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New Adobe app to take on Apple's Aperture

post #1 of 86
Thread Starter 
Exclusive -- Refusing to stand idle while Apple Computer woos digital photographers with its new Aperture post production tool for working with RAW images, Adobe Systems next week will unveil a similar piece of software designed to lure back its professional audience, AppleInsider has learned.

Sources familiar with the company's plans say Adobe will preview the application, dubbed LightRoom, for the first time during next week's Macworld Expo in San Francisco. A finalized version of the application is not expected to ship until sometime later in the year.

Designed as a virtual light-box and photographer's companion, the initial version of LightRoom is expected to support approximately 100 digital cameras and their corresponding RAW file formats. It will reportedly boast a feature set similar to Apple's Aperture, including basic color correction and photo enhancement tools.

Also like Aperture, LightRoom will offer photographers several ways to sort and display photographs immediately following a photo shoot. Specifically, sources said the application will pack a slideshow feature akin to the one built into Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger.

In the few weeks it has been available, Apple's Aperture has been met by mixed reviews: while some praise the software for its intuitive new approach towards post production RAW image editing, others gripe at its sluggish performance and lack of professional-level tools and filters.

Although Aperture was designed to run on computers such as the 1.25GHz 15- or 17-inch PowerBook G4, Apple on its Web site recommends that software be used on a computer with at least two (dual) 2GHz PowerPC G5 processors and 2GB of RAM for optimal performance. These steep requirements have deterred some potential users from adopting the $499 software for their mid-ranged Macs. At the same time, Mac systems approaching two-years of age and older just don't meet the grade.

According to sources, Adobe developed LightRoom to run on a slew of Macs not supported by Aperture. The company hopes that LightRoom's more lenient set of system requirements will be one its greatest benefits and selling points.

While Adobe has yet to set a release date or pricing information for LightRoom, the company plans to offer the application as a free beta in an effort to widen distribution and put the software into the hands of as many professional photographers as it can, sources told AppleInsider.

Initially, LightRoom will be released only for the Mac. However, sources say a PC version is in the works.
post #2 of 86
Competition is good.
post #3 of 86
This is an interesting development. This means that Adobe has been developing this new product for some time now.

All in all, the competition between the two companies should yield better products for consumers. If the competition gets fierce, I hope that Adobe doesn't drop Photoshop for Mac as it did with it's video editing products.
post #4 of 86
Quote:
Originally posted by amac4me
This is an interesting development. This means that Adobe has been developing this new product for some time now.

All in all, the competition between the two companies should yield better products for consumers. If the competition gets fierce, I hope that Adobe doesn't drop Photoshop for Mac as it did with it's video editing products.

Considering the new app will start its life as a Mac-only app, I don't think the situation is quite as you think. It looks to me like Adobe rushed completion on the Mac version of an upcoming product so-as not to lose too much market share.

What will be interesting to see, for me, is if the Adobe product sped it's time-to-market by using Core Image filters and other MacOS-isms.
post #5 of 86
I guess this will result in Apple spending a lot of time improving Aperture so they don't lose out to Adobe.
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post #6 of 86
You mean Adobe lost ground to Aperture?

I agree this has to be a rushed out the door application, if they are willing to show it this shortly after Aperture's release and a number of months before it will actually ship. Shot across the bow?

Odd they want to name it LightRoom. The app is not a room ... unless?
Why not simply LightBox? Maybe it is taken?

Also odd they did not make it part of Bridge? Bridge could handle alternate views and some extra features along the likes of Aperture.
post #7 of 86
Quote:
Originally posted by icerabbit
Odd they want to name it LightRoom. The app is not a room ... unless?
Why not simply LightBox? Maybe it is taken?

