Adobe to Buy Macromedia | April 18, 2005

So I got an iChat message from Veerle this morning telling me that she had some big news and suggesting I have a look at her site. Thinking that she’d either won the lottery or been chosen for the biggest redesign job ever, I went to have a look. I have to admit that I wasn’t quite prepared for the news.

It would seem that Macromedia is being sold to Adobe. Now I really didn’t see that coming. The acquisition brings into question the future a whole host of application. Will Adobe ditch GoLive in favour of the more successful Dreamweaver? Maybe they’ll go the other way? Will they retire the excellent Fireworks and stick with the decidedly inferior ImageReady? And what about Freehand vs Illustrator? Maybe they will roll the applications together so we’ll end up with Adobe Dreamweaver Creative Suite MX 2004. Wouldn’t that be fun.

Posted at April 18, 2005 9:01 AM

Comments

Ian said on April 18, 2005 9:31 AM

Blimey, didn’t see that coming. That’s going to give Adobe serious power to get their own way with Apple and Microsoft. This one’s gonna run and run…

Small Paul said on April 18, 2005 9:58 AM

Gah. Bring on the bloat-ware :)

Karen Bryant said on April 18, 2005 10:31 AM

Wow, what a surprise! I use both suites extensively and enjoy the differences between the two… I use InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop, and Dreamweaver, Flash and Fireworks all because each fulfills all my needs (while I don’t enjoy Freehand or GoLive although I use Freehand for some of it’s effects). They are all awesome programs that have their own merits.

It will be extremely interesting to see the consequences of this. I agree, what will happen with Dreamweaver/GoLive, Illustrator/Freehand? Or is it just that I’m accustomed to utilising these programs and a combination of the these will just be awesome.

I wait with baited breath - it could go either way.

Rob McMichael said on April 18, 2005 10:37 AM

I would have prefered it the other way arround, seems Macromedia are a better company.

In a way it’s like Microsoft buying Apple :(

chet said on April 18, 2005 10:37 AM

Doesn’t this seem like a monopoly for Adobe in the creative software market?
I mean, there’s Corel for graphics, Frontpage for HTML, and Quark for layout, but Adobe’s going to possess a huge slice of the pie.

Sander said on April 18, 2005 10:53 AM

Will they extend PDF with flash, using pdf forms to submit data, built a browser around it and say bye to a web based on html?

Or the other way round, pdf support in flash, merge with flashpaper hehe.

Basically Adobe-MM now has the monopoly on digital media creation. :( I’m a bit scared.

Veerle Pieters said on April 18, 2005 10:57 AM

I guess this is the biggest news ever… it takes a while to digest. I remember visiting MacWorld (San Francisco) in 1999 and when suddenly this big banner appears in front of me ‘Adobe buys GoLive CyberStudio’ that was a shocker too… but not like this one. I was a big fan of CyberStudio and even ended up in (Sushi) party of that company celebrating the buy-out. Those were good times ::::sigh::::

Michel Fortin said on April 18, 2005 11:11 AM

I would have prefered it the other way arround, seems Macromedia are a better company.

Remember how Apple bought NeXT… within a year, every key position were given to ex NeXT employes. Of course, history doesn’t always repeat itself.

Me too I’m worried about the monopoly it will create.

tripeak said on April 18, 2005 12:20 PM

It’s really strange that the board allow this. But in a sense it’s survival of the fittest. With no competitive products the markup on future products will definitely increase. With regards to Corel Industries – if they couldn’t compete with Adobe or Macromedia as separate entities, there’s no way they will be able to do it now. It’s very similar to what happened with Sony Music and BMG.

Jason Beaird said on April 18, 2005 1:20 PM

Wow…I went to Google news to confirm this (as if the link on Macromedia wasn’t enough) and there are already 240 related stories: Reuters, NYT, CNet, Mac Observer, and more all reporting on this and I heard it first here. Go figure. :)

Stuart Colville said on April 18, 2005 2:37 PM

Shocking indeed, I wonder whether Director will end up in the spare-parts bin?

B. Adam said on April 18, 2005 3:25 PM

I don’t think this will create a monopoly at all. Don’t forget about open source alternatives.

