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Microsoft, Adobe execs discuss Apple, potential merger in meeting

post #1 of 138
Thread Starter 
Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer and other company top brass recently held a meeting with those in charge of Adobe to discuss a number of topics, including a partnership or even a merger to counter Apple's success in the mobile phone market.

The purported meeting, revealed by The New York Times, involved Ballmer and a "small entourage of deputies," who spoke with Adobe's CEO, Shantanu Narayen. The meetings were said to last over an hour, and the subject of Apple was one of the main talking points.

The report also indicated that Microsoft could potentially acquire Adobe. It was said the companies discussed the "blockade" Steve Jobs had placed on Adobe's Web-based Flash software, banning it from use on iOS-powered devices like the iPhone and iPad.

"The New York Times learned about these meetings through employees and consultants to the companies who were involved in the discussions that took place or familiar with their organization, all of whom asked not to be identified as they are unauthorized to speak publicly by Microsoft or Adobe," author Nick Bilton wrote. "Those involved in the meeting, from its logistical set up to the discussion that took place between the two companies, were instructed to stay very quiet about the two companies holding council."

One person familiar with the conversation told the Times that Microsoft had eyed Adobe for a possible acquisition several years ago, but the deal reportedly fell apart because Microsoft was worried about scrutiny from the U.S. Dept. of Justice.

If such a deal were to become a reality, it would be an aligning of two of Apple's biggest rivals. While the Mac vs. PC wars have raged for years, Apple's crusade against Adobe is more recent, beginning with the introduction of the first iPhone, and its exclusion of Flash, in 2007.

This year, the rivalry became extremely heated when Narayen and Jobs exchanged a public war of words earlier this year, after Jobs published a letter in which he said Flash is the No. 1 cause of crashes on the Mac. Narayen fired back, and said that any issues are the fault of "the Apple operating system."

Ballmer in years past has caught the ire of Apple supporters, as the Microsoft executive has repeatedly dismissed the growth of the Mac platform as a "rounding error." Last July, he said gaining share from the roughly 10 million computers Apple sells a year is a "limited opportunity."
post #2 of 138
So help me, if a talking paperclip or puppy tries to "help" me use After Effects things will get very ugly very quickly.
post #3 of 138
Hands over your head, keep 'em low to the ground.
Time to duck and cover, the bombs are comin' down.
Duuuuck and cover, duuuuck and cover.
If you don't duck and cover, you'll cease to be around.


–-50's Cold War kids' jingle prophesying the death of Microsoft and Adobe in a merger.

Originally Posted by asdasd

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Originally Posted by asdasd

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post #4 of 138
Combining two old school, lackluster companies with little innovation does not make one great company \
post #5 of 138
So is Microsoft merging under Adobe?
post #6 of 138
good, it is good for apple, so apple can create its own photoshop suites.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer and other company top brass recently held a meeting with those in charge of Adobe to discuss a number of topics, including a partnership or even a merger to counter Apple's success in the mobile phone market.

....
post #7 of 138
Jesus Christ. This is why Apple should have bought Adobe years ago.
post #8 of 138
Apple would never let Microsoft grab Adobe. And if Microsoft somehow got Adobe, Apple would likely buy up Quark, Corel, and a few other companies to have a compelling Creative Suite alternative for the Mac. It would probably be the death of Adobe, since the majority of creatives are Mac users.
post #9 of 138
This is a scary thought for all us graphic designers that rely on Creative Suite to do our jobs.
post #10 of 138
Time for Apple to bite the bullet and buy Adobe with those spare billions laying around doing nothing.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #11 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by anakin1992 View Post

good, it is good for apple, so apple can create its own photoshop suites.

It's not as if they don't have the in-house talent like the creators of TIFFany working for them or nothing.
post #12 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by CIM View Post

Apple would never let Microsoft grab Adobe. And if Microsoft somehow got Adobe, Apple would likely buy up Quark, Corel, and a few other companies to have a compelling Creative Suite alternative for the Mac. It would probably be the death of Adobe, since the majority of creatives are Mac users.

I don't think anybody has ever used "Quark" and "compelling Creative Suite alternative" in the same sentence before. Funny stuff. :o)
post #13 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Time for Apple to bite the bullet and buy Adobe with those spare billions laying around doing nothing.


for $30 billions( $14 billion market value ), i think apple can create its own stuff instead of buying adobe.
post #14 of 138
Heh heh. Let them. They'll deserve each other. It'll be a great example of 2 + 2 = 3.5 (not counting the premium -- even though they'll call it a merger -- that MSFT will have to pay to ADBE, which will make it an even worse proposition for MSFT's shareholders).
post #15 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Time for Apple to bite the bullet and buy Adobe with those spare billions laying around doing nothing.

