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Why Did Adobe Buy Macromedia? 563

option8 writes "According to John Dvorak the reasoning behind Adobe's recent (and to many, surprising) purchase of Macromedia for $3.4 billion is that Adobe was afraid Microsoft was going to do it first. An interesting look at the thinking and attitude of Adobe from someone who's been following them for a long time. From TFA: "So, mostly out of fear, Adobe buys its main competitor and now must shoehorn the company into its unfortunate not-invented-here corporate culture. (This aspect of Adobe is another story in itself.)""
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Why Did Adobe Buy Macromedia?

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  • MS Paint (Score:5, Funny)

    by fembots ( 753724 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @10:34PM (#12299016) Homepage
    Like the article said, Adobe was simply acting out of fear, uncetainty and doubt. Microsoft already has a competent flagship MS Paint, it doesn't need anything else.

    And what about Gimp? Is it really not a threat to Adobe at all?

    It'll be fun to watch if Microsoft hinted that it's looking at forking Gimp, Adobe will go nuts about that!
    • Don't forget Frontpage ;)
    • "And what about Gimp? Is it really not a threat to Adobe at all?"

      Heh. Can they really buy GIMP?
    • Re:MS Paint (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @10:58PM (#12299191)
      MS would never fork GIMP. That would require them embracing open source. While Adobe may be a threat to MS, open source is a far greater threat. By supporting GIMP MS would admit that open source software can be made to the same standard as proprietary software and that their TCO arguments are bullshit.

      Not going to happen soon.
      • Re:MS Paint (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nmb3000 ( 741169 )
        While Adobe may be a threat to MS

        How? Microsoft and Adobe are not competitors. They offer products that are completely different. The only real competition at all is between Cold Fusion and ASP, but that's a brand new development and really is a non-issue.

        Unless Adobe is going into operating systems and office software or Microsoft is going into graphics design the two companies have pretty close to zero overlap.
        • Re:MS Paint (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Lord Crc ( 151920 )
          Unless Adobe is going into operating systems and office software or Microsoft is going into graphics design the two companies have pretty close to zero overlap.

          I've been thinking, wouldn't Avalon be competing with Flash and possibly Shockwave?
          From the Avalon homepage []: "Avalon provides the foundation for building applications and high fidelity experiences, blending together application UI, documents, and media content, while exploiting the full power of your computer."

          Perhaps Adobe wanted Flash for integr
        • Re:MS Paint (Score:3, Insightful)

          by gilesjuk ( 604902 )
          It's not that they're a threat, it's because they're a leading company in web dev and they have a leading format (flash) for other web content.

          Microsoft can't possibly let someone have a lead in web technology.
        • Re:MS Paint (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Axoiv ( 747887 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @06:04AM (#12300986)
          You've got to be kidding. Why do you think MS Office does _not_ feature PDF-export like OpenOffice?

          It's because MS wants the DOC-format to be standard, _not_ PDF. If PDF becomes the standard for reports, resumes, theses etc. Then MS Office will become less important ==> Less used ==> Less bought.

          > close to zero overlap.

          You're nowhere near to the truth!
          • Re:MS Paint (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Chanc_Gorkon ( 94133 ) <gorkon@ g m a i l . c om> on Thursday April 21, 2005 @08:29AM (#12301499)
            Microsoft doesn't because they don't have to. There's plenty of things out there that do....even if you want to convert a DOC file to PDF. Load a print driver that converts it's output into a PDF from ANY app, not just Windows.

            To be honest, as much as I dispise Microsoft, I would rather DOC files be the standard. I find most PDF's I need over the net to be bloated. Acrobat Reader is ploted as well. Also, what is this SUDDEN need for every frickin windows app to have a background app that makes the main app "load faster" liek Adobe Acrobat Reader 7. Has this EVER been proven yet? It's not like they are preloading the app into memory so it doesn't have to hit the disk to launch the app. The binary is usually different.
            • Re:MS Paint (Score:5, Informative)

              by skyshock21 ( 764958 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @08:51AM (#12301598)
              A fellow Slashdotter posted an amazing fix for the perceived "Adobe Reader Bloat" you speak of. Here's the text that was posted the other day:
              Try this, 'tis most excellent! Makes Reader load in 1/2 sec or so, terminates quickly, and hardly ever crashes.
              It seems it's all those damn stupid bloated plugins causing the problems. To fix:

              1. Install Adobe Reader 6.0 (or 7.0+) and notice where it is installed.
              2. Navigate to that folder in Explorer, locate the plug_ins subfolder and rename this folder to plug_ins_disabled.
              3. Create a new plug_ins folder.
              4. Move the files EWH32.api, printme.api and search.api from plug_ins_disabled to plug_ins.
              I wish I could remember that person's name here so I could give credit, but I can't seem to find the original post.
              • FoxIt PDF Reader (Score:4, Interesting)

                by Mad Man ( 166674 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @10:21AM (#12302235)

                Re:MS Paint (Score:5, Informative)
                by skyshock21 (764958) on Thursday April 21, @08:51AM (#12301598 [])

                A fellow Slashdotter posted an amazing fix for the perceived "Adobe Reader Bloat" you speak of. Here's the text that was posted the other day: . . .

                That fix is also described in MozillaZine [].

