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Color desktop publishing on Intel architecture today.

With all of the professional desktop publishing applications available on the PC running under Microsoft Windows, sophisticated color desktop publishing on Intel architecture is now competing favorably with the long-established Macintosh platform.

Microsoft Windows is fast gaining recognition as a publishing platform posing "challenges and opportunities for design firms, prepress houses, and commercial printers.... The marketing potential for new clients is immense--especially among corporations," observes james Cavuoto, editor and publisher of Micro Publishing News February 1994). The marketing potential for desktop publishing on the Intel architecture is indeed immense--for, as noted in Newsweek magazine (21 February 1994), "at the latest rough count, nearly 150 million PCs were humming out there in cyberspace, 9 in 10 of them built around Intel's microprocessors. Those chips of silicon 'brain,' the heart and soul of every desktop computer, are supplied almost solely by Intel."

Intel Corporation invented the first commercial microprocessor in 1971 and introduced the dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) chip, the erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM) chip, and the math coprocessor. In a series of X86 chips, Intel's fourth-generation X86, the 486, has provided workstation capabilities in Pcs. The fifth-generation processor, the Pentium, 66 MHz with a 64-bit databus and a 32-bit instruction set, runs up to five times the speed of the Intel 486 DX-33 CPU, enabling advanced image processing--of great importance in many desktop publishing applications, particularly those involving fine gradations of gray scales and process colors.

Desktop publishing has evolved considerably since its inception with the IBM PC and HP Laserjet printer in the early '80s. It must be acknowledged that desktop publishing became a much more popular application only after Apple introduced the Macintosh with its graphical user interface and the LaserWriter printer. Now in some ways Windows outMacs Mac in ease of use. As to functionality, let's take, as an example, Aldus PageMaker 5.0. It functions so similarly on the Windows and Mac platforms that both platforms use the same manual. In teaching my college course on desktop publishing, I use a single text that covers both platforms, Desktop Publishing by Design, published by Microsoft Press. I prepare a single set of instructions throughout the course, so complete is the convergence of the two versions.

My colleagues who teach other popular desktop publishing programs, such as QuarkXPress and FrameMaker, are also observing the converging similarity of the two platforms. This convergence is not too surprising. In the early days of desktop publishing, Ventura Publisher on the PC was one of the most popular programs. It was first introduced in 1985 and ran only on the PC under an excellent graphical user interface. Several years later, Ventura Publisher on the Macintosh made its debut and functioned similarly.

On the output side, desktop publishing has progressed from black-and-white text-only publications to the highest-quality full-color publications. Color desktop publishing is currently the rage, as noted by Kim and Sunny Baker in their widely read book, Color Publishing on the PC (Random House Electronic Publishing, 1993). "Graphic designers and the creative departments in advertising agencies, newspapers, and magazines are abandoning time-tested drafting board techniques and moving full speed into color desktop publishing-without so much as a glance in the rearview mirror."

Color desktop publishing under Windows is finding increasing market share at desktop publishing service bureaus. According to a recent survey of bureaus in the San Francisco Bay area conducted by Micro Publishing News (February 1994, pages 26-27), 5 service bureaus out of the 25 surveyed are already doing more than a third of their business on the Windows platform, and all 25 expect the market share of Windows to continue rising.

Says Mr. Kenny Yun, production manager of Copy Time, San Francisco, "We expect to increase our share of Windows business. Windows' advantage is that Truetype fonts, once installed, are available to all output devices, in contrast to Adobe Type I fonts, which require additional installations for each output device." Asked to comment on the misconception some desktop publishers have that Windows poses a substitution problem with True Type fonts, he said, "True Type fonts are not a problem any more. We work only with embedded True Type fonts and that eliminates any substitution problems."

All of this is good news for production editors--competing platforms and products will serve us better.
COPYRIGHT 1994 Society for Technical Communication
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1994 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Intel Corp.
Author:Wallia, C.J.
Publication:Technical Communication
Date:Aug 1, 1994
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