Is Apple seeking a union with Adobe?

Is Apple seeking a union with Adobe?

Summary: Robert Cringely makes a case for Apple buying Adobe.What I DO see happening is Apple buying Adobe, which would give it effective dominance of digital content creation and distribution on a global scale.


Robert Cringely makes a case for Apple buying Adobe.

What I DO see happening is Apple buying Adobe, which would give it effective dominance of digital content creation and distribution on a global scale. Bruce Chizen suddenly stepped down as Adobe's CEO without warning: why? A caretaker CEO (my characterization -- no slight intended) is in place. Steve has always viewed Adobe co-founder and co-chair John Warnock like a father. Warnock and co-chair Chuck Geschke are losing interest in Adobe day-to-day as they move on with their lives. Acquiring Adobe would make Apple much more of a cross-platform company. The combined professional applications could be placed in the Adobe division of Apple where they could go up in price for some markets, becoming VASTLY more profitable. But most important -- keeping in mind the whole purpose here is driving content distribution -- merging Flash and QuickTime would make any other video standards (like Windows Media) simply immaterial.

If such an acquisition were to take place it would have to be in 2008 while Avid and Microsoft still present credible competition to keep the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission from opposing such a merger. It would go easier, too, on W's watch. I knew he was good for something.

Apple has more than $15 billion in cash and no debt, and Abode's current market cap is about $22 billion. Jobs does have a lot of history with Adobe-- Abode PostScript and PhotoShop were critical to the success of the Mac. A union might make sense on a whiteboard, but it's hard to imagine Steve Jobs acquiring something that could be a major management distraction from the relative simplicity that Apple is now--Mac, iPhone, iPod, iLife. On the other hand, iAcrobat, iFlash and iPhotoshop could fit in with where Jobs wants to take Apple. It depends on whether he has the appetite for another reincarnation of his company.

Topics: Apple, Banking, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Mobility

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  • Is Apple seeking a union with Abode?

    I could see them buying Adobe, but I doubt they'd buy Abode.
    • I'd call that dislexia

      pablo Dante
  • Nooooooooooo!

    When talking about an Apple/Adobe merger, you are really talking about three entities: Apple, Adobe and Macromedia.

    When Adobe and Macromedia merged, the idiocy of Macromedia immediately infected Adobe and now, dealing with Adobe's software in a corporate setting has becvome that much more of a PITA.

    The old Adobe had fantastic support for network deployment of their software and mad it easy to turn "nag" features of their software off. The new adobe took on the practice of Macromedia of making you apply for a "license" to deploy their free software. Apple's quicktime installer is not deployment friendly and turning of nag features is a PITA.

    If their merger happened, the last bit of corporate friendliness that was in Adobe will be ultimately be squeezed out by the cold hands of Apple and remnants of Macromedia, leaving people like me with even bigger headache to deal with.

    Hey Adobe: I bet [i]Silverlight[/i] will support easy mass deployment.
    • Has it ever occurred to you

      that one of the reason Adobe wanted to buy Macromedia was to get their DRM
      technology? Adobe has been Microsoft light for years.

      What would crack me up would be Apple buying Adobe and discontinuing all Windows
      products. I must admit, it would make me laugh.
      • Funny, but realistic?

        Apple has already shut itself out of the Windows market on a lot of applications like Final Cut Pro. Now if Apple wanted to buy Adobe and discontinue all the Windows products, I'm sure Microsoft would be VERY happy about that.
        • I don't see that happening.

          Even if this were to happen, in theory because I still feel that Cringely's words are worth as much sand in a desert, A debate for a mass exodus to Apple hardware would be probable. Many could still use their Content files as well as run Parallels to run Vista and all of the other software. Microsoft and Apple would win for that matter.
        • A conversation

          Ballmer to Jobs: "We're thinking of dropping Office Mac.
          It just doesn't bring in enought money"

          Jobs to Ballmer: "We're thinking of dropping Photoshop,
          Illustrator, and Acrobat Pro for Windows and bundling
          those same apps on all new Macs"
          • And the conversation Continues...

            Ballmer to Jobs: "We're thinking about bundling MSN Messenger, Windows Media Player, Zune Marketplace, Internet Explorer, MSN Explorer and much more as must be installed Options if you keep Office Mac."
          • And then Jobs says to Ballmer . . .

            We're calling the justice department. Leveraging your Office monopoly to force us to
            keep selling Windows Photoshop is so-o-o illegal.

            Oh, and once you are convicted, we'll file a civil suit for several billion in damages, like
            Sun did. You can afford it.
            R Harris
          • That turned out real well last time

            Oh how Microsoft had to jump through a few hoops for Windows XP and along comes Vista and how much coverage did it get for having to jump through hoops for the Justice department?

            Either mass media or the Justice Department forgot all about that. Which is it?
          • Re: A conversation

            Ballmer to Jobs: "Go ahead. Who uses Photoshop anymore?
            No Acrobat? last time I checked, we were working on an alternative, among the others like Jaws, for less. And I also noticed that it would be far less expensive for people to just buy your competitor's offerings, then to upgrade all their hardware and software. If you want to purchase a company then cease drawing revenue from it, be our guest!"
          • ?

            Who uses photoshop anymore? Just about every pro in the industry.
            Balmer: we have this expressions thingy we bought from someone else. We also have
            a record in the content creation market. We actually kind of got postscript somewhat
            working by 1998.
          • And how big is the "industry"

            vs the rest of the market? To keep the smaller graphics market while giving up the larger, rest of market really does not seem to be a winning strategy to me.
          • GL it's much larger than you think or give credit to

            Pretty much every company has a graphics, advertising, or
            media department, otherwise you would never know about
            them. The industry is quite large and fuels everything you
            see around you. It's all advertising, everything!
            Kid Icarus-21097050858087920245213802267493
          • I speak of Outsourcing

            where a great many company outsource to a graphics or advertising company where a handful of Photoshop licenses are used, as opposed to every company doing their own with their own copy.
      • RE:discontinuing all Windows products

        I guess they'd have to find something else...

