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The Almighty Buck

Adobe Buys Macromedia for $3.4B 937

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the thats-a-whole-lotta-bread dept.
Kobayashi Maru writes "A press release from Adobe announces that they will buy Macromedia for approximately $3.4 billion. The new company will be called Adobe Systems, Inc."
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Adobe Buys Macromedia for $3.4B

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  • Flash! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:01AM (#12268754)
    Woho! Saviour of the Universe
    • Re:Flash! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rosyna (80334) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:12AM (#12268930) Homepage
      No, this deal could mean the end of the multiverse as we know. Much of what was driving these two companies was their never ending battle to do the other one better. Many conventions, documentation, "classes" compared one company's product to another and if one company was lacking a feature the other had, they'd try to outdo it by a large margin.

      Now, what silly patent/legal battle do we have to watch that occurs between two behemoths that basically were the entire industry.
      • Re:Flash! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jest3r (458429) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:37AM (#12269205)
        Actually not really. Their legal squabbles over the past few years have ended up hurting consumers. Macromedia changed the Flash UI how many times? Furthermore both product lines are already so similar that is is expensive for small design houses to buy both.

        Hopefully certain applications (Livemotion, GoLive, Freehand) will be deprecated for good after the merger and others will finally get a solid standardized interface (Flash), while others will be merged so consumers can get the best of both worlds (Photoshop, Fireworks).

        • Re:Flash! (Score:4, Informative)

          by Ucklak (755284) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:55AM (#12269410)
          Adobe has really made inroads making their productivity line afforadble for production houses.
          Instead of each title being $700 each or $300 upgrade, you get the suite for $1400 new or $800 upgrade. Not a bad deal at all for an average production house.
          If a house can't afford that, they shouldn't be in business.
          I know of plenty of freelancers that ponied up the $1400 for CS and are doing fine on their own.

          Macromedia is the expensive one here. Let's hope they change this.
    • Re:Flash! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by didde (685567) * on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:41AM (#12269264) Homepage

      Hmm. I wonder if this means we'll be seeing SVG [adobe.com] support in Macromedia's Flash Player [macromedia.com] any time soon?

      That alone would be worth the ridiculous amount of money Adobe coughed up...

      • Re:Flash! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2005 @12:26PM (#12270532)
        I was part of the SVG team at Adobe. The sole reason for Adobe to work on SVG was this: compete with Macromedia and their Flash product. Every marketing / high-level meeting had the same theme: how will SVG helps us catch up with Flash? Now that Adobe owns Flash, there will be no need for them to continue developing SVG.
  • Damn... (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheWanderingHermit (513872) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:02AM (#12268764)
    Now we'll never see DreamWeaver on Linux.
  • by drunkennewfiemidget (712572) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:02AM (#12268766) Homepage
    What does it mean when the two most instrusive web browser plugin makers merge?

    • by Walkiry (698192) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:04AM (#12268800) Homepage
      That we can ignore them both with a single block when they merge? :)
    • by pseudolus (790109) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:09AM (#12268883)
      It means that this guy [homestarrunner.com] will finally be able to send PDF attachments.
    • by famebait (450028) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:23AM (#12269059)
      What does it mean when the two most instrusive web browser plugin makers merge?

      Probably that the next version of the flash plugin will take 15 minutes to fire up, just like everything else from Adobe, and that during that time your system will be too bogged down to respond to "back" or "close" or anyting else, so you'll finally have time to read all those paper publications again.
  • CNET coverage (Score:5, Informative)

    by balster neb (645686) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:02AM (#12268779)
    Coverage from CNET news.com.com [com.com], from Reuters.
  • Sigh... (Score:5, Funny)

    by mmaddox (155681) <(oopfoo) (at) (gmail.com)> on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:03AM (#12268784)
    Well, if any of you are irritated by Flash, this move should reduce the number of folks using it. It'll be too bloated to load within a release or two.
    • Bloat hasn't caused people to run screaming from ColdFusion, which eats up RAM like a flesh-eating virus on steroids...
    • by G4from128k (686170) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:44AM (#12269284)
      Well, if any of you are irritated by Flash, this move should reduce the number of folks using it. It'll be too bloated to load within a release or two.

