Adobe: R.I.P PPC


Mac users out there either have something to celebrate or cry about, depending on how old your Mac is: Adobe announced that they are no longer supporting PowerPC (PPC) processors starting with Creative Suite 5.

On the Creative Suite 4 FAQ Adobe lays it out pretty flatly that older PowerPC Macs will no longer run Adobe software after Creative Suite 4, period. Now before you go jumping down Adobe’s throat, keep in mind that Apple itself is dropping support for PowerPC Macs this fall once OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard” is released. Granted, major issues and security updates will be addressed for both OS X and Adobe, but if you want to upgrade to the latest and greatest, you’ll need an Intel machine.

Both Adobe and Apple want to take advantage of everything the Intel chips have to offer, and this includes plans for Adobe to move their Creative Suite code over to “Cocoa” from the existing “Carbon” (basically old OS X programming vs. newer programming).

I’d venture to say that this is not going to be a big issue whatsoever. Anyone running CS4 or even CS3 is most likely also on an Intel-based Mac already. Sure, there might be a few G5 holdouts, but I can tell you from experience that the G4 just did not have the horsepower to run CS3 at any sort of productive level.

And no one is forcing you to upgrade, so you can stay on your PowerPC Mac and use Photoshop CS1. Sure, some people will be ticked off about this, but believe me if you are a Mac user and you aren’t on an Intel machine, you have no idea what you are missing out on.

Personally, I say kudos to Adobe for drawing a line in the sand and giving those who do keep the upgrades current the best possible experience they can using the Creative Suite. If you read between the lines here, what you are hearing Adobe say is that they are committed to the Mac—otherwise they would not be investing the time, money and resources into revamping all their code to the future of OS X. That’s a good sign, fellow Mac designers. A really good sign.

Mac users, sound off in the comments below: are you on PPC? If so, how does this make you feel?


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