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Adobe package seen boosting sales

Adobe Systems releases its new Creative Suite package, which combines some of its most popular applications, and updates its financial forecast.

Adobe Systems on Monday released a new software package that combines some of its most popular applications.

As previously reported, Adobe Creative Suite marks a significant change for the company. For the first time, development of major graphics and publishing applications such as Photoshop and InDesign has been coordinated, so that new versions of the software are ready at the same time.

Adobe has linked the applications with features such as Version Cue, a new file-management tool that allows remote access to documents files and helps ensure team members are working on the correct version of a file.

Creative Suite also highlights Adobe's large-scale introduction of product activation, a controversial antipiracy technique that ties a piece of software to a specific PC.

The standard version of Adobe Creative Suite includes new versions of the Photoshop image-editing application, InDesign layout program and Illustrator graphics design tools. It sells for $999 for the full version, or $549 for those upgrading from a previous version of Photoshop.

The premium version of the package adds the GoLive Web authoring application and Acrobat, Adobe's application for creating files in the Portable Document Format (PDF). It sells for $1,229 for the full version or $749 for the upgrade.

Adobe also released its midquarter business update, predicting per-share income of 30 cents to 32 cents for the current fourth quarter and $1.13 for the current fiscal year, both of which end Nov. 28. The estimates are in line with analyst estimates. The company pegged earnings for the upcoming 2004 fiscal year at $1.24 per share and revenue at $1.43 billion, slightly ahead of analyst estimates.