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Google Scares Up Free Photoshop

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You may be tired of hearing about Google by now. This article is actually about how Adobe plans to create a free Web-based version of Photoshop. But Google’s the reason they’re doing it. Google’s the reason anybody’s doing anything online. That company just can’t seem to find a pair of britches that fit.

Google Scares Up Free Photoshop
Google Scares Up Free Photoshop

Martin LaMonica and Mike Ricciuti over at CNet chatted up Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen, who said the company is taking its Photoshop product online before Google can shove its big butt in the way.

The Web-version of Photoshop, which is to launch sometime within the next six months, will follow a model Google has proven works, and works better than a lot of people thought it would – it will be an advertising supported server-based application.

Just last week, Adobe laid down a precursor to this with its Remix video editing mashup for Photobucket. The most telling quote from the CNet article:

It’s something we are sensitive to because we are watching folks like Google do it in different categories, and we want to make sure that we are there before they are, in areas of our franchises," Chizen said.

This isn’t to say Adobe is abandoning its flagship off-the-shelf software. From the sound of it, Adobe plans to make its Photoshop Web-version just enough better than other Web-based photo applications to get people using it instead of…Picasa, for example.

For the scores of publications, designers, and photographic artistes out there, insistent upon top shelf (i.e., not common) tools, there’s sure to be a more enhanced version you have to actually get from a store. Besides, as Chizen notes, there are a number of things that need to be done without that annoying Internet lag.

Adobe’s new strategy may be a lesson to other companies still waiting to see if the Web is a viable marketplace for their product. It is viable, and if you wait too long, companies like Google are going to beat you to it.

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