Selected U.S. customers of Quark Inc. received an unexpected piece of mail at the beginning of March: a postcard from the Denver-based company that directly compared QuarkXPress 6.5 with Adobes InDesign—the first time in memory that Quark has deigned to publicly attack its main competitor.
This aggressive approach isnt what Quarks customers are used to, and the response from some of them was less than positive. In postings on QuarkVsInDesign.com, a Web site devoted to following the competition between the two products, one customer described the cards as “childish and immature … like kids who stick their tongues out at others while hiding behind their mother, knowing that theyd lose in an actual, face-to-face battle.”
Meanwhile, an anonymous Adobe employee said, “We didnt get anything done the day [we saw the Quark postcards]. We were all laughing so hard we couldnt focus. Quark is really, really hurting to be going for such a negative campaign with so little ammunition.”
But this more aggressive approach is part of the “New Quark” thats emerged over the past year, in direct response to the threat of Adobe InDesign. Thanks to the gradual improvement of InDesign as a serious publishing tool, there have been some major defections in the publishing world from Quark to Adobe.