Adobe Creative Suite 4 – Am I Excited?

Adobe Creative Suite 4

I’ve been using Adobe (and Macromedia) products ever since I started designing websites nearly a decade ago. I actually started learning web design by learning to write HTML but, with the increasing complexity of creating layouts using nested tables, it became much easier to use a WYSIWYG editor like Dreamweaver. About 4 or 5 years ago I started creating websites using CSS based layouts and the need for a WYSIWYG editor began to seem unnecessary. I also do most of my debugging by using the Firebug plugin for Firefox.

Anyway, the point of this blog was to write about the new edition of Adobe Creative Suite. I checked out the Premium Web Edition (which has everything I’d be likely to use), it includes:

  • Adobe Dreamweaver® CS4
  • Flash® CS4 Professional
  • Photoshop® CS4 Extended
  • Illustrator® CS4
  • Fireworks® CS4
  • Acrobat® 9 Pro
  • Soundbooth® CS4
  • Contribute® CS4

What struck me the most, though, was the price. The US$ price for US customers is $1, 699 for this particular edition, yet the UK price is £1, 404.12. Now, I’m no maths genius, but that strikes me as a little pricier in the UK than the US. Some simple investigation and, at todays exchange rate, 1, 699 USD = 968.92 GBP.

By my calculations that means that the difference in price is £435. * scratches head *

Why is it so much more in the UK? I know that it is fairly common for things to cost less stateside than in Britain but seriously, how can it be that much difference?

Of the other software included, I’d use Fireworks over Photoshop for creating designs for web sites any day. Not to say Photoshop isn’t a good piece of software, but I think that its ubiquity amongst web designers is a legacy of its early popularity. Illustrator is great for Illustrations and Acrobat is always a handy tool to have, apart from that I’d occasionally use Flash, although, with the popularity of Javascript libraries like jQuery, the temptation to use Flash is decreasing all the time.

I would use Photoshop, although I could live without it. Essentially I use it for photo editing and batch processing but I don’t feel I even scratch the surface of its capabilities.

I had a look over at Abobe TV to get some idea of the new features in some of the software but I have to say that I wasn’t massively impressed at the new features for an upgrade price of nearly £500.

I think it is easily possible to create the code for websites with free software like Programmer’s Notepad although you’d probably need Fireworks or Photoshop to create anything that was visually stimulating.

So, the answer to my question? A resounding no I think.