Adobe is working to make it easier for designers to build their own Web sites. A new application from Adobe, codenamed Muse, lets designers create and publish functional Web sites in a similar way to how they would mock-up a site in InDesign or Illustrator.
Muse offers users a familiar Adobe tool set in a WYSIWYG interface. Muse is not designed to interact with Dreamweaver, another web design software program from Adobe. With Muse, you can use chunks of HTML and Web widgets such as YouTube videos or Google Maps. You'll also be able to arrange pages using a sitemap and create design elements that are common across multiple pages. The current release does not offer templates.
Although many of its targeted users may not be the type of designers who play with beta software, Adobe is hoping to attract users and get some feedback on the product by offering Muse for free for the next six months while the product is still in beta mode. Version 1.0 of the software is expected in the first quarter of next year. Muse is expected to be offered under a subscription model that costs $20 per month or $180 per year (you'll get a discount for committing to an entire year). Muse is currently in beta, and Adobe has said the product will get a new name when it's out of beta. The software uses Adobe's AIR platform.