Since this article was written, Adobe has contacted Macworld to confirm that both PC and Mac versions of the Production Studio tool will ship at the same time.

Adobe has confirmed that the new version of Adobe Production Studio for Mac will be identical in features to the next version of Adobe Production Studio for Windows.

“It will be a new version,” confirmed Adobe’s Premiere Pro product manager Giles Baker. “The Mac will get the next version of Premiere Pro, the Windows product will follow suit.” Both versions will be identical in features, confirmed Baker: “The intent is wherever possible to have exact parity between the Windows and the Macintosh versions.”

Back to the Mac

Baker went on to confirm why his company had decided to bring Premiere back to the Mac three years after deciding to stop support for the platform. At that time the company cited Apple’s increased efforts in the digital-video market, particularly with Final Cut Pro. However, the landscape has changed in the intervening years, and Adobe has seen an increased interest in its video products from sectors that previously had no need for video tools.

It is this “bigger picture” that Adobe is addressing. “What we are seeing is more and more people from traditional print and web backgrounds moving towards video,” explained Baker. “Adobe is embracing the move towards publishing video online.”

“A lot of the traditionally print-oriented organisations now have a web presence, and they need to move towards motion video and graphics. They also need to get content onto mobile devices. We have the technology for all of that,” added Baker.

Adobe has watched as the interest in its video applications on the Windows platform has increased, and anticipates that the interest from the Mac platform could be equal or even greater. “In 2006 we saw a huge amount of success with Production Studio. On the Windows platform our business last year went up 50 per cent as a result of the new version,” claimed Baker.

“We also saw a huge amount of demand from Macintosh customers, and if you look at the creative community it’s about 60:40 Mac, and these Mac users who’ve traditionally been using the Adobe tools are now starting to look at video,” he added.

Baker believes that, since these publishing professionals are already using Adobe products (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator), adopting other Adobe products will be a natural choice for them. “As they think about moving into video it’s inevitable that they are going to look to us,” he said. “We make it easy for people to go from one product to another, rather than having to go to a different company and learn a different application.”

Similarly, “Dreamweaver is pretty much the standard for any level web authoring,” said Baker, suggesting that web developers would also be more inclined towards an Adobe (previously Macromedia) product.

But it’s not just people new to video publishing that these video products will appeal to. “It’s a suite that doesn’t only make sense for people starting out with Adobe products, but for anyone who is using Avid or Final Cut to do their video production,” added Baker. Also, since Mac professionals already use After Effects, Baker believes the new Production Studio suite will appeal because they will be able to take advantage all of the other tools that come as part of the bundle.

Production Studio will include Adobe After Effects Professional, Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Soundbooth, Adobe Encore DVD, and Adobe Illustrator software. Baker confirmed new versions of Photoshop and Illustrator would be included in Production Studio when it launches.

Timing is everything

It isn’t only the increased interest in video that lead to Adobe’s decision to bring Production Studio to the Mac, however. “Apple’s decision to put Intel processors in the Mac was something that helped us in our development,” confirmed Baker. “I don’t think it was something that would have changed the fact that we would have come back to the Mac, but it definitely makes it easier for us. Plus we have a ton of expertise with Intel processors that we’ve built over a number of years on the Windows platform, and that translates across.”

“The speed bump that you get when you go to an Intel processor or an Intel-based Mac is quite amazing. We’re literally blown away by the new Intel processing performance, it’s really fantastic,” added Baker.

Notably, it is just as the Mac has become a more interesting proposition to Adobe that the Windows platform has become problematic. Currently Adobe is aware of “major problems with Encore” in the current version of Production Studio when running on Vista.

“The current version of Production Studio will work with Vista but the simple reality is that we shipped these products a year before Vista came out. We are working with Microsoft to ensure that all of the problems found are worked around in Vista, to make sure that our products work. The best solution will be the next version of our products, which will be fully tested and engineered for Vista.”