- Install CS2 using serial number from the box
- Attempt to register with Adobe
- Try again
- Fail again
- Call the phone number from the registration dialog box onscreen
- Phone robot says go to Adobe.com and use my Adobe account to access a special download page
- Visit download page
- Stare slack-jawed as I see that ALL the 8 year-old Adobe software is apparently free (for me, the existing customer) to download, with activation serial numbers right there on the page
- Uninstall CS2 as directed
- Reinstall with the new package from Adobe.com
- Select "Never Register"
- Continue to use Photoshop CS2 to make gobs of money.
Then a few days later, everybody from Forbes to my boss were talking about how Adobe was just plain GIVING AWAY CS2. It looks like one of a few things happened:
- They decided to crush ALL interest in the GIMP and other free/lower-cost image editing software by slipping an old, but still very useable version of CS2 out into the wild. Canny, and very good thinking!
- They don't care anymore and could give a [deleted] what you do with CS2, but to get us to stop calling their support line they slapped this up there and STILL don't care
- They put it up as a good-will gesture for legitimate customers, but didn't change the EULA or make a specific statement that it is only for paying customers, and then realized it was too late to change it now
I think the very best thing Adobe can do now is to make a statement like Adobe forum member stagesound suggested:
"Due to a screwup with our activation server, we inadvertently published an activation-free version of CS2 along with the serial numbers to make the software usable. Since we've effectively given CS2 away, we may as well make it official - good luck to all new Adobe software users. You can now dump your open source or low-budget alternatives, and once you've used your CS2 for a while, we hope you'll consider trading up to the later versions which you'll enjoy even more!"
but I can't blame them if they don't. We'll see, I guess.