                An even better solution is to uninstall Adobe's Reader, and install FoxIt PDF Reader [], which is free.

                The download (zip) file [] is less than 1 MegaByte, so it can be downloaded even over a slow dial-up connection. By comparison, the download for Adobe Reader is about 15 MB - 20 MB.

                The entire installation for FoxIt PDF Reader takes up less than 2 MB of hard drive space. Adobe Reader takes up about 60 MB. I don't know what Adobe Reader used the other 58 MB for, but I don't miss it. FoxIt PDF Reader loads much faster.
          • PDF already is the standard for printable documents. Forgetting for a moment that the dozen or so MS Word ".doc" formats aren't quite compatible and screw up minor layout, you still aren't getting the fonts. PDF contains the fonts and will print as it is supposed to.

            Plus there are many different standalone PDF readers out there for MS-Windows, Linux, OS X, and so on. MS-Word doesn't have a standalone reader except on ... MS-Windows. And if you already have MS-Windows, MS-Office is probably already on

        • Re:MS Paint (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ErroneousBee ( 611028 ) <ku.oc.kcocnahlien:lien> on Thursday April 21, 2005 @07:05AM (#12301160) Homepage
          They are competitors.

          The browser wars wernt about the browser, they were about the file formats, and Microsoft lost. HTML rules the web, and MS Docs on the web are a sign of corporate incompetance.

          But now look. see how many PDFs there are out there. Eventually corporations will start working in PDF directly, rather than farming out the PDFication of data to a specialist department. They will start liscencing Framemaker to all its staff. When that happens, MS Office starts to become duplicated functionality and will ose market share.

          So thats why Adobe and MS are in competion, they both want to be the De-facto web publication format.
          • I know. I use both every day in my work as a writer. In general:

            Word is for short, free format documents (memos, executive summaries, etc.). Do not attempt to use Word for long documents (200+ pages) or where consistent format across the document is important (in other words, the broken lists will screw things up). There are work-arounds for Word's long-document flaws, but most are more trouble than they're worth.

            Frame is for book-length documents (200+ pages) where page layout and consistent formating ar
        • How? Microsoft and Adobe are not competitors. They offer products that are completely different. The only real competition at all is between Cold Fusion and ASP, but that's a brand new development and really is a non-issue. Unless Adobe is going into operating systems and office software or Microsoft is going into graphics design the two companies have pretty close to zero overlap.

          It is entirely likely that MS will go into graphics design, layout, publishing, and vector graphics at some point. They alr

      • Re:MS Paint (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cirisme ( 781889 )
        By supporting GIMP MS would admit that open source software can be made to the same standard as proprietary software and that their TCO arguments are bullshit.

        No it wouldn't. While such a thing would mean that MSFT would be acknowledging that open source has a legitimate place, they could still argue against Linux's TCO. In other words, this would mean that yes they would have to stop attacking open source in general, but that doesn't stop them from claiming that Linux specifically has poor TCO.

    • Re:MS Paint (Score:5, Insightful)

      by deranged unix nut ( 20524 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @11:10PM (#12299260) Homepage
      Take a look at the latest version of Digital Image by is rapidly improving and is almost a competitor to the CS edition of Photoshop...almost.

      Microsoft has also been trying to keep the "run hungry, everyone else is after you" mentality for a number of years...although I think the beancounters and frustrated managers are starting to take over. :)
      • Photoshop CS? (Score:3, Informative)

        Are you sure you mean Photoshop CS, not Photoshop Album? Photoshop CS is Adobe's flagship product, and a *serious* image editor. 16bpp, L*A*B, CMYK, ICC color management, oodles of awesome filters, the works.

        Photoshop Album is their cut down "consumer" variant, and rather more likely to be what you meant.
      • Re:MS Paint (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Lurks ( 526137 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @09:23AM (#12301816) Homepage
        In addition to the rest of the comments by your post, I just want to add that Microsoft Digit Image Suite 10 (which is what it's up to now), is not 'rapidly improving' and is nowhere near the functionality of pretty much all of the also-ran software in the consumer paint/photo software space.

        In the UK the product has failed to hit the top 10 at all. Adobe, meanwhile, has overtaken their REAL arch rival in consumer software, JASC and Paint Shop Pro, because they put an easy user interface on a power peice of software, rather than JASC putting a ridiculously complex user interface on a ridiculously complex paint package.

        Microsoft instead chose to put a simple user interface on an extremely basic software package and then charge the same money as Adobe was for Photoshop Elements. I was at a the press unveling of Digital Image 10 and put this to them "How do you expect this to sell when Photoshop Elements 3.0 is out on Monday for the same price?". Microsoft product manager said "Oh, is it?"

        It's actually embarassing to see how badly Microsoft's consumer photo/paint software is doing. So you're all kinds of wrong on this issue I'm afraid.

        • Re:MS Paint (Score:3, Interesting)

          by CyberKnet ( 184349 )
          Adobe Photoshop has never been the underdog. Ever. That title has always belonged to JASC's Paint Shop Pro. I've never heard of or seen a real professional state otherwise, only aspiring amateurs.

