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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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  • 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?

  • 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.
  • by Wonderkid (541329) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:05AM (#12268829) Homepage
    As most designers will hopefully agree, Adobe's software is stable, well designed, consistent in operation and relatively intuitive. However, their web offerings are limited. On the other hand, Macromedia's web centric software is unstable, (IMHO) appallingly designed, inconsistent and very hard to learn. So, now Adobe and Macromedia are one, hopefully they can combine the pluses of their cultures and products to the benefit of frustrated designers & developers everywhere.
  • 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 stlhawkeye (868951) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:06AM (#12268839) Homepage Journal
    I'm kind of lukewarm on this. I like PDFs, it allows me to download my tax statement, bank statements, government forms, and all kinds of other stuff that I used to have to fork over $3 to some government agency to get ahold of.

    The impact of Flash on the web, however, has been unforgivably negative, in my opinion. I boycott companies who require flash to view their web sites, there's no reason to ever need it for most web sites out there. I'm kind old school I guess, I think of the web as being primarily a form of information and knowledge distribution, and flash isn't necessary to present most types of information or knowledge.

  • Intrusion Alert (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:09AM (#12268879)
    It is bad enough that Adobe thought it right to allow embedded javascript in PDF files and thus tracking via Internet of who is reading, writing in, or otherwise using a particular PDF file (without end-user notification). But Macromedia has allowed its vector drawing plugin software to be used for the evil of tracking web site visitors who have turned off cookies (formally indicating they don't want to be tracked) and spawning pop-ups when users have tried to turn that "feature" off as well. I don't like where this is going when these two companies get together as one.
  • Re:Damn... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by XpirateX (691224) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:09AM (#12268884)
    The irony to that is, WINE is good code...while that made from Dreamweaver is not.
  • 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.
  • Re:I'm scared. :( (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bastian (66383) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:11AM (#12268911)
    PDF files are well and good.

    But the Acrobat Reader browser-plugin? The only word I can think of to describe it is 'ACK!'
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • by Bedouin X (254404) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:19AM (#12269009) Homepage
    And everybody just loooooves waiting on Acrobat to load in order to view a freaking calendar or memo.
  • Not just DW... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by blueZ3 (744446) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:19AM (#12269011) Homepage
    Other tools are also in trouble...

    Macromedia just bought eHelp (makers of RoboHelp), and we were expecting a long update cycle as MM digested eHelp. The bright side was the possibility that MM would make a DreamWeaver-based help product.

    Now we're probably doomed to a longer wait and possible integration with Adobe's poorly though out Web tools. :-(

    I expect DreamWeaver and other tools to see something similar to the FrameMaker situation:

    1) Buy the tool
    2) Learn from it
    3) Deprecate it in favor of a lesser tool (InDesign in the case of Frame)
    4) Proft!

    Sigh
  • by jeillah (147690) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:22AM (#12269053)
    I would pose the same question to the M$-Word developers...
  • 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 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 Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:29AM (#12269120)
    Not that UI elements that move around, disappear, reappear, end up behind the photo you're working on, or "dock" wherever they feel like it is good user interface by any stretch of the word.

    I wish people would stop pointing to Adobe as some kind of holy UI grail. Their UI decisions suck. Hard. The only reason anyone likes it is because millions of their users have spent years and years using their broken UI and are now addicted to it.
  • 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.
  • 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 @10:32AM (#12269149)
    Macromedia's upgrade policies are far from generous - especially as an edu customer. For instance, did you know that the only way to upgrade an edu version to a professional version is to pay the difference. For example, you can't upgrade version 4 (EDU) to 5 (pro) either. Did you also know that you CANNOT use Macromedia edu products for any professional purposes. You buy it, you graduate, it's TRASH!!!

    Adobe, on the other hand, gave me new serial numbers for all the EDU products I bought. I upgraded from Photoshop 5.5 edu to Photoshop 7 (non edu) with NO PROBLEM!

    I would much prefer Adboe own the software then the other way around!!!
  • Re:I'm scared. :( (Score:5, Insightful)

    by downward dog (634625) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:33AM (#12269157) Homepage
    I agree completely, which is why I was so pleasantly surprised when I got my first Mac last fall. "Preview" (the universal file reader in OS X) is extremely fast and is well integrated with the OS. If a free, bundled app with a generic name can handle PDF files without locking up a computer, why can't Adobe do the same?

