Yesterday at Adobe Max conference Adobe announced a range of new products, updates and changes that will be coming in the near future. Two of the biggest announcements were the death of off the shelf boxed software and the death of Fireworks.
Fireworks was originally the image editing application of Macromedia, who also owned Dreamweaver and Flash. In 2005 Macromedia was acquired by Adobe and the two companies products were combined with casualties on both sides.
Though Adobe had both Photoshop and Illustrator, Fireworks wasn’t one of these casualties as it filled a niche and was well loved by the web community at the time. Personally I was never a fan as I found Photoshop allowed me to be more creative.
But as Photoshop and Illustrator have grown the need for Fireworks has dropped and while the faithful would argue differently I don’t think Fireworks really has a place at Adobe anymore. Clearly they thought so too and have stated they have no plans to develop any new versions of the software; essentially killing it off.
Photoshop now does much of what Fireworks does and new apps like Edge Reflow do things that Fireworks doesn’t but as a more web centric offering would have needed to in order remain relevant. Some web designers argue in favour of designing in the browser, Reflow offers a mid point and with decent Photoshop and Illustrator integration these products together will be much better suited to web design than Fireworks.
For the past 6 versions Adobe’s software has been collectively known as the Creative Suite or CS for short. The last version was CS6, but the next will not be CS7 but instead CC or Creative Cloud. Creative Cloud has been around for the past year as a subscription alternative to off the shelf software. But after a year’s trial it will now become the default delivery method for Adobe software.
This makes perfect sense to me because not only does it help Adobe in combating software piracy but also the subscription model allows users to get instant access to new software and updates without a big one off payment.
With CC we might also see the end of big yearly updates from Adobe, instead preferring smaller feature updates throughout the year that allow faster delivery of new advancements to their users. I think this might be preferred by users but then Adobe’s marketing department will likely argue that big yearly launches help them boost users more than any other marketing channel.
Although we’ll soon see CC released Adobe will continue to sell and support CS6 in the future. However it’s only going to be a couple of years until the beautifully designed Adobe boxes will disappear from shop shelves and Amazon warehouses forever.
There’s also project Mighty and Napoleon that mark a big move from Adobe into hardware. This video shows exactly what these are. I like the idea of digital drawing but that lag you have on tablets always pushes me back to pen and paper.