Public beta of Adobe Creative Suite 3 may boost Mac sales

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Exclusive: Sales of Apple Computer's professional Mac line could receive a shot in the arm later this month if Adobe Systems proceeds with plans to release an early public beta of its Creative Suite 3.0 software bundle.



Thus far, graphics professionals have been slow to adopt the Intel-based Mac Pro workstations introduced by Apple this summer -- a trend which both Apple and industry analysts have attributed to the lack of an Intel native version of Creative Suite for the Mac OS X operating system.



For its part, Adobe has gone on record in stating that native Intel Mac support of its most popular graphics applications, such as Photoshop and Illustrator, will have to wait until the Spring 2007 release of Creative Suite 3.



Though traditionally tight-lipped, the San Jose, Calif.-based software developer earlier this year came under immense pressure from its large Mac customer base to outline plans for Intel Mac support in its industry leading applications.



Like almost everyone else in the industry, Adobe was caught off guard by Apple's decision in the summer of 2005 to make the jump from PowerPC to Intel processors. After some analysis, the company concluded that it would be most effective to support the Mac's architectural changes as part of its ongoing development cycle of Creative Suite 3.0, rather than go back and re-release an Intel Mac version of Creative Suite 2.0.



"This enables us to advance our technology at the aggressive pace that our customers expect, while also adding support for significant new system configurations," Adobe explained in a statement released in February. In the same disclosure, it also indicated that Creative Suite 3.0 was unlikely to ship for another 14 months.



Word of Adobe's plans quickly spread amongst creative professionals, who for the most part have decided to hold out on purchases of new Mac systems until they can get their hands on the Intel native version of Creative Suite. Similarly, sales of the current version of the software bundle are slowing as customers eagerly await version 3.0, now just a few months away.



But those slowing sales trends could all change relatively soon, AppleInsider has learned. People familiar with Adobe's software strategy say the company plans to whet the appetites of its approximately 3 million creative professional customers with a public beta of Creative Suite 3.0 some time this month.



The beta would be available to all current Creative Suite 2.0 license holders in the form of a Universal Binary that would run natively on both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs, those people say. The early beta release would also be available in a version compatible with Microsoft Corp.'s Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems.



So far, Adobe has offered very little information on the features, components and pricing og the upcoming release, which is referenced internally under the code-named "Banana Split." However, AppleInsider has reported previously that Dreamweaver, which was acquired as part of Adobe's acquisition of Macromedia last year, will replace GoLive as the primary web authoring application in the release. Similarly, Macromedia's Fireworks will take on the role of Adobe's Image Ready application.



Information also suggests that Adobe will market a variety of Creative Suite 3.0 package bundles, each of which will include a different assortment of applications at various price points.



In a note to clients this month, PiperJaffray analyst Gene Munster estimated that "new seats and upgrades" will cost about the same as "buying Creative Suite and Macromedia Studio separately and then discounting by 15 percent."



Munster's checks also indicate a strong adoption rate for Creative Suite 3.0 following its release, which he believes will help drive Mac sales. In a poll conducted during the September Photoshop World conference, 87 percent of graphics professionals told the analyst that there is a greater than 50 percent likelihood they will purchase the software bundle within 12 months of its release.



"The bottom line is that there is significant pent-up demand for Intel-based Macs among the Adobe creative pro community," Munster said. "Adobe creative pro customers cannot run their Adobe apps at full effiency on an Intel-based Mac until Creative Suite 3.0 is released, so many are waiting until that time to upgrade their machines."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 63
    With creative professionals making up most of its customer base, you would think Adobe would put a priority on getting a CS version out for INTEL based Macs. At least a temporary fix should have been available months ago. The software sucks on INTEL Macs.
  • Reply 2 of 63
    kcmackcmac Posts: 1,051member
    This is great news if true.



    I still think Adobe was in the end waiting for Vista. They knew about Apple and Intel. And OS X has needed an update that would take advantage of its goodies for well before the intel thing.



    Now that Vista has hit the street corporate and Leopard looming, Adobe has to put it out there.



    Go Adobe.
  • Reply 3 of 63
    I wonder what new features it will have OTHER than being a Universal Binary?



    Anyway, I want it.
  • Reply 4 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kmoney


    With creative professionals making up most of its customer base, you would think Adobe would put a priority on getting a CS version out for INTEL based Macs. At least a temporary fix should have been available months ago. The software sucks on INTEL Macs.



    Actually, Acrobat has become their major application in sales. Of course, some is due to the lack of major graphics updates. Acrobat's use in so many corporate and government institutions is huge.



    Plus, I've been saying this since Universal Binary was announced. Adobe is not going to release Creative Suite 3 until Microsoft Vista is released. Get used to it...Adobe is Microsoft's lackey. I think I remember recently where Mac users account for about 20% of Adobe's total sales; 40% of its creative software sales (which reinforces the impact of Acrobat on total Adobe sales). So believe me, if Vista were delayed another 8 months, so would Creative Suite 3!



    It stinks but it's business reality.



    /
  • Reply 5 of 63
    This is what I've been saying they should have done all along; I just didn't expect it would take them this long to do it.
  • Reply 6 of 63
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,780member
    It will be great to see a beta at MWSF in January.



