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Monday, September 18, 2006, 08:50 am PT (11:50 am ET)

Adobe previews Photoshop CS3, announces CS 2.3

Adobe Systems earlier this month offered attendees at the Photoshop World conference proof that it is progressing swiftly in transitioning its Creative Suite line of software applications to Apple's new Intel Mac platform.

Adobe previews next-gen Photoshop

"During the Photoshop World keynote, Adobe's Sr. Vice President of Creative Solutions provided a quick look at Photoshop CS3, apparently running on an Intel-based Mac," PiperJaffray analyst Gene Munster wrote in a note to clients on Monday.

"While the presentation did not reveal any of the CS3 features, it provided evidence that the company has already successfully moved this core application to the Intel-Mac platform."

Photoshop CS3, code-named "Red Pill," is just one of several graphics and content creation applications due as part of CS3 in the spring of 2007. The new software suite will also combine software technologies from Macromedia Corp., which Adobe acquired for $3.4 billion last year.

The September Photoshop World attracted the highest attendance in the show's history, with approximately 3,000 attendees (up from 2,600 last year). "We believe the increased attendance at the event is another indication that the creative pro industry is strong," Munster wrote.

According to the analyst, 87 percent of the customers he spoke to during the conference said there is a greater than 50 percent likelihood they will buy the combined Adobe/Macromedia suite within 12 months of release. Meanwhile, 52 percent indicated there was a greater than 70 percent likelihood that they buy the product during the same timeframe.

Next year's Photoshop World is scheduled for April 4-6 at the John B. Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Mass., suggesting a release of Adobe Creative Suite 3.0 may precede the conference.

Adobe announces Creative Suite 2.3

In related news, Adobe on Monday announced Creative Suite 2.3 Premium, the next version of its professional bundle of Adobe applications.

Version 2.3 will include its Acrobat 8 Professional software, the newly released version of its PDF workflow software. In addition to supporting industry-standard PDF/X-1a and PDF/X-3 files, Acrobat 8 Professional now outputs PDF/X-4 for native transparency support, as well as PDF/A for long-term archiving.

Adobe Creative Suite 2.3 Premium also bundles Dreamweaver 8, the Web design and development tool acquired from Macromedia.

Adobe expects to ship Creative Suite 2.3 plus Dreamweaver 8 (in English, French, German, and Japanese) in the fourth quarter 2006. Estimated street prices will be $1200 for the full version of Adobe Creative Suite 2.3 Premium, $160 for an upgrade from Adobe Creative Suite 2 Premium, and $550 for an upgrade from Creative Suite 1.x Premium and Standard.