Fighting for its share of the low end of the Web publishing tool market, Adobe Systems (ADBE) today is shipping its first PageMill Web authoring program for Windows 95 and NT with a scaled-down version of Photoshop as an enticement.
PageMill 2.0 for Windows, the first version of the software on Windows, was originally due to ship last November but was pushed back to incorporate frames support, according to the company.
To lure customers, the company is including Photoshop LE at no extra charge. Usually bundled with scanners, Photoshop LE does not support CMYK color palettes or color separation but otherwise is the same as regular Photoshop, said PageMill product manager Sean McKenna.
Like Claris Home Page and Microsoft FrontPage, PageMill 2.0 is designed for novice Web authors who don't want to learn HTML. The interface allows drag-and-drop addition of elements into the page design. It lets users preview pages, including QuickTime, Shockwave, animated GIFs, and PDF files, without opening a Web browser.
PageMill 2.0 also lets users add Java applets and ActiveX controls to their pages but does not support them in preview mode. It also has more support for Netscape plug-ins than for ActiveX controls because of Navigator's continued dominance of the browser market. But that will likely change as Internet Explorer gains more acceptance, said McKenna.
"You can't ignore the trends," McKenna said. "In the next version we'll incorporate a lot more ActiveX support."
One analyst doesn't see ActiveX as a big issue right now among PageMill's intended audience.
"Just because Explorer is gaining popularity doesn't mean we'll see an explosion of ActiveX controls on the Web," said Ross Rubin, group director for Internet technologies at research company Jupiter Communications. "A lot of core ActiveX development is in the high-end developer sphere. It's not something consumers are interacting with these days, and PageMill is a very consumer-oriented product."
The Macintosh version of PageMill 2.0 does not currently ship with Photoshop LE, but it will become available by June. Current users will be able to upgrade for about $20, said McKenna.
Suggested retail price for PageMill 2.0 for Windows is $149. The street price is expected to be $99.