        Oh, wait. They already did. Actually, they wrote it:

        It's kind of expensive - $599...but last time I checked that's less than itself, no other apps.

        Or they could do what Linux users have been doing for years - Gimp or Pixel.

        Not to mention the plethora of MS-equivalent or open source products intended to replace the other Adobe products that have been out for a long time now. Adobe is not irreplaceable, my friend.

        But, perhaps instead they will give up and buy Macs....but I wouldn't count on it.

        In case you didn't know:
        Wishing bad things on others (whether you like the company or not, there are people out there who use it and depend on it for their livelihoods) is simply bad karma. Hope your computer doesn't die tomorrow as a result.
        • A little correction

          Forget the silliness of Apple buying Adobe and dumping
          Windows versions, BUT Adobe products ARE
          irreplaceable in the professional graphics market.

          With the exception of Quark for page layout there are
          simply no functional equivalents. There is no raster
          image processor that can maintain raster, vector and
          text formats through end production other than
          Photoshop. Most do not even support spot colors, if
          they support CMYK at all.

          There is simply no equivalent to Illustrator, unless you
          want to go into high end CAD. With the exception of
          those high end CAD apps, no vector app generates
          foolproof postscript, not do they support all the various
          color libraries. Just ask Pantone about that. Also, none
          support full layers with transparency. Of course,
          nothing comes even remotely close to pathfinder.

          There is no functional equivalent to Acrobat Pro. No
          other PDF creators have anywhere near the functionality
          of Acrobat Pro and none properly support layers and
          transparency. I don't even know if any properly support
          X1 or X3 cerification.

          I've only touched on a few things. There are literally
          100s more, There is a real reason why those apps
          control 100% of the pro graphics market in their
          respective areas.
          • Programs for you to check out

            Oh, how you underestimate your options.

            Following is a list of replacement programs for everything that you mentioned in the post above. They are all less expensive than the Adobe product they are similar to. Check a few of them out before you decide that they wouldn't fulfill the needs to the majority.

            Photoshop - First of all, PS is NOT vector based, that would be Illustrator. But, irreplaceable? Please. In addition to the MS software I previously cited, you should take a look at two programs: one is open souce, called Gimp, plenty for some, though missing some features that a few would miss. The other is Pixel. Pixel is sweet, man. Pixel is not free...but Gimp is.

            Illustrator - try Inkscape, CorelDraw, or XaraXtreme. All alternatives. Not only is Inkscape supposedly a wonderful program, it's also free.

            Acrobat Pro - Try PrimoPDF. Also free.

            Even CNET showed a video on who to replace all the apps in CS3 with free programs.

            Some have less functionality at the current time, but these programs cover the important facets that will satisfy the needs to the majority of users. Not to mention that since most are open source, the odds of them staying still and not improving are slim.

            And that's only a few of the 100s that can be replaced. Thanks to Linux users and open source.

            That took 10 minutes on Google. Better than dropping a few grand for features you may not need. For those that need the added functionality, a platform switch may be necessary. The majority will get along fine with these and the other alternative programs.
          • Laura: obviously you don't earn your living with this stuff

            Photoshop: All shape tools are vector. When
            you slelct one PS automatically creates a vector
            mask on the active layer - meaning 100%
            vector. Text does the same thing, creating a
            new text layer. On both of these you have to
            consciously rasterize to get bitmaps or flatten
            the whole thing. PDFs exported from PS retain
            that vector info yielding crisp edges to text and
            shapes as opposed to the fuzziness of standard
            300dpi print resolution.

            Illustrator, Corel Draw is a good app but little
            used. Others are basically toys. How do you
            create crop areas? Where are the bleed and
            slug areas? How do set the crop marks and
            color bars? How about text baselines and type
            paths? There's much more.

            PDF: Where do I carry my color bars, crop
            marks, bleeds, slugs, fold marks, guides,
            separation preview, etc? Without that, the pdf
            WILL be rejected by the publication and/or
            printer. How about layers so one can be turned
            off for repurposing the pdf? How about
            transparency? How about separating spot and
            process colors? You're dead without this.

            All of the above is simple, everyday pro
            graphics, nothing elaborate at all. With the
            exception of Corel draw, not other apps
            perform this stuff properly, if at all.
          • I misread your post

            First point - I see where you are going with the PS point - I misunderstood what you were saying in the first post. I was thinking something totally different when I read it first time through...brain fart I suppose.

            And, many of the features that people look to Adobe for are available in these apps. Check them out. They may not fulfill all your needs, but you may be surprised.

            Btw, Inkscape is not a toy. Many prefer it to Illustrator altogether, and you won't find a whole lot of novices using Illustrator, so that should speak to the quality of the program. Pixel is the same way.

            Back to the main point - there are replacements for the common features. If you require more than they offer, then a platform switch may be for you. But you are assuming that everyone that uses this stuff is a pro, and that's nowhere near true. Not all pros use Macs fiance just switched because he didn't like them. He's a pro. He uses Adobe. And he has been looking at these programs for replacement of Adobe. It's looking promising for nearly everything.

            But, regardless, my point to the OP was that it was unnecessary to laugh at the potential misfortune and inconvenience of others, and that it would not result in an abandoning of the PC platform. Many will find these replacements quite suitable. Some won't. You may not, but you should check them out first. They aren't the only options out there.