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Product packaging for Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection. Rendering provided by Adobe Systems Inc. Adobe announces CS5.5, Photoshop Touch SDK, subscription pricing
(Tuesday, April 12, 2011 - 14:52 EDT)

A year after it first announced plans to release Creative Suite 5, Adobe has revealed a mid-cycle update that brings new features to many of the programs in the suite, as well as a new pricing structure, and a software development kit allowing third parties to create apps connecting to Photoshop.

Adobe CS5.5 marks the first time the company has issued a mid-cycle, paid upgrade to the Creative Suite, something it has indicated that it now intends to continue in the future. The plan is to hold Creative Suite product introductions to a 24-month cycle, suggesting that CS5.5 should have a one year life before the next major release.

Programs that have received significant updates in Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 include Acrobat (which has been upgraded to the current X Pro release), After Effects, Audition, Dreamweaver, Device Central, Flash Catalyst, Flash Professional, InDesign, Media Encoder, and Premiere Pro. Photoshop hasn't received any significant updates in the release, although a new SDK has been issued which will allow major changes to the program's operation, and a patch will be available from May 3 to enable this functionality, as we'll discuss momentarily.

Of the programs upgraded in CS5.5, Adobe's Premiere Pro non-linear editor is likely the most interesting for digital imaging enthusiasts. Four new video card types are now supported by the Mercury Playback Engine, including two desktop cards (the Quadro 2000 and 6000), and two mobile cards (the Quadro FX 3700M and 3800M). Mercury also now supports acceleration of speed changes, footage interpretation options, field-order processing, and several more effects / transitions, including directional blur, fast blur, invert, additive dissolve, and film dissolve.

Adobe's Color Lava app for iPad. Screenshot provided by Adobe Systems Inc. Click for a bigger picture! Adobe's Color Lava app for iPad. Screenshot provided by Adobe Systems Inc. Click for a bigger picture!

Adobe's Color Lava app for iPad.
Screenshots provided by Adobe Systems Inc.

Beyond the updates to Mercury, Premiere Pro CS5.5 now helps users synchronize as many as sixteen monaural, stereo or 5.1 audio sources to a single video clip. Premiere Pro can now exchange clips or entire sequences with Adobe Audition. In addition, the latest Premiere Pro release combines multiple audio effects into a single, unified effect, and the appropriate effect type is selected for monaural, stereo or 5.1 audio as appropriate. Other UI improvements include the ability to drag clips to the Program panel to perform an insert or overwrite edit, to add keyframes with the Pen or Selection tools without first enabling keyframing or using a modifier key, to automatically deselect the video portion when uncoupling audio from one or more video clips, and a new search field in the keyboard shortcuts dialog box. The RED R3D Source Settings dialog box has also been redesigned, speech analysis can be compared side-by-side with Adobe Story scripts, closed captioning data can be attached to sequences, and Premiere Pro CS5.5 now integrates with Adobe CS Review.

After Effects also includes some interesting updates, of which the coolest is perhaps the Warp Stabilizer function that corrects camera shake in video clips, including optional cropping or fill-in of missing data at the frame edges -- the latter being achieved using data from surrounding frames. There's also a light falloff control, and a lens blur simulation function that can be used with or without a depth map, and offers controls for iris shape, blade curvature, and more. After Effects CS5.5 further includes improved disk caching, support for source timecode and expanded color lookup tables, improved stereoscopic 3D and RAW digital cinema workflow, and the ability to export in XDCAM EX format.

As well as the ability to exchange data with Premiere Pro or third party non-linear editors or digital audio workstations, Audition CS5.5 now has native Mac OS support, a new audio engine, native 5.1 multichannel audio support, new panels for history, XMP metadata, and royalty-free content, and more.

The Photoshop Touch SDK, meanwhile, allows applications on Android, Blackberry, and iOS platforms, as well as both Windows and Mac OS, to interact directly with Adobe Photoshop CS5. Communicating via a TCP connection using the SDK, third party applications can remotely control Photoshop from the mobile device or a separate computer. As we understand it, pretty much anything that's possible currently with Adobe Photoshop's scripting capabilities will also be possible remotely with the SDK, and Adobe has announced three iPad applications that give an idea of the possibilities.

