Macworld has a review of Mariner Software’s Montage, which is pretty much right on the money. They give it two out of five mice, admiring its interface while pointing out that it doesn’t do nearly as much as it should: page locking, scene numbering and many other standard features are still on the drawing board. Which is fine for a beta, but not a shipping product.
I like the Montage folks, and have been in e-mail contact with them about an even more fundamental issue for me — the way it handles dialogue across page breaks. They’ve been responsive, and seem to genuinely want to make a great application. Version 2 — or even 1.5 — might be terrific. Right now, Montage is a program that looks finished but isn’t.
I’ve moved beyond hoping for a Final Draft killer — the next version of Screenwriter should do that, assuming it ever ships. But competition breeds innovation, so I’ll always be watching Montage, Celtx and the other upstarts. One of them might just change the game.