Switching from Windows to Mac? Save money by asking to ‘crossgrade’ your software

Switching from Windows to Mac? Never forget to ask to “crossgrade” your software. That is, if you’re switching to Mac, ask for the Mac version of your existing Windows software for the upgrade price before you just go out and buy a whole new version for full retail price.

Some vendors will charge you only for the shipping of the Mac version of their application and a promise to uninstall your Windows version. Better yet, if your original CD or DVD contains both Mac and Windows versions on the same disk, some vendors will simply require you to send them a signed form in which you promise to uninstall the Windows version and they’ll give you the Mac serial number.

You’ll be surprised at how accommodating some of these software makers can be and you’ll also save a lot of money!

Here are some telephone numbers and links that may come in handy:

Adobe Customer Service:
US and Canada: 1-800-833-6687
Outside US and Canada: International phone numbers

Macromedia Customer Service:
US and Canada: 1-800-470-7211 (Toll Free)
Outside US and Canada: +1-415-553-7186

Microsoft Customer Service: 1-888-218-5617

For other vendors, check your software packaging for customer service numbers.


  1. I switched about a year ago and I had to fight Adobe and Macromedia tooth and nail to let me switch my licenses. It was not easy.

    I called multiple times, asked to speak with managers, etc… and finally each relented and let me “cross grade” my licenses.

    I think a manager at Macromedia ended being the nicest and let me switch for free. No such luck with Adobe. You’d think that spending $600 on a product that they’d be happy to keep you as a customer regardless of platform. But no.

    Anyway. This is still a great idea, but i hope you have an easier time doing this than I did.

  2. Cross-grade serial numbers are not always free. But if you are upgrading anyway (for example, to the soon-to-be-released Adobe Creative Suite 2), you should be able to get a cross-grade at that time at no extra charge. Worked for me. I believe Macromedia said their serial numbers are not platform-specific, although once you activate the product, the serial is tied to that platform. I don’t believe any extra steps are necessary to use a Mac upgrade serial number with a Windows previous version serial number on their products.

  3. A fw years ago, I sent this idea to Apple several times and told them to incorporate it as part of their Switch campaign, otherwise it would fail. EVERY PC user I talked with who wanted to switch had the same #1 gripe for not switching – having to re-invest in Mac versions of their software. Apple could make some arrangement with the major software companies to make crossgrades easier. e.g. some sort of crossgrade “deal” withing 90 days of new Mac purchse.

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