Will QuarkXpress Survive The Adobe Onslaught

QuarkXPress, for so long the dominant force in the page layout arena, now finds itself fighting for survival and under attack by four products all created by Adobe, who looks as if they may achieve the same kind of dominance in the creative market that Microsoft has achieved in the general computing market.

The huge advantage that Adobe has in this battle of the DTP giants is that most users and potential users of QuarkXPress will also be users of one or more members of the Adobe Creative Suite: Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat. Every time the question of upgrades comes around, there will always be the option, for such users, of upgrading one of their Adobe products to the Adobe Creative Suite rather than just upgrading to the latest version of QuarkXPress.

Many will say that Quark can only blame themselves for the uphill struggle they now face. It’s almost as if they believed that their position in the marketplace was somehow unassailable. QuarkXPress was for many years way overpriced and lacking in features but it was the only piece of page layout software which could be relied upon to deliver consistent results in the prepress environment.

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Having these two great products battling it out is basically a good thing for the marketplace. QuarkXPress 7 included features which are a clearly a direct response to features introduced in InDesign CS2 and we can expect this kind of tit-for-tat development to continue in future releases of the two programs.

QuarkXpress naturally has no plans to come up with a QuarkXPress Creative Suite to rival Adobe. Rather, they are pointing out that before InDesign came along, designers were only too happy to use Adobe products in conjunction with QuarkXPress. They have tightened up the integration between QuarkXPress and Adobe Creative Suite CS3 by adding such features as support for native Photoshop files and the ability to manipulate imported .PSD files using the new PSD Import palette.

Will these tactics be enough to guarantee the survival of QuarkXPress? Most designers and publishing professionals see Adobe Creative Suite as the future. However, QuarkXPress is used in lots of different contexts and by users with vastly differing profiles. By responding to the needs of its potential market, Quark can ensure that QuarkXPress stays alive and continues to be recognized as an excellent piece of software.

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