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Adobe Gives Photoshop a Nice Gesture with Windows 8.1 Touch

When Microsoft said it was targeting MacBook users with its new Surface Pro 3 last month, the company demonstrated how much lighter its latest device is by putting the two on a balancing scale. But to really tip the scales for the new tablet PC, Microsoft also talked up its new partnership with Adobe to enhance Photoshop and the rest of the Creative Cloud suite for the new Surface.

Adobe today delivered on that promise with the launch of its new Creative Cloud Photography offering. The company said it will offer the new suite at a starting price of $9.99 per month, which includes what the company calls its new Creative Cloud Photography plan. Part of the new Photoshop CC 2014 release, it is now optimized for Windows 8.1 for those who want to use an electronic stylus or touch.

"We're offering 200 percent DPI support, as well as touch gestures," said Zorana Gee, Adobe's senior product manager for Photoshop during a media briefing. "All of the touch gestures you were able to experience [on traditional PCs and Macs] -- pan, zoom, scale, etc., will now be supported on the new Windows 8 platform."

The optimization for the Surface Pro 3 is available in Photoshop 2014, though the company indicated it was looking to optimize other apps in the suite over time as well.

Adobe last year took the bold step of saying it would only offer its entire Creative Suite of apps, which include Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator and InDesign, as a cloud-based software as a service. At the Surface launch last month, Adobe was among a number of software vendors including Autodesk and SAP  that said they're optimizing their apps for the touch and gesture features in Windows 8.x.

"It's really, really easy to interact with the screen," said Michael Gough, Adobe's VP of Experience Design, when demonstrating the new Windows 8.1-enabled Photoshop at the Surface Pro 3 launch. "The pen input is natural. The performance is great -- both the performance of the software and the hardware working together."

While Photoshop is bundled with the new plan and is optimized for Surface, the subscription also includes Lightroom and Lightroom mobile, which Adobe has designed for use with Apple's iPhone and iPad.

The new Photoshop release also has a number of other new features including content-aware color adaption improvements, Blur gallery motion effects, Perspective Warp and Focus Mask. The latter automatically selects areas in an image that are in focus. It's suited for headshots and other images with shallow depth of field.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 06/18/2014 at 8:34 AM


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