          Paint Shop Pro is good, don't get me wrong. I use it exclusively (disclaimer: I am not an imaging professional)... but under no condition am I under the delusion that it has ever yet been as good or powerful as Photoshop.
    • Re:MS Paint (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mrtroy ( 640746 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @11:44PM (#12299490)
      I read an interesting article about software companies. It stated that you can never underestimate a competitor, even if they are not currently a direct competitor, that can put hundreds of millions of profit into the bank every quarter.

      What if Microsoft did try to directly compete with Adobe? They WOULD be successful despite their product's quality, they have a massive market grip on the entire software field.

      Microsoft does not make amazing software that does things nobody else can. Microsoft provides a massive sales push for any product they decide to develop, which usually is similar to another existing piece of software.

      Look at Office vs Wordperfect, Excel vs Lotus, etc.

      So, I disagree with Dvorak. You do need to worry about Microsoft, no matter where you are in the software field, if you are a large (read multi billion dollar) company
    • Freehand (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Jimbroskee ( 868900 )
      So this is the Second time that Adobe has bought Freehand (remember Aldus). I wonder who it will go to now. or if they will just bury it. BTW, they should've bought Quark instead way back when, I dont think anyone actually working in publishing at the time was still using Pagemaker when Adobe bought Aldus. I miss the name Macromind. I thought it had a much edgier ring than Macromedia. Im amazed that Adobe didnt make this move a long time ago. As far as photoshop goes. I think it got to the top because A
    • Re:MS Paint (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      As a professional retoucher and one who was forced to use film gimp (cinepaint) GIMP SUCKS. The ui is just plain BAD. Photoshops ui is mildly better but at least you can increase a brush size with a keyboard command and not dig 2 layers deep in the ui to make a brush the size you need. Gimp is also MAD MAD slow on a file of any size. This is not a troll it is my professional opinion that gimp is just plain a pain to use. I tried because everyone was saying how great gimp is. It aint great. Oh and if /.
      • Re:MS Paint (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DrSkwid ( 118965 )
        I'm an ex pro-3D animator with broadcast video credits

        I use the GIMP daily for basic editing and as much as it is pushed it really isn't up to snuff against PhotoShop for the breadth of tools and effects. I use it these days because I want to support Free tools and if I find myself away from home I want to know my tools are a simple download away without being a pirate or bugged by shareware nags.

        That said Gimp 2.2 is MUCH improved. However, the multi windows is a real turn off for regular Windows users.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @10:34PM (#12299018)
    Can Flash and PDF kill the web. Muahahahahahahaha.
    • by caryw ( 131578 ) <carywiedemann&gmail,com> on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @10:42PM (#12299082) Homepage
      exactly anonymous coward.
      I was going to write my take on it but a blogger by the name of Jesse Ezell has already put it very nicely. Here's the text of his blog entry []:

      My Thoughts on the Adobe-Macromedia Deal

      It is pretty clear from the acquisition that Adobe is going to be making a major push into web media. They have tried a few times with tools like InDesign and LiveMotion to make some progress, but Macromedia has been extremely successful at fending off their attacks with Dreamweaver and Flash. As a result, Adobe has been able to rule the desktop publishing market and Macromedia has been able to rule the web content market. The mix of the two companies is going to make one hell of a powerful media creation beast. Ok, but that is the obvious stuff. Obviously anyone who buys out Macromedia wants Flash, because Flash is what Macromedia is all about. What else might this mean?

      If you look at Macromedia's actions over the past year or so, it seemed pretty likely that they were looking for a buyer. They were gradually buying up smaller companies to add to their arsenal and make themselves more attractive to potential buyers. Choosing eHelp and Presedia as acquisitions tells me that perhaps Adobe is interested in making some moves into the super hot eLearning market. Right now, all Adobe really has going for them is PDF--which is a pretty darn valueble assest, but is really more suited for the web of the past than the web of the future. PDF was great when web pages were static, but web pages aren't static anymore and PDFs are boring these days. The next generation web is all about media, and that is where Flash comes into the picture. eHelp and Presedia were two companies in the front of the eLearning pack, and the timing of these two acquisitions is just too close to mean nothing. However, this also means that eHelp / Presedia customers are in for even more fun as their products all get jumbled up in yet another acquisition. Even Macromedia didn't continue to support all of eHelp's products...

      For designers, this acquisition is definately a good thing. They get the best of both worlds as Macromedia and Adobe tag team anyone who attempts to challenge them. Developers, on the other hand, may not have it so lucky. What is to become of Cold Fusion? What about Flex? One of my long-standing complaints about Macromedia is that they don't understand developers. Surely this isn't going to be helped by Macromedia merging with an even more designer centric company. I definately trust the management at Adobe a bit more than Macromedia's management, but you can't help but realize that Adobe really doesn't have a lot of experience with developer centric software. Personally, I would have much rather seen Microsoft acquire Macromedia and give us some kick-ass next generation web tools, but they are too focused on Avalon and XAML right now, so we'll have to leave that to the Xamlon guys or get everyone running Avalon so we can deliver the stuff natively.

      In any case, one thing is certain, watching this play out is going to be very interesting.
      Fairfax Underground: Fairfax County chat and discussion forums, with an underground twist []
      • by SunFan ( 845761 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @12:02AM (#12299645)
        PDF was great when web pages were static, but web pages aren't static anymore and PDFs are boring these days.