Indeed:
http://www.lightboxsoftware.com/

This is clearly a rush-to-announce, don't lose mindshare move by Adobe, but I applaud it none-the-less for at least keeping Apple honest. I bet that when the final product ships, it may not have all the slickness of Aperture, but that it will do a great job of RAW conversion and most likely scale better than Aperture.
post #8 of 86
Apple should buy Adobe
post #9 of 86
My thoughts:

1. Both apps will be the better for having each other as competition.

2. If Adobe really DID whip this preview app up in a hurry (we don't know that), then I like their newfound ability to move fast! Put some of that hustle into Universal Photoshop

3. Mac-only at first, then Windows later? From a major software company? Nice precedent if true.

4. Runs on lower Macs that can't run Aperture? Sounds like there's room in the market for this new option.
post #10 of 86
sounds interesting. I am REALLY suprised that Adobe would be cought developing a Mac application and not a PC version concurently. They have been so PC in the past several years, but since so many Photographers are on Macs these days, I guess they are afraid to loose their professional clients. I haven't been able to use Aperture yet because I have no machine to run it on...hopefully after keynote.
post #11 of 86
By having Adobe as a separate company there is real competition and incentive for Apple.

It is nice to see that Adobe is planning on offering some competition to Aperture, if only to force Apple to work harder on the product. On the other hand if either of them manage to get the new product working on lower powered computers then that will be a big plus.
post #12 of 86
It can only be a positive thing that Adobe is doing this. Competition is good, it demands excellence. Also having a Mac-only app always makes us feel special!
post #13 of 86
We are not really that surprised, are we?

If this also integrates into PS better than Aperture does, then Adobe could have a big hit on their hands.

Apple will have to move fast.

I'm wondering what Adobe's long term plans are for this.

And I'm also wondering if, as a long time PS beta tester, Adobe will offer this to me to test as well.
post #14 of 86
Quote:
Originally posted by icerabbit
I agree this has to be a rushed out the door application, if they are willing to show it this shortly after Aperture's release and a number of months before it will actually ship. Shot across the bow?

That's a good question. This software has apparently been in the works for a while, the trademark application dates to May 2004.
post #15 of 86
Quote:
Originally posted by TednDi
Apple should buy Adobe

Adobe is a LOT bigger than Apple.
post #16 of 86
Quote:
Originally posted by BuonRotto
Adobe is a LOT bigger than Apple.

Bigger...but not a LOT like you're suggesting.
post #17 of 86
What turns me off Aperture is that Photoshop is only $100 more...
post #18 of 86
Quote:
Originally posted by jdbartlett
What turns me off Aperture is that Photoshop is only $100 more...

Photoshop cannot be compared to Aperture. If it could why would Adobe make their own version? Aperture is a cataloguing and post-production package.
post #19 of 86
Quote:
Originally posted by BuonRotto
Adobe is a LOT bigger than Apple.

Huh?

If talking about market cap and if not I'm not sure what else you can use as a guide...

AAPL Market Cap = $64.3B
ADBE Market Cap = $19.2B

Sure seems like the market values AAPL much bigger...

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post #20 of 86
Quote:
Originally posted by DaveGee
Huh?

If talking about market cap and if not I'm not sure what else you can use as a guide...

AAPL Market Cap = $64.3B
ADBE Market Cap = $19.2B

Sure seems like the market values AAPL much bigger...

Dave

Number of Employees:

AAPL = 14,800
ADBE = 3,100

Another metric showing that, in fact, Apple is a LOT BIGGER than Adobe!
post #21 of 86
Quote:
Originally posted by BuonRotto
Adobe is a LOT bigger than Apple.

Adobe's market cap is ~19 billion.
Adobe's annual sales is ~1.97 billion

Apple's market cap is ~60 billion.
Apple's annual sales are ~ 12+ billion.

Unless I'm mistaken, Apple is bigger than Adobe. If I got my numbers wrong please feel free to correct me. I have made mistakes in the past and unfortunately will continue to in the future.

edit: opps, late on the post again.
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post #22 of 86
Quote:
Originally posted by BuonRotto
Adobe is a LOT bigger than Apple.

In what way is Adobe bigger than Apple?

Their Market value as of closing today is $23.3 Billion.

Apple's is $64.3 billion.

Adobe's sales in the quarter ending 9/2/2005 was $487 million. This doesn't include Macromedia. But getting info on them right now is a pain. Suffice to say that their sales were much smaller than Adobe's, as reflected the $3.4 bill acquisition cost.

Apple's sales in the quarter ending 9/24/2005 was $3.7 billion.

So, again, how is Adobe a LOT bigger than Apple?
post #23 of 86
Quote:
Originally posted by macFanDave
Number of Employees:

AAPL = 14,800
ADBE = 3,100

Another metric showing that, in fact, Apple is a LOT BIGGER than Adobe!

