After 20 years of delivering Photoshop, you might think that developing new versions has become a predictable, turn-key process.
You would think…
While there are aspects of each release that are the same, such as hitting key milestones, every version brings with it something new. The technology, industry, and our customers’ needs are always changing, and so we try to approach things with a fresh perspective. Nothing is status quo. And so we’ll do user research, fill conference room white boards with new ideas from the team, review customer requests, and generally try to “out-do” what we did last time. In the process – we lobby, debate, brainstorm in the halls, burn the midnight oil, and on occasion, welcome a little quality time with “our friend” Don Julio…all in order to give you the very best.
And once in a great while, an Engineering team comes across a release that’s like no other. A release where you wonder whether you’ll really be able to pull things off like you have in the past. Luckily, this release didn’t present the same challenge Photoshop CS5 did.
For the Engineering team, Photoshop CS6 was a smooth release, insofar as software development projects go. There are always unknowns, ups and downs, and slight changes in direction, but also, pleasant surprises along the way. We laid out a plan, tweaked it as needed, and executed. It felt good.
And though Photoshop CS5 put many of us to the test, it did bring with it a silver lining. It gave us the opportunity to look at things differently, and make a new start. Photoshop CS6 is a release where we took some lessons from the past and began more aggressively laying down the foundations for the future – a more proactive stance on architecture, widespread use of the GPU and a renewed emphasis on UI and design. We also took some time to revitalize existing feature areas, increase our focus on quality, productivity, and stability, and of course, continue innovating and incorporating your feedback.
Photoshop CS6 is not the culmination, but the beginning of a journey to further improve, modernize and transform Photoshop for the future.
You can probably tell from the number of “sneak peeks” we shared with you that we’re proud of Photoshop CS6, and excited by the opportunity to get this beta into your hands now, as an advance preview. Working on Photoshop is a very personal thing for myself and everyone else on the team. We’re users of the product, just like all of you (though perhaps not quite as talented!). And when we’re not using the product, we’re spending long hours making Photoshop better, hopefully enabling all of you to be even more productive and creative. But there comes a time when we must call it a day and let the release out into the world. Now is that time.
You might notice there’s a new process for activating the beta. You must log-in using your Adobe ID. Jeff Tranberry, our Chief Customer Advocate, drafted a blog post recently about all the ways this ID will help protect you and your software purchase. We hope that it will become a way for you to easily access your serial numbers at any time and ensure the Photoshop you purchase is a valid one. And for you designers out there, Photoshop CS6 will also be a part of the Adobe Creative Cloud offering.
Thanks for all the input and inspiration you have provided the team over the years. The team and I value your loyal support and look forward to hearing what you think of the beta!
Got beta feedback?:
Director of Engineering, Photoshop
@dhowe on Twitter