        I don't understand this at all. Every form I download from my state government is PDF, for example, often the handy fill-in type. That isn't boring, it's damn useful. Most useful documentation on the web is also distributed as PDF.

        As for Flash, I don't even have it installed, right now. The advertisements were driving me bonkers!

        • As for Flash, I don't even have it installed, right now. The advertisements were driving me bonkers!

          Flashblock [] is an extension for the Mozilla and Firefox browsers that takes a pessimistic approach to dealing with Macromedia Flash content on a webpage and blocks ALL Flash content from loading. It then leaves a placeholder on the page that allows you to click to view the Flash content.

          I guess if you don't use Firefox, or don't like installing extensions, this might not work for you, but I've found
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @10:35PM (#12299022)
    To the tune of Yankee Doodle:

    We bought a company out of fear and called in Macradobe!

    I know that somebody can figure out more lyrics on this. It is 4/20 after all.

  • by ekuns ( 695444 ) * on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @10:35PM (#12299025) Journal
    That does seem to be what Adobe is doing to its full product line lately, adding all kinds of DRM. Hmm.
  • Hmmm... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Bananatree3 ( 872975 )
    If Microsoft really want's Macromedia, they'll probably be more then happy to by Adobe, who bought Macromedia.
    • "If Microsoft really want's Macromedia, they'll probably be more then happy to by Adobe, who bought Macromedia."

      Uh, right. "Why buy one when you can buy both at only twice the price!" That's the kind of smart business moves that made Microsoft a multi-billion dollar company.
    • Re:Hmmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SunFan ( 845761 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @12:06AM (#12299680)

      Anti-Trust. So Microsoft would get PostScript and PDF, the main defenses against .doc propogation? They'd get the biggest chunk of desktop publishing _and_ website content creation? They'd get Flash, something whose success I'm sure Microsoft loathes?

      Microsoft buying Adobe would be a dark day for the Internet.
  • by Ars-Fartsica ( 166957 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @10:39PM (#12299055)
    This is just the software business maturing. There are no great expectations for this marriage, its just a strong player with a strong stock using it as currency to remove a competitor.
  • by Mustang Matt ( 133426 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @10:39PM (#12299056)
    Sure it was purchased on FUD but it's a very valid fear. It's not like they aren't getting anything out of the deal.

    As much as I hate Adobe having a Monopoly, I'm not sure I'd like it more if they shared the market with Microsoft only to go the way of Corel in a few years.
  • Hmm. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dante Shamest ( 813622 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @10:40PM (#12299068)
    "So, mostly out of fear, Adobe buys its main competitor and now must shoehorn the company into its unfortunate not-invented-here corporate culture."

    Microsoft could end up buying Adobe in the end if this merger doesn't work out as intended and profits/revenue fall because of management problems.

  • by lakeland ( 218447 ) <> on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @10:41PM (#12299070) Homepage
    John Dvorak may be more of a journalist than say Rob Enderle or Laura Didio, but the guy is a nutter. Have a look at his comments on the current iMac: "The design is hardly inspirational. In fact, if you put two headlamps on it and a metal sun visor over its "windshield," it would be reminiscent of a 1954 DeSoto." Or perhaps his opinion that Linux would die as soon as MS released a distro,1759,1768170, p []

    I would trust a random guy on slashdot much more than I'd trust Dvorak's insights...
  • Dvorak is a stupid (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lemmingue ( 788112 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @10:41PM (#12299072) Homepage
    Do you remember "How to Kill Linux" [] and the article (I didn't found it) about Google preparing to launch an OS?
  • Apple... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by snowdropper ( 108891 )
    If MS really were after Macromedia, wouldn't Apple have been in there quicksmart?

    An Apple/Macromedia merger would make me feel a bit better about the future direction of Macromedia software. Too late now though.
    • Re:Apple... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Queer Boy ( 451309 ) *
      f MS really were after Macromedia, wouldn't Apple have been in there quicksmart?

      The truth is probably closer that Apple was after Macromedia. That's where Final Cut Pro comes from. If Apple were to get an image editing application they'd have another coup for Mac OS X (Apple is replacing both Adobe and Avid on the editing front).

  • John Dvorak (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rbanffy ( 584143 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @10:42PM (#12299081) Homepage Journal
    After laughing my way through "John Dvorak Predicts", I have come to understand that, in order to achieve true wisdom, one must learn to ignore everything John Dvorak says.
    • Remember, Mr. Dvorak makes his money as a columnist. I.e. cranking out a fixed number of words every month. Quantity, not quality. Even though he is amusing at times, I would never use his columns as investment advise, or even a path to wisdom unless you are willing to twist your mental ankle on the ruts in the road.


  • by Maskirovka ( 255712 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @10:44PM (#12299105)
    I wonder if Apple or Microsoft will buy Adobe in the next few years?
    • Actually, Adobe's way more worried right now that we're going to Shake them to death.

      Apple has established a track record in recent years of taking pretty decent third-party applications that were not succeeding in the market, buying them, sinking tons of capital into them, and making them industry leaders. We did it with Final Cut Pro. We basically did it with Shake as of the newly released version 4.

