Adobe announced today that they will buy Macromedia for $3.4 billion!
I’m very torn about this purchase. I really like Macromedia as a company and the applications that they produce. I also like Adobe’s applications. I just don’t know if I want them coming together. They both have their own areas of expertise and if they start to merge products together it will become a big mess.
Macromedia makes products geared for the web. Dreamweaver is the most popular HTML editor on the market, and is head and tails above anything else out there. Flash pretty much has the web animation market cornered. Fireworks is great for putting together quick easy web graphics. Adobe has in the past attempted to take away Macromedia’s web market with their own tools. ImageReady for web graphics, LiveMotion for web animations, GoLive for HTML publishing. I’ve tried every one of these products and they really just don’t cut it when compared to Macromedia’s offerings. What scares me is that Adobe may attempt to bring in elements of these applications and wreck an already great Macromedia product. I’m also a little worried that Adobe will hurt Macromedia’s website and support. Macromedia site (despite the fact that it is created entirely in Flash) is an incredible resource with help notes and updates going as far back as the software’s original release. There is a great (very active) forum area that is monitored by Macromedia staff. Adobe’s support and website pale in comparison. I really don’t want to see such an incredible resource for Macromedia get gobbled up in Adobe’s poorly executed attempt. Don’t get me wrong, Adobe has some great products of their own, PhotoShop (the industry standard for photo manipulation), Illustrator, Premiere… etc. I wouldn’t want to see any Macromedia stuff going into these applications either.
My (totally uninformed guess) as to what lead to this merger is Adobe got a little scared of Macromedia’s movements into some certain key areas. They have started focusing a lot of attention into mobile delivery of flash content and their new FlashPaper. With the availability of Flash in just about every web browser out there, they could seriously start to hurt Adobe’s Acrobat format (which if you ask me, is big and slow and bloated), which is their big money-maker product. Plus with content delivery to mobile phones growing like is, the flash mobile player could hold a major position in that industry.
This merger will be interesting to watch. I just hope that these two companies together don’t start hurting each other’s products by trying to bring too many things together.