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Monday, March 05, 2007, 07:00 am PT (10:00 am ET)

Adobe Creative Suite 3.0 launch confirmed for March 27

Adobe Systems will officially roll out its highly anticipated Creative Suite 3.0 software bundle at a special event in New York City on March 27, the company confirmed on Monday.

According to information obtained by Macworld UK, Adobe plans to celebrate the global launch at the event, which will be webcast live at 8.30pm UK time. Expectations of a late-March release were first published by AppleInsider back in October.

Although the Adobe remained mum on specific features and applications due with Creative Suite 3.0, the company is billing the launch as "the largest software release in Adobe's 25-year history."

The San Jose-based software developer did, however, take liberties in launching a small teaser campaign dubbed "What's In the Box" to help further whet consumers' appetites. It includes an interactive website hosted off a U.K. domain where visitors are invited to "spin the box" and watch a brief video posted on YouTube.

In a note to clients last week, Merrill Lynch analyst Jay Vleeschhouwer said his checks indicate that Adobe has lined up half a dozen distinct bundles of the Creative Suite package that will sell at various price points, each including a different assortment of creative applications.

Creative Suite 3.0 has been one of the most highly anticipated high-end software releases of modern times, as it will be the first version designed to run natively on Apple Inc.'s line of Intel-based Mac computers. Its availability is expected to spark a sharp uptick in demand for the computer maker's high-end Mac Pro workstations and other assorted Pro hardware.

The release will also see an infusion of technologies and software applications brought in through Adobe's acquisition of Macromedia back in 2005. These include Dreamweaver CS3, which is expected to replace GoLive as the primary web authoring application in the release, and Fireworks CS3, which will take on the role of Adobe's Image Ready application.

In January, analysts at investment research firm PiperJaffray said initial feedback on the public preview of Photoshop CS3, Creative Suite's flagship image editor software, was a harbinger of much stronger Mac sales waiting in the wings. Analysts for the firm added that customer response to the beta software signaled that the final release would have "measurable positive impact" on Apple's Pro computer sales.

Adobe last week also confirmed plans to make an entry-level version of Photoshop available online as a hosted web service.