I doubt either company (Apple or Microsoft) would be permitted to buy Adobe. And Apple would never do it as it would be a terrible and huge investment ($16B) for little gained.
In any case, I think Apple could create a competitive "creative suite" pretty quickly without buying Adobe. In fact, I'll bet they already have the foundation for such a suite largely planned, just in case. If they need it, they'd just spend a few hundred million for a few smaller companies and have their suite within a year (as an example look at the purchase of PA Semi and the development of the A4 SOC.)
post #16 of 138
I think they just want to bury the hatchet over their failed "PDF killer" Metro strategy:

Microsoft's Metro takes aim at Adobe
post #17 of 138
How can it be called a blockade if Adobe doesn't even have a full Flash for iOS to be released?
post #18 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by anakin1992 View Post

for $30 billions( $14 billion market value ), i think apple can create its own stuff instead of buying adobe.

Correct. Apple should focus on its core strength, which is to build, not buy (unless it is a fairly early-stage target to subsequently build on, along the lines of a SoundJam, i.e., 'A&D' instead of 'R&D').
post #19 of 138
I've been a Apple user since 1989 and I love my Mac but I need the creative suite to get my work done. If they merged, I would have to look into buying a PC as sad as that makes me. Damn, I hope this doesn't happen.

I guess an alternative would be to go buy the fastest mac I could afford and the latest version of the Creative Suite and see if I could wait out this tragedy until something changed. That should at least get me two years before I would have to make another hardware decision. It's like battening the hatches before the storm.
post #20 of 138
If you really want to see what happens when Micro$oft buys a software company and then tries to integrate it into it's family of desktop applications, look no further than Microsoft Office Visio.

Visio tries to use it's own nomenclature mixed with Office terms and labels in the ultimate example of a frustrating user experience. For example: Excel = "Font Color" Visio = "Text Color".
post #21 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Heh heh. Let them. They'll deserve each other. It'll be a great example of 2 + 2 = 3.5 (not counting the premium that MSFT will have to pay to ADBE, even though they'l call it a 'merger', which will make it even worse).

More like 2+2≅2,
I would think.
After all, since when (in the last 10 years or so) has Microsoft bennefitted themselves by buying a company?
post #22 of 138
Microsoft punts, and the placekicker fumbles the ball. Fail.

On the bright side, adobe sucks as much today as microsoft ever did. They are a perfect fit for each other.

BTW, only microsoft would consider buying another huge company to try to save themselves from irrelevance.
post #23 of 138
Please sweet 7lb baby Jesus in a manger no! Adobe has messed up the tools I need to survive enough by themselves (CS5 Master collection) I don't need Microsoft taking away OSX versions AND making it slower/bloated! NOOOO!
You win, I've switched sides.
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You win, I've switched sides.
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post #24 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by donarb View Post

I think they just want to bury the hatchet over their failed "PDF killer" Metro strategy:

Microsoft's Metro takes aim at Adobe

Yeah,
"bury the hatchet" in Adobe's head!
post #25 of 138
I welcome such a merger. It would force Apple to make a move.
post #26 of 138
There’s no way Microsoft would spend roughly $25B on Adobe. What exactly would they gain?

Ballmer is an idiot, but I doubt he’s that big of one.
post #27 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by enjourni View Post

Microsoft punts, and the placekicker fumbles the ball. Fail.

On the bright side, adobe sucks as much today as microsoft ever did. They are a perfect fit for each other.

It would be just like Microsoft to "innovate" by forcing a placekicker into the role of punter!
post #28 of 138
Okay...I'm no power user, but what if Apple were to acquire Pixelmator & VectorDesigner, combine them in a suite with the layout abilities of Pages... could this be the potential beginnings of a creative suite that could compete at some point?
post #29 of 138
This is serious news and if I were Apple I wouldn't take it lightly.

For those who think it's "easy" for Apple to come-up with a creative suite that rivals Adobe are failing to account for the complexity of such projects and the lack of unique talents and break-in periods. A project such as that would take years to mature to the point where it can compete with Adobe.

Microsoft and Adobe could position the CS Suite and MS Office to damage Apple's image by releasing subpar software for Macs and iPads.