Adobe's Eazel app for iPad. Screenshot provided by Adobe Systems Inc. Click for a bigger picture! Adobe's Eazel app for iPad. Screenshot provided by Adobe Systems Inc. Click for a bigger picture!

Adobe's Eazel app for iPad.
Screenshots provided by Adobe Systems Inc.

Adobe Color Lava lets the photographer mix colors much as they would with regular paints, create custom color swatches, then transfer the results from the iPad to Photoshop on the desktop machine. Adobe Eazel includes a futuristic multi-touch interface, and allows touch creation of paintings on the iPad, which are then transferred to Photoshop not as large, slow-to-transfer image files, but as procedural data that allows Photoshop to create the same artwork at higher quality / resolution, while reducing file size and transfer time. Finally, Adobe Nav is a customizable remote control for Photoshop, providing immediate selection of any of Photoshop's various tools with the touch of a button. All three apps will be available to purchase in early May 2011, priced at between approximately US$2-5.

While it appears to be possible to transfer images between the remote device and the desktop machine running Photoshop too (and perhaps, to build such support into the hardware of a camera or other imaging device), that doesn't seem to be the core intent, as it would still be limited by the available bandwidth, and of course the processing capabilities of the remote device. Instead, the vision is to control Photoshop's functions remotely, leaving the heavy lifting to the desktop, and all while using minimal bandwidth between the desktoip and remote device. Among the possibilities discussed during our preview of the SDK, one of the more intriguing was for Photoshop ebook authors to create a link between Photoshop and the ebook itself, allowing for example a demonstration in the book to control the user's Photoshop installation, and even to feature the user's own photos inside the ebook. It'll be interesting to see where third parties can take this functionality.

The Adobe Photoshop Touch SDK is available immediately, although developers will need to join the Photoshop 12.1 Developer's Prerelease Program or wait for the release of Photoshop CS5.5 before they can test their creations.

Adobe Creative Suite 5.5, meanwhile, is scheduled to ship within the next 30 days, although no specific release date is yet available. Expected street pricing is US$2,599 for CS5.5 Master Collection, US$1,899 for CS5.5 Design Premium, US$1,799 for CS5.5 Web Premium, US$1,699 for CS5.5 Production Premium and US$1,299 for CS5.5 Design Standard. Existing owners of the equivalent CS5 suites will be able to upgrade to the current releases for US$549 (Master Collection), US$399 (Design Premium, Web Premium, or Production Premium), or US$299 (Design Standard).

Adobe's Nav app for iPad. Screenshot provided by Adobe Systems Inc. Click for a bigger picture! Adobe's Nav app for iPad. Screenshot provided by Adobe Systems Inc. Click for a bigger picture!

Adobe's Nav app for iPad.
Screenshots provided by Adobe Systems Inc.

Purchased separately, Premiere Pro CS5.5 costs $799, and Premiere Pro CS5 owners can upgrade for $179. After Effects CS5.5 is priced at $999, and an upgrade from CS5 costs $179. Adobe Audition will ship for US$349, and owners of the CS5 release will pay $99 to upgrade.

In addition to the prices above, Adobe is now also offering the ability to purchase a subscription that entitles users to the current release version of the five Creative Suite bundles, as well as for Photoshop, Photoshop Extended, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Flash Professional, Premiere Pro, and/or After Effects separately. The subscriptions can be billed month-to-month or annually, and require an electronic download by default, with physical media available for an additional charge. While there is said to be no difference in functionality, if the subscription lapses, the software will stop working until renewed, and if not renewed after six months, a fresh subscription will need to be purchased. Month-to-month versions have a fixed price for one year terms, and Adobe notes that it may change the pricing annually.

For the various Creative Suite bundles, subscription pricing varies from $99 to $195 per month, or from $780 to $1,548 per year. A Photoshop subscription is priced at $49 per month, or $420 annually, while Photoshop Extended costs $75 per month or $588 annually. Premiere Pro can be subscribed to for $59 per month, or $468 annually. An After Effects subscription costs US$75 per month, or US$588 per year.

Product packaging for the various Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 bundles. Rendering provided by Adobe Systems Inc. Click for a bigger picture!

Product packaging for the various Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 bundles.
Rendering provided by Adobe Systems Inc.