      I hope you are right. In my mind, Flash represents the triumph of the content creator over the user of the internet. HTML, in its original incarnation as a markup language, gave power to the browser - the user of the browser controlled how tagged text was rendered, the user controlled the pacing of pages, etc. Lightweight HTML pages loaded quickly and let the user actively move in a self-paced fashion. WIth HTML, the user could actively control what they saw, how they saw it, and when they saw it.

      Flash takes to much of that control away -- the content creator forces their vision of layout, type size, and pacing on the hapless, passive viewer. I have seen so many flash sites that turn a broadband connection into a 110 baud experience of slowly appearing words (get a clue, I don't want to see letters swirling on a page, fading in and out, etc.). Flash prevents browsing. You cannot glance at a flash site, you cannot control what you see or when you see it. You are forced to wait for it to download and wait for it to play. Although I admit that a few, too few, flash sites add substantive value with interactivity, it is far to little to compensate for the incredibly frustrating body of flash on the web today.

      We can only hope that Abode screws this one up so that the browser of the internet can enjoy more control and escape user-interface micromanagement by flash content creators.
      • by sevinkey (448480) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:57AM (#12270156)
        This may lead to a competiting platform for SVG development, as far as web navigation goes, which could allow for fast downloads and more end-user control of format.

        I agree with you that flash loads too slow for general site navigation on the slower broadband connections, and most people aren't using flash to its potential, but I'll have to disagree with you that having the content producer controlling the layout of a site is a bad thing... it's just more crap the designer has to deal with in order to make a truly usable site, and most designers out there seem to not be up to the job.

        I've been developing for MCE2005 lately at work, and being able to have control of the layout really helps provide a better user environment. In my view, users should be able to just enjoy the experience as easily as television but that experience should be enhanced by the two-way communications provided by the Internet. However my opinion on this may be a little skewed from the rest of slashdot after developing websites meant for television for several months.
        • by G4from128k (686170) on Monday April 18, 2005 @12:33PM (#12270624)
          I've been developing for MCE2005 lately at work, and being able to have control of the layout really helps provide a better user environment

          You make a good point -- perhaps you and I don't disagree as much as it might seem. Some author-control of layout is not a bad thing. A consistent site page design certainly aids navigation, comprehension, and usage. What I would like is more control of type size (new versions of HTML suffer from this too) because some designers choose excessively small or excessive large type. I'd also like more control of color because too many designers make bad decisions (e.g.,. yellow text on white backgroud, non-standard colors for HREFs, etc.).

          most designers out there seem to not be up to the job.

          This is the heart of the problem with Flash today. The technology itself is not evil, but too many of its developers are just bad and they ruin it for the better developers that do do a good job with Flash. Perhaps if Flash had a certification program or some scheme for regulating who used it, it would be better. In architecture, you have to have license to practice and perhaps Flash needs that too.

          This may lead to a competiting platform for SVG development, as far as web navigation goes, which could allow for fast downloads and more end-user control of format.

          This is where you and I part company. I absolutely don't want a TV-like experience -- this is my biggest reason for Flash-hatred. I prefer interaction, manipulation, and navigation. I want a self-paced, not a author-paced experience. I want to be able to randomly access the parts of the site I'm interested in. I want to spend as much or a little time dwelling on any given part of the site as I choose. I want to be able to navigate back and forth over the content. I want to be able to copy-paste snippets of text (I use the web for research). Too many Flash site take that control away from me and I don't like it.

          If the fraction of bad Flash dropped, I would gladly become a fanboy. But until Flash developers realize that some people don't want a passive, linear, author-controlled experience, there will be too much bad Flash and too much knee-jerk hatred of what could be an awesome technology for interactive sites.

          Thanks for writing an insightful counterargument.
  • Too late buddy... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dopelogik (862715) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:03AM (#12268788)
    April fools is long over!

    If this is not a joke, then we'll finally get good support for exporting Illustrator files to Flash!!
  • IlluHand? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tepples (727027) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .selppet.> on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:03AM (#12268791) Homepage Journal

    Wouldn't this merger give Adobe a near monopoly on many software products in the visual design field?

