February 27, 2006
Written by Danit Lidor
Once a company crowns itself king of a particular industry, it has to keep the little people happy if it wants to sit easily upon the throne.
San Jose, Calif.-based Adobe Systems (nasdaq: ADBE – news – people ) has mastered this lesson. As soon as its offerings–Acrobat, Flash and Photoshop–become the de facto standards, Adobe proceeds to tweak and groom them. The idea is to present a moving target to any up-and-coming software firms.
At the Photo Marketing Association conference in Orlando, Fla., today, Adobe announced significant upgrades and added services to Photoshop and its other digital photography software that are designed to appeal to both the professional and enthusiast.
“With Photoshop we already have the leading position in the photo-editing market,” says Kevin Connor, Adobe’s senior director of product management for digital imaging. “But we always see room for making it better.”
The company prides itself on listening to what its customers want and then delivering it in a simple and intuitive way. Case in point: the company’s second version of Lightroom, a Photoshop-companion workflow program. Lightroom was initially released in January, and Adobe has made both versions available as free downloads and has been actively soliciting feedback from its users. (See: ” Adobe Set To Compete With Apple.“)
According to Connor, the public betas have been hugely successful, with more than 100,000 copies of the first version downloaded and 1,500 active professionals contributing to online feedback forums. Lightroom beta 2.0, released last week with newer functions, has already been downloaded 30,000 times.