Adobe Says No to Native Until CS3


Adobe Systems, makers of, among other things, the wildly popular Photoshop application, have posted a PDF to their website which addresses the issue of software compatibility with the recently released Intel Macs. In the document, Adobe states that it will not be releasing Universal Binaries of their current Creative Suite 2 applications, nor its recently acquired Macromedia products, but is working on native support for the next generation of products. Adobe asserts that it will continue with its, “consistent track record of releasing significant upgrades to our creative professional applications every 18-24 months.” Considering that CS2 was released in May of 2005, this could mean no native Adobe products until Spring 2007.

This announcement by Adobe has significant implications for the creative professional community. Instead of being able to follow the Apple upgrade path, and buying the Intel PowerMacs (which I expect to be released at either WWDC or a special event later in the year), creatives will be stuck with the G5 Quad as the fastest machine available (although the Quad is nothing to scoff at, I am sure it will be blown away by the Intel machines).

Then again, it is quite possible that Adobe knows something we don’t about Apple’s release schedule for its pro desktop machines, and have made this decision based on a later release date from Apple.



I am very annoyed by all of this. I recently bought a macbook, and was expecting great speeds and productivity. What do I find? The Adobe suite runs like a snail. Great! Thanks a lot Adobe.



I’m a Mac developer with MultiAd, makers of Creator , an InDesign competitor in the newspaper industry.

Carbonization is a good thing. It means your code conforms to the modern APIs. I doubt Adobe would *totally* rewrite all of their apps for Cocoa. Cocoa (Objective-C) is a totally different language (and an ugly one at that) than C or C .

Moving from CodeWarrior to Xcode isn’t a huge deal. I got Creator converted in a week. This assumes the app is already being built as a Mach-O app, not a CFM app that might also run in Classic.

In my experience, the biggest hurdle is making changes for i386; finding all the code that relies on data being in big endian byte order and changing it to little endian. This includes file I/O, custom resources, custom Apple Event data, custom clipboard data, bitmap data (rgb, cmyk, etc), ColorSync, bit fields in structs, the list goes on. This is a huge task, and nearly every bit of code should be checked. I’d like to meet the people who invented little endian and slap them about the face for a few hours. It’s illogical and a pain in the butt when debugging.

And Adobe is not one to release software very often at all. Need a bug fixed? Hope you don’t mind waiting a year or two. This news makes me happy at least, because it confirms that we’ll once again beat them to market (we ran natively in OS X way before Adobe and WAAAYYY before Quark).


This is a very serious issue regarding to latest addition of MacBookPro to Apple’s portfolio. These Power machines are supposed to work with proffesionals – casual user isn’t going to invest in such powerful (‘n’expensive) machine unless he uses it for power demanding features of this. I don’t think that browsing web, sending e-mails nor watching DVD will be as demanding.

Professionals need efficient SOLUTIONS to work – hardware alone won’t make it happen – emulated (with Rosetta) software won’t either. You will rather stick to G4 PowerBooks until Adobe and others prepare universal binaries versions of their flagships.
So I say, MacBookPro will be filling up Apple’s storages as a “flashy new thing to put on the table and amaze your friends” for a couple more years before it will be able to work for it’s “4x-faster-than-G4-Ultimate-Solution” name.
The funny part is that by the time the Universal Binaries versions of software come out, MacBookPro from 1Q/06 will be already an “oldie” comparing to other newer solutions avaliable on the market… That’s a one big leap backwards, isn’t it.
Let’s hope that this lesson from “rat race of the Big Ones” will teach Apple to better cooperate with the second part of “Ultimate Proffesional Solution” – software vendors.

BTW. I was thinking of buying MacBookPro, after this Adobe statement and other scarying reviews of Intel based “cookies” I’ve decided to buy the best G4 PowerBook – this way i will stay more efficient with an oldie than the 4x “faster” Intel “dream machine”.


I think is has also to do with the Macromedia apps… wich will be integrated in CS3. They want it to do it right from the start. An fully integrated CS3 bundle, native from the start. What I’am afraid off is that CS3 won’t work on older macs, and damn… spring 2007, CS3 already. Start saving.

Frank Bruno

I don’t think it has anything to do with Apple’s decision to release Motion or Aperture. Adobe’s not holding a grudge or anything.

It seems pretty clear what’s going on: Adobe has a ton of legacy code. My guess is the apps are carbon, and they’re still coded in CodeWarrior. Adobe’s press release explicitly says that they have to first port to Xcode before they can create Universal Binaries. And last year’s Stevenote (where he introduced OS X/Intel) said very clearly that developers who weren’t using Xcode would have a much bigger challenge doing the port.

I’m not a developer myself, so I could be speaking out of my a##, but my guess is that this is Adobe’s fault for keeping their apps carbonized for so long, and not doing the dirty work over the last few years to make them more Cocoa- and Xcode-friendly.

Any actual developers out there care to shed light?


i talked to someone with an intel imac 2,00ghz today. he used photoshop under rosetta and told me that it appears to run as fast as on a low configuered G5 imac. at least faster than on any G4 Mac. I am a little releases by this information an just can’t understand why adobe advices it customers not to buy intel macs…


Huh? Adobe are screwing themselves most of all with this attitude, surely?

I’ll be interested to see the performance comparison between G5 Powermacs and Intel Mac Pros, certainly. I mean, that oft-cited AnandTech article comparing G5s to xeons to opterons basically puts the g5 above intel but below amd. Whether the intels will actually “blow away” the powerpcs is not a sure thing, though Apple will certainly say they do. What remains to be seen is how apple plans to market the top end intel processor as the “ultimate” solution when AMD actually has the edge in the desktop and server processor domains. (There is the possibility that intel will overtake amd, of course, but we should assume the opposite until the revolution cometh…)

Jesse J. Anderson


that really sucks.

Unfortunately, Apple’s been screwing with Adobe for awhile now by creating competing software (Motion, Aperture) which prompts Adobe to finally serve up a nice little “Screw You” reply with the intel switch.

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