    • Re:IlluHand? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Viceice (462967) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:30AM (#12269130)
      No? Adobe and Macromedia's software portfolios don't overlap by very much.

      Most of Adobe's software are general design tools, like Photoshop for 2d raster imaging, Illustrator for 2d Vector imaging, Premiere + Fireworks for 4D (time based) and Indesign for Press + Layout.

      Macromedia's portfolio is mainly for online applications, like Director, Flash, Dreamweaver, ColdFusion etc.

      The two companies products compliment each other, not fight for the same market.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:34AM (#12269173)
      I think what you were looking for is

      Freehand + Illustrator = Frustrator
  • Consolidation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nnnnnnnn (876913) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:03AM (#12268792)
    Flash will stick around for sure, but what will happen to Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and Freehand? Adobe may go with straight market share and keep Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Illustrator as the pro tools, and push GoLive, Fireworks and Freehand as the consumer versions, or they may drop them all together. I can't imagine many buyers interested in picking up the fight against the Adobe juggernaut.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:03AM (#12268799)
    From an Inkscape [inkscape.org] developer:

    I think it's good news for us. There will be people scared or disgusted by the forming monopoly and looking for alternatives. Also, it seems likely that Freehand will be either discontinued or at least downplayed so as to not hurt Illustrator, which means a lot of users will have to migrate. All this gives us a certain opportunity.
  • No more lawsuits huh (Score:5, Informative)

    by null etc. (524767) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:04AM (#12268805)
    A few years ago, Adobe sued Macromedia for infringing upon a patent by which Adobe displayed "GUI elements" in a certain dockable, palette-oriented fashion. Macromedia had to withdraw those features from its product to comply.

    Now, we're sure to see Flash get an improved user interface. I guess this is a case where Adobe's patent really helped it innovate.

  • by tezza (539307) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:05AM (#12268819)
    the 1st biggest print/press media company is merging with the 2nd.

    There is no 3rd.

    Would competition regulators look to block this merger??

    If Ford wanted to merge with General Motors, there would be serious investigations. Oracle needed to show there was competition from SAP & JD Edwards before it was allowed to acquire Peoplesoft.

    • Quark (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Henriok (6762) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:14AM (#12268946)
      You just forgot the largest prist/press media company: Quark.
      However... they won't stay at no.1 for long.
    • Corel (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Animaether (411575) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:16AM (#12268964) Journal
      They're the third... maybe behind by leaps and bounds, but there you have it.

      They have a Photoshop alternative of themselves, they have Paintshop Pro as the el-cheapo alternative, they've got Painter, they've got technical drawing, vector drawing, etc. etc.
      They even have Wordperfect (*chuckle*) - more importantly, the suite.

      That said.. Adobe/Macromedia merger is still sort of scary.
    • by breon.halling (235909) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:16AM (#12268976)

      According to one of the Flash dev guys [markme.com]:

      "However, and this is a very important point, this has not occurred yet, and will not occur until approved by stockholders and government regulators."
    • by Hew (31074) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:17AM (#12268993) Homepage
      Quark [quark.com] is still around, and they have a solid user base in the media industry, not to mention the GPL:ed page layout program Scribus [scribus.net], which is coming along nicely...
    • by Croaker (10633) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:23AM (#12269064)
      the 1st biggest print/press media company is merging with the 2nd.

      Uhm, what does Macromedia have to do with print/press? All of their product portfolio is aimed at online. Adobe has products both for traditional printing (InDesign, FrameMaker, Illustrator, etc.), purely online (Go Live), and products that straddle the two worlds (Acrobat). Macromedia is all about online.

      Adobe's penetration into the online world sucks. Beyond Photoshop, most web designers I know use the Macromedia suite of products (Dreamweaver, Flash, etc.) I don't think there is a real destruction of competition here. Adobe was strong in one area, Macromedia strong in another. It makes sense for Adobe to want to acquire Macromedia since they have basically reached market saturation in the markets they are in already. They have failed to compete in the newest online market for years. I don't think this is like Ford & GM wanting to merge. I think it's more like Chrystler and Mercedes Benz. The same market, to be sure, but they serve two distinct market segments. I don;t think there will be much regulatory scrutiny here.