Not to one up you but...

AAPL Revenue = 13.9B
ADBE Revenue = 01.9B

AAPL Total Cash = 8.2B
ADBE Total Cash = 1.7B

AAPL Book Value Per Share = 8.94
ADBE Book Value Per Share = 3.77



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post #24 of 86
Well, I guess we showed him, Huh?
post #25 of 86
I'm sure that Apple could fairly easily acquire Adobe, ever heard of a leveraged buyout?

That said, I don't really see a reason for Apple to buy a company like Adobe, when instead they are gradually developing their own software over time. Aperature is a good example, and I'm sure that other apps will follow (e.g. "Numbers" spreadsheet being added to iWork suite).

Speaking of spreadsheets, I'm a business undergrad student, so I use Excel a great deal. One beef that I have with Excel is that generally speaking it doesn't generate very "sexy" graphs, I would personally like to see Numbers introduce some gorgeous graphs.
post #26 of 86
Quote:
Originally posted by Chagi
I'm sure that Apple could fairly easily acquire Adobe, ever heard of a leveraged buyout?

That said, I don't really see a reason for Apple to buy a company like Adobe, when instead they are gradually developing their own software over time. Aperature is a good example, and I'm sure that other apps will follow (e.g. "Numbers" spreadsheet being added to iWork suite).

Speaking of spreadsheets, I'm a business undergrad student, so I use Excel a great deal. One beef that I have with Excel is that generally speaking it doesn't generate very "sexy" graphs, I would personally like to see Numbers introduce some gorgeous graphs.

Apple should have bought Macromedia. Controlling Flash was much more important. That's why Adobe bought them. The apps were of secondary importance.

I'm surprised that you want "sexy" charts. You're tought to keep presentations simple. It's been shown in numerous studies that these "sexy" charts, lower information transfer.
post #27 of 86
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
Apple should have bought Macromedia. Controlling Flash was much more important. That's why Adobe bought them. The apps were of secondary importance.

I'm surprised that you want "sexy" charts. You're tought to keep presentations simple. It's been shown in numerous studies that these "sexy" charts, lower information transfer.

I would not want sexier graphs necessarily, but certainly less ugly ones. That should not hurt with the information transfer process.

But then, I am in science/engineering and my needs might be bit different and most often Excel is simply ruled out because its capabilities are lacking. The nicest graphs are, in my view, still produced by Igor (although with enough work put into them Matlab, Octave, R, Maple, Mathematica can also produce good stuff).
post #28 of 86
Quote:
Originally posted by DaveGee
AAPL Total Cash = 8.2B
ADBE Total Cash = 1.7B

I was surprised by the financial information given in this thread, very interesting. I wonder how the two would compare if you compared just Apple's software divisions against Adobe. I'm sure the info is out there, but probably not relevant for anything but curiosity.

I wasn't aware that Apple had this much cash, I guess that means that they can't re-invest it quickly enough into new products and so on.
post #29 of 86
So now where are all those people who said that Photoshop can do everything Aperture does and a whole lot more?

Why does Adobe need to come out with this product? And why isn't it part of Photoshop/ACR/Bridge?

This just goes to prove the point that saying Photoshop is for photographers is like saying InDesign is for people who write a monthly 4-page newsletter. Well, yeah, but...

In any case, I'm glad Adobe's coming out with this for several reasons:

1. It'll keep Apple on its toes. Aperture desperately needs bug fixes, new camera support, and speed improvements.

2. Adobe is validating Aperture's existence. (For those boobs--like Dave Girard at ArsTechnica--who just didn't get it.)

3. How Adobe prices it may force Apple to lower the price, or not. (Will LightRoom be available separately? Part of Photoshop? Part of CS3 suite only?)

Competition is a very, very good thing. C'mon Adobe!
post #30 of 86
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
Apple should have bought Macromedia. Controlling Flash was much more important. That's why Adobe bought them. The apps were of secondary importance.

I'm surprised that you want "sexy" charts. You're tought to keep presentations simple. It's been shown in numerous studies that these "sexy" charts, lower information transfer.

