Quark, Adobe to replay face-off at show

At Seybold seminars in Boston in two weeks, Adobe and Quark will once again go head-to-head among the high-end publishing crowd.This year, the companies are competing on the products front -- unlike at last year's Boston Seybold show, where the buzz was consumed by Quark's attempt to buy Adobe.

Adobe will open the show with a keynote address featuring three new products: InDesign, aimed at Quark's core of professional publishers; GoLive 4.0, its recently acquired Web authoring tool, which will be cross-platform for the first time; and Acrobat 4.0, which offers a way to transfer Portable Document Format documents.

According to one analyst, Quark should be concerned about the threat posed by Adobe InDesign, a desktop publishing system designed to compete directly with Quark.

"[Adobe is] heading into Quark's space with a steady push, [which] bodes trouble for Quark, but not for a while," said Chris Le Tocq, an analyst at Dataquest.

Tim Gill, Quark's chief technology officer, is expected to come out with a product road map during his keynote speech at the show.

According to sources familiar with Quark's plans, Gill will talk about QuarkXPress 5.0 and QuarkDMS, its digital asset management system expected to ship next quarter. Gill is also expected to unveil new products targeting the catalogue industry and the package design field, as well as an HTML template design product that will have Extensible Markup Language (XML) support.

Quark officials declined to comment.

Adobe InDesign, code-named K2, is the company's high-end publishing tool. The code has a modular architecture, making the product more extensible and capable of being updated more easily by Adobe and third parties.

The product has the same user interface as other Adobe products, and also targets Quark migration by adding Quark file conversions and the capability to remap keyboard shortcuts to match Quark.

Due to InDesign's use of vector graphics, documents can be scaled in the application from 5 per cent to 4,000 per cent with no loss of quality. New typographical features in store include the multiline composer, making hyphenation and justification more intelligently mapped than it could be on a per-line basis.

Optical margin alignments, which is an Adobe-patented technology, makes text columns look cleaner by placing the punctuation slightly outside the margin.

Also at the show, GoLive 4.0, the venerable high-end Macintosh Web publishing tool, is poised to make its Windows debut. The Mac version will ship this month, and the Windows version will ship in the second quarter. It features support for Cascading Style Sheets, XML and Microsoft's Active Server Page technology.

Macromedia will unveil vectorzone.com, a Web site that offers information about vector graphics to developers and acts as a clearinghouse for vector technologies.

Adobe InDesign is expected to ship in June. Adobe GoLive 4.0 will be available in March.

Adobe: http://www.adobe.com.au

Quark: http://www.quark.com

Macromedia: http://www.macromedia.com

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