Is Adobe becoming "Googlesque"?

Is Adobe becoming "Googlesque"?

Summary: I've always loved Adobe, or at least Macromedia and then Adobe. For me, it was utterly frustrating to watch the company come out with all of these cool ideas and absolutely no one take notice. This was only more aggravating to me as I saw blog post after blog post whenever someone on the Google blog sneezed or when Steve Jobs threw out whatever new iGadget he had thrown together. However recently, it's been Adobe that gets attention whenever they release a new product and I think we're starting to see the beginning of what could be a Googlesque Adobe.

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Adobe LogoI've always loved Adobe, or at least Macromedia and then Adobe. For me, it was utterly frustrating to watch the company come out with all of these cool ideas and absolutely no one take notice. This was only more aggravating to me as I saw blog post after blog post whenever someone on the Google blog sneezed or when Steve Jobs threw out whatever new iGadget he had thrown together. However recently, it's been Adobe that gets attention whenever they release a new product and I think we're starting to see the beginning of what could be a Googlesque Adobe.

PlaydoughNow Adobe will likely never have the clout of Google or be quite the darling of the tech world, but Adobe's transformation into a web company is starting to make people remember one of the oldest companies in the tech world. I think the lack of excitement over Adobe was simply that big creative suites aren't very exciting. Lucrative, absolutely; but exciting, not so much. But Adobe has always had a great platform and some talented people who use its products. With Flash, they've had the best playdough on the playground but it was the other kids who always got to play with it. They ended up giving away a lot of playdough, but everyone else got the attention for making fun things. That's all changing now, and it's resulting in more attention for Adobe and what seems to be a renewed sense of excitement about what the company is doing.

It was a post over at Webaware about the myFeedz service that got me thinking about Adobe's moving into a web software company. Just like Google, they're using a core asset (big box software) to subsidize interesting web experiments. Just as Google ties its products all back to search, Adobe can use a lot of these new web properties as advertising and showcase what their tools are capable of. Google did a lot to showcase and generate buzz for Ajax, and I think Adobe can do the same thing for Flash. JamJar and Kuler were "fun" apps that got people interested and in many ways, started the trend. More recently we've seen Digital Editions and the partnership with Photo Bucket that result in direct revenue for the company. There was also the Kiwi Project that showed off some Flex capabilities and had some members become part of "Philo" which is Adobe's rumored IPTV project, another example of Adobe's expansion.

Adobe has always been a fun company to watch. I've always been a fan of what Flash could do, and while I do worry about what happens to web startups using Flash, I think Adobe's foray into web apps will be good for everyone. Google has done a lot to advance Ajax and in the process, become a (mostly)fun company. Adobe has talented people and has adopted the more laid back style of Macromedia, so I think the ingredients are there. Now they just need to get out and show all the cool things that can be done with play dough.

Topic: Software Development

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9 comments
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  • Wouldee

    Are you sure your not on their payroll?
    wouldee@...
    • RE: Wouldee

      No. Remember, I'm much closer to Redmond than San Francisco/San Jose.
      ryanstewart
  • Maybe you should go work for them

    As balanced as you try to be, you seem so tainted by Adobe. I come here looking for forward thinking content about RIA, but a large percent of your writing is about everything Adobe is doing.
    MarlonSmith
    • ~

      Macromedia, and by extension Adobe, coined the term Rich Internet Application, so what they do has got to have a lot to do with RIAs.
      DDummer
      • I don't buy that

        Oh I see, because Adobe coined the term RIA Adobe "IS" RIA.

        Don't get me wrong I love what Flash has done for the internet, but that does not by default give them the keys,
        Adobe isn't the only 800 pound gorilla in the room.

        IMHO service and content providers will initially shape what RIAs will be, then consumers will shape what RIA's should be, not any platform provider. EBay, Yahoo and the New York Times have already started placing their bets and those bets are on the desktop. What does that mean for the internet (browsers) and they way people will expect to interact with their content and services is still a big question.

        I am not a Flash developer, yet from a distance I have always wondered why Flash for all the great user experiences it enables has not effectively and on a wide scale (internet and desktop) changed the way we build user facing software.
        MarlonSmith
    • RE: Maybe you should go work for them

      There are two parts to this. One, I have access to a lot more Adobe information. They've just been more forthcoming with things and even when I'm not allowed to talk about it, it helps fill in the picture more.

      Two, there is a lot of stuff going on with Flex 2 right now. Startups are using it, it's starting to gain some traction, ect. I love "WPF/E" but it isn't an actual product yet. I would also love to talk more about WPF, but..see number one. I'm working on getting more WPF info, so hopefully it'll get more attention. I try to be very balanced, but I admit, things swing to Adobe - that's my developer background.
      ryanstewart
    • Re: Maybe you should go work for them

      Marlon,
      There's really no need for that kind of thing. I think Ryan calls it as he see's it. If he talks more about Flex and Apollo (Adobe products) maybe it's because they are making the biggest bangs out there.

      David
      davidmartinomalley
      • Don't get me wrong

        I like Ryan, I just like to challenge him and try to keep him honest. Hopefully he understands, this is not the first time I have challenged him. I respect Ryan as one the foremost thought leaders in RIA and challenging each other is what makes this fun.

        If I seem biased, I would want my readers to point it out.

        I don't mean to hurt his feelings, sorry if I hurt Ryan or any of his readers (even me). :-(
        MarlonSmith
        • Re:Don't get me wrong

          Well, your explanation of your comment did a better job of explaining your sentiments than the original comment itself. And don't worry - we'll keep him honest ;-)

          Cheers,

          David
          davidmartinomalley