Quark Out to Make Seven a Lucky Number
NEW YORK CITY—Competition is said to be a good thing. To the extent that’s true, these are great days for users of page layout software.
Quark Inc. clearly has been tested by Adobe Systems’ challenge to its once near monopolistic position in the graphic arts market. It is responding technologically with the release of QuarkXPress 7 and offering inducements for users to upgrade, thereby keeping them in the fold.
Most of the enhancements are targeted to the design community, naturally, but the company insists it kept an eye toward print service providers (PSPs) during development and testing. In implementing capabilities such as Transparency, the development work still focused on print so files created will output and not just be suitable for the Web, pointed out Jürgen Kurz, Quark’s senior vice president of product management, in his keynote address at the official product launch in New York City.
Among the new features, Job Jackets has the greatest significance for PSPs. Printers may also want to take note of the new Composition Zones capability, along with improvements in color management and the aggressive upgrade offer.
Since Quark had been providing details of version 7.0 long before its formal launch, the audience size turned out to be the more striking aspect of the event. Attendance easily topped 300 people for the 9 a.m kick-off session and stayed near that level during the full day’s worth of presentations and into the evening of entertainment.
The number of users on hand and their level of interest was a strong counterpoint to the recent buzz surrounding Adobe Creative Suite. Quark is looking to encourage product loyalty by offering a single upgrade price from any previous version of QuarkXPress and not just the most recent release. Also, it has committed to offering a Universal Binary version (for support of Intel-based Macs) as a free update to any registered QuarkXPress 7 user when it is released.