Friday, September 16, 2005

WCS story followup: Is it Game over for the Profile Industry ?

Some users may land here, see the Q&A post about WCS, and wonder what it's all about. Well then, here is the link to my column. There's also a comment posted that decodes the jargon a bit, I'd welcome more informatve comments here.

And then here are my musings on the future of the ICC profiling tool industry.
1. Color will go mainstream as soon as a central control panel for color is integrated in Windows.
2. Hardware (Pucks) for calibrating monitors will become a high-volume commoditized buisness.
3. Low-end *packaged* profiling software for monitors will disappear. Vamoose. Gone. Specialty code shops will write the Windows drivers for pucks.
4. High-end software for calibrating monitors will survive, as a niche. However the market may grow so srongly as a result of the commoditized hardware explosion that revenues here actually expand.
5. In the office print-profiling world, especially inkjets and laser color printers, calibration hardware (spectros) will also be commoditized, and integrated into the printing devices.
6. Low-end print-profiling software will disappear. However a new market for "color tweaking" plugins for Windows will emerge.
7. A niche market for ICC software will remain, in specialty office use.
8. ICC will hang on forever in the prepress and printing industry. Which is where it was designed and where it should have stayed from day one. How did this monster ever get into the house of Joe Public ?
9 And the the 64 million dollar question: What is Adobe going to do in order to interoperate with WCD while remaining platform-agnostic ?

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