Classic Battles: InDesign has the edge in Russia
Mikhail Shubin is head of media automation at Teren.
Mikhail Shubin is head of media automation at Teren, a Russian system integrator specialising in media solutions.
IFRA: How do the Mac and Windows platforms compete in the Russian newspaper publishing industry?
Shubin: The situation was shaped a decade ago, when the Mac positioned itself as the publishing platform of choice. It wasn't only a question of product quality, but also of prestige. Moscow publishers wanted to underline their higher professionalism.
Today the Mac is still favoured equipment among large publishing groups such as Komsomolskaya Pravda or Vedomosti daily, a joint venture between the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Moscow Times. Regional publishers, on the other hand, overwhelmingly prefer the PC platform.
IFRA: What is the current trend?
Shubin: Countrywide statistics are hard to come by. My personal observation is that a number of Moscow-
Yet I can also mention a major magazine publisher that was considering changing to Windows. They finally backed off due to the reluctancy of their layout artists, who had a strong Apple bias. By taking only economic considerations into account, the company would probably have lost its leading designers.
IFRA: How is the Russian market divided between QuarkXPress and Adobe InDesign?
Shubin: QuarkXPress has long enjoyed a leading position among Moscow-
Historically, QuarkXPress 4.1 had good Russian language packs developed by local companies Textar and Maximum. These language packs still worked with version 5, to a degree, but failed to function properly with version 6. With more advanced language options, InDesign took the upper hand in Moscow.
IFRA: How are things looking today?
Shubin: Russian language support is now built into QuarkXPress 7.3 and it works better than InDesign's. Also, InDesign gained from QuarkXPress 5's lack of OS X support. This is no longer the case.
Finally, pricing was an issue until Quark recently reduced its product prices, making QuarkXPress a lot more cost effective for publishers who also use Illustrator and Photoshop, and were tempted by the Creative Suite package including InDesign. All these elements now combine to make QuarkXPress a better deal. I believe the market's shift to InDesign is now likely to slow down or stop.
IFRA Correspondent Alexei Pankin conducted this interview.
Page first published: 11.03.2008