Original Source Press Release:

Significant Mid-Cycle Product Release Delivers Essential Innovation Across Flash, HTML5, Video, Mobile App and Digital Publishing Tools; Company Introduces New Subscription Payment Plan and Brings Tablets into Creative Workflows

SAN JOSE, Calif., — April 11, 2011 — Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced the new Adobe® Creative Suite® 5.5 product line (see separate releases), enabling designers and developers to target popular and emerging smartphone and tablet platforms, as the revolution in mobile communications fundamentally changes the way content is distributed and consumed. Substantive advances to HTML5, Flash authoring, digital publishing and video tools as well as new capabilities that kick-start the integration of tablets into creative workflows, anchor the new Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 product family.

This launch marks a major change to Adobe’s product release strategy for Creative Suite, the industry-leading design and development software for virtually every creative workflow across print, video, mobile and online media. Adobe now plans to have milestone Creative Suite product introductions at 24-month intervals and – starting with Creative Suite 5.5 – significant mid-cycle releases designed to keep the worldwide creative community ahead of the latest advances in content authoring.

Today also sees Adobe debut an affordable and flexible subscription-based pricing plan, attractive to customers that want to get current and stay current on Creative Suite products, have project-based needs, or try the software for the first time. New Subscription Editions ensure customers are always working with the most up-to-date versions of the software, without the upfront cost of full pricing. With subscription pricing customers can use flagship products, such as Adobe Photoshop® for as little as US$35 per month, Adobe Design Premium CS5.5 for US$95 per month, Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection for US$129 per month.

“Creative Suite 5.5 will drive the development of new digital experiences across devices, including all major smartphones and tablets,” said Shantanu Narayen, president and chief executive officer, Adobe. “As publishers, media companies, advertisers and enterprises transform the way they develop and distribute their content, Adobe will be there to support them with technology innovations in content creation, management, measurement and distribution.”

Mobile Development for Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS
The new Creative Suite 5.5 Web Premium Suite (see separate release) is packed with innovations in HTML5 and Adobe Flash authoring tools, empowering customers to create, deliver and monetize rich content and applications for virtually any screen. This release helps enable designers and developers to deliver mobile applications on Android™, BlackBerry® Tablet OS, iOS and other platforms; create rich browser-based content across screens using HTML5; and leverage Flash Player to deliver premium video content, casual games and rich Internet applications. Creative Suite 5.5 comes at a time when mobile devices are exploding in terms of sales and capabilities; radically altering the way content and applications are developed and consumed. With the launch of Adobe Flash® Builder™ 4.5 Premium (available in Creative Suite 5.5 Web Premium) and the Flex® 4.5 framework, developers can easily develop and deploy mobile applications to more than 200 million smartphones and tablets by the end of 2011.

Flash Enabled Devices on the Rise
With more than 131 million smartphones expected to have Flash Player installed by the end of the year, Adobe Flash makes it possible to bring rich content to desktops and devices inside the browser. Flash Player is supported on Android, HP webOS and Google TV today. BlackBerry Tablet OS, upcoming versions of Windows Phone, Samsung SmartTVs and others are expected to support Flash Player in the near future. For more information about the Adobe Flash Platform, visit: www.adobe.com/flashplatform.

Access Latest Advances in Digital Publishing
Creative Suite 5.5 Design Premium Suite (see separate release) builds upon Adobe’s recent product innovations in digital publishing, already deployed by some of the world’s leading magazine and business publishers to create stunning digital editions for tablet devices. Using Adobe InDesign® CS5.5, in combination with the integrated Folio Producer toolset, designers can add new levels of interactivity to their page layouts targeted to tablet devices. Documents can include video, audio, panoramic views, 360-degree object rotation, pan and zoom of images, integration of HTML and HTML5 content and other interactive overlays, leading to a much more robust and engaging reading experience. Creative Suite 5.5 complements Adobe Digital Publishing Suite to support publication, sale and analysis of content on an array of tablet devices.