      That being said, I'm not happy about the merger. I've grown to loathe Adobe as a company, as I have seen them buy up products, then just milk them without putting in any major improvements (c.f. FrameMaker).

      There is no 3rd.

      That small mewing sound you hear is Quark Inc. [quark.com] insisting that they are not dead yet.

    • by rdurell (827253) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:26AM (#12269104)
      Isn't the competition obvious? Microsoft is/will be the biggest competitor to both Adobe and Macromedia.

      SVG isn't really the competition long term for Flash. Macromedia hasn't been shy about the fact they'd like to turn Flash into an application front end for the desktop. Microsoft's Avalon features are a direct competitor to this.

      Adobe and Microsoft have been skirting around real competition for years. XDocs anyone? There is no question that Microsoft will be looking to oust Adobe and PDF as the long term format for secure document interchange.

      This isn't a merger of two major forces-- this is a merger of two minor players in the long term hoping to compete with the big dog.
  • Freehand (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mmkkbb (816035) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:05AM (#12268821) Homepage Journal
    I keep wondering what's going to happen to Freehand. Adobe bought the original marketers of Freehand (Aldus, also the guys who made PageMaker) back in the day. Now they're buying the makers of FreeHand AGAIN.
    • Re:Freehand (Score:3, Funny)

      by justforaday (560408)
      It probably means they'll sell Freehand off to Corel. This naturally means that in another 5-10 years Adobe will end up purchasing Corel. : p
    • Re:Freehand (Score:4, Informative)

      by DougInthezoo (745880) on Monday April 18, 2005 @01:50PM (#12271493)
      This is what worries me the most about this merger. Adobe obviously wants the web related products from Macromedia, but does not care about FreeHand at all.

      Speaking from 8 years pre-press and printing industry knowledge here, I will say that FreeHand is the best 2 dimensional drawing application ever created. I was originally schooled using Illustrator, mainly because it came free with Photoshop, so the schools had a copy, and did not get to use FreeHand until I got my first job in prepress. In less than two weeks I converted. I can do everything in FreeHand that can be done in Illustrator, with one key difference. I can do it about 10 times faster in FreeHand.

      User interface and tool behavior was designed right from the beginning in FreeHand to be efficient and intuitive. Illustrator is a hack of various thrown together features that loosely work together, in no apparent order, and with no continuity between them. Yes, I hate Illustrator. But don't get me wrong, I know how to use it inside and out. I was testing PDF and PostScript output from both of them for years and sending bug reports to Adobe regularly. I filed so many bug reports that I ended up being a go between for the Adobe developers and our development team.

      I NEVER had to report a bug to Macromedia regarding output. Their PS and PDF were not always clean and streamlined, but in a print world, they were always accurate.

      As much as it makes me cringe to say this (and anyone from the printing industry who has had to deal with Corel Draw would agree), but I do hope they sell FreeHand to Corel. At least somebody will be able to keep such a great peice of software alive.
  • I for one... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bcmm (768152) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:05AM (#12268825)
    I for one wellcome our new massive software giant overlords...

    Are they going to keep the Macromedia branding and just not compete with each other, or will we see Adobe Dreameaver?

    And will the flash plugin have that terrible update software like Acrobat reader?
    This is probably not good for anyone except Adobe, including us.
    • Re:I for one... (Score:5, Informative)

      by jackbird (721605) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:16AM (#12268968)
      From the FAQ [adobe.com]:

      What happens to the Macromedia brand?

      Adobe recognizes the strong equity of the Macromedia brand. That said, it makes great business sense for a company the size of the combined company to align behind a single corporate brand. Over time, Macromedia products will transition to the Adobe brand. Adobe expects to keep and continue investing in key Macromedia product brands.

      Also of interest:

      Do you expect to integrate the FlashPlayer and the Adobe Reader?

      The complementary functionality of FlashPlayer and Adobe Reader will enable the deployment of a more robust cross-media, rich-client technology platform. The combined company will continue to be committed to the needs of both the FlashPlayer and Adobe Reader users.

