Sales of Aldus PageMaker had doubled, year after year. In terms of sales of the software Corporation came in fourth place in the world, but its leadership was literally killed by panic: all income brought the only product that if the market will be serious competition?
The threat has not yet become real, made Aldus obsessively seek salvation from it. And, paradoxically, did not let the company focus on developing its main and only product. They say that they do not need, with PageMaker and so everything is a little too well…
Paul Brainard, the head of a rapidly growing company, ran it in manual mode, incurring in all the details, and did not hesitate in expressions, forcing employees to act in strict accordance with the one he understood the “General line”. So…
All forces were sent to fight a non-existent back problem, the expansion of the range of products, diversification.
Began to diversify in an agreement with Altsys, the developers of graphics programs for Mac. Aldus took on the promotion and marketing of the program Altsys Masterpiece, renaming it as Aldus FreeHand. Altsys under this agreement, could continue to develop a program that is focused on sales.
Aldus FreeHand is a legend in the late 80s and early 90s. In early 1987 it was a unique vector drawing tool based on PostScript (Bezier curves, etc.). Its graphics were able to scale to the printing device with any arbitrarily high resolution.
The process of withdrawal of FreeHand on the market, most likely because of not quite adequate management style of the Aldus Corporation, was delayed. March 31, 1987 Adobe started selling its Illustrator’and program for the same purpose, and even created by the developers of PostScript. Sales of Aldus FreeHand only began in the summer of 1988.
It is necessary to say a few words about the company Altsys. The company was founded in 1984, in PLANO, Texas. Founded by James von ehr (James von Ehr II). The company was known, with a very good reputation, but… remained small and poor.
Started the company with the development of programs for editing and converting Mac ovskih raster fonts, such as FONTastic, FONTastic Plus, Metamorphosis, and the Art Importer. In 1986, probably the first in the world, Altsys released a program to create and edit vector PostScript font, FONTographer is the program remained on the market for over 10 years.
Aldus FreeHand 1.0 was released in 1988, asked for it 495$. The programme had from the very first day to mate in a fierce battle with more than a tough and strong competitor, Adobe Illustrator. It was a magnificent fight: the opponents are not inferior to each other, both programs have developed rapidly, adopting the best, quickly and abundantly enriched its functions.
It was a Paradise for users. The battlefield was the Mac and so Apple Computer was happy too, supporting both “athletes”. Progress vector editors for six years of the “war” was fantastic, its impact on the software industry cannot be overstated. Aldus once again changed the world, though this time for what happened was not her fault.
War FreeHand with Illustrator would have lasted long, but… in the fate of FreeHand interfered with external factors unrelated to itself. By chance, along with all the programs whose names began with Aldus, FreeHand was the property of Adobe Systems, which is a strong competitor of its own programs were useless.
In the fall of 1987 Aldus brought to market a software application for Windows, SnapShot, development Bioscan. SnapShot is allowed to cut the fragments of the pre-transferred to the computer memory videos, edit them, add special effects.
Was and any more additions to the product line.
Nevertheless, the share of PageMaker in sales, which more than doubled to 39.5 million dollars, remains obscenely high, about 90%. Aldus net profit amounted to $ 7.2 million.
Aldus was one of the first in the world software companies are active and successful outside the us market. In October 1985, just three months after the debut of PageMaker, Aldus released an international version of its only program for the English-speaking world outside of their own country. But the first experience was with the commercially unsuccessful. The program has generated interest, but sales were negligible.
In order to successfully promote their products in foreign markets, the company must have been present in these markets. In January 1987, in Scotland Aldus Corporation together with a partner (unknown), opened the company Aldus Scotland. Share Aldus Corp this company was 30%.
Of course, unknown partner caused me serious interest. Something that failed to install. In order not to complicate the reading my the already hard to read text, I posted the results of the investigation at the end of the article.
Scotland Aldus PageMaker successfully sold in the UK and in Europe, where the population was much Macs. Germany, France, Denmark (the number of Macs per capita, Denmark was ahead of the entire Europe).
Soon, PageMaker was the leader in its category in the European market, occupying nearly half of this market. Aldus Scotland Ltd has been renamed to Aldus Europe Ltd and, in addition, moved to the XVI century, Craigcrook castle (built in 1542), about 5 miles from Edinburgh, on the coast…
Out of 39.5 million dollars of 40% brought the international sale of goods.
Staff Aldus PageMaker Europe localized in all major European languages, including (in 1989) and in Russian. Russian version of the program I never got. In those years, in the localized version in the target language translated all occurring in the interface texts of the program reconfigures the display of dates and times.
The next step was Japan.
In June 1987 Aldus Corporation was the IPO and began speaking in Russian, open joint-stock company. From the outset, the company’s stock, originally submitted to the exchange at a price of 16 dollars, went up.
Experts on investment highly appreciated prospects of stake in the company, but expressed concern about the apparent reliance on a single product. “What I’m talking all the time?” – most likely so the head of Aldus reacted to this remark of strangers, does not understand computer technology. At the meeting, or simply in the house, in the presence of rank and file employees.
The floor was a real tyrant. “The strong arm” – it sounds good. But in most cases not really wherever we would like.
Unknown partner of Aldus Corporation, almost a detective
Unknown (is not) registered on 24 September in Scotland, company registration ID SC101089. The same identifier (and the laws of the United Kingdom, the registration ID may not be assigned again) belongs existing in our days, Adobe Systems Europe Ltd, which has paid the prescribed fee for the retention of the ID to the end of 2018, and if we all turn into nuclear ash, there’s no reason to believe this latest installment.
The first company ID SC101089 called JACLARCH Ltd. In Scotland one of the most common surnames LARCH, it can be assumed that the partner of Aldus Corporation called Jac Larch. If you do not know, in Scotland, in addition to the local dialect of English (which is sometimes called the Scottish language), there is another language, Gaelic, a Celtic language related to Irish, which the English names are becoming a fantastic style. About languages, I can talk very long, but I won’t.
5 Nov 1986 ID SC101089 changed hands. Perhaps this was the same Aldus Scotland Ltd. Only the official name of the new company was Aldus (UK).
After a few months ID changed hands again. It was the company Aldus Europe. If you are interested in the current owner’s ID, read this topic from the beginning.
To be continued.