Adobe to buy Macromedia for $3.4 billion

Adobe Systems Inc. has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Macromedia Inc. for US$3.4 billion in stock, the company said Monday.
Source: MacCentral

And then there was one...

This is a bombshell, and is not good. Not good at all. Competition fuels creativity. Look what Adobe has forced Quark to do. If InDesign was never released, we might not be seeing Quark 6.5, much less Quark 5.0 at this point. Think of how many years Quark 3.3 and 4.0 were out. With no competition, development gets stagnant, and that is not good for the customers.

The same could be said about a lot of companies. Why the NFL wanted only one license holder is beyond me, but now we only get NFL games from EA. That is just great (sarcasm). A different market for sure, but EA holds a monopoly akin to what Adobe now has.

It looks like the only real winners here are InDesign and Director. The rest of the product lines on both the Adobe side and the Macromedia side will probably see some kind of integration. Will Flash and Flash Paper get integrated into PDF? Won't that be a juggernaut.

The MacCentral article seems to focus on a looming fight between Adobe and Microsoft over portable documents. For some reason, I do not think that even Microsoft could cut into Adobe's PDF stronghold at this point. Adding Flash surely doesn't hurt it though.

My main concern here, being a web developer, is what is going to happen to Dreamweaver and Fireworks. Adobe has a knack for "Adobifying" applications they buy. And it usually turns out bad. I actually liked GoLive back when it was GoLive Cyber Studio. I fear they are going to merge GoLive and Dreamweaver and give it a GoLive feel. Merging the two applications would be fine to me, I would feel a lot better if they would retain the Dreamweaver UI though.

With Dreamweaver taking a reportedly 1/3 market share in web development, and Microsoft being number two in that arena with FrontPage, it is obvious what Adobe wants to do. Dreamweaver might have been a secondary reason for the buyout, but Flash was most certainly the main reason.

Adobe tried to do Flash with SVG in LiveMotion. That didn't fly. Even though SVG is a W3C standard (something Macromedia should have done with Flash a long time ago) it still no Flash. Will SVG and Flash coexist?

As a side note, if you have not looked at SVG you really should. It has a number of advantages over flash, like printing and searching. Take a look at Adobe's SVG pages. Its just a shame it doesn't have the install base that Flash does.

Now Adobe has the real Flash, and they can integrate it into everything they can. It will no longer be a supported feature, it will be a feature. We will see how that pans out.

I think the year was 1984 when Adobe bought Aldus, and thus acquire PageMaker and FreeHand. This marks the second time Adobe has bought FreeHand. Will it be the second time they have to sell it too? I don't think our government will be as stringent about Adobe owning the monopoly on illustration software now like they were back then. In the past few years the government has been quite lax in regards to the software sector. We all know what came out of the DOJ-Microsoft case.

If Adobe is forced to sell because of becoming a monopoly (which they have with this buyout) then they will have a lot on the chopping block. The overlap of the Adobe and Macromedia software line is big. Lets take a look: Photoshop: Fireworks, GoLive:Dreamweaver, and Illustrator:Freehand. Thats a lot of integration, chopping, or selling.

Remember the fued between Adobe and Macromedia about tabbed pallets. Macromedia apps no longer have palettes, they were infringing on a copyright.... yea. This is why Macromedia went to that big panel in MX and MX 2004, by the way. I wonder what will happen now since all this software is under one umbrella now.

Adobe is getting a lot more then just Flash technology and Dreamweaver in this deal. Macromedia has ColdFusion, as well as JRun and Flash server software, mobile and eLearning software too. Not to mention Director.

I think most people are concerned with Dreamweaver right now. The majority of the industry uses Dreamweaver and we do not want to see it turn into GoLive. So, please, do not change Dreamweaver into GoLive.

Fireworks seems like it would be killed, or rolled into ImageReady or Photoshop. Fireworks is a very unique app and has a number of features that are superior to the Photoshop/ImageReady duo. I don't really see a future for Fireworks though, and that is saddening.

What is going to happen to FreeHand? The word of print designers are split between FreeHand or Illustrator. There really isn't much gray area there, you either love Freehand or you hate it. Will Illustrator finally get the ability to have multiple documents in one layout? Lets hope so.

Have you heard? The new illustration app will be named "Frustrator." Sorry, I couldn't resist. For anyone who has used either FreeHand or Illustrator, you will understand that all to well.

What will Adobe do with ColdFusion? With the small bit of experience I had with it, CF is very nice to work with. It is a bit pricey however, especially when you look at the cost of PHP.

What will happen to Macromedia legacy software such as Fontographer and HomeSite? HomeSite is the equivelent to BBEdit in my opinion, it is a really solid app. I hope it lives.

I am sure some good will come out of this deal between Adobe and Macromedia. At this point it is too early to tell, we will all just have to wait and see. Adobe had a chance to squash some questions right at the get go, but they said absolutely nothing. Am I suprised at this? Not at all.

MarketWatch also has a good bit of information on this deal. Jake has some thoughts, as does Mezzoblue and Slashdot.

I am sure there are a lot more opinions out there, so please ping me if you could.

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