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April 24th, 2012

There is always a sense of both excitement and dread when Adobe announces the development of a new product. It’s exciting because Adobe has great products that have helped the firm corner the market for high-end photo-and-image software (Photoshop) and dominate the publishing world (InDesign). These are two superb programs, running on everything from plain vanilla PCs to the beefiest customized Mac Pro rental around.

Of course, the other members of Adobe’s Creative Suite, soon to be at version CS6, are also heavyweights in their respective categories – Illustrator for design, Acrobat for PDFs and Dreamweaver for websites. But Adobe has also put dread in the hearts of its customers by showing signs of “Microsoft Frontpage-itis,” a condition characterized by a dumbing down of software. Adobe Muse

With the introduction of Muse, yet another website program, comments in the blogosphere are gaining in number as well as negativity.

Who’s the target?

It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Muse is aimed at Microsoft Frontpage level users, people who (1) don’t want to drop hundreds of dollars on a top-of-the-line program like Adobe’s own Dreamweaver, and/or (2) will never, ever learn HTML. Muse will compete with Apple’s iWeb, MS Frontpage and a slew of other paint-by-the-numbers website makers from Intuit, Coffee Cup Software and Xara. Adobe will differentiate the product by offering more control, precision placement and power user options. Differentiation and branding in its own product line will be a bit tougher.

Available until release (late 2012?) as a free beta download, Muse is aimed at non-coding web designers who want to work in a powerful WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) environment. “Earth to Adobe, Earth to Adobe: You already have that capability in Dreamweaver!” In Adobe’s existing web program, Dreamweaver CS5, you can split the screen to show both the code and the design preview, or work in one or the other. Like some of the self-contained online site builders, Dreamweaver is an advanced program, but beginners can get decent results with practice.

Rare Adobe misfire?

In fact, if Dreamweaver were just a bit more user-friendly, it could arguably command more market share. What is the compelling case for Muse? Inquiring minds want to know – but will have to wait, perhaps until Muse is headed toward version 2.0. As presently constituted, it is not quite entry-level and certainly not advanced. It’s as if a post-production pro were using floppies (but nice, new multicolored ones) instead of an Xserve RAID for mass storage: Sure, you can do it, but why would you?

We could ask you the same question when it’s time to rent laptops or get state-of-the-art trade show convention rentals. Why would you go anywhere else but CRE? One simple call puts an experienced, expert Account Executive on the job for you. And your visit to the Quick Rental Quote page can get you set up in mere minutes. We’re here, ready to help!

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