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September 16th, 1999

[11:30 AM] Direct From France - Apple Expo Day Two: The Cinema Display And Adobe
by Philippe Bogdan

Another day in Paradise :-)

It's amazing how many companies are demonstrating their software and hardware at the Apple Expo. There are over 200 companies at this year's Expo, a very high number. Everything from the fairly big Castelwood booth where they are demonstrating their ORB drive (which looks like a good option to the Iomega Jazz Drive but may well arrive too late as DVD Ram drives are showing up in a few booths... too bad because it's cheap at 230 Euros, and the specs look good too) to the small but really friendly Casady & Greene booth where they are presenting SoundJam MP!

The biggest booths belong to the French Mac retailers. Most of these companies are mail order companies, some don't even have a real storefront, but their special offers during the Expo are attracting thousands of customers at their stands all day long.

The main attraction seems still to be the iBook and the Apple Cinema Screen. You can't get your hand on one of them without having to wait in long lines behind others trying them!

The Apple Cinema Screen looks so incredibly good! If only Apple could come out with a 17 inch mode with an affordable price tag! In my opinion, it really is the best screen I've ever looked at and it seems to be more convenient to use too.

Today's main conference today was the Adobe conference. This conference was centered around a presentation of their new InDesign software. Most of the people at the conference were Xpress using publishing professionals (only 2 were using PageMaker). as in the US, Quark Xpress is THE publishing software in France, but many users haven't upgraded to version 4 because of Quark's costly upgrade policy. The presentation itself was well done by a French demonstrator and showed InDesign's major features and the seamless integration with Illustrator using PDF.

InDesign's strong point may well be in the area of typography. InDesign includes tools that make possible what has been almost impossible to do in typography since the advent of Desktop Publishing software. These tools will allow users to do some things that were only possible with traditional machines that were the norm 20 years ago.

Also relating to InDesign was another conference, hosted by the French magazine SVM Mac, that dealt with the impact that Adobe's aggressive pricing structure for InDesign will have on publishing professionals. Unfortunately Quark declined an invitation to be part of the panel at this conference... Too confident or too scared? The consensus among the attendees seemed to be a sort of "wait and see" attitude, at least until the end of December when Adobe special offer on InDesign end.

InDesign and Acrobat PDF could bring an important revolution to the publishing world in Europe where Quark Xpress has long reigned as king. According to Adobe France, most Quark Xtensions developers are now also working on designing InDesign plugins.

Another Adobe announcement centered around the beta plugins that put the Mac version of Acrobat 4 on an even level with the Windows version. Adobe said that these plugins are on Adobe's web site now for a free download.

The Mac Observer Spin: Despite the impressive reaction to Adobe from Apple Expo attendees, it seems that not everything is well with Apple. The major French newspaper "Le Monde" wrote in the September 15th issue:

The small Apple is still financially fragile despite 7 financially good [quarters] <snip> but do you know any other show where apple fruits are being offered to visitors?

What do you have to do to impress we French? :-)

Philippe Bogdan lives and work in France. His exclusive coverage of The Apple Expo comes direct from Paris.

Apple France



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