or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Software › Mac Software › Should Apple Buy Adobe?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Should Apple Buy Adobe?

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
SHOULD APPLE BUY ADOBE? - I say YES!!!!!

MacDailyNews runs an article about this and about ADOBE´s possible venture into the office suite market.

Interesting i think!


The article below:

[I]Adobe set to take plunge into office apps? (Should Apple buy Adobe?)
Tuesday, August 14, 2007 - 06:15 PM EDT

"When considering what your spreadsheets and documents might look like on the always-on desktop of the future, don't leave Adobe out of the picture,; Michael Calore reports for Wired.

"The software maker famous for Flash and Photoshop is poised to take the plunge into the lucrative world of office applications. It may sound far-fetched at first, but the stage is set for Adobe to flex its muscle in the office-app arena. The company already has a strong presence in business software with its Acrobat suite of products and interest in its new platform for web-enabled applications that run on the desktop is rising quickly," Calore reports.

Calore reports, "According to Adobe group manager for platform evangelism, Mike Downey, it wouldn't be outlandish to predict the company throws its hat into the ring soon. 'Though we have not yet announced any intentions to move into the office-productivity software market,' he says, 'considering we have built this platform that makes it easy to build rich applications that run on both the desktop and the browser, I certainly wouldn't rule anything like that out.'"

Calore reports, "Microsoft all but owns the space right now -- its Office suite consisting of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook is the die-hard first choice of the corporate world -- but Redmond has been slow to react to the growing popularity of web apps and alternatives to its stable of dinosaurs."

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yet another reason why Apple should buy Adobe - beyond acquiring Photoshop et al. and eliminating Windows support, of course (as Apple did with Shake). There's nothing like a nice hostile takeover to spice up the autumn season.

[UPDATE: 6:30pm EDT: Looks like CNET's Matt Asay agrees, "The only thing better would be if Adobe, Apple, and OpenOffice could get together. Open source plus two of the most innovative makers of software in the industry...I'm salivating. (In fact, don't you think that it makes a lot of sense for Apple to acquire Adobe, given the similar corporate mentalities/competencies? Me, too.) ...Microsoft should be very concerned.



Apple can gain a lot of knowledge from apps like photoshop, premiere, "the acrobat´s" and other apps alike. As creative developers these two companies (Apple-Adobe) locked together, would make some awesome powerfull and unbeatable apps.

I say goooo!!!! MS would be scared as hell! And understandable so!!!
I love the snappiness - I adore the sazzyness - I need the intuitive
Reply
I love the snappiness - I adore the sazzyness - I need the intuitive
Reply
post #2 of 46
This is a dumb article about a dumb idea. An Apple purchase of Abobe is not the dumb idea. The dumb idea is Adobe's development of an office suite. Adobe is a mercurial company with some great products. Its refusal to accommodate Apple's request to make Type 1 fonts more screen/laser printer friendly resulted in a font war which it lost. Even though its life is tied to the Mac, Adobe climbed into bed with Microsoft. With each successive generation, its apps are becoming more Windowsy and not in a good way. What sense does it make for Adobe then to turn around and directly compete with Microsoft on the Redmond Monopoly's home turf?

If Adobe had the market cornered on sunshine and blue sky, it would screw it up. An Apple buyout of the company will bring some much needed focus. If it resulted in a Mac port of FrameMaker 8, I would be one happy SOB.
post #3 of 46
Um, the whole point of Open Office is that it is Open Source and it is FREE!!! You can't just buy an open source product like Open Office, all the developers who helped to make it would riot! The code is only available if it's used for strictly not for profit purposes. As for Adobe, given Apple's latest venture I doubt they would try to compete with them for a Mac market and the PC market is so biased towards Microsoft it would hardly be profitable. There is just not that much you can do to revolutionise the simple concept of word processing, presentations and tables. Apple is making an attempt to make them look nicer and to capitalise on anti-Microsoft sentiment, but they're hardly revolutionary.
post #4 of 46
Yes. Sooner or later someone is going to purchase Adobe, and if it's M$ I'll kick myself. Then I'll kick Steve and Co. too.

Adobe's market cap. is 23.64B. Apple's market cap. is 104.21B.

Apple.. buy Adobe!!
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #5 of 46
Of course, the downside to Apple buying Adobe is that they would be forced to devote a lot of precious resources to maintaining a vast catalogue of Windows apps.

And don't imagine that they could let Photoshop et al for Windows just languish with an eye towards dropping support altogether at some point. It would set off such a firestorm of fury it would burn the RDF right off of Jobs' face.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
post #6 of 46
I think you're forgetting that Adobe comes with it's own resources. Buying Adobe would give Apple more control over the direction of some of the "core" applications.
post #7 of 46
An Apple-Adobe merger would definitely give Apple more leverage in terms of apps on Macs and would give Apple momentum, but I just don't see it happening YET. I think Adobe wants to stay as universal and unaffiliated as possible right now.
post #8 of 46
This is a very interesting thread! I have noticed that MS is starting to push their own document software, reducing Win users' reliance on Adobe. This is very understandable.

