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Old 04-18-2005, 01:39 AM   #1
Richard Hunt
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Default Adobe swallows Macromedia

http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/invr...acromedia.html gives the Adobe line. But what does it mean fo the customer?

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Old 04-18-2005, 03:38 AM   #2
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Interesting. The press release talks about PDF and Flash, but there is a conflict with some applications. Dreamweaver vs GoLive, Illustrator vs Freehand. Score 1-1 so far :-) The product roadmap will not be settled until after the acquisition is complete, so lots of time yet for discussion. I did notice in the FAQ that the forthcominf revision of Studio MX from Macromedia will not be affected.

   
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Old 04-18-2005, 05:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Hunt
But what does it mean for the customer?
Good question!

If you remember when Adobe acquired Aldus, which was then distributing FreeHand, having Illustrator and Freehand in the same hands was a major sticking point. Now there are two strongly competing sets of “large” products in the transaction: the drawing programs and Dreamweaver and GoLive.

Of course, Adobe can claim that Corel competes with Illustrator and Freehand — I would have to rummage through old papers to be sure, but I believe that Corel Draw’s existence was an argument Adobe made (unsuccessfully) in the earlier merger. But then there was an easy out: Freehand actually belonged to Altsys, and Adobe had no legitimate claim on it. Now Adobe is actually going to own both programs, and I doubt that regulators will let that pass.

In the case of Dreamweaver and GoLive, there is no credible third competitor that I can think of; again, how can regulators allow it? The fact that Adobe’s press release makes no mention of these competing-product problems does serve to accentuate them.

The other possible impact on customers might be positive. Maybe Adobe will resuscitate Fontographer. It already owns several other font-editing programs (which have been sitting on a shelf somewhere). Out of all those resources Adobe could give FontLab a run for the money. But will they? Is there ever enough money in niche products for huge modern companies?

Well, a girl can dream, can’t she?

   
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Old 04-18-2005, 06:35 AM   #4
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Macromedia acquired the Robohelp Windows help file creator last year too. There are some interesting possible synergies with the Acrobat line.

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Old 04-18-2005, 11:16 AM   #5
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I hope nobody's bet the company or farm on Flash Paper.

   
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Old 04-18-2005, 11:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Hunt
But what does it mean fo the customer?
It means less competion, less innovation, and less choice.

This is a bad thing.
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Old 04-18-2005, 12:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djb
It means less competion, less innovation, and less choice.

This is a bad thing.
Maybe. How much did the loss of Aldus hurt us? It really didn't ruin my life.

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Old 04-18-2005, 12:13 PM   #8
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I brought up the Fontographer idea on the Adobe DTP forum, KT. My thoughts are much like yours, there is a chance it might revive this product-on-life-support, or it may mean the plug gets pulled (hope this is not too political, thinking on recent events).

I use Fontographer back when it was still current, and haven't joined the FontLab world yet (lack of funds). I'd love to see Fontographer bundled in a Suite somewhere so I could make use of it.

Strike that last thought ... I just realized that if I got Fontographer in a suite, thousands of others would too. And we would be unindated with more bad shareware fonts.

Hmmm, interesting times.

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Old 04-18-2005, 12:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donmcc
Maybe. How much did the loss of Aldus hurt us? It really didn't ruin my life.
What would things look like now if Adobe had been successful at killing Freehand back then? For all the platitudes spoken, no big company likes competition. And no monopoly is good for us.
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Old 04-18-2005, 01:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donmcc
Maybe. How much did the loss of Aldus hurt us? It really didn't ruin my life.
Hard to evaluate, but here are some of the Aldus programs that were quietly shelved, spun off, or killed: Persuasion, PhotoStyler, TrapWise, PressWise, CheckList. And the “consumer software” programs (SuperPaint, IntelliDraw, Home Publisher; not to mention Touchbase and a couple of other non-graphics programs).

And Image Club became Adobe Studio or something like that, then was spun off to one thing and now is Veer (I think). Not sure if it lost or gained in all those transitions, however.

And one could certainly argue that FreeHand fared better (was more logical) in Aldus’s hands than in Macromedia’s. At the time of the Adobe–Aldus merger, I think FH and Illustrator were neck-and-neck, in slightly different market segments (map-makers especially favored FH). Since Macromedia acquired the product, it has lost ground. For whatever reason, but mainly (IMHO) because the graphic arts market was not Macromedia’s turf.

And although the whole category annoys me, I do think that PowerPoint would be a better program today if Persuasion were also doing fairly well.

Unfortunately, who knows how many of these things would have thrived anyway.

   
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