OR they both lose their "cool" factor and drop off the face of the planet, not likely to happen anytime soon.
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post #30 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guartho View Post

So help me, if a talking paperclip or puppy tries to "help" me use After Effects things will get very ugly very quickly.

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post #31 of 138
...like the type of FUD that spin doctor PR types toss around when they can't compete with substance, and that bad journalists write when they can't be bothered with actual reporting. Current company excepted, of course. Like all of those "10 reasons why Apple will go belly up this (in the next) (in the next 2) years" stories that bounce around the padded echo chamber of processionery web cites.
My first thought was, time to learn Keynote and Pages. But designers are loath to change apps. Quark had to suck badly for three revs (4, 5, and 6), and then make it harder and more expensive to upgrade to 6.5 than to port to ID CS2, before most jumped ship (just as Pagemaker had to be seriously behind Quark for three revs before the market share shifted). Even if Apple made a quantum leap in the next Pages, and provided a painless way to read the massive number of legacy ID and Quark files going back at least three versions - something Adobe and Quark can't do - most won't jump for fear that others won't follow.
Adobe has finally started porting the best of Freehand into Illustrator, and gotten serious about normalizing the UI of the Suite. They know what they really have to do - take apart the 15 year old Altsys/Macromedia source code of Flash, bring it forward, and reinvent itself. The handwriting is on the wall, and written in HTML5.
They also know what they don't want to do - have 25 years of innovation drown in the sludge of "good enough is good enough" and disappear just as Fox Pro and so many other apps did once bought by Microsoft.
post #32 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotTylerDurden View Post

I've been a Apple user since 1989 and I love my Mac but I need the creative suite to get my work done. If they merged, I would have to look into buying a PC as sad as that makes me.

Just what is your logic here? How does an adobe / Microsoft collaboration / merger force anyone to give up their Macs? I simply can't make the leap from one statement to the next.
post #33 of 138
God, I hope SOMEONE buys adobe and reboots the creative suite!
post #34 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by enjourni View Post

Microsoft punts, and the placekicker fumbles the ball.

Huh? A punter and a placekicker perform two different types of kicking. And it's been a long time since I heard of a placekicker fumbling since he typically doesn't use his hands.

But then who am I to speak? I'm a 49er fan (ducks!)
post #35 of 138
Microsoft history shows that it will only run Adobe to the ground. WebTV, Sidekick.

Oh yeah, its a conspiracy by Verizon.
post #36 of 138
The next best thing that happened to Apple after Steve.
post #37 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by DdubRes79 View Post

Please sweet 7lb baby Jesus in a manger no! Adobe has messed up the tools I need to survive enough by themselves (CS5 Master collection) I don't need Microsoft taking away OSX versions AND making it slower/bloated! NOOOO!

I'm still on CS4. I was hoping that they would have fixed the crash happy Illustrator... it can't be WORSE... right?
post #38 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by xamian View Post

Okay...I'm no power user, but what if Apple were to acquire Pixelmator & VectorDesigner, combine them in a suite with the layout abilities of Pages... could this be the potential beginnings of a creative suite that could compete at some point?

I'd say no.
Certainly Pages isn't anywhere near robust enough. Pixelmator . . . hmm, probably not ready for prime time either. Sorry, don't know VectorDesigner.
Of course they would be "a start," but its probably better to buy the people/expertise and start fresh.
post #39 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecphorizer View Post

Huh? A punter and a placekicker perform two different types of kicking. And it's been a long time since I heard of a placekicker fumbling since he typically doesn't use his hands.

But then who am I to speak? I'm a 49er fan (ducks!)

Correct. the place kicker wiffs as the place holder fumbles the snap.
post #40 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotTylerDurden View Post

I've been a Apple user since 1989 and I love my Mac but I need the creative suite to get my work done. If they merged, I would have to look into buying a PC as sad as that makes me. Damn, I hope this doesn't happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecphorizer View Post

Just what is your logic here? How does an adobe / Microsoft collaboration / merger force anyone to give up their Macs? I simply can't make the leap from one statement to the next.

The implication of course is that, after acquiring Adobe, Microsoft would then kill off the Mac versions of all the Adobe product lines. This logic is faulty in that Mac products are a significant source of revenue for Adobe, as is Office for Microsoft. It would be cutting off your nose to spite your face. Add to that the obvious anti-competitive ramifications and it would all but impossible for Ballmer to do this expressly to damage Apple.

Therefore the original poster's logic is ludicrous, as you imply.
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