Friday, April 4

Photoshop CS4 to Favor Vista for 64-Bit

Adobe's latest upgrade offers support for massive amounts of memory, but not on Mac OS X.

Neil McAllister
PC World
Thursday, April 3, 2008; 4:19 PM

For graphic design professionals it's that time again. Adobe is readying a new version of its Creative Suite, the software bundle that includes Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, and other applications for print and Web design. Only this time there's a twist: The new version of Photoshop will support 64-bit memory addressing for the first time --but only if you're running Windows.

Simply put, more bits means you can access more memory, which means you can work with bigger files. By taking advantage of 64-bit CPUs, Adobe is making it possible for designers and photo manipulators to work with really, really big images at high resolutions. Think posters, advertising displays, or even billboards.

So why not on Macs? As it turns out, Photoshop for Mac OS is written using older APIs that don't allow access to all the latest Mac OS X features. To bring the software up to speed will require a total rewrite, a time-consuming process that could leave Mac users in the cold for some time.

It won't be the first time that Mac-based graphic designers have looked to Adobe with unease. Illustrator 7, released in 1997, was the first version of Adobe's drawing software that offered the same feature set on both Mac OS and Windows. Given Apple's troubles at the time -- Gil Amelio was still CEO, and Apple had wasted untold millions on repeated, failed attempts to reinvent its aging OS -- many in the graphic arts community wondered openly whether the PC port of Illustrator 7 signaled a wholesale move to Windows as Adobe's platform of choice.