    (Not trying to start a religious war here. I regularly use both platforms, with a healthy bit of Linux thrown in.)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:33AM (#12269166)
    Adobe is a company that is focused on graphic designers. They are losing ground to Apple in the motion graphics and video editing markets.

    Macromedia is a company whose target market is web designers.

    More and more graphic designers are doing web site design.

    This move makes since for adobe because it gives them more tools to offer their target market.
  • by PornMaster (749461) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:34AM (#12269175) Homepage
    Bloat hasn't caused people to run screaming from ColdFusion, which eats up RAM like a flesh-eating virus on steroids...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:34AM (#12269179)

    Apple has rapidly developed/assimilated software products that bite into Adobe's marketshare. Final Cut Pro first rivaled Premiere, then Avid and now it's in a league of its own, backed by the core technologies in Mac OS X 10.4.(1)

    Just yesterday they got oohs and aahs from the crowd at NAB with new versions of their video apps [apple.com].

    If you've seen the demos for Tiger's Core Image architecture and know a bit about Quartz and ColorSync, you'll know that they have a Photoshop killer laying dormant within the OS, just waiting for the right moment. It's all there - bitmap, vector, text and colorspace manipulation, much more elegantly and efficiently than in Adobe apps. See the last WWDC keynote for glimpses of it [apple.com].

    Motion already started work on the UI of such an app, though it's concerned with video. (You could even actually use for still images a bit already, in some ways more flexibly than Photoshop.)

    Photoshop is a standard, but so was Avid. Pro Tools is in their sights right now. If Apple comes out with anything semi-pro in the image editing area, something innocently cheap and labeled 'Express', then Adobe should be very worried.

    J
  • by sepluv (641107) <blakesleyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:35AM (#12269196)
    XHTML and CSS that conform to W3C standards (which a visual editor can never create with (X)HTML as it is semantic).
  • 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:SVG question (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bersl2 (689221) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:37AM (#12269214) Journal
    Which is why the development track for SVG needs to be accelerated. Somebody needs to start churning out the content.
  • by santouras (791199) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:38AM (#12269217) Homepage
    Personally I've always enjoyed FH more than Illustrator. Freehand's colour panel and drawing tools puts Illustrators to shame, absolute shame. The only things I want to see in FH from Illustrator is the better layer management, the very sexy mesh gradient and the better custom strokes.
  • Re:I'm scared. :( (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:39AM (#12269232)
    Indeed. Where the heck did it become necessary to display all external information in the damn browser window?!

    Fucking idiots who can't use computers... shouldn't use computers. You don't see ME trying to drive an 18-wheelers.

  • Re:hmm... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by isecore (132059) <`ten.erocesi' `ta' `erocesi'> on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:39AM (#12269234) Homepage
    Actually it seems like a good idea to me. Macromedia makes decent software but they've always annoyed the crap out of me by constantly doing one thing:

    They always re-design their interfaces from one version to another. The interface in their software is NEVER constant from one version to another. Every time you upgrade to a newer version, you have to re-learn the damn thing from scratch.

    I used to be really good at Flash back when it was something like 1.0, then they redid the interface and all my know-how was gone. I had to learn how to ride a bicycle from scratch.

    Now, I don't mean they just move some menus around and change buttons. They TOTALLY redesign it! Completely! Functions are different, layouts are different, buttons are COMPLETELY different. It's like a completely new program.

    The required car-metaphor would be that you're a mechanic used to working on diesel-engines, and when Car Inc. releases the new models they've replaced the engine with UFO-parts.

    So to summarize my ranting, maybe Adobe can mainatin the UI from one version to the next? I hope so.
  • by starvingartist12 (464372) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:43AM (#12269276) Homepage

    Adobe might go the other way and purely push Flash. I'm sure Adobe has been dying to own the Flash market.

    In fact, Adobe might have bought Macromedia just for Flash. Flash for the desktop (Flex) and Flash for mobiles (Flash Lite) are the areas of big potential. The rest of Macromedia's apps -- Dreamweaver, Fireworks and the rest -- they're in a very mature and saturated market, as Adobe knows so well.

  • 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 Have Blue (616) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:44AM (#12269295) Homepage
    Quark signed their own death warrant by ignoring Mac OS X until it was way too late (that is, until InDesign displaced them).
  • by superflippy (442879) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:44AM (#12269297) Homepage Journal
    I am a professional and I use Macromedia software to do my job. Therefore, it's professional grade as far as I'm concerned.

