What would an Apple-Adobe merger mean to Microsoft?

What would an Apple-Adobe merger mean to Microsoft?

Summary: Pundit Robert Cringely thinks an Apple-Adobe merger makes sense on a variety of fronts. If it ever did come to pass, it would make for interesting competitive times vis-a-vis the pair's relationship with Microsoft.

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We interrupt our ongoing series of Microsoft reorg posts to speculate on one heck of a speculative post by pundit Robert Cringely.

Cringely thinks an Apple-Adobe merger makes sense on a variety of fronts. If it ever did come to pass, it would make for interesting competitive times vis-a-vis the pair's relationship with Microsoft.

Apple, with its growing share of the retail PC market and its monopolization of the digital-music player one, competes with Microsoft on a number of retail fronts (Vista, Zune, IPTV, productivity apps). Adobe, with its designer tools, RIA (Rich Internet Architecture) products, document-management wares, etc., competes with Microsoft on the Windows/Office/Silverlight fronts.

Microsoft has been building up its stable of products aimed at Adobe. Recently, I heard talk about a Microsoft-incubated product under development, known as SmartFlow. SmartFlow is meant to be a head-to-head competitor with PhotoShop LightRoom post-production software for professional photographers. If and when Microsoft decides to turn SmartFlow into a commercial product, it will be just one more component in its growing family of Windows-specific tools, interfaces and services targeted at amateur and professional photographers.

Meanwhile, there's been continued speculation Microsoft is going to try to deliver more Apple iLife-like apps for Vista (Microsoft "Monaco," anyone?) And "Fiji" (which I now hear Microsoft is calling Media Center + 1) has been described as “Media Center + fixes + some (Apple) iLife-compete work.”

Even if Apple doesn't end up buying Adobe -- which is my crystal-ball prediction -- Microsoft is on an increasing collision course with both of these companies as the Redmondians try to turn up the volume on their own consumer-focused products.

Topics: Software, Apple, Operating Systems, Mobility, Microsoft, Hardware, Enterprise Software, CXO, Banking, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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11 comments
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  • That depends

    If the Adobe group has enough influence, Apple would convert all of its software to run only on Microsoft platforms.

    If the Apple group dominates, Adobe would convert all of its software to run only on the newest Macs.

    Either way, the last traces of platform independence are gone.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
    • Microsoft eliminates independence

      Kidding writes: "Either way, the last traces of platform independence are gone."

      What's the concern if Apple and Adobe eliminate platform independence? What about
      Microsoft, with 90% control of the desktop, writing Windows only applications?

      I doubt though, that creative types are going to convert in droves to Windows, no
      matter what Microsoft's does.
      YinToYourYang-22527499
  • RE: What would an Apple-Adobe merger mean to Microsoft?

    I'm amazed anyone still uses Windows... it's like leaving your check book and credit cards on your dashboard with your car unlocked.
    kkrimmer
  • Well Adobe does compete with Apple as well...

    It's not as if Apple and Adobe don't have competing product themselves. Mainly in creative programs. Adobe has always been known to have a ton of media creating programs, but so does Apple. Apple has Final Cut Studio, with programs like Logic Pro, Final Cut, and not to mention their weaker versions in the iLife suite.

    So Adobe might as well be bought or partnered by with Microsoft on this offchance, considering that Microsoft is still a bit low on the creative side, while Apple is pretty strong.

    These days, creative apps. are important. Adobe-Apple doesn't sound right to me.
    quikboy
  • RE: What would an Apple-Adobe merger mean to Microsoft?

    They'll NEVER NEVER merge. Adobe and Apple are also fierce competitors today. And if they DO merge, Microsoft will enter FULL FORCE into design. Today what they're doing is actually complementary to Visual Studio.
    xp-client
  • Microsoft Competing with Adobe. Gimme a break.

    Microsoft has its own set of competing iLife applications in the works for Vista, huh?

    Question is what product ideas haven't they used but their own? Well, if its any implication as to the quality of Microsoft products (which are "already out" for the masses), you need to look no further than what they've done on Vista. Yup, they can just forget about it, if there's going to be five different versions of the same application. Absolutely ridiculous. Whats even more absurd is that there are 100 million people out there who've bought into the scam (and I hate to say this I'm one of them).

    Microsoft is going to enter the Design field and have applications competing with Adobe.

    Again, the question is what product ideas haven't they used but their own? Microsoft should be lucky Adobe even ports its apps on the Window's Vista platform. Now they're going to compete with a company that has helped them gain dominance in the OS market in the past? Thats stupid. Microsoft should know their place and its definitely not in the productivity design apps. market. For godsakes! I can't even get my printer and scanner to work on Vista. What more when I'm designing something in these programs.

    Either way, Redmond these days has little to do with software ingenuity and have more to do with vaporware. They're a company in a desperate search of a solution to their less-than-thrilling over hyped products. Basically, they're looking for their next Windows 95 money ticket, which could very well be little to late.

    But is anyone surprised?
    ServedUp
    • what are you talking about?

      quote 'Thats stupid. Microsoft should know their place and its definitely not in the productivity design apps. market. For godsakes! I can't even get my printer and scanner to work on Vista. What more when I'm designing something in these programs'

      Both my scanners and all my printers just worked with Vista - 2 Canon Scanners, an HP, an Espon, a QMS and Xerox printer. You should take a look at Expressions Web - beats the hell out of Dreamweaver for fast and easy to use while still having tons of power....
      paulaaa1
  • Will Microsoft iLife Apps work on my Mac?

    Microsoft is a dead horse
    got1
    • Will Microsoft iLife Apps work on my Mac?

      who cares - you are a tiny minority
      paulaaa1
  • Means Microsoft would have to buy someone Apple uses

    and force them to deal with each on merged terms. Maybe MS buys EA and upends any gaming deals. Since Apple seems to make all the software for its OS, it's hard for MS to counter, unless they bought up the manufacturing plants or resources that make each Mac device.
    Boot_Agnostic
  • RE: What would an Apple-Adobe merger mean to Microsoft?

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