Image Image Image ImageImage
Creative Services for
Roughly Drafted
Daniel Eran

Image Image

photo Is Microsoft's Vista the new QuarkXPress?
Quark has long owned the desktop publishing world. Yet, after a decade of dominance, the company stumbled, leaving the door open for serious competition just as Adobe was introducing a strong competing product. Is Microsoft about to do the same?

Like Microsoft, Quark didn't invent its industry. Desktop publishing originated with Aldus' PageMaker on the Mac in 1985. It used Adobe System's PostScript language to layout high resolution text and images for the new LaserWriter, creating an instant industry that launched Apple's Macintosh in a huge way.

QuarkXPress came two years later. It introduced a pioneering plugin architecture that created a supporting industry for third party Quark XTensions. Within a few years, Quark was the undisputed leader in professional page layout applications.

Quark released significant new version of XPress about every two years, cementing their lead. Aldus struggled to keep up, and Adobe eventually bought the company and added PageMaker to its collection of design applications. However, Quark maintained its position as the market leader, leaving PageMaker as an also-ran.

Adobe launched a new product as a successor to PageMaker in 2000 called InDesign. Adobe's new product had some advantages over Quark; it offered support for Unicode and OpenType, and includes internationalization features that are an expensive add on for QuarkXPress. Still, Adobe found the market difficult to break into, even when bundling InDesign along with Illustrator and Photoshop and undercutting Quark in price.

After two years of development, InDesign was getting good press, but still finding it hard to make major inroads into high end desktop publishing. Then Adobe caught their big break: Quark fumbled.

First, Quark bet against Mac OS X. Just as Apple was preparing to deliver Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar, the first release suitable for mass market adoption, and announcing that Mac OS X would be the default installation on all new Macs, Quark was finishing up QuarkXPress 5.0 as a Classic Mac OS application.

New Mac users would have to downgrade to the old Mac OS just to run version 5; insistent new adopters to Mac OS X would have to deal with Quark in the Classic environment. Not only was the product a huge disappointment, it was a slap in the face to customers who were in expectation of applications that could best take advantage of Apple's new OS.

Part II > Quark's Strange Top Down Charm Bottom Up

More Journal Entries | More Tech Articles | Get Tech Support | My Resume | Links | Contact RoughlyDrafted

Articles Copyright © 2006 Daniel Eran. All rights reserved.
Suggestions and comments welcome. Contact RoughlyDrafted.

Read more about:
Click one of the links above to display related articles on this page.