Design and art software firm Adobe Systems made a pre-release version of its popular photo-editing software available for download this week, giving graphic artists and investors alike, a taste of its next-generation software.

The San Jose-Calif. based software maker released two versions of its Photoshop CS3 software for testing. One is for Windows XP and Vista and the other is for Intel-based Macs.

The special 'beta' release is designed to give users a feel for the next-generation product. It will also let users find any errors in the software before the product ships. Experts believe the final version should be ready by the second quarter of 2007.

The English language version of CS3 is expected to ship by May, with the other major language versions released in early Q3, said Rick G. Sherlund of Goldman Sachs.

Users of Adobe's most current Photoshop software, CS2, are eligible to download test version with a valid serial number.