Monday, May 15, 2006

Rogers dumps Quark; goes with In Design

That giant sucking sound you heard was QuarkXpress going down the drain at Rogers Media. All publications are to switch over to Adobe In Design as soon as it can be managed. Quark launched QuarkXpress in 1987 and sparked off a revolution in destktop publishing. It rapidly eclipsed other software like Ventura Publisher and PageMaker, but in recent years the major complaint of users was failure to innovate and a touch of arrogance with customers. Because it owned 90 per cent of the market, it thought it always would. Nope.

Adobe parlayed its preeminence in type and delivered an integrated suite including its own excellent tools like Illustrator, Photoshop and Acrobat. Plus it sold the whole package at a significant discount to Quark. The only thing holding back people at larger magazines was the power of the Quark Publishing System (QPS) that allowed people across the organization to work simultaneously with stories and images. In Design has a similar system but it always had a reputation for being a bit "buggy". Apparently, this last obstacle has been overcome or no longer matters as much as it did. With a huge installed base, Quark isn't going away any time soon; but it can ill afford to lose a customer like Rogers.


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