      If we found a third-party product that does a lot of what InDesign does, bought it, and perfected it, wou
  • by ta bu shi da yu ( 687699 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @10:46PM (#12299110) Homepage
    Why, everyone! Dvorak acts as if they aren't a threat and they shouldn't worry. Very silly: Netscape did the same thing and look at them now!

    Microsoft have proven themselves to be a fierce competitor. If they decided to move into image manipulation software, then Adobe would (and should) be frightened. That's because Microsoft doesn't try to compete: it tries to monopolise. That's their whole culture: paranoia that they might become second in the market and thus have their business die. So they act like an 800 pound gorilla and attempt (many times succeeding) to pulverise and totally destroy their competition. And despite the anti-trust trial, they haven't really changed their business tactics.
  • What a twit. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @10:47PM (#12299114) Homepage Journal
    There's isn't the slightest shred of evidence that Microsoft has even thought of buying Macromedia. Dvorak says so himself. Yet he's so in love with his own baseless speculation, he devotes an entire column to it. I've been reading -- or trying not to read -- this guy's crap for 20 years, and I've yet to hear him have one valid insight or make one correct prediction. Why does he even have a job?

    Why did Adobe buy Macromedia? Adobe's products are too dead-tree oriented. Their best-known online technology, Acrobot, just displays an page image on your screen -- a totally outdated approach to online publishing. Macromedia has a lot of expertise they need and don't have. Dvorak, being totally ignorant of the very technology he pretends to cover, doesn't seem to know that.

    • Re:What a twit. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mblase ( 200735 )
      There's isn't the slightest shred of evidence that Microsoft has even thought of buying Macromedia. Dvorak says so himself.

      I don't think the article ever stated or implied that this was the case. Rather, it suggested that Microsoft's interest in web content creation (as evidenced by FrontPage, ASP.Net, and so on) compelled Adobe to buy Macromedia (Dreamweaver, ColdFusion, and so on) in order to outflank MS.

      Why did Adobe buy Macromedia? Adobe's products are too dead-tree oriented.

      True. However, he cor
  • Yeah, right. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheOriginalRevdoc ( 765542 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @10:48PM (#12299119) Journal
    So I read TFA, and what did I see?

    Empty ramblings. Assertion. No proof, no quotes, nothin'.

    I know it's an opinion piece. It's still a waste of space.

    Incidentally, the share price of MACR is now well above what it was before the takeover was announced, so his crap about the market "dropping" the stock is blatant nonsense.
  • by Nasarius ( 593729 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @10:49PM (#12299130)
    "So, mostly out of fear, Adobe buys its main competitor and now must shoehorn the company into its unfortunate not-invented-here corporate culture. (This aspect of Adobe is another story in itself.)"

    Er, are you sure about that? Adobe bought CoolEdit from Syntrillium and sold it as "Adobe Audition", no problem.

  • by kfonda ( 70822 ) * on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @10:50PM (#12299134)

    Why Did Adobe Buy Macromedia?

    To get to the other side?

    I'm sorry, but it's 420 day. :-)
  • Fireworks???? (Score:2, Interesting)

    Whats going to happen to fireworks now???
    Will Adobe put the same amount of effort into it as they do with photoshop??

    I like photoshop, but everything I have learned I first did in fireworks & I feel more comfortable using it.

    I hope Adobe won't force people across to photoshop to save a few bucks continuing to develop fireworks.
  • You see, if they made a web browser, and it started to compete with IE and Firefox, not to mention Safari, they would then incorporate all of their software with it. You would never have to download flash, shockwave, or acrobat again. Of course, those would probably be the only things this supposed web browser would display correctly.
  • Do me a big favor, please. Do NOT tell Adobe that Microsoft is about to hire me and give me a job! ...

  • by chris_mahan ( 256577 ) <> on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @10:55PM (#12299168) Homepage
    Speculatory at best.

    What I see is that Adobe wanted to put flash in pdf and MacroM didn't want to license cheap. So Adobe bought MM to get Flash, and now I see the reverse: Acrobat Reader 8.0 implemented in flash with on-demand font-laguage and all that crap.
    Also, PDF with flash becomes fully animated, media-rich format.

    I think that dreamweaver will essentially become a photoshop add-on. This way, very smart graphic designers will make a beautiful graphic, click on the "Dream-Weave-it" button, and presto: A complete web page with rollovers from layers.

    As far as the Macromedia people, they had best get ready to wear the Adobe hat or find themselves on the street.

    What else. Flash. Yes, back to Flash. If I email you a PDF document, and now it's on your PC, and you open it, and flash is inbedded in it, and you're connected to the net via your ever-present dsl line, flash can actually go to the web and pull content. So Adobe Acrobat Reader has now become a web browser, since a well-designed flash can emulate a website.

    Finally, I think Adobe is in decent shape, but they have to be careful, because while they had photoshop and acrobat, they were still essentially in a lucrative niche market. They have become a bigger fish, and they are going to find that they have a lot more competitors. And just perhaps they might find that the best macromedia people will start working elsewhere and competing too.

    Was my post speculative enough for you?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @10:59PM (#12299196)
    IDLE-TIME PROCESS. Once in a while the system will go into an idle mode, requiring from five minutes to half an hour to unwind. It's weird, and I almost always have to reboot. When I hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete, I see that the System Idle Process is hogging all the resources and chewing up 95 percent of the processor's cycles. Doing what? Doing nothing? Once in a while, after you've clicked all over the screen trying to get the system to do something other than idle, all your clicks suddenly ignite and the screen goes crazy with activity. This is not right."

