FrameMaker on Mac: Pay Attention, Adobe!

About a year ago, I ranted about Adobe having abandoned the Mac platform for their FrameMaker product. In that post, I quoted then-product-manager Aseem Dokania thusly:

…I believe there are some good workarounds available now for using windows applications on Mac. It may be possible to use one of them for FrameMaker.

Under the realistic threat that (code-named) Mandar Warrior Princess’ G5 iMac may die in the near future, I decided to give it a shot. It’s a number of years later, and technology actually makes it pretty easy to do what Aseem said on your Intel-based Mac. I still think he’s an asshole, though.

If you run 10.5.x (Leopard) on your Mac, you have the Boot Camp option, but you can only run Windows or OS X at one time. You have to reboot the machine to switch.

So for late-comers like me who still run 10.4.x (Tiger), and those who wish to run both operating systems concurrently, you have to install VMware or Parallels. These allow you to run a virtual machine on your Mac; essentially, Windows appears to run as an “application” on the Mac in its own… ahem… window.

Next, you install a version of Windows on the virtual machine. Finally, you install FrameMaker 9 for Windows, and you’re off!

None of it is very elegant (vis-à-vis having a Mac-native version), but it will work.

Mac users are screwed either way, though.

Adobe no longer makes FrameMaker for Mac; therefore your upgrade eligibility is nil, as they require upgrades be for the same platform. That juicy $399 upgrade price tag is there just to mock you.

So, how much will it really cost?

VMware and Parallels each retail for about $80. You can pick up a version of Windows XP 2002 (w/o service packs) on Amazon for $119. The full version of FrameMaker 9 for Windows is $999.

Total: $1,198.00

So here’s what I propose, Adobe.

Offer a “Mac Upgrade” option to customers like me who undoubtedly continue to faithfully shell out cash for Photoshop & Illustrator upgrades. Offer FrameMaker 9 for $800 to those with valid Mac FM serial numbers, thus subsidizing the purchase of the extra software required to make it work on my Mac.

I submitted this to Adobe via their website, but will likely not hear from them.

It’s too bad, though. It’s exactly this type of consideration that would make me (and many other Mac users) think, “okay, at least they’re trying not to be complete assholes about this,” and pay the $800.

2 thoughts on “FrameMaker on Mac: Pay Attention, Adobe!

  1. Instead of VMware Fusion or Parallels, you could also use Sun’s VirtualBox — it’s free, works well and can be downloaded here:

    “Seamless Mode” allows you to run Frame in a window on the Mac, without all the Windows background… Parallels & VMware offer the same thing (Unity in Fusion).

    Nevertheless, with Macs being pretty much mainstream by now, it’s a shame that Frame is not available on the platform.

  2. So, bottom line, Frame 8 can be made to run on a MAc using Sun’s VirtualBox, right? Can anyone break that down further into nuts and bolts steps, and caveats for those less steeped in the concepts, lingo and lore.

    I want the malware barrier,intuitive GUI features and robustness of MAC, but my work demands I usd FrameMaker, Adobe Acrobat, and a number of other Windows apps, such as Excel, Word, Visio, PowerPoint, and Windows based help engines, such as Flare. I hear there are a slew of variables to be taken into account, such as the right combo of drivers, even legal agreements between mfgers, as well as the additinal costs against which the benefits should be weighed. Last thing I want to do is run out, load up with HW and SW that turn out not to play together.

    So, for example, I need clear step by step instrucs like:

    1. Buy model ABC, version 3.4 of a Sun box with these specs (blah blah blah)

    2. Get and install such and such processors, RAM, Diskspace, cabling, media board, and plug-in utilties to bridge the gaps.

    3. Download and install such and such service packs and drivers. Beware of these gotchas.

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