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Quark delays native Intel Mac support

First on AI: Macintosh users eager to run an official release of QuarkXPress 7 natively on their new Intel Macs will be disappointed to learn that Quark has rolled back the Universal Binary release of the software by several months.

As expected, Quark on Tuesday began shipping the major upgrade to its market-leading design and publishing software world-wide. But contrary to comments made by the company at Macworld Expo in January and in previous marketing materials, the Macintosh version of the software is not a Universal Binary capable of running natively on both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs.

Instead, the system requirements for QuarkXPress 7 state that the software will operate under Apple's Rosetta PowerPC emulation environment when run on Intel Macs.

The decision not to ship QuarkXPress 7 as a Universal Binary appears to have been made last minute. A close inspection of the QuarkXPress 7 retail boxes reveals that both "Mac" and "Universal" logos are printed on all copies. However, the "Universal" logos have been covered with a "Mac" logo sticker.

In continuing its development of a QuarkXPress 7 Universal Binary, Quark has renamed the Quark XPress 7 beta program to "Quark XPress 7 Universal Binary Beta."

According to a source familiar with Quark's product plans, a patch that will be released in August will update the shipping versions of QuarkXPress 7 to a Universal Binary.

Representatives for Quark were not immediately available for comment.

The QuarkXPress 7 upgrade combines new and enhanced design features with multi-channel publishing, collaboration, and job-driven workflow capabilities to simplify and speed up the creative development process for print and Web publishing.

Through Composition Zones, Job Jackets, transparency, OpenType, Unicode, and many other new features, the software also improves the ability for creative professionals to work together, optimize design, and minimize production errors.

QuarkXPress 7 will retail for about $750 with upgrades costing about $250. Official pricing has not yet been released.