The GIMP is getting better every day, and the wonderful thing about it is if you don’t like something about it you (or someone you know) can always change it. Not so with Fireworks or Director.

Joel said on April 18, 2005 6:31 PM

A few nights ago I had wondered about them ever merging…and, really, why they haven’t already.

Ah, think of the titles.

Adobe Macromedia Hybrid Software SuperMerger LongTitle Productions Presents GoFlash Professional Illustrator (insert flowers, butterflies and feathers, a la Adobe CS Products here) MX 2005

Jonathan Fenocchi said on April 18, 2005 6:40 PM

Whoa! That’s crazy. Who would have thought? I didn’t think Adobe would be prepared to take on such a huge purchase. And even then, I saw these two companies more as competing than merging. A purchase was the furthest thing from my mind. In any case, I’m hoping that new versions of the Adobe/Macromedia suites will have lots of new features from the opposite suites. Also, I’d like to see some Photoshop/Illustrator integration with Flash (like, “Export to Flash As…”).

ross said on April 18, 2005 9:40 PM

This is potentially a bigger event than MS or Apple buying Macromedia. I’m surprised it is being allowed to be honest.

My predictions…

Generally I’d say Adobe will try to kill Macromedia applications, and absorb aspects of them into their own framework (obvious exceptions Flash and DW). There’s no point sustaining another entire architecture (especially one as dodgy as Macro’s), and there’s no point rewriting them.

Freehand will die. Probably the first to do so. Adobe will need to work on Illustrator’s flash integration, but it can throw out the whole MX thing – which was always just whack marketing speak anyway. Dunno if we will get much other features from Freehand (Adobe – “Let them eat cake?).

Livemotion will die. Flash will reign supreme. Adobe may try to include SVG support into the flash player. Adobe has always supported SVG over SWF because Macromedia had a lot of power. Now that Adobe has that power, I doubt they will continue to push SVG as hard.

Photoshop, steady as she goes I suspect.

ImageReady? Well I hope that Adobe note the power that is Fireworks, and incorporate much of its vector filled goodness into IR. Actually, I hope they turn FW into IR, as opposed to IR into FW.

Flash paper? Hahah…

Apple has been making inroads into Adobe’s motion graphics and sound space, so I wonder what they think of this. Could other large companies oppose the merger still?

Auntie Trust said on April 20, 2005 3:21 PM

I am deeply troubled by this merger. Both companies, as great as their software is, have indulged in a policy of releasing frequent and frivolous upgrades. Now that they are one they can dictate their terms without the presence of viable competitors. Keep in mind that the advent of these great tools has caused a flood of people into the sector of “graphic and web design”, effectively dumping on the market and driving down the wages of the creative community to levels below those of the late 1970s. This is a bad thing, and we should all speak out against it.

Auntie Trust said on April 20, 2005 3:23 PM

I am deeply troubled by this merger. Both companies, as great as their software is, have indulged in a policy of releasing frequent and frivolous upgrades. Now that they are one they can dictate their terms without the presence of viable competitors. Keep in mind that the advent of these great tools has caused a flood of people into the sector of “graphic and web design”, effectively dumping on the market and driving down the wages of the creative community to levels below those of the late 1970s. This is a bad thing, and we should all speak out against it.

Chris Mounsey said on April 21, 2005 5:32 PM

This is really very bad news indeed. Like everyone else, I am pretty certain that Freehand will go; I, and an awful lot of other small freelancers, use Freehand on the grounds that, some years ago, it did wacky things, that Illustrator didn’t, like… well… support multiple pages.

Freehand was–is–better for layout. And just imagine, you could buy Photoshop and Freehand, and have everything you needed to start.

Go with Adobe, and you need Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign (or Pagemaker as was; or, of course and God forbid, the massive millstone that is Quark XPress).

And, I’m sorry, but nothing in the Open Source realm is even close to these professional apps yet (and for a long time).

Can anyone see why a revenue-hungry Adobe might think that this merger is a good thing?

As John Gruber points out, on www.daringfireball.net, Adobe haven’t bought Macromedia: they’ve bought the market.

Thomas said on April 25, 2005 4:52 PM

I hope with this merger we will not see the price of software rise too much, as we all know the great leaps in prices with new releases.