August 31, 2005 6:00 AM PDT

Chizen on Apple: 'MacTel' switch not easy

Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen recently met with CNET News.com to discuss his company's acquisition of Macromedia and changes he sees in the technology world. During the interview, he offered insights into Apple Computer's switch to Intel chips.

Q: I wanted to get your take on Apple's switch to Intel. How difficult is the process of migrating apps from platform to platform?
Chizen: Steve (Jobs) likes to trivialize the process and make it seem easy, but moving the apps over is not that easy...Getting over to MacTel is work. I think in the long run it's going to be great because what the users will get is better performance...and greater value. At Adobe, we tend to optimize for Intel today on the Windows side. The fact that we'll be able to optimize for Intel cross-platform will make it even better for us.

Q: What are the early returns from the people doing some of the work with the developer market? Not that easy, is it?
Chizen: It's not that easy because you have to compile the app, you have to test it. If you look at most testing cycles, for any complex cycle, for any complex product, that's three or four months until it's out. You just can't turn a switch and get a MacTel product--and Steve knows that.

Q: So, when do you think that Adobe will be ready to take Photoshop?
Chizen: I haven't given a date yet, I'd be surprised if we did a MacTel only release. I think you'll find us doing what we did with OS X, which is to enhance the product and support the new environment at the same time. If you look at our product cycles for products like Photoshop and Creative Suite, they tend to be in the 18- to 24-month cycle, which means that you're talking about either Q4 of '06 or Q1 of '07.

Click here for full interview.

22 comments

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Adobe caught with pants down
The switch to Intel will accomplish at least one thing for Apple. It
will force Adobe (and Microsoft) to abandon its continued use of
OS 9 legacy (carbonized) code through subsequent upgrades.
Adobe's products have pretty much been crap on the Mac for years
and because they've never really adopted proper OS X code
optimizations, they are now stuck with rewriting their bloated
applications. Other companes that adopted OS X coding standards,
such as Wolfram, aren't having the problems Adobe will have. This
situation is of their own making.
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
I beg to differ
Adobe's recent Mac products have been widely adopted and
favorably received. I think they are pretty darned good, for the
most part. Considering the vast investment the company has to
make for such a small portion of the installed computer base, it
is to their credit that they even bother.

It is hardly Adobe's fault that Apple got backed into a corner
with PPC chips, or that Apple's anticipation is so poor that it
must do a major chip migration every decade. You might just as
well say that Mac users are the real schlubs for allowing
ourselves to be jerked around by an Apple that never quite
seems to know where the CPU future lies. It was hardly Adobe's
fault that the Mac's market share got clobbered when Apple
made the mighty PPC migration. There is no reason that
software developers need to spend more resources than
necessary to make their products work adequately. As is pointed
out by Adobe in this article, Apple (Jobs) is not a very candid
guy. He is misrepresenting the complexity of reformulating Mac
products for Intel, just as he misrepresented the performance
advantage of the PPC chips. This sort of hucksterism is normal
in business. Caveat emptor. What is unusual is the gullibility of
Apple's customers. Maybe Apple should switch to multi-level
marketing, in the style of Herbalife and Mary Kay.
Posted by nicmart (1829 comments )
Link Flag
Adobe falls further behind
I work in both Illustrator and Photoshop everyday, but feel the
apps are little improved since the first switch to Mac OS X.
Illustrator still crashes as much if not more as it did under Mac
OS 9 now matter how much RAM or how fast a processor I throw
at it.

I've heard from a friend the latest set of upgrades are no better,
and Adobe still is not compatible with such basic Mac OS X
features as the built in system wide spell checker, started using
dialog sheets stead of Mac OS 9 dialogs or even started using
standard shortcut keys like cmnd+h to hide (in Photoshop 8.0
cmnd+z does not undo and cmnd+shift+z does not redo, I have
to remap the keys to work properly)

I really have to wonder if their difficulty in switching to Intel is
not because of Apple, but the competence of their own
developers.
Posted by (1 comment )
Link Flag
Chizen once more...
.. has his head in a dark place.

Chizen says Steve (Jobs) likes to trivialize the (conversion)
process and make it seem easy,
>> It is easy, when Wolfram can do a port of Mathematica in
less than 2 hours. But then maybe Chizen kinows what a
programming mess his Adobe items really are

Chizen says: At Adobe, we tend to optimize for Intel today on
the Windows side.
>> One thing is damn sure - Adobe doesn't optimize for the
consumer on any platform.

But no big deal. I've trashed almost all the Adobe apps on my
PC's and Mac's. I just don't have the time or interest to figure out
how those bloatware items work, even for the simpler jobs. I
know Chizen won't miss me, and I am absolutely positive that I
won't miss Chizen or Adobe.

Too bad Aldus died under the Adobe gun.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Adobe applications are great except for GoLive
In my opinion Adobe applications are great except for GoLive (it's a CRASH-PIG of an application).

The main point is Apple made the choice to switch processors NOT Adobe. And yes Steve Job's of completely full of it. He always over-stated the performance benefits of the PPC chips and now he trivializes the challenges in switching to Intel chips. This whole thing is Apple's bite and the Mac users out there. It's not Adobes fault at all. Get a clue!
Posted by Stan Johnson (322 comments )
Link Flag
Adobe is worthless
Who needs any Adobe products if you are smart enough to get a
Mac and steer clear of windows? This is the real question. You
don't need Acrobat because the OS has terrific support built in,
and the FREE utilities are FAR BETTER than Adobe's completely
overpriced Acrobat. Is this what is burning Adobe?