    Designing a web site with Photoshop is like trying to mow the lawn with a hedge trimmer.

    I will concede your point on Freehand, though. Illustrator is a better product from an user interface point of view, though it lacks some of Freehand's great features like contour gradients and the awesome variable stroke pen tool. The latest version of Illustrator (which I have at work because they're paying for it) is as crash-prone as Freehand, though, so I'm not so sure Adobe's moving in the right direction.
  • by Qbertino (265505) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:50AM (#12269348)
    I'm currently in a subsequent large scale Flash / ActionScript project. Flash MX 2004 Pro sucks as IDE but the Flash Plattform and Technology totally rocks. This stuff has made my living for the last 14 months. I so very much pray to god they don't screw this up. ...
    But then again, if they do and some people push XUL or Blender, there will be room again for the fast, small and agile oss cracks. That would save me the bianual upgrade costs. :-)

    I so very much hope the ActionScript 2 Team stays in charge. Those are the only ones capable at programming over at MM. Seriously.
    And I hope that they don't fuck up the Player. And don't make a must-have compiler with a crappy IDE (as MM did) and just double the pricing.
    My gosh, listen to me. ... So this is the kind of stuff you're actually spared from when you go OSS only.
  • by ColMustard (698424) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:00AM (#12269473)
    #2 is flawed. That's not how business works. Adobe isn't supporting the Mac platform out of their good graces. Adobe supports the Macintosh because they have a lot of customers using Macs, and it's as simple as that. Yanking Mac support would simply be a terrible business decision for Adobe.
  • by Skraut (545247) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:35AM (#12269872) Journal
    And what people seem to forget is the EXACT same thing is true for .swf

    There are plenty of good programs out there that make .swf's, Adobe even had one for a while. But the reason the Open Source community rallies behind .PDF and not .SWF is that unlike .PDF there are no good open source programs to make .SWF's

  • Re:Flash! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lucidwray (300955) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:37AM (#12269886)
    I agree 100%. Photoshop and Fireworks are companion products if anything. Anything larger than web resolution and Fireworks chokes and dies a horrible death. And Photoshop couldnt output a sub 50k jpg that looks decent if its life depended on it.

    I use fireworks for all my web output and it is far and beyond Adobe's answer (ImageReady). I really hope they just kill off Image Ready and integrate PS & FW closer together.
  • by DaveJay (133437) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:46AM (#12270013)
    More like "This automatic-transmission, power-steering, ABS-braking, skid-avoiding car is really cool. Granted, it isn't capable of going as fast/turning as well/stopping as quickly as a manual transmission, manual-steering, standard braking, no driving aids car is when driven by a skilled person, but for people who have no idea what they're doing, it lets them drive much faster than they could before." "But what if it gives them false confidence, and they drive so fast that the driving aids can't save them?" "Uh..."

    I know that sounds theoretical, but once upon a time I was hired by a PR firm that had just fired another guy. Seems he kept writing pages using Dreamweaver, and they kept telling him "it's not going to conform to the project standards if you use Dreamweaver's code." His response was always this: "I'm just using it for rapid prototyping, but the code will be manually written to be compliant." When they code-reviewed his initial code drop, it was -all- Dreamweaver, and he had to admit he couldn't code by hand. He gets fired, and they hired me, because I use a text editor for everything and understand how to write compliant code no matter what the standards are that I'm being asked to comply with.

  • by jotaeleemeese (303437) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:49AM (#12270056) Homepage Journal
    The other guy put valid points forward.

    You respond to none.

    Toughtful argumentation is not bashing.
  • Re:The Axis (Score:3, Insightful)

    by man_of_mr_e (217855) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:51AM (#12270081)
    DreamWeaver, like most tools, can be used or abused. If you know what you're doing, you can create very good sites in dreamweaver that are fully standards compliant and well optimized. You just have to pay attention and assign the styles yourself rather than let dreamweaver do it for you.
  • Re:The Axis (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sepluv (641107) <blakesleyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:53AM (#12270104)
    Very good points and I wholeheartedly agree.
    but I think Adobe and Dreamweaver make a good match
    ...or maybe a bad match (or a good match for bad, if you see what I mean). They could be a` good' WWW-destroying partnership.

