Going Broke On Upgrades


I haven’t upgraded to Tiger yet. I plan to. But my software and systems are running great right now and I’m being productive. I do lots of different digital things on my Mac to make a living. I don’t focus heavily on any one area so I own a ton of applications.

When Apple comes out with a new OS or a big upgrade it is exciting….for a minute. Then I go through the hell of finding out that many of the apps I currently “own” will not work. I have to pay for an upgrade to get back to being compatible. All in the name of progress I guess.

Here is an estimate of the UPGRADE costs of the Mac software I can’t do without. Most of these companies come out with a major upgrade once per year.

OS Upgrade (Tiger this year): $129.00 or $10.75/month.
Adobe Creative Suite: $549.00 or $45.75/month
Macromedia Studio MX with Flash Pro: $299.00 or $24.92/month
Steinberg Cubase SX: $399.00 or $33.25/month
Macromedia Director: $399.00 or $33.25/month
10 shareware programs @$15 each: $150.00 or $12.50/month
Apple Studio: $699.00 or $58.25/month
Filemaker: $179.00 or $14.92/month
Quicken: $79.00 or $6.58/month
Audio Plugins: $200.00 or $16.67/month
Photoshop Plugins: $150 or $12.50/month
Quicktime Pro: $30 or $2.50/month
DVD ripping and compression: $150 or $12.50/month
Microsoft Office: $299.00 or $24.92/month
Ableton Live: $150.00 or $12.50/month
Graphic Converter: $30.00 or $2.50/month

Grand total $4041 bucks. If I broke that down on an average per month it would be $336.75. Let’s say I make these payments for a 5 year period. That totals to over $20,000.

I’m all for “progress” but it’s getting to the point where I have to selectively choose which apps I’m going to upgrade. If the new version of Photoshop has some amazing new feature I’ve gotta have I’ll get it. I was pretty mad when I paid for the Photoshop 4.0 upgrade. Not much of a change there. How about Final Cut? Honestly, I could still be using Final Cut Pro version 1.2 for most of the video editing I do, or even iMovie for that matter.

To make things worse, I have to do some PC work as well. The most painful situation there is with Macromedia Director. I originally paid about $1200 for my Mac version of Director. I was going to be a great multimedia producer for Mac and PC. Then the nightmare: You have to buy the application for both platforms! That is $2400 bucks. Brutal. Now when I upgrade Director, it is usually $399 for the Mac plus another $399 for the PC version.

My solution these days is to skip an update or two. That cuts the costs down a little. And most the applications don’t really have world changing additions from one rev to the next.


Nick Santilli

Sorry, I missunderstood your point. I thought you were blaming the upgrade costs on moving to Tiger.
You were speaking in general. yeah, i agree there. Which is why I’m still on Photoshop 7…

Nick Santilli

I upgraded to Tiger and I’m still using my Photoshop 7 and related versions. They work fine. Sure, CS or CS2 could be hugely optimized, but I’m fine w/o them at this point.
Same with Macromedia Studio MX (pre 2004 version). no problems there.
Same with MS Office 2004.
I don’t think I had to reup for anything except for QT 7 Pro. All my shareware and similar apps had free upgrades where they were necessary to run on Tiger.

So I had a grand total of $159.

Sure, you COULD upgrade all that stuff, but typically, anything that’s gonna get hugely broken in an OS upgrade is offered as part of the existing, paid license. (I can’t speak for the pro level apps though).

so you may be better off than you think. just my experience at least. hope that’s somewhat helpful.

Comments are closed.