San Jose (CA) – Adobe today announced the CS3 family of products in what the company claims is the biggest launch in the firm’s history. Surrounding a new Photoshop, there are a total of 17 new software versions, which are organized into six different packages.As before, Adobe offers software bundles for print-focused and web-focused graphic designers and publishers, for video production environments as well as for users who would like to get all programs in one package. The CS3 generation of the Photoshop family has grown into a massive offering that arrives with 17 new products and, for the first time, key software that was developed by Macromedia.
The core product, Creative Suite 3 Design Premium, now includes InDesign CS3, the new Photoshop CS3 Extended, Illustrator CS3, Acrobat 8 Professional, Flash CS3 Professional and Dreamweaver CS3. The web version drops InDesign, but adds Fireworks CS3 as well as Contribute CS3. The production suite comes with After Effects CS3, Premiere Pro CS3, Photoshop CS3 Extended, Flash CS3, Illustrator CS3, Soundbooth CS3, Encore CS3, OnLocation CS3 and Ultra CS3. Both the design and web editions are also available in “standard” versions that come without the core software only.
Depending on your view, these new packages are very expensive or cheap. The Design Premium (full) version will retail for $1800, while the web package will list for $1600. Users who want every new software should get ready to shell out $2500, which sets a new record for any recent Photoshop package. There may be few users who actually need this “Master Collection”, but if you do, the whole bundle is certainly a whole lot cheaper than the products that had to be purchased separately before.
Photoshop, of course, will receive the most attention during the launch of the CS3 suite. We had a look at the CS3 beta version before and were impressed by the new feature set. Among the changes is a new screen layout that works much better on widescreen monitors, a dock that organizes 20 windows into one as well as new toolbar that consumes less space than the previous version. There are at least a dozen noteworthy new features in Photoshop, most significantly a tool that automatically generates panoramic pictures from multiple individual images, a flexible black/white conversion, a function that fine-tunes edge-selections, smart filters, an improved Vanishing Point feature as well as enhanced component that automates the generation of 32-bit high-dynamic range images.
Adobe said that it both the Design and Web versions of CS3 will begin shipping in April. The Production premium and Master Collection packages are scheduled to ship in the third quarter of this year.
The company will webcast the launch of the new software live on the Internet at 3:30 pm EST today.