FreeHand, Macromedia’s popular illustration tool, has been omitted from the company’s upcoming developer suite, dubbed Studio 8.

Macromedia executives cited -extensive research with our customers” as the reason behind the decision instead of its impending merger with Adobe Systems — which current sells a competing product called Illustrator.

A Macromedia spokesperson said FreeHand will be sold and supported as a standalone product for the time being.

-Based on the feedback this time around, we decided to make a change.

“FreeHand was replaced by the addition of Contribute and FlashPaper to better fulfil the typical design-develop-maintain workflow needs of our customers,” John Biviano, Macromedia Australia managing director, told Builder AU in an e-mail interview.

When pressed further on future plans for FreeHand, a spokesperson said Macromedia does not disclose future product roadmap information.

The San Francisco-headquartered company has kept mum on future plans for FreeHand. A spokesperson today said Macromedia does not disclose future product roadmap information.

However, on previous occasions, Macromedia has released product roadmaps via company blogs and at developer events.

On August 24, Adobe and Macromedia shareholders plan to vote on the former’s all-stock proposal valued at US$3.4 billion. Both parties have previously stated they expect the merger to close by the end of the year, subject to regulatory and shareholder approval.