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Adobe CS5 Debuts Under Apple-Shaped Cloud

With a major upgrade to its Creative Suite product line, Adobe is mocking the suggestion that it's lazy.
Amid of firestorm of controversy surrounding its Flash platform, Adobe on Monday announced Creative Suite 5, its latest suite of design and development applications.

Creative Suite 5 comes in five editions that include some or all of Adobe's 15 major applications for creative professionals.

The various editions are: Creative Suite 5 Master Collection ($2599), Creative Suite 5 Design Premium ($1899), Creative Suite 5 Web Premium ($1799), Creative Suite 5 Production Premium ($1699) and Creative Suite 5 Design Standard ($1299), with discounts for users upgrading from previous versions.

The Master Collection, which includes the full set of CS5 applications, consists of: Photoshop CS5 Extended, Illustrator CS5, InDesign CS5, Acrobat 9 Pro, Flash Catalyst CS5, Flash Professional CS5, Flash Builder 4, Dreamweaver CS5, Fireworks CS5, Contribute CS5, Premiere Pro CS5, After Effects CS5, Soundbooth CS5, OnLocation CS5, Encore CS5, Bridge CS5, Device Central CS5, and Dynamic Link.

The controversy in which Adobe is embroiled arises from months of disrespect from Apple, which has made a point of excluding Flash from its iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad devices and just recently changed the language in its iPhone 4.0 SDK developer agreement to explicitly forbid the use of programming languages other than Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript.

Apple's rationale, as explained in an e-mail attributed to CEO Steve Jobs, is that "intermediate layers between the platform and the developer ultimately produces sub-standard apps and hinders the progress of the platform."

If indeed Apple intends to interpret its SDK developer agreement strictly, third-party makers of development tools will end up having no choice but to ally themselves more closely with Google, as Adobe has recently done.

Apple's use of contractual language to thwart Adobe's plan to offer a way to convert Flash applications to iPhone binaries prompted outraged posts by Adobe bloggers. Now it has colored the remarks of Adobe spokesperson Russell Brady in his post introducing CS5. Referring to Apple CEO Steve Jobs's reported dismissal of Adobe as "lazy" in January, Brady said, "You know for a supposedly slothful company, Adobe sure launches a lot of products."

Among the 250 new features in CS5, some of the ones that stand out are: content-aware fill, automated HDR imagery, and improved selection capabilities in Photoshop; Rotoscope automation tools in After Effects; perspective drawing tools and improved brush control in Illustrator; and eBook creation tools and interactive document capabilities in InDesign.

Flash CS5 Professional features a new text layout engine and promises wider content distribution, with a caveat. "Publish content virtually anywhere, using Adobe AIR for desktop applications and mobile platforms including the iPhone*, or Adobe Flash Player for browser-based experiences," Adobe's Web site states.

The asterisk adds the qualifying phrase, "Subject to Apple's current requirements and approval."

Adobe plans to start shipping CS5 in about 30 days.

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Kirsten Powell, Senior Manager for Security & Risk Management at Adobe
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