I have to start this off with a little disclaimer: I’m an Adobe fan-girl from way back. I mean way back. Like before Photoshop had layers. Adobe’s apps are robust, capable, flexible, and not buggy. I’m proud of the work I’ve done with them, and like Kathy Sierra says, to turn users into passionate fans, help them not suck. Adobe does that for me. Now that you know that, feel free to skip the rest of this post with a superior feeling that I obviously can’t be objective, if you like. Or, read on to find out about a fan-girl’s visit to the mother ship.
Yesterday, I spent the afternoon at Adobe with NMC CEO Larry Johnson. We talked with folks from Adobe’s higher education division, and we saw some really, really cool stuff. One thing that I loved is Adobe Rome (see the video demo of Rome from MAX 2009 last October). Rome is going to be a fantastic tool for K12 mediamaking and collaboration, I think. It makes it easy to pull together different kinds of media along with text and drawings, and then to output the project in different ways. I really want my son to play with it, because I’m curious about how the tool will feel to a young person. It looked very intuitive to me, but then I’ve been using Photoshop and Illustrator longer than my son’s been alive, so it’s hard to say how a new, inexperienced user would see it. The demo just blew me away because of what could be done with it in schools, if the Big 3 Issues are properly addressed (what does it cost? can I make the kids’ work private? do I need to install and maintain it?). I have high hopes.
We also saw some of the new features coming up in CS5, but I’m not sure which ones have already been revealed so I’ll just say this: Wow. I am so excited about what I saw. Photoshop in particular has some new powerful features that I look forward to playing with, and there are some other treats coming out as well. Keep an eye out for CS5 and Rome!