The Bell Tolls for FreeHand
Adobe has finally broken its silence and spoken the words we knew were coming: FreeHand is dead.
Not as dead as, for example, ImageReady, which has disappeared. You can still buy FreeHand MX, the version Macromedia released in 2003. Of course, a lot has happened in Softwaredom since then. FreeHand MX wasn’t built to run its best on Intel Macs or Windows Vista. Suite-mates Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and Flash have moved on. If you care about those kinds of things, you’re SOL.
Here’s the bad news, straight from the horse’s mouth (also known as the "Macromedia Freehand to Adobe Illustrator CS3 Migration" FAQ):
"Adobe does not plan to develop and deliver any new feature-based releases of FreeHand. Adobe will, however, continue to sell FreeHand MX, and will offer technical and customer support according to our support policies… At this time, Adobe has no plans to provide maintenance releases, patches or updates for FreeHand MX… Adobe has no plans to deliver Universal versions of FreeHand that natively support Intel-based Mac computers… Adobe has no plans to deliver a FreeHand MX release that supports Windows Vista."
Adobe then offers the bitter solace of an upgrade path to Illustrator CS3 ($199 if you have a registered copy of any version of FreeHand) and "a number of enhancements for FreeHand users" in Illustrator CS3.
And that’s it. Those are all the bones Adobe will toss your way. If you decide after you’ve chewed on them that you want to buy Illustrator, the tutorials at https://www.adobe.com/products/illustrator/switch/ may help you adjust to the new environment.
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