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Adobe promises mid-cycle CS5 release

The company will push out a mid-cycle release of its Creative Suite package to provide developers with tools for a range of hardware, including smartphones and tablets

Adobe plans to release an out-of-cycle update to its Creative Suite 5 software that will integrate pre-existing mobile development tools into the package.

The update will be the first step in integrating Creative Suite (CS) with Digital Publishing Suite (DPS), which contains mobile publishing tools, Adobe chief executive Shantanu Narayen said on Wednesday. In CS, Adobe bundles together its professional creativity tools Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Flash and Premiere Pro.

CS5 Photoshop

Adobe plans to release an out-of-cycle update to its Creative Suite 5 software (above) that will integrate pre-existing mobile development tools into the package.

Narayen said that the mid-cycle release is in response to feedback from developers, who have said they need tools that allow them to develop for a range of different devices and varying hardware.

"We are hearing from our customers that in order for us to enable them to deal with the multi-screen revolution that's happening, to deal with all of the multiple formats, we've been asked to provide more frequent releases," he said during an earnings conference call.

"There'll be a fair amount of video production features that are going into that release as well as more capability, both for Flash and for HTML," he added.

There'll be a fair amount of video production features that are going into that release as well as more capability, both for Flash and for HTML.

– Shantanu Narayen, Adobe

In February, Adobe released a Flash-to-HTML converter that can be used to extend content made in Flash to platforms that do not support the Flash player, such as iOS.

Narayen would not be drawn on exactly when the mid-cycle suite will arrive, only saying that it would be "sooner rather than later". CS5 arrived in April 2010, and the next version, CS6, is planned for release in 2012, Narayen confirmed. Adobe does not typically put out an update between the scheduled full versions.

The Adobe executive added that initial feedback from beta testing gave the company "room for optimism" about the reception of the mid-cycle update.

The release is expected to bolster the CS collection with elements of the Flex Mobile toolkit, which allows developers to create apps for multiple platforms without the need to code it multiple times, JMP Securities analyst Patrick Walravens told ZDNet UK's sister site ZDNet.com.

The Adobe DPS already allows publishing to Android tablets — such as the Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab — and iOS devices. In future it will also support publishing to the BlackBerry PlayBook.

First-quarter earnings

Narayen's conference call comments came after Adobe reported first-quarter earnings of $234.6m (£145m), up 20 percent year-on-year. Revenue from products was $847.2m; from services and support, $78.85m; and from subscriptions, $106.2m.

In the call, Adobe revealed plans to augment its pricing models by introducing a subscription option designed to target "more price-sensitive customers".

However, Narayen said that he did not expect the subscription option to have an impact on the company's overall income. Instead, it will be a "nice supplement" in addition to the existing boxed software and licensing options, he said.

He noted that the interim release is not expected to change the way in which its customers buy software, or the release schedule for CS6.

On 14 March, Oracle launched the Application Development Framework Mobile Client, designed to allow developers to create Java-based apps that run on different platforms without the need for re-engineering.


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