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Adobe Launches CS2, Buys Macromedia


Adobe Systems Inc. recently announced several new digital camera software upgrades, including the release of its Creative Suite software and a new version of Adobe Photoshop CS.

The new release, dubbed CS2, is a major upgrade to the entire suite and includes new versions of InDesign, Illustrator, and GoLive, as well as two new products: Version Cue and Adobe Bridge. The Creative Suite Premium Edition includes Photoshop CS2, InDesign CS2, Illustrator CS2, GoLive CS2, Version Cue CS2 and Acrobat 7.0.

Adobe also recently announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Macromedia in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $3.4 billion. Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen will continue as CEO, and Stephen Elop, Macromedia's president and CEO, will become president of worldwide field operations for Adobe. According to Adobe, the purchase of Macromedia will provide customers with a more powerful set of tools for creating, managing and delivering content across multiple operating systems, devices and media, particularly in the mobile and enterprise segments.

The Macromedia transaction is expected to close later this year. Adobe also announced plans to repurchase $1 billion in stock after the Macromedia acquisition is completed.

Photoshop CS2 contains many new tools, including a new version of Camera Raw, an enhanced Spot Healing Brush, a new Smart Sharpen tool, a one-click red-eye removal tool and enhanced web gallery templates, including some Flash templates. A new feature called Smart Objects will allow users to scale and transform images without losing image quality.

There also are several new filters to help photographers with lens barrel correction, noise reduction, maintaining perspective and warping images. The Lens Correction filter provides a way to fix barrel and pin-cushion distortion, and the Noise Reduction filter can be used to reduce noise in digital images and even reduce grain in film images. The Vanishing Point tool can be used to edit and retouch images while retaining visual perspective. Image Warping can stretch, wrap or fold an image into almost any shape.

Camera Raw has been upgraded to version 3.0 and enhanced with several important new features. It is now possible to open multiple raw files and process them simultaneously while still working in Photoshop. Camera Raw 3.0 also includes tools for cropping and straightening, adjusting color and applying curves, all as nondestructive edits.

What may be most interesting, however, is what has been removed. The familiar Photoshop File Browser has evolved into a separate application, now known as Adobe Bridge. Since it no longer is dependent on Photoshop, it now acts as a central hub for managing files that can be opened in any of the Creative Suite components. Users with multiple monitors can now have Bridge open on one monitor and Photoshop on the other. Bridge also has enhanced sorting, renaming, search, metadata editing and rating functions, and collections can even be created (à la Adobe Album). There is also a full-screen slide show feature to review, rotate and rate images as well as a Filmstrip mode for viewing images. Bridge is also customizable with Workspaces that can be saved.

Adobe Stock Photos is a new stock photography service that will offer royalty-free images from several leading stock photography providers including Photodisc by Getty Images, Comstock Images by Jupitermedia, Digital Vision, imageshop royalty free by zefaimages, and amana. The service will also offer access to rights-managed libraries from its partners.

Adobe Creative Suite 2, as well as its individual components, is shipping now in the United States and Canada. Upgrade and pricing information can be found at adobe.com.