The ITAM Review

News, reviews and resources for worldwide ITAM, SAM and Licensing professionals.

Adobe quietly removes Adobe Acrobat XI from the price list

Adobe has recently (not) announced that Adobe Acrobat XI is no longer available on the CLP price list. Instead, they have released a new version that is called ‘Acrobat DC’. Adobe Channel Sources have advised us;

“it is possible to downgrade as long as you have access to a historical serial key for deployment of additional seats of Acrobat XI.  There is no formal process for downgrading you just need to ensure that you have enough licenses to cover the total amount of deployed licenses for version XI and DC”.

15617432129_9a1acfed72_mThe comment from our Channel Source has made us think that the changes will not immediately affect any deployments of Adobe Acrobat, but they may have an impact in the future. However, if customers are looking to upgrade to the latest version of Adobe Acrobat, they will have to purchase the new version (Acrobat DC) at an increased price. It is also worth noting that Acrobat DC shares functionality with the current Creative Cloud version of Acrobat, and still has compatibility with Adobe CC products.

Adobe’s business model

Our source in the Channel is concerned that Adobe’s business model is moving towards cutting out the channel, and focusing more on a direct model. Either way, it does not bode well that they have not communicated these changes to professionals whose job it is to help Adobe customers manage, maximise and purchase licenses. How are partners in the channel supposed to support their customers, which are ultimately customers of Adobe?


There are no doubts that the Campaign for Clear Licensing will pick up on the news of another vendor not communicating licensing changes to customers.  As they are currently working on making Oracle licensing clearer, recent stories about Adobe and a lack of communication/help surely mean that Adobe are high on their list of vendors to tackle.

Personally, we think that vendors need to ensure that they communicate ANY licensing changes clearly and through the correct channels. Adobe have already ruffled a few feathers with the move to subscription based licensing, and not helping users upgrade/migrate to the new licensing model, so why then annoy customers and partners further? We hammer home the fact that communication is an integral part of ITAM, and we think that vendors are one of the biggest culprits of not providing the communication and education that customers deserve and need.

Have your say

What do you think about the lack of communication from Adobe? How can the ITAM/Software Licensing community push vendors to communicate correctly with customers and partners? Let us know and leave a comment below.

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About David Foxen

David Foxen is a Software Asset Management expert and enthusiast. He had a vast experience of successfully implementing SAM, SAM tools and also made huge cost savings. A member of the ISO Standards WG21, David is a massive ITAM geek, so uses any opportunity to talk about the subject to who-ever will listen. He believes that the industry needs to share its knowledge and success stories to help the SAM industry mature and become more effective. Always willing to help, his primary goal is to make a difference to organisations and the SAM industry so everyone will know how epic SAM is!


  1. ian says:

    Hi David

    I was only made aware of the DC release when I got an order notification from Adobe under the ETLA. A few points worth noting. In addition to Acrobat Standard and Acrobat Professional there is now also an Acrobat Premium edition which includes cloud storage, e-signature. Premium edition has two sub editions (Premium 1 and 2).

    Worth noting that the installation file for Acrobat Standard and Professional is the same. The edition you end up with is determined by the license key you use when you install. This has a tendency to confuse a lot of discovery and inventory tools as they are unable to tell the difference.

  2. TH says:

    David – I think you may want to look at the Acrobat DC EULA, because I am not seeing where Adobe actually gives its users the right to use prior versions as it did clearly in Acrobat 10 and older and to some extent 11. In the EULA of DC, there is no mention of allowing the right to previous versions. If the right is not given, then the user therefore cannot buy DC and use version 10 or 11. I could be wrong, but this is what it looks like to me. Until this is cleared up, I would not feel comfortable allowing version DC licenses to be purchased to downgrade to prior version.

  3. Gina says:

    Hi David,

    I’ve been keeping up with your reviews of Adobe moving to the Creative Cloud solution. I was reading the Adobe Exhibit for On-Premise Software (2015v1) and found in Section 3, 3.1 and 3.2 are confusing. 3.1 States all upgrades/updates are provided to Customer on a license-exchange basis, which means, subject to section 3.2, Customer must, upon installing the upgrade or update, uninstall and cease using the previous version of the On-Premise Software. In section 3.2 – Customer may continue to use a simultaneous installation of the previous version of the On-Premise software to assist Customer in the transition to the upgrade/update (not to exceed 180 days) after which customer must uninstall and cease using the previous version. If Adobe has moved to a CC solution and a company renews their existing products is that considered an upgrade/update from the previous version? I’ve had an Adobe rep inform me that both versions (previous and current Creative Cloud version) can be used by the same user. Would welcome some insight on this. Thank you!

  4. H says:

    I am surprised that this issue has not stimulated more comments. In the past I have always purchased Adobe Acrobat but from now on I will look for an alternative product. I hate being the fall guy by companies that have no regard for the customer.

  5. Gunita says:

    i’m very angry! I have licenced CS6 AND ACROBAT 10, after regular upgrade (without asking permition) suddenly acrobat X doesn’t work!
    for small business cutting possibility to upgrade is rather crucial

  6. David Foxen says:

    Adobe seems to be shooting themselves in the foot a bit with the changes they are making. Doesn’t appear to be helping organisations, but is helping their bank balances!

  7. Bruce says:

    Yes, Adobe is shooting themselves in the foot. They should have 2 licensing plans:
    One for regular customers who want to buy Adobe Acrobat XI Pro
    and another for those, like Business that want or use the features of Adobe Acrobat DC …
    For most home users, Adobe Acrobat XI Pro is just fine.

  8. SARA DAVIS says:

    I became helpless when they took away my Acrobat XI. Has a solution been discovered or created, or am I also hopeless?

  9. Blagun says:

    So, does anybody know any replacements for this

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