Quark has confirmed it will not attend Apple Expo, Paris, or Seybold, San Francisco, next month.

This does not reflect a weakening of the company's commitment to the Mac market, however, claims Glen Turpin, Quark’s communications manager.

He said: “I will happily confirm Quark's commitment to Apple's operating system. Quark has a very close working relationship with Apple, and we believe that Mac OS X will become the platform of choice for publishing professionals.

“Quark is dedicated to its joint customer base with Apple, and is dedicated to developing a high-quality Mac OS X release of QuarkXPress.”

date line However, it seems an OS X version of XPress may be some way off. Turpin said: “The product's still in development, and a release date has not been announced. I will neither confirm nor deny a ship date at this point, because we have not yet announced one.”

Reports last week posited that XPress would be released in 2003, perhaps around Macworld Expo, San Francisco. Turpin refused to comment on this. “We do not comment on unannounced products,” he explained. “That includes ship dates”, he said.

These reports also claimed the Mac OS X-compatible version of the application would be called version 6, rasing speculation that users would have to pay a full upgrade fee. Quark executives previously said that no punitive upgrade path would be made for those moving to Xpress for OS X. Turpin said: “I do not yet have any information that I can share with you one way or the other.”

In July 2001, Jürgen Kurz, Quark's vice president of product management, told Macworld: “We have a native application, and have spent a lot of time on it. But it will take a while before it's ready for the market because we have to test these elements.” It's believed Quark has been waiting for a build of Mac OS X that implements full, high-level support for printing to finalize its application.

Turpin summed up: “We're just not saying anything about QuarkXPress for Mac OS X yet”..