updated 03:25 pm EDT, Wed October 4, 2006
Adobe CS3 due in May '07?
Adobe's next product refresh cycle could mean significant growth for the company, but Mac users may have wait until May of next year until the release of Creative Suite 3, the much-anticipated Universal version of professional graphics suite. While the "Universal" Acrobat 8 version is expected to ship in November, one analyst says that next major version of the company's flaghship Creative Suite, expected in first half of 2007, may not be ready until the latter part of that period: May 1st. Martin Pyykkonen, an analyst with Global Crown Capital says that Adobe executives are guiding analysts lower in their financial targets for the firm ahead of the CS3 launch. The report says Adobe shares, now at $36.75, have been rising ahead of the new Acrobat and Creative Suite releases, up 39 percent since late July, but is 10 percent off its 52-week high.
There's a pent-up demand for CS3 among creative professionals who use Mac, Pyykkonen said. Because CS3 is the first version of the product suite to run natively on Apple's new Intel-based Macs, the company could see a revenue surge when it is released. Typically, 20 percent of Adobe's total revenue comes from the Macintosh platform; however, the Mac share could be about 40 percent of the company's creative solution segment, which accounts for 56 percent of Adobe's overall business, according to the report. Acrobat, a product of Adobe's knowledge worker solution unit, is the second largest revenue generator, contributing 26 percent of overall sales.
In addition to support for Intel-based Macs, the new releases--both Acrobat and Creative Suite 3--will include technologies and products acquired from the Macromedia merger. Creative Suite 3 is expected to integrate Macromedia's Dreamweaver application for Web development and layout.
Launched in mid-September, Acrobat 8 will feature a streamlined user interface and expanded forms functions; it will also allow users to host an online meeting--called Adobe Connect--about a document using Macromedia's Breeze Web conferencing technology. As it continues to add new features, the company said it is trying to market the traditional PDF-centric application to a broad range of users.
"The key for us in this release is to expand the definition of Acrobat in a lot of people's minds," said Tom Hale, senior vice president at Adobe. "We want to drive home the message that this product is about a lot more than just PDF creation."