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Adobe Photoshop CS6 beta reaches 500K downloads in less than a week

Adobe's free beta of Photoshop CS6 has gotten off to a strong start, with more than a half-million downloads tallied in less than one week.

Adobe announced on Wednesday that it has been "blown away" by user response to the free beta. Its public release last week was a different approach for Adobe, which typically does not provide an advance preview of future Photoshop releases.

The beta is available for both Mac and Windows from Adobe Labs, and users are encouraged to provide feedback to the product team during the trial run. The software is available in both English and Japanese.

Highlights of Photoshop CS6 include a new content-aware patch, and what Adobe has touted as "blazingly fast performance." In addition, it will feature a new and reengineered design tools and is powered by the new Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine, promising "near-instant results" from editing tools."

AppleInsider first revealed the changes in Photoshop CS6 last October, including its new Aperture-like dark background user interface, and new 3D capabilities.

It was also highlighted this week that Photoshop CS6 has dropped support for older 32-bit Macs. That means older Macs based on Intel Core Duo processors running legacy 32-bit versions of OS X will not be able to use the latest version of Photoshop.

The change is unsurprising, as Apple also does not support 32-bit code in hardware or software. But it is noteworthy as Photoshop CS6 on Windows will still run in 32-bit versions of Microsoft's operating system, including Windows XP.