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Adobe Photoshop CS3 beta to drop this friday

Exclusive: Adobe Systems Inc. on friday will make available for download an early public beta of its next-generation graphics editor, Photoshop CS3, but will otherwise abstain from delivering pre-release copies of other Creative Suite 3.0 applications.

People familiar with the matter tell AppleInsider that Adobe chief executive Bruce Chizen will formally announce plans for the beta release during the company's fiscal fourth quarter conference call with analysts and members of the media on Thursday.

On the other hand, those same people say that the San Jose, Calif.-based software developer does not plan to release or discuss details of other Creative Suite 3.0 applications, such as Illustrator, Dreamweaver and InDesign.

The Photoshop CS3 beta, which will be posted to the Adobe Labs website on friday, will include Adobe Bridge and Device Central components, and be available simultaneously for both the Mac and Windows operating systems.

People familiar with the Macintosh version of the editor confirm it to be a Universal Binary which "simply screams" on Apple Computer's new Intel-based hardware. However, they tell AppleInsider that this week's beta will include only the standard version of Photoshop CS3.

In its labs, Adobe has also been developing an "Advanced" version of Photoshop CS3 —geared towards the video and science markets —with enhanced capabilities for the most demanding and specialized images.

Among the many features expected in Photoshop CS3 Advance, due alongside Creative Suite 3.0 in March, are: Vanishing Point 2, HDR support, rotoscoping, Dicom support, 3D file support, and a fast fourier transform filter.

In order to download the Photoshop CS3 beta, users will need a valid serial number to one of the various Creative Suite 2.0 distributions. The release will be made available exclusively in English, AppleInsider has been told, but that will not preclude users of international distributions from participating in the beta test.

Although Adobe will welcome feedback on Photoshop CS3 beta through the Adobe Labs forums, it will not be providing technical support on the release.

Word of Adobe's intentions to hold an early CS3 beta was reportedly exclusively by AppleInsider this past weekend.