Microsoft launches Office 2010 on Wednesday 12 May 2010 at 11am EDT in NBC Studios, New York. Business customers which make up 90 percent of Office customers, can begin purchasing the software while small businesses and consumers will have to wait till June for the suite to hit the stores.

Office generated US$19 billion in sales in fiscal 2009, which accounted for more than a third of Microsoft’s US$58 billion in sales for the year. It brought in more than half of the company’s operating profit – US$12 billion out of the overall US$20 billion.

According to Microsoft, about 500 million people use Office, many of them still on Office 2003 or older versions. While half the users may have purchased the software legitimately, the others have not, with many of them using pirated versions.

I believe the availability of free competitors, mainly in the form of Google Docs, has forced Microsoft to price its suite at a more affordable level. The Standard Edition of Office 2007, containing Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, debuted with a suggested retail price of US$399. Now, the price for Office 2010 Home and Business, which includes those four apps plus the note-taking program OneNote, costs as little as US$199.

For consumer users, which earned Office US1.8 billion in fiscal 2009, this is a much more affordable price tag, especially if upgrading from the 2003 version or earlier.

Adobe CS5 in a box

Adobe CS5 Master Collection at US$2599

This is the Singapore leg of Adobe’s CS5 roadshow which will also be held in Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia. It’s been one and a half years since the CS4 roadshow on 14 Nov 2008. Expect the usual song and dance by Adobe’s product evangelists. Attendees will probably be keen to get the pulse of Flash’s future in view of the current spat with Apple. Doubt if they will hear anything but the official party line laid down by CEO Shantanu Narayen. Looking at how things are moving … or not moving … forget about Flash on Apple iPhone and iPad for the foreseeable future.

Event: Adobe Creative Suite 5 Roadshow 2010 in Singapore
Date: 12 May 2010
Time: 0900 ~ 1800 Hrs
Venue: The Ballroom, Level 2, Suntec City

Broad programme:
CS5 features for designers by Terry White
Video production features by Jason Levine
Web design and development by Greg Rewis

Checkout the details of the roadshow for all 5 venues here.

Entrance to the Bedok Public Library

Bedok Public Library on 11 May 2010 from 1845 ~ 2045 Hrs

Creative Sushi is the May installment of the monthly meeting for Creative Crew, Adobe’s User Group in Singapore.

Event: Creative Crew Monthly Meeting
Date: 11 May 2010
Time: 1845 – 2045 Hrs
Venue: Bedok Public Library

Broad programme:
Fireworks CS5 by Linus Lim
Audio remix by Ivan Chew
Video remix by Stefano Virgilli
MTV style video tricks by Stefano Virgilli

Check out the details here.

Adobe Photoshop CS5

May 7, 2010

Stacked photoshop boxes for CS5 and CS5 Extended

Photoshop CS5 lauched on 12 Apr 2010, shipped on 30 Apr 2010

Photoshop CS5 was launched on 12 April 2010 as part of the Adobe CS5 Suite. It is the flagship product of Adobe’s entire CS5 release and I am impressed by some of its new features.

I will be delving into some of the main features in more detail over the next few weeks.

The main new features are:

  • Content-aware fill – remove objects or fill in space through automatic cloning
  • HDR Toning – create HDR-like effects from a single exposure
  • Painting effects – natural painterly effects with mixer brushes that blend colours
  • Puppet Warp – reminds me of liquify with more control
  • Automated Lens Correction – using database of preset corrections based on camera model and lenses
  • Mini-Bridge Panel – Bridge right within Photoshop

The enhanced features are:

  • Intelligent selection tools – select hair easier
  • HDR Pro – combine bracketed exposures with more control
  • Adobe Camera Raw 6 – including better sharpening and noise reduction
  • Black-and-White conversion – using Lab Black-and-White technique
  • User-inspired productivity enhancements – things users have been asking for

Features available only for the Extended version:

  • New Repouss√© tool for 3D extrusions – pseudo-3D extrusion of text and artwork
  • Enhanced 3D realism and rich materials – wrap and dress up 3D objects
  • Better 3D performance & workflow – more powerful rendering engine

Not so sexy features:

  • Integration with Adobe CS Review – collaboration for creative reviews
  • Cross-platform 64-bit support – faster performance
  • Flexible custom panels – create your own panels for your own convenience
  • Workspace Switcher and live workspaces – quickly switch between saved workspaces for different tasks

I also did a review of Adobe Photoshop CS5 in Digital Life on 28 Apr 2010.