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Adobe Debuts Creative Suite 3

Creative apps revamped; new collections launched

Adobe today took the wraps off its all-new lineup of creative apps with the formal debut of Adobe Creative Suite 3. Most of new versions will launch in April, with some stragglers holding out until the third quarter. What does it all mean for Campus IT folk?

Big changes, a flurry of demands from your users, and, unexpectedly, some potential savings along the way.

The new suite and editions
In the new Creative Suite 3, almost every Adobe application receives significant changes, including the applications Adobe acquired through the Macromedia buyout. The only exceptions to this are Acrobat Professional, which remains at version 8 but is included in some of the editions of the suite; GoLive, whose future Adobe is not commenting on; and Director, whose future Adobe also is not commenting on, except to say that many of Director's features have been adopted by Flash and that, no, Dave, you shouldn't conclude that Adobe is going to drop your favorite former Macromedia application. We'll see about that.

In the meantime, all the other applications have been revised, updated, Universal Binarified, and otherwise updated for Intel-based Mac consumption (Mac OS X 10.4.8 or higher, including 10.5) and compatibility with Windows Vista.

Of course, this will help ease the transition to Intel-based Macs for those of you who administer Macs on your campus, as Adobe's slow transition to Intel-native support draws to a conclusion.

And while this means you might be spending the next year of your life sorting through the upgrade requests from all areas of creative on your campus--from film and video to Web design to graphic design and publishing--it doesn't necessarily mean over the top expenditures. All of the applications have been consolidated into one or more Creative Suite 3 editions.

The editions consist of the following:

Design Premium: InDesign CS3, Photoshop CS3 Extended, Illustrator CS3, Flash CS3 Professional, Dreamweaver CS3, and Acrobat 8 Professional. It will be available in April for $1,799 for a single license.

Design Standard: InDesign CS3, Photoshop CS3, Illustrator CS3, and Acrobat 8 Professional. It will sell for $1,199.

Web Premium: Dreamweaver CS3, Flash CS3 Professional, Fireworks CS3, Contribute CS3, Photoshop CS3 Extended, Illustrator CS3, and Acrobat 8 Professional. It will be available in April for $1,599.

Web Standard: Dreamweaver CS3, Flash CS3 Professional, Fireworks CS3, and Contribute CS3. It will sell for $999.

Production Premium: After Effects CS3 Professional, Premiere Pro CS3, Encore CS3, Photoshop CS3 Extended, Illustrator CS3, Flash CS3 Professional, Soundbooth CS3, OnLocation CS3 (Windows-only), and Ultra CS3. It will be available in the third quarter for $1,699.

The Master Collection: This includes all of the applications included in all of the premium suites (InDesign CS3, Photoshop CS3 Extended, Illustrator CS3, Flash CS3 Professional, Dreamweaver CS3, Contribute CS3, Fireworks CS3, After Effects CS3 Professional, Premiere Pro CS3, Soundbooth CS3, Encore CS3, Acrobat 8 Professional, OnLocation CS3 (Windows only) and Ultra CS3). It will be available n the third quarter for $2,499.

In addition to launching the new products and suite editions, Adobe is also revamping its certification programs for professional users, including faculty and other educators. The complete details of Adobe's new certification programs are not yet available, but they will be made public "soon," according to Adobe.

There will be two levels of certification in Adobe's new programs. These include:
  • Associate-level certification, which Adobe says is designed to assess "essential entry-level skills that are needed to plan, design, build, and maintain effective communications using different forms of digital media."
  • Professional-level certification, which is the higher-level certification designed for creative professionals.
Certiport will develop and launch the new certification programs, which are expected to roll out in final form by July of this year.

We will provide you with additional information on the certifications as it becomes available.

As of press time, Adobe had not finalized site license plans for colleges and universities. That information could be made available as soon as the next few days or as late as the end of the second quarter. The company has radically revamped its K-12 education licensing programs, but the same type of licensing overhaul is not expected to be made for higher education. We will keep you updated. (If you would like more information of K-12 licensing, please visit our sister site, THE Journal.

New versions of the applications
On the user level, the new applications in Creative Suite 3 mark major changes in the creative workflow and the feature sets available for creative production. The changes in all of the applications are too numerous to name here. And so all this week we'll be providing in depth "first look" articles covering the new Creative Suite 3 applications. The first article in our "hands on" series covering the Photoshop CS3 Extended is available for viewing now. (See link below.) Check back on our home page or our Digital Media section (linked below) throughout the week for coverage of the design, publishing and Web applications in the new suite.

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About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).

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