This is not a new issue. Here's an interesting article from a couple years ago.

I personally love Adobe's innovation AND their independence from MS and Apple. But if one of them were to buy Adobe, i would prefer Apple do it. And it kind of makes sense too. Apple has Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro, but lackluster pro apps for web design, graphics, and photo editing. Imagine this lineup:

iMovie.... Final Cut Express... Final Cut Pro
GarageBand.... Logic Express... Logic Pro
iPhoto... Bridge Pro
iWeb... GoLive Pro
Aperture (Photoshop Express)... Photoshop Pro

But what would there be to gain by Apple? A potential strategy would be to reduce windows support, and force CS3 users to migrate to Apple. This creates hostility in the long run, and has not been Apple's style. But it would boost mac pro sales for sure. Is it worth it? I think it would be smarter to keep Adobe's resources on board and contine Win support in full. But what are the synergies here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post

I think you're forgetting that Adobe comes with it's own resources. Buying Adobe would give Apple more control over the direction of some of the "core" applications.

Ok... but why would Apple want more control? Just to simply keep it out of MS hands? MSFT reported total short term assets of +$40BN with cash of around $6BN. The could buy Adobe right now if they wanted to. Apple has only about $15BN in short term assets with cash of around $7BN, so they would need to do some hybrid of stock/cash deal. Who has less to lose if the other buys Adobe? MS or Apple?
post #9 of 46
If I were Apple I might consider it because it would be a new software based revenue stream. There's a larger profit margin in software than there is in hardware.
post #10 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post

I think you're forgetting that Adobe comes with it's own resources. Buying Adobe would give Apple more control over the direction of some of the "core" applications.

Right, but integrating those resources back into the mother ship in any way that has an upside for Apple has its own resource cost.

And given the enormous installed user base of the large Adobe software portfolio, "running" Adobe, even if it is allowed to remain a relatively independent shop within Apple, would have a very large resource cost.

If the idea is to leave it so autonomous that Apple doesn't have to do much, beyond urging Adobe's software engineers to do Mac compatibility faster, then it hardly seems worth it. It's not as if Adobe is just blatantly ignoring the Mac market as it is, and changing priorities probably wouldn't speed things up all that much.

If the idea is to integrate Adobe apps back into the Mac workflow-- dear God. Apple was stressed getting Leopard and the iPhone out at the same time. I shudder to think what would happen if Apple started throwing people at some kind of Apeture/Photo shop hybrid.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
post #11 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post

If I were Apple I might consider it because it would be a new software based revenue stream. There's a larger profit margin in software than there is in hardware.

But when you buy a company for its stream of earnings, you basically pay the present value of that earnings stream, plus additional costs like lawyers and bankers. So you end up losing money. You don't want to buy a company unless you think you can get synergies that would make it more valuable as part of your company than if it were solo.

So the question is: what could Apple add to or take away from Adobe that would make it more profitable as a subsidiary of Apple Inc? Is there an untapped market for Adobe that Apple thinks it could reach?

Quote:
If the idea is to integrate Adobe apps back into the Mac workflow-- dear God. Apple was stressed getting Leopard and the iPhone out at the same time. I shudder to think what would happen if Apple started throwing people at some kind of Apeture/Photo shop hybrid.

Thats a great point! Apple has a tendency to lose balance when they focus on too much. They would have to staff up big time, basically bring over every single developer possible from Adobe. But then they wouldnt have to bring over Finance, HR, Legal, Procurement, and all the other service people that exists to support those who deliver the finished product. Is Apple ready to be a big company? Or do they want to stay tiny forever? My vote is tiny. Size = loss of innovation, and Jobs knows this.
post #12 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by bg_nyc View Post

But when you buy a company for its stream of earnings, you basically pay the present value of that earnings stream, plus additional costs like lawyers and bankers. So you end up losing money. You don't want to buy a company unless you think you can get synergies that would make it more valuable as part of your company than if it were solo.

So the question is: what could Apple add to or take away from Adobe that would make it more profitable as a subsidiary of Apple Inc? Is there an untapped market for Adobe that Apple thinks it could reach?



Thats a great point! Apple has a tendency to lose balance when they focus on too much. They would have to staff up big time, basically bring over every single developer possible from Adobe. But then they wouldnt have to bring over Finance, HR, Legal, Procurement, and all the other service people that exists to support those who deliver the finished product. Is Apple ready to be a big company? Or do they want to stay tiny forever? My vote is tiny. Size = loss of innovation, and Jobs knows this.

