as you may guess from the other comments on this blog, we have a lot of really critical issues to resolve before we can enable a floating license solution.

  133. I.Reeve says:

    error 150:30 when trying to start PSE 8 on a Mac. This was an upgrade supplied direct from Adobe for PSE 6 under an upgrade offer. I could not run PSE 8 on my non-intel Mac, so waited till I got an intel Macbook. I transferred my settings, but not applications across to my new Macbook. When I tried to install & register PSE 8 it came up with the 150:30 error code. I tried removing all Adobe PSE files from the computer, but I cannot install & use either 6 or 8. (each time I tried with either I uninstalled & tried to remove all preference files etc)
    I see that the 150:30 error code seems to be a problem for quite a few people.
    Could it be that as part of the upgrade process the serial no for 6 was deactivated? Or is there some other file that is causing the problem?

  134. Eric Wilde says:

    This is the dreaded “Licensing has stopped working” error and could be caused by a number of problems.
    The good news is that the vendor’s implementation used has been replaced for CS5 and future products. The bad news is that this replacement happened after PSE 8 shipped and so PSE 8 still has the problematic implementation. Have you contacted support or walked through the possible workarounds at:
    http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/401/kb401528.html
    http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/512/cpsid_51260.html
    and
    http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/405/kb405970.html
    Feel free to email me directly at ewilde@adobe.com if you have gone through the Knowledgebase article or contacted customer support with no successful results.

  135. as soon as I discovered this web site I went on reddit to share some of the love with them.

  136. Lynne Hand says:

    I had problems licensing my copy of CS4 too, it was a nightmare, and a couple of years later installing it onto a new PC was enough to make me hope I would never have to do it again, in fact was the most awkward system of installing software I had ever come across, – until… I bought a license for Premier Elements 10. I had downloaded a trial copy, decided it was what I needed and bought and paid for it. Simples.

    But suddenly I find I have to have another account at your Licensing system, so I jumped through your hoops to set up a new account there, but that was over 12 hours ago and I still haven’t got a serial number. Why?

    I reread one of the emails you had sent me, and there it says it can take up to 24 hours for a serial number to appear on the Licensing system site – again – Why?

    I really cannot understand why you have complicated the simple process of buying something to such a level.

    • Eric Wilde says:

      Lynne,

      I can only give you an unsatisfying response: we’re aware of the problem and trying to fix it. There are a handful of reasons why the volume purchase experience is so incredibly painful and I’d love to fix it. In fact, I have a high level presentation on this very topic in a few days where I’m trying to muster the support needed to fix this area.

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