    Yup, he really said that []

    OH SHIT... SYSTEM IDLE PROCESS is EATING 100% of my CPU !?!? Gotta run.
  • by wombatmobile ( 623057 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @11:05PM (#12299230)

    Macromedia was gaining traction with selling Flash Lite players to mobile phone manufacturers. Adobe was competing by supporting an open standard, SVG with its mobile authoring tools.

    Now Adobe eliminates this competitor by owning it.

    But meanwhile, on phones, SVG is proliferating [].

    SVG is an open standard, XML, scriptable, event-driven UI.

    Will Macrodobe support an oepn standard mobile web?

    Or will it want developers to pay $xxx for tools to author content for the mobile web using formats it owns and controls?

  • by mad.frog ( 525085 ) <steven AT crinklink DOT com> on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @11:20PM (#12299321)
    No, really. Has John Dvorak *ever* been right in a meaningful way about *anything* of importance in this industry?

    To me, he's always seemed to just strike the most provocative opinion he can, presumably just to draw readership.
  • by Stinky Fartface ( 852045 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @11:26PM (#12299356) Homepage
    This is a poorly argued point even for Dvorak. Whether or not the buy-out is a good move for Adobe, the idea that they would pay 3.4 bil for a company just to avoid Microsoft is fairly ludicrous. And his assertion that Flash is the program that "powers those annoying web animations" is about as stupid as saying Photoshop is responsible for "those dumb pictures." Personally, I am excited about the prospect of Adobe developing Macromedia's assets. Much of Macromedia's products never hit their targets squarely, neither designers nor developers. The artistic feature set of Flash never radically grew from the state it was in when it was called "FutureSplash" when Macromedia bought it, and as a development platform it underperformed. Adobe certainly has it's fair share of duds in it's portfolio but they have nicely developed their bedrock products, version after version. Some may complain about bloat in Photoshop, but I can say as someone who uses it every day that their feature set is well thought out. And it remains one of the most elegant pieces of software ever assembled. Perhaps Illustrator, Premiere Pro, and After Effects haven't developed as quickly as some would like, but they remain excellent pieces of software. And Adobe has managed to update them smartly. It remains to be seen as to whether they can manage web design and development as well as video and print, but I am excited as to the prospects of making even better dumb web animations.
  • by DamienMcKenna ( 181101 ) <damien@m c - k> on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @11:31PM (#12299400)
    Why would Microsoft want Macromedia? Lets run through Macromedia's product line for a second:

    * ColdFusion, Flex, Breeze, etc. - Server side scripting and application servers. Microsoft has IIS and their .NET platform, why would they need these?

    * Flash and related client-side technologies - Microsoft is bringing out Avalon, a graphical engine for developing Internet applications without needing a web browser, so they don't need this.

    * Dreamweaver and other editors - Microsoft focuses its development platform solely behind Visual Studio .NET, why on earth would it need yet more?

    So, to put it simply, Microsoft had no reason to buy Macromedia.

    However, it is well known that Macromedia have had financial difficulties over the past few years. With many excellent technologies and applications they have IMHO suffered from a lack of focus and direction which has ultimately hit their bottom line. I do think that they would have been bought out sooner or later, either that or gone through some major internal reshuffling (and firings) to fix the situation - I guess we now know which they opted for.

    • It is not a huge leap to take Flash and see developers using it to crank out low-end RAD/inhouse apps much like people did with VisualBasic in the olden days. Of the compeititon out there, Flash is the one with a real userbase that could pose a threat.

      The issue with .NET/XAML/Avalon is that it's targetted at Java and has much higher sophistication level. So there is also a risk that MS loses the low-end entry-level developers. Plus Flash is portable, small, and fast.

      So, to put it simply, Microsoft had no
  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @11:45PM (#12299495)
    I heard a commentator on National Public Radio talk about this merger, and he made lots of sense. PDF has been a defacto standard for web documents for quite a while, and Flash has been gaining lots of ground fast when it comes to streaming media. Basically he said that now, with both PDF and Flash, Adobe Systems will be well positioned to do a complete end-around Microsoft. With regards to Web apps, Adobe will now have the muscle and means to treat the OS as just a commodity. It won't matter who's OS you're running because you'll still be able to use Adobe's products in your web browser.

    To a company like Microsoft that's invested itself totally into a "Windows Everywhere" philosophy, that's gotta seem very ominous.
    • Wow. The commentator on NPR you heard, if he actually said that, was out of his fucking mind.

      Web applications work pretty well for ordering pizza. For anything more complicated, they suck. PDF (which has nothing to do with the Web at all) and Flash won't change that.
  • Paranoid? Why not? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Alarash ( 746254 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @12:00AM (#12299630)
    If I were to be the owner of a company that is the leader of its field, I'd worry about Microsoft too. They proved a lot of time that if they want to get into any given market, they can, and the drums will be rolling for them. Because they can afford it. I think the best examples are they behavior when it comes to video games. For some reason, they wanted to create the best flight simulator to date. Boom, they buy flight simulator, throw a few million bucks in the project, and 10 years later, it's still the best flight simulator to exist.

