Release of Draw gives Appsoft stronger hold

by Dan Lavin

Redwood City, CA Appsoft in May released its drawing and illustration program, Draw, a revised version of the software previously marketed by Media Logic under the name TopDraw.

The release of Draw is a milestone for the nine-month-old software company, representing its first product release that did not originate inside NeXT. And unlike WriteNow, which Appsoft released with no substantial changes from the version bundled with initial NeXT machines, Draw sports a new interface and other improvements over the Media Logic version.

Draw may prove to be a formidable competitor in the NeXT graphics marketplace. At $395, it is significantly less expensive than either the $695 Adobe Illustrator or the $495 Create from Stone Design. Another potential competitor, Virtuoso, is delayed until late summer.

Appsoft is also now in a better position to market Draw since receiving a round of venture capital from Sequoia Partners (see "Appsoft ramping up after venture capital infusion").

Most importantly, early users have positive things to say about the product itself. "I appreciate its simplicity," said Jesse Taylor, a production manager at Paget Press and beta tester of Draw. "It does certain things very well with a limited number of tools."

The simplicity is a reflection of Appsoft's complete rewrite of Media Logic's user interface. Users had complained that the old interface was too convoluted and difficult to use.

"Draw is easier to use than Illustrator," said independent designer Michael Bodil. "It's perfect for corporate or in-house use."