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Quark Moves On

It was announced last week that Platinum Equity had acquired Quark Software Inc. Without an understanding of the digital media market over the past thirty years this may seem just like another investment by a financial investment company. For those of us who have been involved in the major changes that have happened, to us Quark is one of the key companies that had driven the changes in the industry.


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By Kevin Karstedt on Aug 23, 2011


Thanks for the walk down memory lane...when you get to the chapters on Aldus and Scitex be sure to let us know...


By Chuck Gehman on Aug 23, 2011

Remember that even during the QuarkXpress heyday, designers would often take more than a year (and sometimes two) to adopt the latest major version release, because they were plagued with serious defects and often contained arbitrary changes that required re-learning. Printers only adopted when customers demanded and were tortured with even more problems getting things to output, and getting little support from the company.

Quark always treated its customers as if they owed it something, and when Gill left this accelerated. Because of a very large, installed base for which there was no viable software alternative, the company was able to coast forward for years collecting licensing revenues without innovating.

Not exactly a thriving ecosystem.

Up until a challenger came on the scene, that is, Adobe InDesign. At that point, Quark's "hostages" as the poor designers might have been called, were able to escape. Adobe was able to charge the same amount as Quark, even more in some cases, and developed the Creative Suite licensing model. They took over the page layout world very, very quickly. They continue to innovate to this day, and offer solid, reliable software. There are certainly things people in the graphic arts industry have disliked about Adobe's business practices over the years, as with any company, but they have been a savior in this particularly crucial category of software.


By Mary Ann Fong on Aug 23, 2011

Haven't you neglected to mention how much of the professional market share they have lost to InDesign? The period between 2006 and 2011 is covered in one sentence.



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