    That way, the bugs can be worked out and creatives can purchase Mac Pros, CS3 and Tiger all at once in the spring.
  • Reply 7 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pairof9s


    Actually, Acrobat has become their major application in sales. Of course, some is due to the lack of major graphics updates. Acrobat's use in so many corporate and government institutions is huge.



    Plus, I've been saying this since Universal Binary was announced. Adobe is not going to release Creative Suite 3 until Microsoft Vista is released. Get used to it...Adobe is Microsoft's lackey. I think I remember recently where Mac users account for about 20% of Adobe's total sales; 40% of its creative software sales (which reinforces the impact of Acrobat on total Adobe sales). So believe me, if Vista were delayed another 8 months, so would Creative Suite 3!



    It stinks but it's business reality.



    /



    +1



    And that's why we went from a 12-18 monthes develppement cycle (as touted by Adobe when CS2 began shipping) to a ? claimed as normal ? 24 monthes dev cycle?



    I used CS2 since I got my MBP rev A and, now, my MBP C2D and it has been a pain in the ass to use (despite other apps I use being blowing fast). Acrobat Pro 8 is said to be really fast as was Adobe Reader 8 when I tested it.



    Being one of the poor guys to buy an upgrade from CS1 premium to acobat Pro 7 just before having to upgrade to CS2 with no dicsount, I will wait to CS3 inbstead of buying Acrobat 8 now. And I don't think I am the sole one to fear to be burnt twice. So I don't expec Acrobat Pro 8 numbers to be that good until CS3 is out. And I think it is why we have so few benchmarks of Acrobat Pro on intel Macs until now?



    That being said, CS 3 is said to bring hardware acceleration to graphic rendering, non destructive live filters and simple 3D and video tools to Photoshop along a revamped interface (a la Premiere). I don't know if Adobe went with Image/animation/video Core API from OS X or wdent we their own engine but the idea is the same : leverage the graphic card OpenGL capabilities to help in rendering 2D graphics?
  • Reply 8 of 63
    noirdesirnoirdesir Posts: 1,027member
    Quote:

    to whet the appetites



    Interesting spelling.
  • Reply 9 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by noirdesir


    Interesting spelling.



    What? The correct spelling is interesting?





    What will be interesting is how much Adobe apps will make of both Vista's and OSX's graphic acceleration. Adobe's filters and effects look positively pedestrian beside apps using CoreImage to get realtime image manipulation.
  • Reply 10 of 63
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    It would be good if Apple and Adobe did a joint launch: 8-core Mac Pro and CS3 "available today."
  • Reply 11 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by noirdesir


    Interesting spelling.



    whet |(h)wet| |(h)w?t| |w?t|

    verb ( whetted |(h)w?d?d|, whetting |(h)w?d??|) [ trans. ]

    ? excite or stimulate (someone's desire, interest, or appetite) : here's an extract to whet your appetite.

    noun archaic

    a thing that stimulates appetite or desire : he swallowed his two dozen oysters as a whet.
  • Reply 12 of 63
    othelloothello Posts: 1,053member
    i was an indesign beta tester on indesign 2 and we got regular updates to play with. what we were not told (though we should have worked it out) is that the file format for ID2 beta was not fixed. so the files we created in beta were not compatible with ID 2 when it came out.



    i doubt adobe would do this with a public beta, but something to keep in mind...
  • Reply 13 of 63
    Honestly, here is the mentality I think both Apple and Adobe had.



    Apple pulled a surprise on everyone by switching to Intel...and by forcing developers into Xcode for Unibin support. Even major developers were left in the dust.....on purpose. When Apple decided to transition it would be best to get the OS and hardware ready first while assisting developers port to Intel AND while simultaneously developing new innovative products. What's best to come out of Apple is still being created....Jobs refers to this saying products in the pipeline are the best he's ever seen.



    Apple didn't give the software vendors a heads up on purpose. If I was in this position, I would do the same thing. It's a transition and there's a tremendous amount of engineering that goes into this. It's not like flipping a switch and voila.



    If I were Microsoft, Adobe, etc. I would probably be somewhat frustrated with Apple IN THE SENSE that they force the IDE to Xcode. From what I hear Xcode isn't really up to par with the IDE Adobe, Microsoft, etc. use. So, it's painstaking work and it wouldn't make sense to do a port of it and then release your next big upgrade a few months later.



    I do wish Apple would have given somewhat of a heads up to developers saying, "we're evaluating OSX x86, and we think you should too".



    It does suck to have to wait, but I think the rewards will be well worth it. Leopard will be awesome, the new Intel Mac stuff I'm sure will be the best products we've seen, and the upgrades from Adobe and Microsoft sound like they are worth the upgrade. Don't forget Adobe had a huge buyout and products to combine.



