Quark Tour Launch Bodes Well for QuarkXPress 8

Quark is ready to start showing off the newest version of its professional desktop publishing application, QuarkXPress 8, and kicked off the occasion with special event at its headquarters in Denver on Tuesday. The event included product demonstrations along with a promise to stay in the desktop market from CEO Ray Schiavone.

Quarkis strong push in the enterprise market has left many designers and market analysts speculating that the company is moving out of the desktop software market to focus on what some see as more lucrative automated tools for big businesses. That assumption is completely wrong, according to Mr. Schiavone.

"We are committed to the desktop," he said.

That should come as good news to QuarkXPress and InDesign users alike, since the competition will likely drive both Quark and Adobe to continue improving their products.

Attendees mingling with Quark Executives

The company used its first QuarkXPress 8 tour event to show that it is still in the game and has made changes to better take on Adobe. "This is our first global Quark launch," Mr. Schiavone said.

While itis true that QuarkXPress 8 will hit the streets around the world in a few weeks, this also marks the first time the company has developed a unified application with a single file format for all markets. Quark Passport will be obsolete once QuarkXPress 8 ships, and users will be able to open and edit documents regardless of what language the original file was created in, adding an extra meaning to "global launch."

Attendees and product managers

Event attendees seemed pleased with the applicationis new features and interface, and they also appeared happy with new management team at the companyis helm. Thatis good news for Mr. Schiavone since earlier crews left users feeling jilted and unappreciated, and he is now working to repair the Quarkis tarnished reputation.

If the response to the companyis first QuarkXPress 8 tour event is any indication, some of that tarnish is finally coming off and a little of the old luster is starting to shine through. If the company can keep the momentum up after QuarkXPress 8 ships, the ultimate winners will be designers -- regardless of which desktop publishing app they use -- thanks to the stronger competition between Quark and Adobe.

The QuarkXPress 8 Xperience Design Global Tour will be traveling to nine cities in the U.S. in July and August. The events are open to the public, although registration is required. Additional information is available at the Quark Web site.