Exactly. Adobe + Apple sounds kind of like a creative apps Microsoft, where you end up spending all your time worrying about backwards compatibility and you have so many shops under one roof it starts getting hard to keep everybody moving in the same direction.

Does Apple really want to see to the care and feeding of Flash? Of Acrobat? Of Illustrator and Photoshop, with their vast drifting dunes of legacy code? With great power comes great responsibility.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
post #13 of 46
The only way I see an Apple-Adobe merger making any sense is if Apple decides that it wants to play Microsoft's pool as well.

Experience writing apps for Windows is the biggest skill set that Adobe would provide for Apple. And that is something that Apple seems to be showing some interest in. Adobe's experience in this arena could help Apple get iLife and iWork apps onto the PC much more quickly.

And the thought of the two companies collobrating on apps is very appealing.
"Too much of a good thing is great." Mae West
Reply
"Too much of a good thing is great." Mae West
Reply
post #14 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by donebylee View Post

The only way I see an Apple-Adobe merger making any sense is if Apple decides that it wants to play Microsoft's pool as well.

Experience writing apps for Windows is the biggest skill set that Adobe would provide for Apple. And that is something that Apple seems to be showing some interest in. Adobe's experience in this arena could help Apple get iLife and iWork apps onto the PC much more quickly.

And the thought of the two companies collobrating on apps is very appealing.

There must be easier ways to acquire some PC coding mojo than buying Adobe.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
post #15 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

There must be easier ways to acquire some PC coding mojo than buying Adobe.

Stealing programmers always helps I guess. But I would like to know what Job's master plan is. In the short term there's nothing wrong with being a company that serves a niche market extremely well, making high margins on few products. But there needs to be growth somewhere, and as it is now that growth is a little stealing of market share (from M$, Dell, HP, etc) and organic (new products).

How can you sustain growth over the years once you've maxed out the 'Switch' campaign and you run out of innovative 'iphone' and 'apple tv' products to create?

Potential new avenues:
Creative software (challenge or buy Adobe)
Gaming (challenge Wii - high competitive barriers to entry)
Car integration (very very small market)
Home content delivery (enhanced Apple TV, lots of competition)
Futuristic stuff I cant imagine...

Any others? Or does Apple just go to 'update and recycle'?
post #16 of 46
I do not think Apple should buy Adobe, and I do not think Apple has any desire to purchase Adobe. While the income brought in by Adobe might increase Apple's bottom line, it will do nothing to increase Mac sales and would be more trouble than it is worth. I only see three Adobe products that I think would be worth the effort to Apple and they are:
  1. Acrobat - This would still be sold as a stand-alone application, but there are many features that could be brought into the iWork suite improving its usefulness.
  2. Photoshop - This application is so popular (widely used) it speaks for itself.
  3. InDesign - This would be Apple's professional page layout application leaving Pages to take care of the non-professional tasks.

I watched the Dreamweaver tutorials and it seems like a decent web development application, but I think it would take so much work to get it where Apple would want it that they are better off starting from scratch.
post #17 of 46
I don't think Adobe's a good purchase at all.

Publishing isn't a high volume turnover arena. Look how long it took Adobe to unseat Quark as the "standard" for DP. Quark sucked for YEARS and they still kept majority share until Indesign was mature enough.

Apple doesn't need to own Acrobat and Apple could develop, and some might say Aperture is the progenitor of, a Photoshop competitor for far less than 23 billion.

Apple need to aquire companies in areas in which they do not already have the core technologies and frameworks they need. They didn't aquire any spreadsheet companies yet Numbers is a nifty app that shows much potential.

By the time Aperture is in version 3 or 4 I'm sure the question truly will be. "Do I need Photoshop or Aperture or both? " PS is great for image creation but if you just need to edit photos it's overkill.
He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
Reply
He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
Reply
post #18 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

I don't think Adobe's a good purchase at all.
Apple doesn't need to own Acrobat and Apple could develop, and some might say Aperture is the progenitor of, a Photoshop competitor for far less than 23 billion.

For 23 billion you get an established brand and an entire well conceived and integrated product line. I'm not saying Apple should buy Adobe, but it saves them from having to start from scratch, and all you have to do is defend your dominant position.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Apple need to aquire companies in areas in which they do not already have the core technologies and frameworks they need. They didn't aquire any spreadsheet companies yet Numbers is a nifty app that shows much potential.

I agree, but Excel is alot simpler and less involving than Photoshop. What do you think they need?

Apple purchased NeXT to help build MacOS when they failed at doing it in house, which became the basis for all that is great (OSX). So they are not against acquisitions when they are required to improve.
post #19 of 46
I don't think Adobe has anything that will enhance Apples markets. That is, if Apple were to buy Adobe, it would simply be for the sake of buying Adobe. I don't see a strategic play. In other words, there wouldn't be any cross-mojonation in an Apple-Adobe deal.
Cat: the other white meat
Reply
Cat: the other white meat
Reply
post #20 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

... That is, if Apple were to buy Adobe, it would simply be for the sake of buying Adobe. I don't see a strategic play. ...