    Look at the main assets of the two companies:

    • Macromedia:
      • Flash: the (closed, proprietary, non-semantic, visual) interactive `movie' format for the WWW along with various (proprietary) design software packages (Flash, FreeHand, Generator)
      • Shockwave: another proprietary format similar to Macromedia Flash produced by their Director design package
      • Dreamweaver : the non-(X)HTML/CSS-compliant so-called `WYSIWYG' `webpage' design software
    • Adobe:
      • Acrobat Reader, Acrobat Standard and Acrobat Pro : software to read and write Adobe's (partly) proprietary, non-transparent, visual, non-semantic Portable Document Format for documents on the WWW with built-in, DRM and `security' (see Skylarov [freesklyarov.org], &c)
      • E-book format: see PDF but worse as it is more `secure' with built-in time-limits &c and I think it won't allow authors to make their works transparent (as well as its being an attempt to take over the book market)
      • Photoshop : proprietary graphics design softwarenot really directly relevant to the WWW although it does, I believe produce proprietary image formats which might be used on the WWW (Also see Macromedia's Fireworks that I forgot to mention earlier which uses proprietary extensions ot open formats and is a similar product.)

    They obviously believe they can be a better force to destroy the WWW and HTML (and the W3C) with their proprietary, untransparent formats and "plugins" if they work together (possibly making their WWW-destroying formats work better together or even merge).

  • 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.
  • 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 Genom (3868) on Monday April 18, 2005 @12:43PM (#12270733)
    You make good points, but I fear that they'll be lost on most due to the vitrol of your post, dismissed as nothing but a useless troll.

    PDF is a darned good format for distributing material which is expected to be printed. I don't think many folks will argue with that. It sucks, however, if you want to do anything more than print.

    As you said, if you're only looking to disseminate information - your 50 page document which needs public availability now - you could do much worse than PDF. Especially if your only HTML option is Word "HTML".

    However, you'd be shortsighted if you didn't look beyond simple dissemination. Obviously if you're looking to get people to read your PDF-based document, it must have what you (or your superiors) feel is important information.

    The form of that information is what's important when it comes to the output format. If it's text-based information, you're probably OK just with the PDF. If it's tabular data, especially numeric tabular data, there are more useful formats (csv, various spreadsheet formats, etc...) that can allow the end-user of your information to slice/dice the data in ways you may not have thought of.

    As for Flash, I think the main reason there's such enmity towards it is that the format has been abused. In most cases, it's being used for ads. Ads aren't inherantly bad in and of themselves, but their placement and content can be incredibly distracting from the content of the page being viewed.

    Flash has been (ab)used to make wildly-scrolling attention-grabbing ads that not only distract you from the content, but in many cases bombard you with sound as well, and/or worse...popups. That's annoying, especially when you're trying to get work done.

    Many marketing folks declare an annoyed, distracted information seeker a "win". However...I'd think a company wanting to advertize their product would not like their potential customers to be annoyed. I'm not a marketeer, though, so maybe I just don't see the benefit in pissing off potential customers.

    Flash has also been used for some really cool stuff - Flickr for one example. Amazing stuff, but definitely not the norm when one thinks of Flash.

  • Re:The Axis (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2005 @01:22PM (#12271180)
    Dude. Really. You have issues. You need to lay off the Slashdot, and quick.
  • by ahfoo (223186) on Monday April 18, 2005 @01:45PM (#12271432) Journal
    I would really like to see an Authorware runtime for Linux. I never thought it would happen from Macromedia, but perhaps under this deal part of their "new markets" will include Linux. As has been noted, things are interesting with Reader 7.0 and it is a trend in the industry.
    While somewhat tangentially related, it's worth noting that National Instruments finally came out with a Linux version of LabView. I see Authorware and Labview as cousins of sorts. It would be great if they were completely open source, but seeing them at least available for Linux is a great step.
  • by dmurphy45701 (629586) on Monday April 18, 2005 @02:12PM (#12271790)
    When Adobe acquired Aldus in 1994, it was forced to spin off Freehand. At the time the two companies, together with Quark, were the dominant players in the desktop publishing software industry. Freehand was Illustrator's only real competitor on the Mac, and desktop publishing was almost exclusively the domain of the Macintosh, sans FrameMaker on a SGI workstation.

    After the acquisition, Adobe was forced to spin off Freehand for anti trust reasons. Macromedia was formed from the combined products of Macromind Director and Aldus Freehand.

    Now Adobe is acquiring freehand for the second time. My guess is that Adobe does not really want Freehand and will gladly sell it off. Dreamweaver is the best application Macromedia has, and Adobe wants it as well as Flash. Fireworks is pretty good; Coldfusion and Director are dying.

