Freehand Dies

By Deane Barker on August 9, 2005

Macromedia drops FreeHand from bundle: Please, oh please, let GoLive be next.

FreeHand, Macromedia’s popular illustration tool, has been omitted from the company’s upcoming developer suite, dubbed Studio 8.

Macromedia executives cited “extensive research with our customers” as the reason behind the decision, and not its impending acquisition by Adobe Systems

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  1. Looking at the other apps that are in the Studio 8 suite, dumping Freehand is pretty logical. Everything else is geared toward web publishing, and it just doesn’t make much sense to try & sell a vector-based illustration app to web developers.

    Aside from that, I think it won’t be long before Freehand disappears from the product lineup completely, as will any other Macromedia app that competes directly with an Adobe app (unless it’s better than what Adobe sells now, like GoLive vs. Dreamweaver.) Freehand has a few fervent fans, but in the print industry Illustrator is king, and with Adobe now owning Macromedia it’s only a matter of time before it’s gone.

    In the last few years Macromedia has excelled in the web publishing arena, and Adobe has not, but it’s the opposite in the print industry. Adobe is trying to cover both bases. The only thing that I wonder is how long the Macromedia name will survive.

  2. Hello,My handle name is RyuichiXP.I’m a Japanese university student.Freehand MX don’t become to be Macromedia Studio MX.I think that Adobe and Macromedia sell Freehand to another company.for example,Apple computer and so on. A few years ago,Macromedia sold Final cut to Apple Computer.

  3. I think RyuichiXP is correct. Freehand is still a viable product. (In fact, I think it is an excellent program.) I took that survey on Studio MX. They were asking about all sorts of combinations of products. The only two that mattered to me were Dreamweaver and Flash. And Flash was becoming so oriented to ActionScript that I was beginning to look seriously at Xtivity (which looks like a layout program for Flash). I feel better knowing that Flash 8 addresses some of my concerns.

    I always hate to see a strong application die. While I do not use them, I hope that Freehand and GoLive find life somewhere. (Apple would be an interesting choice.) Competition is always good.

    BTW, this is not the first time Freehand faced ownership along side Illustrator. When Adobe bought Aldus (Pagemaker) they also got license to Freehand (which was created and owned by Altsys in my fair city). Seeing the problem, Altsys used a clause in the license that allowed them to take over Freehand themselves. Just before Freehand was to be released under the Altsys name – they sold the company to Macromedia.

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