This year's MacExpo has become a staging ground for the battle between QuarkXPress 6.0 and Adobe InDesign, with many punters hoping to leave the show knowing which of the two packages is the one for them.

Graphic designer Aaron Ireland said: "I'm here to evaluate Quark 6 versus InDesign. I was thinking that I'd move to InDesign as I use Photoshop, but the Quark presentation impressed me, so my mind still isn't made up."

Others were at the show to decide whether it’s time to upgrade to Adobe's Creative Suite. Photographer Aletta Killin said: "I'm here to look at Adobe CS, and am particularly impressed by the new Photoshop."

Photographer Richard Tanner said: "I was planning to find out about more Photoshop CS but unfortunately I couldn't get near enough to the Adobe stand to have a good look."

Illustrator CS was also being put through its paces by punters. Conny Jude, an illustrator, said: "I came for the lecture on Adobe Illustrator. I'm thinking about moving to CS, but to be honest, I am very happy with Illustrator 10.2."

Time for Panther

A number of show goers were considering making the move from OS 9 to OS X. Aletta Killin said: "We hadn't upgraded to OS X because we were waiting for the software we use to be upgraded. Now the applications I need are OS X-enabled, I think it’s finally time to upgrade."

Aaron Ireland agreed: "I'm definitely moving to OS X now. Everything now seems to be OS X savvy."

Conny Jude admitted that Apple's Panther presentation on their stand had impressed her so much that she was now going to upgrade from Jaguar to Panther: "I didn't realise just how many new functions there were," she said.

Richard Tanner was also won over by the presentation by Apple's Pete Dunn: "I wasn't intending to buy Panther, but the guy from Apple doing the presentation sold it to me. I was just here to look at the new 20-inch iMac."

Keynote is another piece of Apple software than has won the company a new switcher. Stefan Burton-Schnull, a clergyman from Gloucester, said: "I'm hear to take a look at the new PowerBooks. I am particularly impressed by Keynote it seems to have everything in PowerPoint and more, and I'd like to use it for presentations."

Switching on

Many Mac fans had friends and family in tow in an attempt to convert them. Not all were successful, though: Tim Newling standing back while his Mac-using brother goggled at the Apple stand, said: "My brother is trying to convince me to invest in a Mac. They’re wonderful, classy products, but expensive, and it would be a big change for me. To be honest I don't even use my PC to its full capacity so I don't think it would be a worthwhile investment."

But Expo is nevertheless a successful way for Apple to gain more switchers. Annette Veikkanen had made a second pilgrimage to the show which last year helped her to "see the light". She said: "Last year I was converted to Macs at the show. This year I’m back to see what goodies I can find."