    So don't take it out on Adobe, they made the right decision in response to the transition announcement. I just really hope we see a Beta in January
  • Reply 14 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pixlnet


    Apple pulled a surprise on everyone by switching to Intel...and by forcing developers into Xcode for Unibin support. Even major developers were left in the dust.....on purpose. (snip)



    If I were Microsoft, Adobe, etc. I would probably be somewhat frustrated with Apple IN THE SENSE that they force the IDE to Xcode. From what I hear Xcode isn't really up to par with the IDE Adobe, Microsoft, etc. use. So, it's painstaking work and it wouldn't make sense to do a port of it and then release your next big upgrade a few months later.



    Even if it wasn't very elegant, I think Apple had to do this because the other IDE being used for the Mac (PowerPlant) was very conservative and very oriented towards Classic Mac OS coding.



    In order to force the Big Software Vendors to create swift applications, I believe Apple had to get them on the Xcode train : this way they had to rewrite all their legacy code from scratch. This is particularly important because these apps' legacy code go back far in time (sometimes in the 80's), much farther in fact than the legacy code found in the Windows version of the same apps. This probably translated in heavy code surrounded by "life-sustaining" wrappers (whose purpose is only to allow the old code to continue to work in the new environment), making the code even heavier, and thus apps slower.



    And "slower" is the keyword here : Apple's OS is compared to its competitors. And if the Mac OS always comes out as the slowest despite Apple's efforts to the contrary (at least for the last 2 or 3 years), then the rest of the optimization efforts must be done in the Big Software Vendors. Now they were not really interested doing so in their old IDE, since it would have meant rewriting their code (and who wants to do that when it works ?)



    By breaking the old IDEs, Apple forced the Big Software Vendors to take a long hard look at their code base. Hopefully this will/should translate in better performance too.
  • Reply 15 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gregmightdothat


    whet |(h)wet| |(h)w?t| |w?t|

    verb ( whetted |(h)w?d?d|, whetting |(h)w?d??|) [ trans. ]

    ? excite or stimulate (someone's desire, interest, or appetite) : here's an extract to whet your appetite.

    noun archaic

    a thing that stimulates appetite or desire : he swallowed his two dozen oysters as a whet.




    owned.
  • Reply 16 of 63
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    Hi everyone. Long time no see. Hope you guys are having a decent holiday season. Don't get your hopes up about support for 8 Core machines that don't exist. Even if Apple were to announce it soon(doubtful IMO), developers like Adobe wouldn't begin building software for it until they are used by a sufficient percentage of their customers. IE you're not going to see 8 core support anytime soon.
  • Reply 17 of 63
    Will a considerable percentage of professionals behave as though the beta was the final thing (buy Mac Pros and use the beta in day to day work)?



    Think Secret says Adobe is planning a release "...in the near future—possibly by week's end—sources report."



    With regard to what's been discussed about a ground-up rewrite of legacy code, they also say 'Photoshop CS3 "simply flies" on Intel-based systems, sources recently said.'
  • Reply 18 of 63
    A public beta of CS3 makes a lot of sense. With the code completely written for Intel using Apple's coding tools along with integrating software from Macromedia, too much has changed to risk only in-house and chosen-few testing. If they do that, the final version is likely to hit the market with some dreadful problem that'll cost customers much in lost time, labor and money. Not what Adobe wants.



    But if they make the beta available only for CS2 owners, they're making a mistake that's almost as great. I own virtually all the components of the Creative Suite--InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, and Acrobat (along with FrameMaker and AfterEffects). But I only use InDesign extensively enough to justify keeping up with the current version. I was planning to use the shift to Intel hardware and the release of CS3 to bring all the Adobe software I use even occasionally up to date. That's why I hope the rumors that there'll be several versions of CS3 prove true. I have no interest in paying for a Dreamweaver upgrade or Flash products. And if Adobe doesn't offer the right package for my purposes, I'm likely to buy less rather than more.



    But Adobe also needs to remember that many of us use one application almost exclusively. We don't like it when Adobe tries to play games and draw us into buying a suite of products that we have little use for. We like it even less when they treat us as second class citizens.



    Adobe should also offer individual beta packages for the registered owners of each of their major products. They should certainly do it for those who have the current version, and they'd be wise to at least consider doing it for those with less-than-current versions. (After all, these will be time-limited beta products.) The shift to Intel is the perfect time to persuade Mac users of older Adobe products (particularly Classic versions that don't run on Intel), that they need to upgrade to the new version, whether or not they buy CS3.



    --Mike Perry, Inkling Books, Seattle
  • Reply 19 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Frank777


    It will be great to see a beta at MWSF in January.



    That way, the bugs can be worked out and creatives can purchase Mac Pros, CS3 and Tiger all at once in the spring.



    Adobe shuld offer a discount to prople buying a new mac. Buy a Mac get 25% off CS3!

    That would make the transition much easyer to swallow.
  • Reply 20 of 63
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pixlnet


    Apple pulled a surprise [..] by forcing developers into Xcode for Unibin support.



    Please, not this again.



    1) Anyone with half a clue easily saw the writing on the wall that CodeWarrior was going away, especially when Motorola didn't even put any effort into PPC970 support.

    2) Apple had been recommending people to move to Xcode Tools for many, many years.

    3) It is perfectly possible to compile a Universal Binary without Xcode. All you need is lipo, which Xcode calls into anyway, and two compilers (duh).
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