      • Re:I for one... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rxmd (205533) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:30AM (#12269127) Homepage
        Do you expect to integrate the FlashPlayer and the Adobe Reader?The complementary functionality of FlashPlayer and Adobe Reader will enable the deployment of a more robust cross-media, rich-client technology platform. The combined company will continue to be committed to the needs of both the FlashPlayer and Adobe Reader users.
        Not only does this not mean anything, it also fails to answer the question.
  • by bingo_tailspin (530764) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:06AM (#12268837) Homepage
    SVG is Flash's biggest rival, but Adobe has always supported it. I hope this means there will be more open standards in Macromedia Flash.
  • by Cjays (866936) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:07AM (#12268855)
    This will probably mean:

    - Adobe will kill off Freehand, Dreamweaver, and Fireworks, and incorporate any good features from them into Illustrator, GoLive, and ImageReady, respectively.
    - Photoshop and Flash will remain the same, since neither had competition from the other company.
    - They'll probably maintain 'lite' versions of all of the above, giving consumers the illusion of choice.
    - Corel will acquire the company that makes Preparation H, since their asses will hurt so much from shitting a few tons of bricks.
    • by DarkSarin (651985) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:27AM (#12269109) Homepage Journal
      Err, you seem to be forgetting Livemotion (the direct competitor to flash).

      That said, I hope Adobe does kill Freehand. It sucks hardcore. I hate it with a passion, and with good reason--it's UI hasn't been updated in a hideously long time, it is unusable, and probably the WORST of the MM products out there.

      Fireworks is a different story--I think that it is one of the BEST products out there in terms of vector graphics and is a very usable, stable program. It is what made .png a much more common format, and is probably why so many web developers hate the lack of PNG support in IE6. Having never used ImageReady, I don't know how it compares.

      The Dreamweaver vs. GoLive issue is difficult. I hate to say it, but in some ways it depends on whether you come from a graphic design & print background, or a coding/programming background. For those who come from a graphic design background, GoLive seems to be the product of choice, while Dreamweaver is more designed for those in coding. That said, I think most of my use for Dreamweaver is for site management and creating lots of very similar pages. Any more, though, I don't even do that--I use CSS, PHP & javascript to set up a single template and write the page based on current needs. This system is flexible, but I am getting OT. The real question is what will this mean for standards compliance in whatever product is resulting?

      I hope that whatever happen isn't as bad as it could be, since the two powerhouses in web/graphic design just merged. Corel (as you say) is in trouble, but they haven't been a serious competitor in any respect.
  • by dduardo (592868) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:07AM (#12268858)
    Adobedriva.
  • Anti-competition (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Flywheels of Fire (836557) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:07AM (#12268859) Homepage
    This acquisition is major news [mithuro.com] for the software industry, although not altogether surprising. Macromedia has regularly been seen as a prime candidate for acquisition.

    This makes good sense from both companies' perspective and this is clearly signalled in the fact that it comes with the blessing of both boards. Adobe has traditionally been strong in the offline graphical design business particularly with respect to desktop publishing in the newspaper and magazine publishing world. The company has also made its PDF reader ubiquitous in the desktop space and has a strong enterprise play.

    Macromedia, on the other hand, has a much stronger presence in graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for the desktop with its Dreamweaver and Flash product set. Both companies have made plays into the wireless market with the promise of rich media applications and cross platform access.

    Macromedia, however has made stronger inroads into this market with recent deals with key operators and device manufacturers that will see Flash expanding its reach from the desktop environment to wireless platforms.

    The deal itself is not without issues from a competition standpoint since the resulting business will almost certainly hold a sizeable chunk of the GUI market that would make it difficult for some smaller vendors to play in. The companies have overlapping product sets and a product portfolio that goes in many different directions. That is both a positive and a negative and will need to be addressed, going forward.

  • SVG question (Score:5, Interesting)

    by _LORAX_ (4790) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:09AM (#12268878) Homepage
    At this point, where will the commercial support for SVG go? Now that adobe has the defacto vector drawing platform for the web I fear that their support for the SVG format will go the way of the dodo.

