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April 5, 2005

Quark discounts XPress, but not as far as Adobe

The day that Adobe Systems announced the imminent launch of version 2 of its Creative Suite of graphics and layout applications, rival desktop publishing player Quark announced hefty discounts for both full versions and upgrades to the latest edition of QuarkXPress.

By CBR Staff Writer

But even with the discounts QuarkXPress costs still as much as or more than rival Adobe’s InDesign.

Quark has faced increasing pressure from Adobe, which has not only greatly improved the InDesign package to compete with QuarkXPress, but also offered tight integration with other Adobe applications within its Creative Suite, such as Illustrator, Photoshop and Acrobat. On top of that integration, Adobe has also historically charged considerably less for InDesign than Quark does for QuarkXPress.

Quark said yesterday that for a limited time it will charge suggested retail prices of $199 for upgrades from versions 3, 4 or 5 to QuarkXPress 6.5, and $699 for the full product. The prices apply until June 30. Customers in the UK can upgrade for GBP 199 excluding VAT or buy the full version for GBP 679 excluding VAT.

But despite the discounts, QuarkXpress still costs the same or more than a license to Adobe InDesign. The latest version of InDesign will be $699 when it ships in May in the US and Canada, and GBP 609 excluding VAT in the UK – still less than the discounted version of QuarkXpress – where it is expected to ship in late May to early June.

There is also the fact that Adobe sells InDesign bundled in its Creative Suite Premium, along with full versions of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, GoLive, Acrobat 7.0 Professional, Version Cue, Adobe Bridge, and Adobe Stock Photos – all for GBP 949 without VAT in the UK or $1,199 in the US. Just Acrobat Professional on its own would ordinarily cost $449.

Quark was unavailable for comment by the time we went to press.

But aside from the price, the company said QuarkXPress 6.5 offers new features and increased product stability and reliability. The company claimed that added functionality eases image manipulation, enhances variable data printing with QuarkXClusive, and provides support for importing native Photoshop files. Quark pointed out that version 6.5 has won a number of awards, including a Macworld Eddy for most improved page layout software, a Macworld UK 4-star rating, and a PC Magazine Germany Top-Produkt award.

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Founded in 1981, Denver-based Quark is privately held.

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