    They also wanted to get into the non-portable consoles industry - traditionnaly owned and led by Japanese companies such as Nintendo, Sega and recently Sony. All other non-japanese companies failed to get into that market. Microsoft announces the Xbox. It costed them millions in terms of investments. In the beginning, they were loosing 100$ for each console they sold. So what? The objective was to make themselves a room in the market, not to make money. They already make money with Windows, Office and other things other companies now totally rely on. The result : Sega is now dead as a console manufacturer, Nintendo is no longer leading the market, and only Sony can really stand up against Microsoft.

    So I guess my point is that, given the billions Microsoft can invest in any given project, they can do whatever they want. They could have offered Adobe's developpers 3 times what they were paid so they would come over. They even could have had them move to another country than the US, so the clauses in their contracts that (I imagine) prevent them to work in another company doing the same thing would be void (I assume here that the devs would be motivated only by cash and not loyalty, but it's not the point, really, because Adobe's developpers are not the only ones with that kind of skill; but they allow a better example). So I think that in the end Adobe made a good move, because they only made Microsoft's eventual objective harder to reach. But not impossible.

  • Macromedia + Adobe (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SPF22 ( 842817 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @12:26AM (#12299819)
    There are sure a lot of retarded comments on this post. Why would Adobe want Macromedia?

    To finally get a real jump in the interactive world. Dreamweaver is the best WYSWIG editor out there and way better than Go-Live. Flash is definetly the web standard for vector based interactive on the web and kicks ass over SVG, which might be widely supported (if you down load the plug-in), but does not have a lot of support from web developers. Cold Fusion is just as solid as ASP, and can can be integrated easily to Flash using Flash Remoting.

    Adobe will finally have a solid stake in the web world, which will now give them control over print AND interactive mediums. The only thing left for Adobe is to try and buy the Final Cut suite from Apple (of course that's not gonna happen).

    I also read about people comparing Adobe to MS. What in the world are you thinking? There are other options out there! Adobe software just far outperforms all the others. It's not like they have a monoply on in the market then let their products go to shit (i.e. MS). Photoshop, illustrator and indesign all have had major competition in the past. Anyone remember that not long ago, Quark had a strangle hold on the desktop publishing market? And to you people who think Gimp holds a candle to Photoshop, need to wake the fuck up. I think open-source software is great, and Gimp is a solid program, but come on, if you really know what your doing, it is not even close.

    Microsoft buys up good software, then either scraps it, or sells it with little to no improvements. Microsoft software sucks.

    Adobe does a great job with their user interfaces, which is why Macromedia was using the same structure. In 2000, right before Flash 5 was released, Adobe won a lawsuit against Macromedia for infringing its patent: op.

    Either way, there are numerous reasons for Adobe to want to purchase Macromedia. There are also probably a lot of reasons why MS would want to own Macromedia, but who cares, they didn't, so why stir the pot with a BS story with with no proof?
  • HFS!!! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ralph Spoilsport ( 673134 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @12:43AM (#12299913) Journal
    I used to work at Macromedia, and I remember a big company meeting at Pajaro Dunes where they Specifically Announced Adobe as their Main Enemy, and then set about acquiring software to battle them point to point.

    Then we all partied so Hearty that they called the cops on us.

    Macromedia figured out that they would do better by leapfrogging Adobe, and jumping directly into webcentric software. To that end they basically killed off everything that wasn't web centric - xRes died a quick and merciful death, fontgrapher was shelved (and for this they earned incredibley bad karma, because fontLab is a fat POS with a crap UI - although it does rock for font output formats... it's just a world of pain for anyone trying to design anything...), and they killed off FreeHand a few years back and Director's got a tube up its nose.

    They set about buying serverside stuff, like cold fusion, and developed various workflow systems for Dreamweaver, itself an acquisition, called FutureFlash.

    I don't think this acquisition could have happened if MM had not killed off FreeHand and fontographer.

    You can be QUITE certain that now that Adobe owns the codebase, FH and Fog are so completely dead as to be like, deader than dead.

    This is a MAJOR acquisition. This is a MAJOR consolidation in the software market. It is not a time for rejoicing. Expect some very bad things.


    Adobe will not sell FreeHand.

    Adobe will not sell Fontographer.

    Adobe will kill off Director within 3 years.

    Adobe will "merge" GoLive and Dreamweaver, which will be good for GoLive and bad for Dreamweaver.

    PDF will acquire flash-centric elements - this includes video...

    Adobe will Rule The Roost in publishing (and don't give me any lip about GIMP - GIMP's UI sux ass and it's ability to handle CMYK or (x) plate printing is zero, and Adobe OWNZ that already - this will increase their hold on it.

    Fireworks is TOAST. Dead within a year.

    This is going to require people to completely re-think workflows and processes.

    I for one DO NOT look forward to our Abobe Overlords.


  • by solios ( 53048 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @01:59AM (#12300248) Homepage
    Or, more appropriately, why does India have nukes?

    It ain't Pakistan, it's China.

    Macrodobe has a disgusting amount of leverage that neither Adobe nor Macromedia alone have - lop Quark out of the equation and Macrodobe OWNS desktop publishing on two platforms. Artschool/Vo-Tech "web design" ? They'll own that. Graphics creation and production? Yeah, Apple makes your swankass Final Cut Pro but you're still doing the graphics for your overlays in Macrodobe Photoshop MX 2006.

