Suitcase Fusion

You have to love the first real day of Macworld San Francisco. It’s the only way a Jewish girl knows what it feels like to come down the stairs and find a pile of presents under a dead tree in her living room.

I’m scanning the Mac websites and there are already a few new announcements that have caught my eye. Everyone wants to get some buzz going before Apple makes their drop at the Stevenote later.

First is Suitcase Fusion. Years ago, so many years ago that I don’t remember how many years ago, Extensis bought DiamondSoft Software, makers of Font Reserve. Years before that, Extensis bought Suitcase away from Symantec which bought it away from a company that I can’t remember the name. For a long time, Suitcase was the name in font management. Personally, I swore by Font Reserve. It survived the jump from OS 9 to OS X but didn’t quite make it to Jaguar (OS 10.3). Extensis promised a combined Suitcase/Font Reserve application. And promised. And promised. Eventually, they stopped promising and just stuck with promoting Font Reserve server and most assumed that was the point of the DiamondSoft acquisition.

So now it’s 2006 and we have the fantastic Font Agent Pro and I’m hearing really good things about Linotype’s free FontExplorerX. Now that Suitcase and Font Reserve are nearly irrelevant it’s time to launch that long-awaited Suitcase/Font Reserve product at last.

It’s $99.95, $49.95 upgrade. I’d have to disable Font Agent Pro to install the demo, which I don’t want to do without a very good reason. So I’m looking at the Extensis site trying to figure out if it’s worth it. They have a page listing new features if you’re a Suitcase user, a page listing new features if you’re a Font Reserve user. Why wouldn’t they compare their product with the competition and tell me what’s great if you’re using something else?

I’m looking at the new features page and for the life of me, I can’t find a single feature that’s screaming, “I gotta get me some of that.” Nothing that even makes me say “Gee, wish Font Agent Pro had that.” Am I missing something? Had this been released right after Extensis bought Font Reserve I might have jumped at the demo, now I think they’re just a little too late out of the gate to get me back as a customer.

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