It's an analysts #1 trick. When you have nothing to say, wow them with a graph! Works like a charm
post #31 of 86
Quote:
Originally posted by TednDi
Apple should buy Adobe

And Avid
post #32 of 86
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
I was surprised by the financial information given in this thread, very interesting. I wonder how the two would compare if you compared just Apple's software divisions against Adobe. I'm sure the info is out there, but probably not relevant for anything but curiosity.

I wasn't aware that Apple had this much cash, I guess that means that they can't re-invest it quickly enough into new products and so on.

Based on the companies 10K Filing, their "software, services, and other" was $1.1B

For Adobe it was $1.6B, (including software and support servivces) however $500M of that was related to acrobat and licensing of the platform, so it is actually very close when you compare related products.
post #33 of 86
Quote:
Originally posted by MacCrazy
Photoshop cannot be compared to Aperture. If it could why would Adobe make their own version? Aperture is a cataloguing and post-production package.

i think the point jdbartlett was trying to make was that, as you answered yourself - Aperture only catalogues & post-produces. Photoshop is a much more rounded package; yet is only marginally more in cost.
post #34 of 86
Apple should not buy Adobe or Avid. They should keep developing their own software. It's more cost effective and we get a better product.

What exactly would Apple be buying? They already have a RAW image app. They already have a raster engine in Quartz. What Adobe product is even worth continuing other than Photoshop? GoLive?!

Perhaps Apple would do well to buy any projects which fell out of the Macromedia merger like Freehand (like they did with FCP), but even then it may be better to write one from scratch using Quartz technologies.

Buying a company means more dead wood on the payroll and more debts burning a hole in your wallet.
post #35 of 86
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
I was surprised by the financial information given in this thread, very interesting. I wonder how the two would compare if you compared just Apple's software divisions against Adobe. I'm sure the info is out there, but probably not relevant for anything but curiosity.

I wasn't aware that Apple had this much cash, I guess that means that they can't re-invest it quickly enough into new products and so on.


Actually Apple's stash of cash has at times earned them more net revenue then their products given that their very high R&D costs eat into their typically 25%+ gross margins.

Apple has pretty carefully hoarded cash since Jobs came back. This has helped them quite a bit, and now it allows them a fair bit of freedom as regards buying other companies, not having to go into debt (they went debt free a while ago), etc...
post #36 of 86
Hey, when did that happen?! Oops! Must be the iPod 'cause I could have sworn that Adobe was almost twice as big a company in terms of revenue than Apple at one point.
post #37 of 86
Wasnt Adobe halfway there already? all they really need to do is beef up their raw tool and integrate/improve functionality of the bridge app, bridge+stacks+their raw tools = aperture, right?

Remember, this will be part of the suit, so you will have indesign+acrobat to do the layouts and golive/dreamweaver for web so this could easily smoke Aperture as a complete solution
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post #38 of 86
Quote:
Originally posted by amac4me
This is an interesting development. This means that Adobe has been developing this new product for some time now.

All in all, the competition between the two companies should yield better products for consumers. If the competition gets fierce, I hope that Adobe doesn't drop Photoshop for Mac as it did with it's video editing products.

Shit, if that happens, I'll have no choice but to go Windows. Puh-leeeeeze don't let this be true!

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post #39 of 86
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
In what way is Adobe bigger than Apple?

Their Market value as of closing today is $23.3 Billion.

Apple's is $64.3 billion.

Adobe's sales in the quarter ending 9/2/2005 was $487 million. This doesn't include Macromedia. But getting info on them right now is a pain. Suffice to say that their sales were much smaller than Adobe's, as reflected the $3.4 bill acquisition cost.

Apple's sales in the quarter ending 9/24/2005 was $3.7 billion.

So, again, how is Adobe a LOT bigger than Apple?


Might Apple or Microsoft attempt a hostile takeover of Adobe at some point? What would have to happen for this to occur?

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post #40 of 86
Quote:
Originally posted by noirdesir
I would not want sexier graphs necessarily, but certainly less ugly ones. That should not hurt with the information transfer process.

But then, I am in science/engineering and my needs might be bit different and most often Excel is simply ruled out because its capabilities are lacking. The nicest graphs are, in my view, still produced by Igor (although with enough work put into them Matlab, Octave, R, Maple, Mathematica can also produce good stuff).

Deltagraph has some nice ones as well, if you really need them.
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