QuarkXPress is doing everything it can to regain its’ luster from the early days of the 90’s. A snappy new website, a new Quark Version 8 with the gun directly aimed atInDesign–but are any of these things enough to pull users away from Adobe?
Quark 8 has added Bézier curves, a Picture Content Tool for scaling and cropping pixel-based images, and a polished new interface. In addition, the new version has more “Standard”keyboard shortcuts designed to reach those that are familiar with the shortcutsfrom other programs. They have even added web features such as SWF authoringand export to HTML and PDF.
While these things all sound good on paper, some of remember the release of QuarkImmedia which was supposed to be the revolutionary way for Quark users to publish to the web in a “truecross-media solution.” I can tell you personally that sitting in on a demo ofthis in 1998 still hurts my brain. Moving print to the web has never been aneasy task, and Quark does not have a solid track record in this area. Quark has been the veritable one-trick pony for a long time, and deviating from the publishing arena with QuarkImmedia was truly the beginning of the end. We mustask ourselves if we were saddled with Quark 3 for so long because all energy was spent on moving towards the web?
Another stumbling block is that younger users have never even heard of Quark, let alone used it. Adobe has invested a vast amount of time, money and energy into reaching younger-audiences, such as the Adobe Interactive Video Wall to promote the Creative License campaign. People were able to interact with a slider on the wall tochange the video montage in front of them, which lended itself to the hip image and culture that Adobe has achieved.
In the early days of InDesign, it was the end user pushing for the move. Now, it has also become an accounting decision. To buy Photoshop and Illustrator separately totals $1248.To buy the Creative Suite (CS3) is $1199 that includes both Acrobat and InDesign. Quark expenditures on the corporate level are being denied partially because of the attitude of “You have InDesign on your computer already, why are we spending $799 for a full version, or $299 for an upgrade?”
While the changes in Quark 8 are commendable, the publishing ship has sailed, and InDesign has left Quark far behind. But we also said the same thing when Quark took over from Pagemaker…
– Jori Curry