A new Creative Suite of products from Adobe will hit the shelves next month. Targeted at design professionals, the release will see shrink-wrap upgrades of Photoshop going through distribution partners Tech Pacific and Express Data.
“We took the shrink-wrap upgrades out of the channel four or five years ago because we wanted to get to know who our customers were,” Adobe channel and technical manager, Nick Hodge, said.
“It became a constant pain point that channel partners sent back to us, so we let them back into upgrades two years ago. Now we have given Photoshop customers the chance to upgrade onto the Creative Suite.
“While any reseller has access to licence the upgrade through Tech Pacific or Express Data, we felt from a customer perspective it was a good opportunity to change our policy in shrink-wrap upgrades and admit distribution.”
Hodge said Adobe had not set targets for upgrades but would be tracking end-user registration percentages. He said customers would still be able to buy the upgrade direct from Adobe through its appointed outsourcer.
The Creative Suite is eagerly anticipated among publishing resellers because all four mainstream products included in the packs — Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and GoLive — have received major updates.
A director of Adobe reseller PowerMedia, Arthur Pennas, said he expected to see more and more demand coming from consumers as digital camera sales continue to soar and consumers find new ways to be creative.
“Professional consumers and people getting into publishing their own websites or video are using the same tools as design professionals,” he said.
“Digital cameras come with low-end software that you can’t do much with but you can produce high quality images with Photoshop.”
The standard version of the Creative Suite includes Photoshop CS, Illustrator CS and InDesign CS for $1999 or $1199 as an upgrade from Photoshop. The professional version adds GoLive CS and Acrobat 6.0 for $2499 or $1529 as an upgrade.
The CS versions have been designed to work together and Adobe plans to synchronise future releases of the applications in the suite, which also has a single installer and single serial number.
Both creative suites come with Version Cue — a new Adobe file management system that enables designers to visually scan for different versions of a file or to search for it via keywords, author or date.
“Our research shows that our creative professional customers spend up to 10 per cent of their day looking for files or rebuilding ones that they lose,” said Hodge. “Version Cue allows files to be managed and searched much easier.”