    • Re:SVG question (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bersl2 (689221)
      Which is why the development track for SVG needs to be accelerated. Somebody needs to start churning out the content.
  • by DanTilkin (129681) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:09AM (#12268881)
    So far, the market seems to think Adobe is paying too much. They were paying a 33% premium when the deal was announced. ADBE [bloomberg.com] is down over 11% so far today. MACR [bloomberg.com] is up slightly.
    • typically, when companies merge or are bought out, the larger company or the buyer sees their stock price fall, while the smaller company or one that was sold sees an increase in their stock price.

      this isn't abnormal.
  • by Deacon Jones (572246) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:10AM (#12268897)
    while most seem to prefer photoshop, I can get something up and running for the web much more quickly with Fireworks than I can with any Adobe product.
  • by Manan Shah (808049) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:11AM (#12268910)
    ColdFusion is a great web technology thats usually underrated by web developers. I hope Adobe continues to develop it. I prefer it over other languages such as PHP, ASP, etc. With the MX version, you can actually write java code and call the methods directly from ColdFusion. It would be a shame if it ends.
  • by amichalo (132545) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:12AM (#12268924)
    The calculation I keep running over in my mind is:

    Adobe PDF + Macromedia Flash = Annimated PDFs

    Somehow I think Bill Gates is behind all this
  • by superflippy (442879) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:12AM (#12268929) Homepage Journal
    Just great. Now all my reasonably-priced Macromedia products are going to be replaces with Adobe's expensive bloatware.

    Macromedia has a generous upgrade policy and great educational discounts. Adobe charges out the yin-yang for their software ($1000 for CS, can only upgrade if you own the next most recent product.)

    Macromedia's web design software was built expressly for web design: Fireworks and Dreamweaver. Adobe tacked a few tools onto Photoshop (which, by the way, does not deal well at ALL with vector art, not like Fireworks does). I don't know how well GoLive works - never used it. But I know that Dreamweaver has made great efforts to allow front-end developers to create standards-compliant XHTML.

    If Adobe rolls Macromedia's great software into their own mediocre offerings, I may never upgrade again.
  • by Local Loop (55555) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:15AM (#12268952)
    What I want to know is what is going to happen to folks like us who bought multiple licenses of the huge expensive Macromedia all-in-one package of software, with the intent of taking advantage of the upgrade pricing for years to come. Is my investment totally down the drain?

    And what about all those websites on Cold Fusion. Those folks
    are seriously out of luck. (We don't use it though, thankfully)
  • by Linker3000 (626634) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:17AM (#12268980) Journal
    "...The new company will be called Adobe Systems, Inc."

    Who else is holding out for Macrodobia?
  • I don't know how this is going to be good for Adobe in the long run. It smells a little like the HP/Compaq fiasco.

    A few thoughts:

    1. Many of the companies' offerings are substitution goods. Most web developers I know are shelling out for the MM Studio MX upgrades and the Adobe CS upgrades. That works out to about $1000 every year. I doubt one company will be able to squeeze us for as much in a single upgrade cycle. Especially when there's so much overlap (GoLive v. Dreamweaver, FreeHand v. Illustrator, Fireworks v. Photoshop & Illustrator, etc.)

    2. Apple is going to have to be a little more careful about trying not to piss off Adobe by walking into their turf. Adobe has a bigger credible threat now in terms of ending Mac support.

    3. This is going to make design shops hesitant to buy CS2 upgrades. I, for one, am more likely to wait for a suite that has the specific Macromedia apps I need for web development. That might mean waiting out this one upgrade cycle.

    4. This does eliminate Adobe's fear that Microsoft would acquire Macromedia. That might be the only good reason for the buyout.
  • Adobe + Flash = Big (Score:3, Interesting)

