2 min read

Adobe updates Creative Suite for new media

Software utilizes cross-media technologies to work across print, Web, mobile, and video and film

Adobe(Nasdaq:ADBE) unveiled a major upgrade to its Creative Suite. Version 4 (CS4) is the company’s biggest software release in 18 months with six packaged suites and 13 individual applications and upgrades.

The product line of suites includes CS4 Design editions, CS4 Web editions, CS4 Production Premium and CS4 Master Collection. The Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection CS4 blends all of Adobe’s new products in one box.

Products are scheduled to ship in October 2008 with availability on the channel through Adobe Authorized resellers and at the online Adobe store.

Rather than purchase the complete suite, customers can also select full version upgrades of 13 separate applications, including Photoshop CS4, Photoshop CS4 Extended, InDesign CS4, Illustrator CS4, Flash CS4 Professional, Dreamweaver CS4, After Effects CS4 and Adobe Premiere Pro CS4.

Users of CS3 are being drawn into upgrading their software through the introduction of two-tier pricing.

“In the past, if you had previous applications, it would cost the same price to buy the new product and upgrade,” said Colin Smith, Adobe’s system engineer manager. “In this version, we are giving users who just bought CS3 a break and giving them CS4 at a lower cost.”

Smith said software utilizes cross-media technologies, improving the way designers and developers work across print, Web, mobile, and video and film mediums.

“We have been looking at the industry and watching the industry needs, such as the need to take print and move it online,” Smith said.

“The integration is remarkable between Adobe and Macromedia; you can convert Photoshop files or InDesign files to flash and edit or place on the Web with one button.”

Some of the improvements from CS3’s programs include a new “content-aware scaling tool” in Photoshop CS4, which allows the designer to extend the background of a photograph without stretching the people in the shot.Another update for Flash and Sound Booth is speech transcription, which will turn spoken word into text and make the spoken word searchable online.

The Creative Suite will improve online collaboration between professional designers, through Adobe ConnectNow, a program that allows users to review images and files through various Adobe technologies to expedite the review process.

Small pieces of Adobe’s programs, such as Acrobat.com, are available as software-as-a-service, but the bulk of CS4 will need to be run off the desktop.

Adobe will be going on tour in November and visiting resellers in a few cities: Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary and Ottawa, and partnering with Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL)and Epson to promote CS4, Smith said.

Smith added that Flash CS4 has been designed so that “mere mortals can start up and animate.” Previous versions were not as user friendly, he said.