Despite announcing that the latest version of its consumer image-editor Photoshop Elements 4 will be Windows only, Adobe insists that it is not phasing out the Mac product.

Talking to Macworld before the announcement, an Adobe representative explained that more than half the upgrade's enhancements affect Windows-only functions. The company decided that an upgrade to the Mac version wouldn't represent good value for money at this time but promised that a new Mac version is in development.

Many of the Windows-only features of Photoshop Elements are offered by Apple's iPhoto '05, which is shipped free with all new Macs, and is available for older systems for £49 as part of the iLife suite of consumer applications (alongside iMovie, GarageBand, iDVD, and iTunes).

One of the Elements 4's new features is a red-eye eliminator that automatically removes red-eye effects as you download photos from your camera by working out face structures within photos.

Adobe also explained that with their professional products, a simultaneous release is important to its customers and they adjust their product teams efforts and resources accordingly. By doing this, Photoshop or Creative Suite users are able to count on being able to work collaboratively with their counterparts.

For our professional applications like Photoshop and the entire Creative Suite, simultaneous, cross-platform releases continue to be critical, an Adobe representative told MacCentral. Graphics professionals often share working files across heterogeneous networks, and cross-platform releases allow them to make a smooth transition to the new version.

Unlike professionals, consumers who typically purchase products like Photoshop Elements don't work collaboratively, so simultaneous releases are not as important.

This reality gives Adobe the opportunity to balance our resources differently for our consumer products, while still delivering the right products at the right time, said Adobe's spokesperson.

While Adobe said that its Windows version of Elements did have more sales than the Mac version, the company said they are still committed to the Macintosh community.

We've seen an overwhelmingly positive response to Photoshop Elements for the Mac and have also seen an increase in sales within this community. Our Mac customers are still very important to us, said the Adobe spokesperson.

Adobe would not say when the Mac version would ship or what new features the product will have.
MacCentral's Jim Dalrymple contributed to this story.