Adobe software engineer explains why Photoshop for Intel-based Macs is taking so long

“By now you have probably figured out that we aren’t releasing Universal Binaries of our current application versions,” Adobe software engineer Scott Byer blogs over at “If you haven’t, all you need to know is pretty explicitly spelled out here. ‘But, c’mon,’ I hear people saying, ‘Steve said it was just a recompile!’ Or, ‘Back during the PowerPC transition, you guys released a patch!’ Well, this time is different. And I really wish it weren’t. But let me tell you how…”

Byer explains, “When that original PowerPC transition was done, Apple did something clever. Very clever.”

Find out why it going to be a lot of hard work for Adobe to make a native (Universal) version of Photoshop for Intel-based Macs here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Paul L.” for the heads up.]

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Related articles:
Adobe Creative Suite 3 with Intel-based Mac support could be ready this year – March 09, 2006
Adobe prefers (and promotes) Windows PCs over Macs – March 24, 2003


  1. I knew it would be tough, nice to see any respose from anyone at Adobe shedding some light on the task.

    This does not bode well for folks with high power G5 machines. As I predicted before, if you’ve got one of these machines, you better stock up on software that runs on them because the end of the road is just ahead.

  2. It’s more than I’ve read from Adobe anywhere else, so I for one am grateful for the info.

    I just hope that the cost of upgrading to CS3 is going to be reasonable ie Adobe doesn’t yank up the price because of the captive nature of the upgrade we’ll need…

  3. Yeah it’s nice to at least get some reply on this matter. As for those poor people with their high end G5s, I would not worry one little bit there, Macs Kingy. They are going to be releasing the next version as UNIVERSAL. Understand? And secondly, do you really think CS3 is gonna have any “must have” improvements over CS2? C’mon, I could be using photoshop 7 and be just fine…

  4. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that Apple did Adobe a HUGE favor, in that it gives many people a reason to buy CS3, that otherwise wouldn’t. I know I’ve run out of reasons to upgrade my Adobe suite (that I work on 6 hours a day, 5 days a week).

  5. The fact of the matter is this

    Adobe CEO’s almost wrote off Apple a few years back. They even had Photoshop manuals and materials that suggested people buy Windows PC’s as the preferred platform to use from now on.


    Apple shareholders responded by firing that incompetant CEO and buying NeXT, which Steve jobs came back to “save Apple”.

    So since Adobe was going to write off Apple, there was a lack of investment in programing time in the Mac platform. Also Apple didn’t have a plan either, X-code was made recently when Steve jobs and NeXT crew came to work at Apple.

    Metroworks is also used quite a bit by Microsoft applications on the Mac, notably OfficeMac.

    Adobe has cut corners for way too long, the original programmers were a brillant patch of folks, but now programmers are dumbed down, some don’t even know how to use math well.

    We might not see a well working Photoshop for IntelMac’s for several years.

    And of course witht that investment Adobe will want to lock down every copy, so Apple will have to improve on the Trusted Computing, since it was hacked by getting Mac OS X on generic PC’s.

    I knew Apple should have placed a essential processor in their computers that would do something needed by the OS as a way to lock Mac OS X to hardware. So that way Mac OS X could be run in it’s full state on generic PC’s.

    Oh well, I guess i was right.

  6. The bottom line is there is no competition for PhotoShop so they can use their resources for programs like Lightroom and their other programs that do have competition. Besides, there is no money in it for updating CS2 when they can make you buy CS3.

    BWT – Despite being their flagship program, PhotoShop was the last Adobe program to go OS X. Why? Again, lack of competition.

  7. At work, we’re under a lot of pressure to jump back to Quark since we are moving.

    Sure, we’re not Adobe’s biggest customer…we probably buy about 150-200 upgrade licenses for the suite and maybe about 10-15 full licenses a year.

    But there is a hard push to move to Intel by year’s end. (We put off hardware upgrades after the Intel announcement)

    Quark has been throwing offers of dirt cheap cross grades at our CTO to get us back to a Quark shop. Rumors have been spreading that we can expect CS3 in Q2, and probably later with slips.

    I hate Quark. The product and the company. I love the CS suite. But this cutover will be done by the end of the year, and I hope Adobe has a fantastic upgrade for us.

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