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Summary:

The rumors of Adobe being bought by Apple come up every so often. Apple could easily afford such a purchase and the results would be interesting. I would love to see Adobe restructured by a company like Apple. Adobe has many applications that are the gold […]

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The rumors of Adobe being bought by Apple come up every so often. Apple could easily afford such a purchase and the results would be interesting. I would love to see Adobe restructured by a company like Apple. Adobe has many applications that are the gold standard but it seems to lack focus. These are my thoughts on what Apple could do with Adobe’s biggest apps and make everyone’s life a lot easier.

Video

Adobe’s video market could be trimmed down. Anything that can already be done in Final Cut Studio should be gone, including Premiere and Soundbooth. I’m not sure if After Effects would even be worth it in the end. Most believe that Final Cut is a very nice video suite on the Mac platform and in the PC world, AVID holds the crown. Why is a program like Premiere needed? It’s not quite AVID but way better than Windows Movie Maker. Now throw Sony Vegas in there and it’s starting to get crowded. Apple could create Final Cut for the PC or forget about them altogether. This would come down to money in the long run. I personally don’t think Apple needs to worry about the PC side unless they are going to legitimately compete against AVID for dominance.

Design

Photoshop and Illustrator go hand in hand with Apple. The general public thinks of Apple when Photoshop is mentioned and vice versa. This is known as one of Apple’s strongest markets. Most believe that these design apps run better on a Mac but as we know, Adobe is slow in keeping these flagship apps on the cutting edge. Apple could force them to be designed for the latest and greatest environments. While they’re at it, stop releasing new versions every year that don’t have any significant improvements. Adobe needs the money to keep rolling in through yearly revisions but Apple wouldn’t have this problem. Make a new version when real features are created. In an educational environment, we are forced to upgrade every year because the textbooks only cover the newest versions. This puts a large strain on software budgets.

Documents

Acrobat should also be restructured and brought back to its core purpose. Every other week we hear of an exploit in PDF’s and it’s because they don’t do the simple task they were conceived to do. Strip out all the extra junk and just make PDF’s do what they need to do. Reader should be killed for the Mac OS also, Preview is way quicker and does the job just fine.

Flash

Then there’s the elephant in the room, Flash. Oh my dear old friend, you were once so cool. Animations, games, crazy navigation menus and long site intros were such a treat. Now I have grown bored with you.

The problem is that Flash is so ubiquitous with the web that it can’t just be tossed out into the street. Apple would need to clean it up significantly and keep it around until HTML5 took over. They should only provide security fixes but no new features. This would allow it a peaceful death.

Adobe has so many products that it’s kind of ridiculous. Most of them could either be worked into existing Apple products or forgotten forever. If Apple did purchase Adobe, what about the PC side of Adobe’s business? They would have to crunch the numbers to see what products are worth the extra cost of development, but Apple could really limit what’s available for Windows. Whether that would that be a good or bad thing, I’m not really sure. In Apple’s mind, if it sells more Macs then it’s worth doing.

I believe Apple could really improve Adobe’s products and make them more reliable than they ever have been. It would end the grudge that they have against each other and hopefully get applications like Acrobat and Flash back to their roots. Adding useless features just to sell a different version every year will not win you any fans. Make it a worthwhile upgrade or inexpensive and I will gladly support you.

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  1. adam jackson Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    I always felt from a strategic standpoint

    A) streamling their product line
    B) kill anything not making money
    C) 64-bit, dual-core and cocoa everything
    D) make flash full h.264 and full standards to work on any device
    E) Stop developing software for windows.

    E is risky but apple is in the business of selling hardware. A bold move that may pay off big time for apple.

    1. So Apple should start ignoring the vast majority of their market for iPhones? Because most iPhone and iPod users are PC users, chum; the iPhone wouldn’t be very big at all if you needed to buy a mac to use it.

    2. I disagree with E – simply because Apple would have the unique advantage of shaping what could be the standards of Windows software. Remember that iTunes is successful on Windows machines too (perhaps Safari is a bad example). Not every designer and video editor is a Mac user (I know… crazy, right?!) because the reality is no matter how inferior the computers are, businesses still use PCs because it keeps costs down with cheaper hardware and less training.

      Either way, I don’t believe Adobe is for sale, but if Apple did buy it, I’d be happy because then I wouldn’t have to choose between Aperature and Lightroom, or Final Cut v Premiere, because Apple would get rid of the inferior product and sell the better one.

    3. Before you say I’m a total idiot, I never said I’m some seasoned CEO w/ an MBA from Stanford.

      I’m just a dude that was trying to think creatively.

    4. E? No, no.

      Just lower the price for Mac users to $200 for Photoshop, et al, and leave the Windows version as it is.

    5. I’m just a dude who plays a dude pretending to be another dude.

    6. Driveby comment:

      E) Stop developing software for windows

      That’s like 90% of Adobe’s revenue. That’s some real strategery!

      Combine that with B) kill anything not making money, and you’ve got a recipe for real success!

      Nevermind that:

      1. Hostile takeover of Adobe is virtually impossible due to poison pill provisions.

      2. Adobe’s shareholders wouldn’t agree to any sale that will harm their value.

      You got an MBA from Stanford?

