Back in the days when I did proper print publishing instead of all this new-fangled online nonsense, everyone used QuarkXPress – and everyone hated Quark with a passion. The price of the product always seemed to go up, never down, and it cost a fortune. You could never get a decent discount, even if you were buying hundreds of copies. And support was (ahem) “somewhat hit and miss”.
Unsurprisingly, when InDesign came along, everyone jumped ship as quickly as they could. Quark went from dominating the industry to losing its leading role, because everyone hated them and was looking for an excuse to dump them.
You’d think, having been the beneficiary of this, that Adobe would have learned the simply lesson that ripping your customers off and treating them poorly just makes them hate you – and that if any credible competitor comes along, they’ll be off like a shot. But, it seems, they haven’t. Adobe has just used the excuse of exchange rates to hit British customers hard, again – and, as Charles Arthur elegantly points out, this is complete bunk.
Of course, the difference between Adobe’s situation and Quark’s is that it’s difficult to see where competition for Creative Suite might come from. Adobe bought Macromedia, which was its brightest competitor, and Quark isn’t in that part of the business. I’d be happy for Apple to pick up the ball and kick Adobe hard, but placing even more power in the hands of Apple isn’t something that appeals.
But sooner or later, someone is going to come along and create something that kills Photoshop, just as InDesign killed XPress. And Adobe will deserve it.