    If Adobe wants to keep Dreamweaver, maybe Adobe can strike a deal to sell off GoLive instead? I am sure they will prefer Dreamweaver over GoLive mainly because of its market share.

    The question remains, who will to form a company based on Freehand and GoLive?
  • Re:The Axis (Score:3, Insightful)

    by As Seen On TV (857673) <asseen@gmail.com> on Monday April 18, 2005 @02:18PM (#12271873)
    In case you're wondering, it was at this point that I decided you were making a clumsy attempt at satire:

    Photoshop : proprietary graphics design softwarenot really directly relevant to the WWW although it does, I believe produce proprietary image formats which might be used on the WWW

    Neither funny nor true, I'm afraid. You should have tried for at least one or the other, if not both.
  • Re:End of Mac? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Apotsy (84148) on Monday April 18, 2005 @03:56PM (#12273164)
    still nothing, except for the very latest version of Acrobat, is Cocoa

    That is not that big of a deal. Much of Apple's own "pro" app lineup is Carbon, as is iTunes. MS Office, Maya, and other high profile 3rd-party apps are also Carbon. Apple allocates a lot of resources to making sure Carbon works and works well. New APIs are being added all the time (HIView, better NIB support, support for Font & Spelling panels, etc). Most importantly, the infrastructure below the uppermost Carbon/Cocoa level is getting more and more unified with each release. Some parts are taken from the MacOS source base, some parts are taken from the NeXT source base, and some are completely new. If you look at the system hierarchy [apple.com] you'll see parts that are shared across Carbon and Cocoa (everything below the "Application enviroments" level). Much of what made up the Classic MacOS toolbox is in the ApplicationServices and CoreServices areas, and is thus shared between Carbon and Cocoa. You'd be surprised at how much of both enviornments are being pulled in when you launch an app linked against one or the other top-level frameworks.

    That being said, I do agree that Adobe has forgotten its roots and has begun treating the Mac as a second class citizen. Then again, Apple encroached on Adobe's business somewhat with the release of Final Cut Express, a direct competitor to Premeire (which had its Mac version cancelled shortly thereafter). That might also have something to do with it, but I'm sure the VP you mention does too.

  • by eclectic4 (665330) on Monday April 18, 2005 @04:12PM (#12273382)
    That's the problem with tools such as DW. It puts too much power in the hands of a novice as someone CAN produce pages without realizing what it might be doing "wrong". I use DW in split window mode (code on top, "WISYWIG" on the bottom), and change/manually code it all myself in DW. DW has some great time saving tools, but in the hands of a non coder, you get what you described.

    In other words, it wasn't DW's fault...
  • Re:Damn... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by goon (2774) <goonmail@@@netspace...net...au> on Monday April 18, 2005 @05:41PM (#12274641) Homepage Journal
    wannabes - its really called 'ed [nrc-cnrc.gc.ca]'.
  • by bigpat (158134) on Monday April 18, 2005 @05:53PM (#12274769)
    Also, I have been using it for an internally deployed and developed web app, since there are just a few users and support is less of an issue.

    Once native support is included in firefox, then I would have no problem putting it into a public facing web site.

    The road to adoption will be much smoother than flash was or is, simply because it is an open nonproprietary xml format which will have native browser support. Developers will find it much easier to integrate with their web apps and html because they can just output svg xml.

    But the cart won't preceed the horse here, no popular public web site will incorporate svg until native browser support is included, but once it is included there is a community of developers ready and willing to provide content.

  • by michaeldot (751590) on Monday April 18, 2005 @09:20PM (#12277031)
    Well I hope that the Linux Flash player is maintainted-if Adobe kills it, I won't buy any additional Flash studio products...

    Good point.

    I think however that having Linux/Mac OS X solutions will be a key strength of the new mega-Adobe. Hell will freeze over before Microsoft ships Linux software, but Linux compatibility and cross-platform deployment in general is becoming more and more a requirement of those seeking an alternative to the Windows monoculture.

    If Adobe supports multiple platforms, it should give its products a significant edge in the market.

  • by Scudsucker (17617) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @12:02AM (#12278301) Homepage Journal
    Adobe and Macromedia really, really like to sue eachother for patent infringment. One will sue, the other will countersue, and this seems to happen at least once every year. The merger will probably pay for itself by the end of the decade because the companies wont have to employ an army of lawyers with a larger population than North Dakota.

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