Adobe set to announce Creative Suite update

Adobe is readying version 2 of its Creative Suite bundle of professional graphics software applications, which includes Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.

Adobe Systems is readying the second version of its Creative Suite bundle of professional graphics software applications, the current version of which includes Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.

Adobe plans to announce the Creative Suite update next Monday, but a statement announcing part of the bundle was inadvertently posted to the company's Web site over the weekend. The statement has since been removed, but not before it was indexed and cached by Google's search engine and picked up by enthusiast Web site Neowin.net.

In the statement, Adobe announces Photoshop CS2 and says it will ship the update in May. Photoshop CS2 is a key component of Creative Suite 2, which according to the statement will also be announced on April 4.

Adobe spokesman Russell Brady declined to confirm the authenticity of the statement because of an Adobe policy not to discuss unannounced products, but did say that "Web hiccups happen from time to time."

In late 2003, Adobe released the first Creative Suite software bundles with new versions of its applications. The release was the first time Adobe released new full versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and GoLive at the same time. The company at the time said that it planned to synchronize new releases of the applications in the suite.

According to the statement, Photoshop CS2 includes a host of new features that are designed for digital photography professionals. For example, the product will have an enhanced Spot Healing Brush, a tool to correct photo problems such as blemishes, red eyes, blurring and lens distortion.

Also, Photoshop CS2 includes improved support for working with "raw" digital camera images, unprocessed digital camera files that are increasingly popular among professional photographers and digital photography hobbyists. Photoshop CS2 will allow batch conversion of raw files and offers better cropping and straightening tools, according to the statement.

The new Photoshop version will also offer access to a new service called Adobe Stock Photos, which will be announced on April 4 according to the statement. The service will let users shop for images from five stock image providers right from the Adobe Bridge, which is an upgrade to the old file browser in Photoshop.

Photoshop CS2 for Mac OS X and Windows is slated to begin shipping in May in the U.S. and Canada. International versions are expected to begin shipping in late May and early June, according to the statement.

Photoshop CS2 will retail for US$599. Licensed users of any previous version of Photoshop can upgrade for US$149.

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