Quark Tones Enterprise Offerings

The next version of QuarkXPress will natively support Mac OS X, DMS getting workflow enhancements.

Quark Inc. is readying major upgrades to bolster its publishing software for bigger enterprise customers.

In what could prove a decisive moment for professional Mac publishers waiting to adopt Mac OS X, sources said, Version 6.0 of QuarkXPress will be the first release of the Denver companys flagship page layout package to comply with the new OS Carbon APIs.

Quark is also readying a major upgrade of its DMS (Digital Media System) that will include new and enhanced modules for enterprise-class workflow, officials said.

Other professional Mac applications, such as Adobe Systems Inc.s Photoshop suite (as well as Adobes competing InDesign page-layout package) and the Microsoft Corp.s Office suite have already made the move Apple Computers Unix-based OS. Besides a Windows version, XPress 5 still runs only under earlier versions of the Mac OS or within Mac OS Xs Classic environment, which is based on Mac OS 9.

"Clearly, the publishing industry is largely working on the Mac OS and Mac OS X is the future of the Mac," Quark spokesman Glen Turpin said. "Were absolutely committed to release QuarkXPress for Mac OS X."

Sources predicted that Mac and Windows versions of XPress 6.0 will debut in early 2003, perhaps in time for Januarys Macworld Expo/San Francisco. In addition to Carbon support, the upgrade will feature PostScript 3 support and a new XML engine to replace the companys current Avenue.quark XML-conversion application.

Quarks Turpin declined to specify a version number, features or a date for the release.

The next version of XPress will be incompatible with earlier versions of plug-ins created by third-party developers, but Turpin said Quark is working with third-party developers of XPress extensions on compatible new versions.

Jim Hodges, systems manager at commercial printer The Great Lakes Companies, said 90 percent of the work his office of 25 workstations does is on QuarkXPress. Much of the rest involves software that has already moved to Mac OS X. He hopes that XPress 6.0 will let him print and draw screens faster.

"The only thing Im waiting for is Quark," to move to Mac OS X, said Hodges, in Cleveland.