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Adobe Refocuses on Digital Media and Digital Marketing

Adobe is opting to focus on leveraging HTML5 and other standard Web technologies in the mobile arena.
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Written by Doc on

Everyone involved in documents uses an Adobe product at some point, whether for sophisticated design, photo manipulation, or simple presentation with PDF. Doc's been watching the company lately, and can't help but notice that Adobe seems to be changing direction. The company recently made a number of acquisitions in areas where you don't typically think of Adobe.

Brian Yeager has a good analysis on the company's changes over at the Digital Nirvana.  Brian is a Senior Consultant for Info Trends.

Adobe has been making waves with its series of acquisitions over the past few years, including Web analytics provider Omniture and content management provider Day Software. More recently, Adobe acquired web font specialist Typekit, electronic signature provider EchoSign, and video enhancement software provider Iridas Technology.

At a financial analyst briefing in November, Adobe made a number of announcements about what it is doing with those acquisitions, and more broadly, the direction in which the company is headed. Most of the news coverage in the tech community that surrounded this briefing was Adobe's intention to stop any future development of its Flash for mobile platform. Instead, the company is opting to focus on leveraging HTML5 and other standard Web technologies in the mobile arena. Adobe is also putting more emphasis on these technologies in general, as showcased by some of its concept products it has released for testing, including Muse (aimed at helping users design and publish HTML websites without the need to write code) and Edge (an application that is meant to help people create animated Web content using HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript).

Some noted the scaling back of Flash as a posthumous win for the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who was adamantly opposed to putting Flash on Apple's iDevices because of what he felt were flaws that made Flash inferior in the mobile realm. What was substantially under-reported in the tech world was Adobe's clear shift in direction, as highlighted by a reorganization that re-targets the company to focus on two main areas: digital media and digital marketing.

The company is also pushing its users to get out of a perpetual licensing model of buying and upgrading its Creative Suite product line to a cloud-based subscription pricing model that lets users pay for access to Creative Suite tools on a monthly basis. To do this, Adobe has developed the Creative Cloud, a Web-based community and portal for users to manage their Creative Suite applications and connect with other creative professionals. While the company will continue to sell perpetual licenses in the near future, it has very clear plans to fully migrate 100% of Creative Suite users to the Creative Cloud over time.

Bryan does a good job of summing up the changes taking place at Adobe. We'll keep an eye on the company and see how all of this works out.

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