Will Adobe Manage to Replace Industry Work Horse Quark XPress by Giving Adobe InDesign for Free?

Let’s start by saying that it would be a good idea to wait for any new purchases or “conversions” until the upcoming release of the next version of Quark XPress.

Some of the features that Quark has unveiled (Job Jackets for example, for workflow streamlining and increased productivity) as part of their new version, in our view are very compelling and offer more value than InDesign.

Other features are necessary updates that fulfill current needs and put it on par with available technologies currently provided by other programs (i.e. transparency support, Open Type font support, etc, so InDesign and Quark have standard common features). There are plenty of reviews out there detailing all the new features of Quark and we encourage you to read them, you will find the new Quark a very useful ally in your road to productivity.

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Adobe: positioning a product at any cost

Recently Adobe acquired Macromedia, because Adobe couldn’t compete with Macromedia’s web software, another area where Adobe is weak.
In our view and that of many people we interviewed, that was the only way Adobe could obtain a leading position in the web design arena: by buying out their competition. The lead Adobe has with Photoshop, doesn’t translate to a lead in other fields.

For the last few years, Adobe has been trying to position InDesign against Quark as the leader in the publishing area without success.

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Bundling InDesign: the key strategy of Adobe to gain market share

The strategy used by Adobe is very similar to some of the strategies Microsoft has used in the past to eliminate their competition.

It’s a well-known fact (painstakingly proven by Microsoft) that among other things you can do to gain market share, you can kill your competition by giving your product for free (or way below the real cost of the product) and forcing people to acquire it through bundling or embedding it with other necessary software that people MUST buy anyway.

Which is one of the reasons why Microsoft has been sued in every country they have sold software. They have engaged always in proven, documented unfair and illegal competition practices; and their “product bundling” practices force consumers to use products that they would have never looked at otherwise. Adobe is doing the same.

Of course, Adobe can say that InDesign sold alone has a street price. But, like everybody else in the field of graphic design, you MUST buy Photoshop, and very likely, Illustrator or/and Acrobat. If you compare the price you must pay for these applications, it becomes cheaper to buy the full Creative Suite. And you get for the same price, InDesign, GoLive, ImageReady, and other things that come bundled in for free.

So the situation is that people are getting InDesign as part of a bundle. In other words, for free. See the price comparison we included to verify this. And don’t forget that the upgrade versions are even cheaper (usually 50% off or more)!.

For reference, just check out the prices: Creative Suite 2 full (includes Photoshop CS2, Illustrator CS2, InDesign CS2, Adobe Bridge, GoLive CS2, Acrobat 7.0 professional, Version Cue CS2, and more. Only for $1119.12, the highest price I found, at:

There are other, much lower prices out there for the full version or the upgrades.

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