  2. By dismissing Acrobat in one short paragraph, you’re showing a complete misunderstanding of what Adobe is all about. Their market for Acrobat meets or exceeds their market for the entire Creative Suite.

    There are products like Live Cycle and other PDF based information management tools that don’t even have names for the retail market. Things that as a Business Development Manager with an Adobe Gold Partner-level company that I couldn’t even sell to my clients.

    Used so widely in business and government markets, on untold numbers of PCs worldwide, PDF is a very powerful tool for storing, capturing and managing information. Online forms that submit their contents back into a database, documents that contain live 3D models. High-resolution print-ready artwork for magazines and catalogues.

    There is a lot more to PDF than you realise.

    Having said all that, yes, the Adobe Reader can be a pain, and having it install it’s web plugins for Safari is annoying, but this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what can be done with PDFs and Adobe is all about selling the tools that enable this.

    1. I agree with Kai, PDF is the most valuable thing Adobe has. Forget saving Flash, it would take to much money, the second gem for Apple would be to kill Flash for good. Maybe they could sell of the creative suite or create a child company like Claris/FileMaker.

    2. the bit about preview renders this kind of pointless. Preview is a lot faster than acrobat reader. and pages can export to PDF, so there really isnt a need for acrobat at all.

  3. Sounds like instead of doing something great with Adobe and their products, you pretty well want Apple to kill Adobe.

    1. Yep. take whatever worthwhile and incorporate it inot your own products, then kill it. Microsoft Made millions doing this.

    2. Why not.

      Adobe did this to the greatest vector drawing program out there….Freehand!

      What’s good for the goose…

  4. charionslocum Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    I think this is ridiculous! When you put everything in the hands of one entity you give them the power to say, as Quark once did, take it or leave it. No tech support, no concern with public demand, no realistic upgrades. That is just to name a few of the problems.

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely! This doesn’t just apply to dictators.

  5. charionslocum Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    Maybe I was harsh. Competition is good. As you compare one product against another you see redundancies. Your comparisons are interesting.

    I work on both the Mac and the PC, and have found the ability to go back and forth using the same programs on both. This is valuable, as I design packaging, catalogs, circulars, and other print media on the Mac. I use the PC to create web sites, because most of the world in on a PC. Same images and graphics on different platforms has been an incredible advancement.

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  8. yes just like: final cut, logic, & shake all bought form others. i was especially sad when they bought emagic GmbH hw sw the german company that made logic and its components along with hardware. sad they took out all the hardware and the xs key + now everythign is pre made in logic (i like the old days when i had to do everything from scratch, and actually learn stuff) . even a cave man can make music these days. (especially apple fan boys)

    so if apple buys adobe, they will have it all. apple will be next Microsoft.

    see. apple has gone so streamline now its insane. people we need to think about quality over quantity. less = more.

  9. What the hell’s happening here, am I reading an Aldous Huxley / George Orwell book? I don’t want everyone to buy up everyone else, what about good old choice :( I’d argue that; before there were two, Macromedia and Adobe, and Flash was good and exciting, then there was one, Adobe, and now it’s [Flash] been stagnated and turned into everything and nothing because of massive board meetings and crappy conglomerate direction, no doubt.

    Usually I’d be critisied for being an optimist towards the great computer maker, but no mé gusta what Apple are going with all this. I liked an Apple that created partnerships / competition, not an awe of consumption.

    If Apple indeed bought up Adobe I’d have fear. I’d be the first to say it’s a bad, becuase (using photoshop as an example):
    – It would turn into an iPhoto with big buttons and auto-red eye remover for dummies all over the place
    – Employers would (think they) want ‘certified’ Apple PS users. Don’t like.
    – My PC friends would hate me for my computer vendor of choice stealing PS
    – etc.

    Anyhow, Adobe, get your act together and make good software still and don’t be bullied.

  10. Drop After Effects? You. Are. Crazy.

    1. Agreed. I would have expected a little due diligence before dropping a comment like that. After Effects is widely used in film, broadcast, and a number of other industries. It is the standard that other compositing programs are measured by. Dropping that app would be catastrophic for many business and individuals.

      I think a Apple-Adobe takeover would be interesting, but some of the assumptions here indicate the author has a lack of experience in using any of the applications mentioned, or the innovations that come along with the different program upgrades.

      You want another example of lack of innovation in upgrades? What was so grand about Snow Leopard?

      Now that I think about it, I’d actually hate to have Apple mess with Adobe. How long was it before Aperture was finally upgraded?

    2. haha, so true.

    3. I was scratching my head about this post until I got to the After Effects line. Omigod. What exactly does Apple or anyone in the industry have to replace AE? Nada. Hollywood by itself would lose their collective minds. If you just hate Adobe, say so. But I don’t want you making corporate decisions that shear an entire market for no good reason.

    4. As soon as I read, “I’m not sure if After Effects would even be worth it in the end” …I immediately dismissed this editorial.

    5. I’m not saying that dropping After Effects would be a great idea, but from some of the comments posted here, I’m betting some haven’t used recent versions of Motion. It wasn’t a viable replacement initially, but it certainly is now. This isn’t just my opinion, other third party reviews have indicated as much.

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