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Adobe Creative Suite 3: New Launch Throws in the Kitchen Sink, Too

Adobe, like Apple or Microsoft, likes to sell its products in bundles. Tuesday’s launch of CreativeSuite3–the third generation of Adobe’s bundling efforts–doesn’t disappoint in this regard. With six bundles, each geared to particular segments of the content creation market, Adobe has its bases covered for potential buyers.

Two of the bundles, under the Design designation, focus on print; two additional bundles, under the Web designation, focus on web development; one bundle, under the Production designation, focuses on digital media and video; and, in case a buyer can’t make up his mind, Adobe has a new bundle called the Master Collection that bundles all 17 CS3 applications into one package.

During pre-release briefings, one of the running jokes for the Master Collection, which is priced surprisingly low at $2499, was that the package would come with its own set of wheels. For those of you who want to know the list of products, it includes: Acrobat 8 Professional; Acrobat Connect; Adobe Bridge CS3; After Effects CS3 Professional; Contribute CS3; Device Central CS3; Dreamweaver CS3; Dynamic Link; Encore CS3; Fireworks CS3; Flash CS3 Professional; Illustrator CS3; InDesign CS3; OnLocation CS3; Photoshop CS3 Extended; Premiere Pro CS3; Soundbooth CS3; Stock Photos; Ultra CS3; and Version Cue CS3. The bundle, like all CS3 bundles, is cross-platform, although the Master Collection on Windows adds two additional programs–OnLocation and Ultra.

Detailed articles on the individual products are popping up all over the web, so we’ll focus instead on a few across-the-board highlights of the entire CS3 suite.

Flash emerges as a publishing standard. Adobe’s Portable Document Format (PDF) has long been a publishing standard for print, and it even made inroads for a brief time as a hyperlinked/interactive format. Since the majority of PDF’s focus was on recreating print material in a replicable digital format, Adobe needed another format to handle true interactivity, vector graphics, video, and audio. When Adobe acquired Macromedia, it not only gained Dreamweaver–the leading web creation tool–but it also gained Flash, which had risen to a level of usage on the web that challenged MPEG-4 and QuickTime, two video-based interactive formats. With CS3, Adobe finally integrates Flash into many of its programs as a consistent multimedia publishing standard.

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