Adobe CS2 is available for free -- kind of, maybe, not really, but absolutely
Adobe has published a public CS2 download page with links to a host of older applications -- the full Creative Suite 2.0, Acrobat Pro 8.0, Audition 3.0, GoLive CS2, Illustrator CS2, InCopy CS2, Photoshop CS2, Photoshop Elements 4.0/5.0, Premiere Pro 2.0 -- as well as the serial numbers required to activate them.
As soon as the page was noticed, multiple stories appeared recommending what looked like a great freebie. But what’s really going on here? It’s hard to say.
First, Adobe’s Dov Isaacs posted a forum message saying that the company was "absolutely not providing free copies of CS2!" Apparently the CS2 activation servers are being terminated, and these builds and serial numbers are intended for existing licence holders to use as an alternative.
The company didn’t take the CS2 page down, though, or add a warning or explanatory message, or do anything else to keep people away.
In fact, Adobe has done the opposite. Initially you needed to log in via your Adobe account to view the download page; now it's freely accessible to everyone. It looks like the company have accepted that there’s no putting the cat back in the bag, and whatever the original intention, CS2 is now available for free.
We may find out for sure in the next day or two, if Adobe issues a press release or add further information to the CS2 download page which fully explains the situation.
But if, in the meantime, you want to sample a CS2 application or two then they’re all ready and waiting.
You do need to keep in mind the age of these programs, though. CS2 was released in 2005, and written for Windows 2000 and XP. Even getting the apps installed on a modern PC can require some work, and there’s no telling what issues might crop up later.
We managed to successfully complete a couple of installations on Windows 7 x64, though, and have written up the various problems we encountered along the way. Check out the download pages on Creative Suite 2.0 and Adobe Professional 8.0 for more information.