    You really think Apple or Microsoft can afford to piss off The De Facto Graphics Standard?


    Hell, Apple suffered for YEARS under Adobe's continuing threats to drop Mac support for $fillintheblank because whatever Apple was intending to do to the OS (full memory protection planned for 9.3, for example- which had been planned and Working for awhile but was never implemented for this reason) would "force them to rewrite their applications" and there wasn't enough money in the mac market to make that worthwhile (bullshit).

    If it wasn't for Photoshop and Illustrator, Apple would have probably told them to shove it years ago. Hell, the steaming pile of shit that is Premiere is one of the primary reasons that iMovie and the light version of FCP exist at all - video editing on the mac prior to these apps was like mp3 playback on the mac prior to iTunes - it either Sucked Horribly or you paid out the ass for something Awesome (usually hardware linked) to do it. No middle ground.

    I'm ranting, I'm ranting... but Macromedia's OS X apps are actually semi-decent (Flash support blows a dead moose, but it always has), and Adobe's leave a lot to be desired. "Why is Photoshop 5.5 running IN CLASSIC FASTER than Photoshop CS for just about everything?!" kind of a lot to be desired.

    As a Creative Professional, I'm disgusted to see one of the three companies I buy software from (Macromedia, Adobe, Apple) get swallowed up by the asshole of the three.
  • by djeddiej ( 825677 ) * on Thursday April 21, 2005 @02:41AM (#12300449) Homepage
    Because for almost a decade I worked, lived and breathed Macromedia products. Not to say that I did not utilize anything else, but on any given day in my current career, I would be opening up Macromedia software about 70% of the time. I would say that is true for a large number of web designers/web application developers. Everytime I hear someone saying "they blocked Flash because of the stupid ads" has probably not seen Flash's potential or at least, not aware of it. Take a look at some of the interfaces when you get your airline tickets processed, or book events at an online kiosk. Flash (coupled with other technologies). bank machine terminals - Flash interface (again coupled with other technologies). Please do not compare Flash with Adobe Acrobat. FlashPaper was the closest equivalent. Please check out all the bloggers who use Macromedia tools (as well as blogs from Macromedia employees) to see their expectations for the future. Yes some sort of Acrobat hybrid with dynamic Flash capabilities is proposed, but more likely Adobe will take advantage of FlashPaper technology and attempt to fix acrobat. FlashPaper, being newer, is lighter, utilizes swf (making it more ubiquitous) and easier to develop with than current Acrobat forms. Fireworks - I was testing Fireworks back in its early betas. It was the Fireworks tool that developers first saw the concept of "slicing" an image into a series of smaller images within an HTML table (a process, I recall we used to do manually on graph paper, then manually cut up in an ancient version of Photoshop). Fireworks was premised to be a "Photoshop" killer for the web...and it did get Adobe scared, as Adobe developed and released imageready (which no one bought), then integrated it into Photoshop so that an existing PS user base would slowly kill off the smaller but rabid Fireworks base. Expectation: Fireworks will die, but its process and functionalities will merge into ImageReady. ImageReady produced retarded code for the longest time, so it was due for a fix (and those who thought otherwise obviously was no expert in Fireworks). Flash - Now there was/is Macromedia's crown jewel. An appealing option for Adobe. Also Microsoft, (based on Flash's popularity as a technology, and don't blame Macromedia for the content produced within Flash - just because a large number of content providers use Flash for banners and other junk, that is the content being bad, not Flash). There were lawsuits a few years back over tool interfaces between Adobe and Macromedia, with Flash being a sorespot (Flash 5 had Photoshop-like palettes). Now they can save their legal fees and hopefully invest it into some improvement. Director - may join with Premiere? Dreamweaver - the story is that GoLive was a decent editor for the Mac system - GoLive was bought by Adobe; large numbers of their technical and marketing team left and joined - Macromedia - creating Dreamweaver. GoLive is released under Adobe and languishes. Adobe buys Macromedia, now has the entire GoLive team back under its belt. Homesite - came when Macromedia bought Allaire, due to disappear. Server Producsts - Flash Communication Server; Flex; Central; ColdFusion (under JRun); Jrun - probably survive, since Adobe never really had a strong server app tier market (though they tried awhile back) Now have the basis for strong web app development Freehand - hmm, probably disappearing. RoboDemo and the rest of the online help/education space; benefit to Adobe, as they can get into that market. Obviously, this thread is a testimonial to the impact that Macromedia's software has had on all of us, whether you used it or not, whether you loved the tools or hated the tools, you knew the tools. Hopefully Macromedia's tools won't go the way of tools Microsoft's Liquid Motion or Adobe's Live Motion and die...
  • by philovivero ( 321158 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @03:15AM (#12300560) Homepage Journal
    Adobe paid so much for Macromedia so they could inflate the already-overinflated ego of the Incredibly Annoying Marc Cantor, and to get the already-rock-bottom-stupid opinion of the Incredibly Annoying John Dvorak and stick them together into an unholy reaction that will power the world's Mac computers for another century, freeing up all that cash for Adobe.

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"