So Robert is talking about "the designer/developer deathmatch" (notice I switched the order) and the fact that Microsoft and Adobe are on a crash course towards each other. John Dowdell isn't convinced, but I think Scoble's absolutely right on this one. What's interesting is I don't even think Scoble got to check out the stronger developer offerings that Adobe is pushing.
I think this is fascinating, and I think from a Rich Internet Application standpoint everyone wins as Microsoft and Adobe try and one up each other. Scoble plays up the designer vs. developer angle, and I think that's correct. I've talked before about the fact that the company who enables seamless collaboration between developers and designers will win. I think Adobe has a head start, but Microsoft is thinking about the problem and they're putting up a fight.
The battle comes down to platforms. Microsoft (basically) gives away the tools and sells the platform (Windows). They've invested a ton of money to make sure that people use their platform for everything. They've been accused of locking people in and not playing by the rules. Adobe on the other hand is a tools company. They make their money on tools like Creative Suite and Studio while giving away the platform, Flash. So which model will developers and designers be drawn to?
I think Adobe has an almost insurmountable lead with designers. The time invested in learning Adobe tools is gargantuan, and it will be tough for Microsoft to pry them away, even if they're giving the tools away for free. Developers on the other hand, I don't think take Adobe seriously. That's beginning to change as the perception of Flash changes, but Adobe has a long way to go. Can Microsoft circle the wagons around its developers and build a great solution for developer-designer collaboration? Perhaps. This will be an interesting game to watch.