Adobe Announcement Reverberates Through Newspaper Industry

Sept. 30, 2003

As Kramer, of Seinfield fame, would say, “Adobe just blew my mind!” This morning, Adobe announced new versions of four of their flagship applications:

Adobe Photoshop: Just moved up to version 8.0

Adobe InDesign: Just moved up to version 3.0

Adobe GoLive: Just moved up to version 7.0

Adobe Illustrator: Just moved up to version 11

What does this mean to the newspaper industry? A lot. Here’s the lowdown. I’ve been visiting with several newspapers each week of late. Dailies, weeklies, large, small, you name it. Almost all have had the same question, “Should I move to Quark 6.0 or is now the time to make the jump to Adobe InDesign?”

This has enormous consequences to our industry. All of these programs will only run on OS X (for Mac users) or Windows 2000 or XP (for Windows users). In addition, the latest versions of QuarkXpress (6.0), Acrobat (6.0), SuitCase and other applications will no longer operate on OS 9. Add this to a new line of computers from Apple which do not support operating systems prior to OS X and you begin to see the seriousness of the matter.

Yes, we can continue to run our current software on OS 9. We can continue to use QuarkXPress 5, Acrobat 5, Photoshop 6 and other software that works on the older operating systems. However, someday soon computers will need to be replaced and there won’t be systems available which will run our older programs. What to do?

Every newspaper should already be working on a plan of action or have one in place. The most common theme I’m hearing as I visit with newspapers is:

1 - Continue to work with our present software while we prepare for future upgrades.

2 - Begin converting computers, individually, to OS X. Don’t try to make the jump on all computers at one time. Most of your current computers, G4s, will run in OS X and Classic mode. This will allow you to operate current software.

3 - As staff becomes comfortable with OS X, install the upgrade to additional computers.

4 - Begin the process of upgrading software to OS X native applications. Again, most newspapers make the transition slowly, making sure not to overwhelm the entire staff with new applications and operating systems.

5 - Have everything running on OS X over the next few months so they are ready when it’s time to purchase new computers.

OS X has been out for three years now and most of the papers I visit already have some of their computers running this operating system. In addition, most pagination systems (Baseview, etc.) have OS X versions and have versions for InDesign and QuarkXPress.

Here’s a portion of an email I received from Gary Cosimini at Adobe this morning:

Hi Kevin,

Yes, they’re really new versions: InDesign 3.0, Photoshop 8, Illustrator 11, and GoLive 7.0. The numbering is pretty confusing when you move to simultaneous release, so you can see why renaming this suite from scratch might make sense.

There are two versions of the CS Suite: Standard and Premium. Standard is InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Version Cue and lots of extras, including 100 OpenType fonts. Premium combines InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator with GoLive, Version Cue integration and Acrobat 6 (that is not a new one, but the same one currently shipping.

If you already own Photoshop, there’s an upgrade price to either of them: $549 and $749. Makes the jump to
InDesign far more practical!

Also, for the first time you will be able to buy InCopy CS from Adobe for $259, and it comes with its own plugin to link it to InDesign CS pages! We are pretty excited.

(end of quote)

Adobe has called our hands. Just when our newspapers were trying to make the decision between upgrading to QuarkXpress 6.0 or moving to InDesign 2.0, Adobe goes and releases a new version of InDesign. Coupled with the changes in operating systems, newspapers have some important decisions to make.
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