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March 2, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

Adobe Systems Inc unveiled its promised Quark killer InDesign application at the Seybold Conference yesterday, and at the same time revealed a string of new partners supporting the tool. These included three of the publishing industry’s largest integrators that were previously Quark users. InDesign, which is due to ship in June for Macintosh and Windows hardware, is built on top of an open architecture that Adobe claims is more flexible and customizable than either its own own PageMaker or Quark’s Xpress publishing packages. Both of those evolved from the old days of desktop publishing when the applications were essentially standalone. InDesign is intended to make integration with other tools and technologies, including the web easier. Adobe founder, John Warnock called InDesign the centerpiece of a new digital workflow platform, used in conjunction with other Adobe products such as PhotoShop, Illustrator and Acrobat. InDesign has a modular architecture, and both Adobe and third party vendors can add modules to produce custom packages for specific applications. The new product will also open QuarkXpress and PageMaker files directly, and has a compatible set of keyboard shortcuts for QuarkXpress. It also includes extensive typographical controls that according to Charles Geschke, co-chairman of Adobe alongside Warnock, are the first in the industry to rival handsetting. Digital Technology International Inc of Orem, Utah, Baseview Products Inc of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and System Integrators Inc of Sacramento, California, all major newspaper system integration firms and previously Quark users, along with around 15 Quark extension developers, were on hand to endorse the products. Geschke said there were currently around 50 Quark-like plug-ins available for InDesign, with more to come before the launch. PageMaker only ever achieved a 15% share of the professional publishing market, but will be retained for the in-house publications market. Yesterday, Adobe released version 6.5 Plus. Also unveiled at the Seybold event was a new printing and proofing software, PressReady, which enables proofing to be carried out on standard inkjet printers using color-calibration techniques to ensure colors are accurately printed. Adobe also previewed a new web publishing system prototype from its recently acquired GoLive division, for sharing content across both web and print. Quark Inc’s chance for retaliation comes today, when Tim Gill, chairman and CTO of the Denver, Colorado-based company conducts the Seybold keynote.

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