Next Week Or Next Month? (6/12/03)

Wow, we knew this whole "QuarkXPress 6 for Mac OS X shipping next week" thing was big news, but we really didn't grasp just how big. Remember how Quark's head honcho Fred Ebrahimi was acting all insane and stuff, going off in public about how the Mac was a dying platform, publishing was a dying industry, anyone who didn't like Quark's attitude could switch to something else except switching to InDesign would be committing suicide, etc.? Well, CRN reports that a seemingly lucid Ebrahimi actually apologized for taking so long with the Mac OS X port-- and according to CNET, at the big announcement for the press, "Jobs embraced Quark CEO Fred Ebrahimi, something Quark executives say has not happened for some time." Embraced? Literally? Oh, so that's what the problem was all this time-- Fred just needed a hug!

Meanwhile, is QuarkXPress 6 shipping next week? You'd think this shouldn't even be a necessary question to ask, but there's a surprising amount of confusion surrounding the product's actual ship date. Originally the orgy of Quarkness on Apple's web site included several references to the product being "available next week," but as far as we could tell from a quick tear through the site, every instance of that phrase has apparently since vaporized. (Compare the original splash graphic as replicated at MacCentral versus the one currently on Apple's home page, for instance.) Moreover, MacSlash notes that a reader was actually told by a Quark representative that the company is performing "MAJOR fire fighting duties to squelch the 'shipping next week' bugaboo... the order desk states that Quark 6 will not be shipping until the end of July!" Wuh-oh. Did someone screw up?

Well, if someone did, that someone is pretty high up; according to CRN, at that tearful public reconciliation at One Infinite Loop, Ebrahimi himself said that the product "should ship next week." And the official Quark press release says it "will ship next week." Plus, if you go to the Apple Store and add a copy of QuarkXPress to your cart, you'll find it has an estimated shipping time of "7-10 days," which to us sure sounds a lot like-- all together, now-- "next week." So what's up with Quark's order staff telling people they'll be waiting until the end of July?

Now, we realize that you may well have been waiting for this application for over two years, so an extra month and a half might well drive you to do something drastic. Don't. According to Quark Communications Manager Glen Turpin, it's just a "communications problem"; when contacted by MacCentral, he said, "some time ago we told [our customer service personnel] that we were going to ship by July 31 at the latest, but obviously we announced yesterday that we'll ship next week, and their current responses should be in line with that announcement. I absolutely want to reassure you that QuarkXPress 6 will ship next week." Ahhhhh. Feel better now?

Well, maybe you shouldn't feel too much better, because a MacSlash reader called up Quark after the MacCentral article was posted, and was specifically told that "it will be the end of July before this will ship in the states" and "that the Quark web site is incorrect and that the other web sites such as MacCentral are wrong." Hoooo mama, this is one doozy of a pickle. We'd call them ourselves, but that would be a little too much like investigative journalism and not enough like smart-ass commentary, so we decided it would be against our charter. Besides, we kind of like the uncertainty. It makes us feel alive.

SceneLink (4011)
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The above scene was taken from the 6/12/03 episode:

June 12, 2003: A bunch of people took us way too seriously and now hundreds are dead. Meanwhile, Apple's use of the name "UNIX" prompted a lawsuit-- 18 months ago-- and QuarkXPress 6 ships next week, or maybe at the end of July; it all depends on whom you ask...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 4009: Oh Boy, Damage Control! (6/12/03)   Whoops! It seems that, once again, we have inadvertently driven scores of Mac fans to their untimely and needless deaths. Who knew that a quick and heavily-tempered throwaway caution about some lingering third-hand doubts surrounding a Power Mac G5 intro at WWDC that we slapped in at the end of a book report would send so many excitable rumor junkies scurrying for the nearest high window ledge?...

  • 4010: Two Suits, Lots Of Waiting (6/12/03)   Hey, so does a story qualify as news if it's not so much saying "this is happening," but rather "this is still happening"? What about if it's saying "this is still happening, and nobody ever noticed in the first place"?...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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