Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Adobe Releases Major Upgrade of Creative Suite: It Can Bend Elephants, but Will It Make the "SoftWar" With Apple Worse?

Although caught in an ever-noisier squabble with Apple over the banning of its popular Flash technology from the iPhone, iPod and iPad and over other issues, Adobe Systems is pressing forward with the release of one of its most important products–an upgrade of its popular and highly profitable Creative Suite software.

It is the most significant update in several years, and the success of the latest version of this collection of graphic design, video-editing and Web development applications, CS5, is critical, as it is responsible for close to 60 percent of the San Francisco software maker’s revenue, or $1.7 billion last year.

This is due to the popularity of the well-known Adobe (ADBE) products in it, such as photo-editing program Photoshop and its Flash video technology.

New features for both are in CS5, including greater ability to manipulate images and add interactive elements more easily, as you can see in the video below. The cost of upgrading ranges from just above $1,000 to upward of $2,500, depending on the version.

But some of the improvements in CS5 are at the heart of Adobe’s problems with Apple (AAPL), including tools that let developers write an application once and deploy it on a lot of devices.

That has been a workaround due to Apple’s current ban on Flash on the iPhone and, now, the iPad. Apple moved again last week, adding rules that apps cannot use a middle layer of software to run on its operating systems.

Let’s just say it is not in Apple’s interest to have apps easily available on other mobile platforms, such as, say, the Google (GOOG) Android operating system.

Of course, Adobe could not let the release go by without an Apple slap, noting in its blog post on the CS5 release last night: “You know for a supposedly slothful company, Adobe sure launches a lot of products.”

Apple CEO Steve Jobs had reportedly called Adobe engineers “lazy” at an employee meeting.

So, until the trash talking stops, here’s a video of Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch giving me a tour of some cooler aspects of CS5, which will get to customers in the next month:


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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”