And, on OS X or Linux, who needs Photoshop except maybe a
professional illustrator? Then there is Illustrator, which used to
be useable for great charts and graphics by the average user,
but now even Office apps can compete with Illustrator on that
front, so they are left trying to sell it to graphics pros alone.

Now, you would think that since they only have applications that
a graphics pro would use, that they would be all over Apple and
trying to do a good job there. But the last poster is completely
correct. It's as if Adobe thought Apple would not be able to pull
off OSX, like Adobe thought Apple would go out of business, or
something. In the old days of OS 7/8/9, Adobe provided great
suppport for Mac users. Since OS X, it's been pathetic.
Posted by Byronic (95 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not so
No offense, but what a stupid thing to say.

I know cnet is dominated by the IT industsry, but in the creative
world adobe is king. their products are far from perfect, but
often, there is no better solution.

But, what prompted me to write this is this: you bash photoshop
and all, but for photographers (you know, the people who the
app was actually made for?) there is no substitue. Anyone who
reads this who is a photographer, (and knows his stuff, and isnt
just bluffing) will tell you the PS has permanently changed the
face of photograpy. Until their is another solution that offers the
same as PS, it reigns. Yes, I know there are many new and
coming products, opensource and otherwise, that are good, but
none match the scope of photoshop.

thats my 2 cents, adios.
Posted by (2 comments )
Link Flag
Wanna bet?
> You just can't turn a switch and get a MacTel product--and Steve
> knows that.
Umm..if you used xcode, yes, you can. Death to carbon! We are
halfway through the 2k decade, let's see a Cocoa Native Photoshop
already! Either that or it's time Apple released it's own Photoshop
killer! ...cough...(TIFFany)...cough...
Posted by skellener (111 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Photoshop Killers...
With CoreImage, Apple has drawn a line in the sand. Final Cut
killed Premiere on the Mac, will Motion to the same to After
Effects? As for the Photoshop killer, look at what teeny-tiny
companies have done with products such iMaginator and
LiveQuartz... And guess what? When it comes time for them to
port to MacTel - it'll be a flick of the switch - as promised.
Adobe/Macromedia (Bloat/Bloateder) apps on OS X suck. As
someone who uses Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks and
Coldfusion on a day-to-day basis, I am qualified to make such
an assertion. Of course, I have to add to that, their feature sets
are impressive, and if they were ever to work without bogging
down the way they do, I'd be the first one in line to upgrade.
Having said that, Macromedia has promised their upcoming
Studio 8 is to be Mach-0 compliant, which should increase
performance....

We'll see...
Posted by (54 comments )
Link Flag
Carbon is not the issue!!
Carbon vs. Cocoa is not the issue.

However, use of MODERN CARBON vs. legacy Carbon is an issue.
Part of this blame comes from the cross-platform nature of
Adobe (and Microsoft's) code-base.

Apple has been telling developers to let go of the past and
prepare for the future (remember the death of OS 9). You can do
that with Carbon or with Cocoa, but you have to do that.

Adobe apparently wasn't paying attention.
Posted by m.meister (278 comments )
Link Flag
Adobe stuck in the past
The underlying reason that Adobe (and Microsoft) will struggle
with this transition is because they apparently haven't seen the
writing on the wall for the past several years to move away from
Metrowerks' Codewarrior.

I believe it is this "move" to Apple's development tools that is the
biggest issue at Adobe (and Microsoft). For those developers
that have listened to Apple (especially with the advent of Xcode
tools), the move to MacTel is fairly minor.

Virtually all the applications that follow Apple's guidelines and
are built under Apple's Xcode tools are fairly trivial to convert to
MacTel. The big boys were caught not listening to Apple's pleas
to move to the new developer tools.
Posted by m.meister (278 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It's all on Apple --- NOT Adobe's fault
This whole MacTel thing is all on Apple. Application problems, benefits, and every other little thing about the switch. It was solely Apples decision to switch to Intel. Now deal with it Apple. Mac users may just need to wait until thier needed software packages are ready. All software companies are faced with challenging work because of Apples CHOICE to use Intel. Good luck Mac users. You will be happier and better off in the long run but in the short term you may feel the pain.
Posted by Stan Johnson (322 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Appreciate the warning....
... but it's unnecessary. The processor shift in the Macintosh will be
simple and seamless for all programs with modern coding. Adobe's
are archaic versions and need to be rewritten. Not that I care,
particularly, since I am no longer using any program Adobe has
written.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
Its BOTH their faults!
Adobe had become what it is today because of the designers on the Apple Macintosh platform. Adobe pretty much snubbed Apple when Jobs & Co. could not license the Display Postscript from Adobe.

These two companies are like two, insecure, spoiled brats. And the consumer is to blame?

From dev's that have used the MacTel setups, the x86 system is running very fast. Faster than dual 2.7 PPCs.

And if you examine Adobe's pricing, handicapped-authentication (protects Adobe and not the consumer), flaws (holes) in its Version Cue, bloated code on code Photoshop, numerous version of upgrade options, failure to provide previous version due to incompatibilities, self-serving support (check our forum? check our web page?...which means look before bothering us with your problems with our software thay you paid for..to use).

And on...I can't wait for someone to compete with a better, easier, simpler, faster product. Until then, Adobe is a monopoly that is arrogant.
Posted by Below Meigh (249 comments )
Link Flag
All the things you speak of have been Apple choices.
All the things you speak of have been Apple choices.
Posted by Stan Johnson (322 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Adobe
Adobe is an old mud house. once it gets wet it collapses.
Posted by sirron33 (16 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This concern is not Adobe specific...
All software companies supporting Mac are concerned. Mac's move is expensive for many of them...
Posted by Mendz (519 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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