    by starvingartist12 (464372) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:21AM (#12269033) Homepage
    It's all mind-boggling as to what can come out of this.
    • Adobe + Flash. This is gonna be big. They're gonna push Flash as the lingua franca of the interactive web (while we wait on things like XForms, XAML, XUL and Web Forms 2.0) using all the cout of Adobe and Macromedia's apps. Adobe had made some progression into SVG, so hopefully everything isn't too Flash-centric. And the growth in the mobile area (Just think of the licensing for Flash Lite in the future) is also gonna be good. This reason is probably worth it alone regardless of all the potential problems and overlap.
    • A powerful set of integrated tools. For print, web and video. Photoshop + Dreamweaver. Director + Premier. Drools.
    • Some good "synergies". Adobe has been entrenched in the print area with InDesign and PDF. Macromedia is very web oriented, with many mobile and server components.
    • Also lots of fallouts. There's plenty of overlapping software. Dreamweaver vs GoLive. Illustrator vs Freehand. Whether they remain separate, get merged, or cannibalize each other's parts and technologies remains to be seen.
    • No real competitors. The only "real" competitors are Corel (with CorelDraw and its recent acquisition of Jasc) and opensource software, such as The GIMP. Maybe ACDSystems as a minor player since obtaining Canvas. With Adobe and Macromedia offering integrated suites, why try anything else. Bye bye Quark.
    • Adobe Flash CS? Adobe Macromedia Flash? Adobe Macromedia Flash CS MX 2006! This is gonna be interesting =)
  • Incredibly bad (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Cyphertube (62291) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:22AM (#12269045) Homepage Journal

    This is honestly one of the worst things that can be imagined for most of us in the web world. The reality being that web development products will suddenly be submerged in a see of pure WYSIWYG. While I've been looking forward to seeing what features are going to be in GoLive CS2, I'm not too optimistic.

    I don't know how many other people feel like this, but it does seem that we're heading back to the days of developer and designer being in completely different realms, and where the graphic designer thinks he or she can do whatever as long as they see it beautifully.

    At least there's still GIMP and NVU, right? Maybe they'll get a lot more support once Adobe jacks up all the prices again.

  • by ScentCone (795499) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:25AM (#12269088)
    I've counted a few dozen "this is bad" comments. How would everyone feel, at this point, if someone with pockets as deep as MS's were to launch a (real) initiative in this area? Maybe, buying up Corel, and fattening it up to compete? Suddenly, Bill would look, well, just swell. Unless (and this is very unlikely, of course) there were any hypocritical leanings here on slashdot, I'd assume we'd be rooting for a new underdog in a suddenly completely consolidated industry.
  • by nighty5 (615965) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:29AM (#12269124)
    $3.4B and can't survive a slashdotting?

    somebody needs to invest in some hobby boxes...

  • by theolein (316044) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:55AM (#12270130) Journal
    Flash, Contribute, ColdFusion are the reasons Adobe is buying Macormedia. ColdFusion is, amazingly, still selling because it has a very good IDE and makes web app development easier.

    The other stuff is going to get canned in some way or another. Adobe will NOT develop Dreamweaver and GoLive concurrently. It makes no sense financially (two development teams who have to be paid) and it makes no sense competition wise. They might take over some of Dreamweaver's server side stuff (asp, php, jsp, cfm etc), but I can't see them keeping both.

    Director is something I'm worried about. They might keep it, as it has its own niche market (Computer Based Teaching, interactive DVDs etc), but Adobe is nothing if not hyperefficient financially (anyone remember LiveMotion, PageMill, Style etc?) and they usually kill products that aren't major sellers.

    Freehand is as good as dead. Period. And, given how Illustrator has become such as huge bloat app, that is a real pity.

    I can see Adobe taking most of the web development features from Fireworks (easy drop down menus etc) adding them to Image Ready, and canning Fireworks.

    Flash will almost certainly get the Adobe Workover(TM), which means a shiny new interface. Given how bad Flash's interface is, this might actually be a good thing. I actually hope they'll integrate some of Livemotion's interface in there, such as After Effect style timelines and easy paths. This might be the best result of the whole buy out.

    Apple could not have bought Macromedia, for the simple reason that Adobe would have done its monopoly abuse act once again, and threatened to drop Photoshop, Illustrator and Golive for the Mac, like they did with Premier. I'm pretty sure Apple could have developed very powerful apps out of Macromedia's stuff, but the Adobe apps are industry standard, sadly. which would have meant a hefty kick in the soft parts for Apple's marketshare.

    In fact, the only company that has both the resources and marketshare to compete with Adobe these days, is Microsoft. If Microsoft really wants, they could develop their own creative applications, bundle and sell them at low low prices, and kill Adobe.

    In fact, as much as I dislike Microsoft, I would like to see this happen.

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