May 31, 2006
What’s the future of GoLive and FreeHand?
All kinds of confusion, speculation, and declaration are bouncing around the blogosphere and online media at the moment concerning the future of Adobe GoLive & FreeHand. Here’s the official statement from Adobe:
Q. Is Adobe going to discontinue GoLive and FreeHand?
A. No. Adobe plans to continue to support GoLive and FreeHand and develop these products based on our customers’ needs. Clearly Dreamweaver and Illustrator are market leading when it comes to Web design/development and vector graphics/illustration. Customers should expect Adobe to concentrate our development efforts around these two products – with regards to future innovation and Creative Suite integration.
Being a public company, Adobe employees generally have to remain mum about future product developments (for good reason, since we have to be wary of affecting the stock price). For that reason, we’ve done a pretty bad job of communicating our plans, especially to passionate GoLive and FreeHand users. Folks here are working to make that better, and we’ll share more info as it’s available.
Regarding GoLive, both it and Dreamweaver offer some really unique capabilities. GoLive has always emphasized strong visual design tools (a layout grid, etc.), and there are interesting ways to use those capabilities going forward. I won’t presume to speak for either the GL or DW teams & won’t get into more detail, but there are clearly ways the two codebases can complement one another.
Regarding FreeHand, I feel I need to make a couple of points.
- Macromedia did not ship a new version of FreeHand following the MX release in 2003. I don’t have further information on why the company took that approach (I didn’t work at MM at that time), but it was a decision made independent of Adobe.
- In addition, last year Macromedia–again independent of Adobe–made the decision that it would no longer include FreeHand in Studio. Although the announcement was made following the Adobe-Macromedia merger announcement, it was prior to that deal closing. In other words, it was done at at time when Adobe and Macromedia were not permitted to interact and plan together.
So, while FreeHand may not share the same strategic place in our product portfolio as Illustrator, it hasn’t been discontinued and we’ve now at least put some clarity on that. Now, excuse me while I go to another meeting to plan ways to make Photoshop & Fireworks play well together. :-)