Adobe and Macromedia will become one

Adobe and Macromedia will be come one

Sad news, I think, for those who like choice. Adobe Systems has agreed to purchase Macromedia for $3.4 Billion in a stock-swap deal. Long competitors, it has largely been Macromedia who has pushed Adobe to create better software over the last decade. This was one of the reasons Adobe purchased GoLive! a few years ago, to compete with Macromedia in the online publishing business.

One of the first casualties, as I see it, will probably be Macromedia Freehand. Freehand has been Adobe’s number one competitor in vector art creation. Adobe Illustrator, a mainstay in the graphics art world, has been facing tougher competition from Freehand for a number of years. While the two competing programs offer the same in many areas, new versions have kept the programs competitive for years. I see Adobe rolling some of Freehands more innovative features into Illustrator over the next few years.

But the crown jewel, without question, is Adobe now gets Studio MX and Flash MX. Macromedia has rules the online Flash graphics world for years, and as that market grows, Adobe felt either the need to create their own Flash-based software creation tool, or do what they now have done, purchase Flash MX.

Director MX is also huge. That program is used extensively by professionals to create CD’s DVD’s, and much more. Mostly an interface builder, I can see Adobe taking Director to new heights. There is a lot of room for improvement.

And let’s not forget the Shockwave plug-in. Besides Adobe’s own Acrobat and Apple’s QuickTime web browser plug-ins, it is one of the most popular downloads and installed applications people use online.

However, all that said, I always have a little fear when competitors become one in today’s marketplace. It usually leads to less innovation in core products. But I hold out hope that Adobe buying Macromedia will turn out for the better. At the very least, it would be great to see Macromedia products acquire a better user interface than they have ever had, which has always been my distain for using their products much.

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