Integrating Tablet Devices into Creative Workflows
With today’s announcements, Adobe is extending the creative process beyond the desktop by helping integrate tablet devices into creative workflows. The new Adobe Photoshop Touch Software Development Kit (SDK) enables developers to build tablet applications that interact with Photoshop from Android, BlackBerry PlayBook and iOS devices. Adobe also announced three new iPad applications that demonstrate the creative possibilities of using tablets to drive common Photoshop workflows – Adobe Color Lava for Photoshop, Adobe Eazel for Photoshop and Adobe Nav for Photoshop (see separate press release).‡

Powerful New Video Capabilities
For video and audio professionals, Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium Suite (see separate release) delivers breakthrough performance, workflow improvements, creative innovations and powerful new audio editing capabilities that build upon the huge customer momentum Production Premium is experiencing with broadcasters, filmmakers and video professionals worldwide. In just one of the innovations, the powerful Adobe Mercury Playback Engine, introduced in Adobe Premiere® Pro CS5, broadens its graphics processing unit (GPU) hardware support to include laptops and more supported cards, allowing users to open projects faster, get real-time feedback and work more smoothly at higher resolutions.

Accelerate and Optimize Creative Workflows
Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 products integrate with Adobe CS Live*†, a set of online services that accelerate key aspects of the creative workflow and enable designers to focus on creating their best work. CS Live online services include: Adobe BrowserLab; Adobe CS Review; Acrobat.com; Adobe Story; and Adobe SiteCatalyst® NetAverages™.

The new Creative Suite product lineup is headlined by Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection, which includes, in a single package, all of Adobe’s industry-defining creative tools, such as Photoshop, Illustrator®, InDesign, Acrobat®, Flash Builder, Flash Catalyst®, Flash Professional, Dreamweaver®, Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects®. These products are available separately or as components of one or more of the five Creative Suite editions. The complete Creative Suite 5 lineup includes Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection, Creative Suite 5.5 Design Premium, Creative Suite 5.5 Web Premium, Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium and Creative Suite 5.5 Design Standard.

Pricing and Availability
Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 products are scheduled to ship within 30 days, with availability through Adobe Authorized Resellers, the Adobe Store at www.adobe.com/store in North America and Adobe Direct Sales. Estimated street price for the suites is expected to be US$2599 for CS5.5 Master Collection, US$1899 for CS5.5 Design Premium, US$1799 for CS5.5 Web Premium, US$1699 for CS5.5 Production Premium and US$1299 for CS5.5 Design Standard. Upgrade pricing and volume licensing are available.

By subscribing to Creative Suite, customers can choose a one-year subscription plan for lower payments or a month-to-month subscription for greater flexibility. For more information about Subscription Editions, visit: www.adobe.com/go/cssubscription.

Education pricing for students, faculty and staff in K-12 and higher education is available from Adobe Authorized Education Resellers and the Adobe Education Store at www.adobe.com/education/purchasing/education_pricing.html. More information regarding education volume licensing for higher education and K-12 institutions can be viewed at www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/volumelicensing/education.

For more detailed information about features, OS support, upgrade policies, pricing and international versions please visit: www.adobe.com/go/creativesuitemaster.

About Adobe Systems Incorporated
Adobe is changing the world through digital experiences. For more information, visit www.adobe.com.


© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved. Adobe, the Adobe logo, Creative Suite, Flash, Photoshop, Flash Builder, Flex, InDesign, Premiere, SiteCatalist NetAverages, Illustrator, Acrobat, Flash Catalyst, Dreamweaver and After Effects are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. Android is a trademark of Google Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Prices listed are the Adobe direct store prices; reseller prices may vary. Prices do not include tax or shipping and handling.

‡ Wireless Internet connection required. Mobile and tablet applications require a separate download and agreement to additional terms. Such applications may not be available in all countries or languages and may be subject to change or discontinuation without notice. Additional fees or subscription charges may apply.

* CS Live online services are complimentary for a limited time. See www.adobe.com/go/CSLive for details.

† Adobe online services, including Adobe CS Live Services, are available only to users age 13 and older and require agreement to additional terms and Adobe’s online privacy policy (available atwww.adobe.com/go/terms). Online services are not available in all countries or languages, may require user registration and may be subject to change or discontinuation without notice. Additional fees or subscription charges may apply.

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including those related to Adobe’s future product plans, which involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. For a discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties, individuals should refer to Adobe's SEC filings. Adobe does not undertake an obligation to update forward looking statements.

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