You're looking at this possibilities only in one direction. Consider defense as well as offense. As an offensive move, Apple has little to gain. That said, such a buy would enable Apple to bring all of PDF and not just PDF graphics into Quartz. Defense is a whole other ball game. An Apple purchase of Adobe would put an end to Adobe's unseemly pandering to Microsoft and Windows. At the same time that Adobe has climbed into bed with Microsoft, Microsoft is trying to cut Adobe's throat by developing its own competitor to Acrobat.

I am still of two minds on the question of Apple's purchase of Adobe. I am, however, confident that Apple will do what is best for Apple and its customers.
post #21 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

At the same time that Adobe has climbed into bed with Microsoft, Microsoft is trying to cut Adobe's throat by developing its own competitor to Acrobat.

Perhaps, but this is a case of too little, too late. Adobe's best strategy here is to offer basic, free PDF creation tools to Windows, which I predict they will fairly soon. PDF is part of our language the same way DVD or Xerox are. No one will use the MS knock off is there's no barrier to entry on creating PDFs.

I realize there are benefits of an Apple purchase of Adobe, but it's just not enough. Right now, the best thing for Apple is for Microsoft to lose as many battles as possible. Adobe has done a damn good job at beating them in Flash and PDF, and I honestly think Apple is better off by not buying Adobe. "Adobe" as a brand name is entirely neutral. If Apple bought Adobe, it would add a little bit of resolve to Microsoft towards the goal of producing real competition to Flash and PDF, rather than just rolling over the way they have.
Cat: the other white meat
Reply
Cat: the other white meat
Reply
post #22 of 46
There is one important point to this question of whether Apple should buy Adobe. It is this - Apple needs to get to the point where it can never be held hostage by another company because that other company controls and dominates a major software market. This is the principle by which to consider the Adobe issue.

For example, look at what happened with Microsoft and its Office suite. Microsoft leveraged its software to hurt Apple big time. Just image what would happen if MS bought Adobe and threatened to drop Apple support? Apple would get crushed. For defensive reasons Apple must make sure this never happens.

It has nothing to do with increasing revenue, synergy, or whatever. It has to do with defense. I think there is a reason why Numbers only came out now, ten years to the day after Apple inked a pact with Microsoft. I think Apple couldn't do an Office alternative because of some clause in their agreement with Microsoft.

That is also why Appleworks died on the vine. Apple could have done an improved version of Appleworks that really could have been superior to MS Office. It is not that Apple didn't care or want to. I think the deal with Microsoft forced them into this and we all suffered because of it. Same with the fabled Apple Basic of long ago. Microsoft held them hostage and we all suffered.

We should all agree that Apple should never be held hostage again. I think Apple understands this and that is why Apple is writing or buying their own software.

With the new iWork suite we finally can be free of MS Office - at least most of us. But the last thing I want to see is MS to buy Adobe and we are right back in that position of being held hostage by Microsoft.

The other alternative is for Apple to develop their own software to do what the Adobe apps do. Like iWork, if these apps read all the equivalent Adobe formats, were easier to use, and cheaper, then we could not be held hostage by Adobe or somebody who would buy Adobe. Is this route a serious possibility? Actually, I think maybe.

Since Apple already has good programs that compete against some of the Adobe apps, this is worth a serious look. Apple doesn't need Premiere, Soundbooth, Lightroom, or After Effects because they have Final Cut, Logic, Aperture and Motion. But what about the other programs?

Apple needs something like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, and Flash. What does Apple have currently in these fields? It has some editing in iPhoto/Aperture, some vector drawing in Keynote/Pages, pretty good layout in Pages, some web authoring in iWeb. Apple also has some Flash possibilities in Keynote animations and let's not forget Core Image and its various filters. Now their iLife and iWork apps are not on the pro level of Adobe apps but they are a start. How hard would it be for Apple to create apps that work for 99% of us Adobe users? I think Apple maybe could do this for a lot cheaper then buying Adobe.

Since Microsoft is starting to write apps and develop standards that compete against Adobe, Apple maybe doesn't need to buy Adobe right away. It's the old "An enemy of my enemy is my friend." But I think Apple should take a billion and do its own apps and let us be free from Adobe, or at least make it so Adobe or a future owner of Adobe could never hold Apple hostage. Either that or Apple should buyout/merge with Adobe.

There are also other apps that Apple could buy to jump start their own Adobe equivalent apps and that is worth a look too. So whether Apple should buy Adobe is indeed a good question and it is definitely worth a look. However, we need to look at the alternatives Apple has. Regardless, Apple must be free of a company that could hold it hostage. RIght now Adobe could do this. Not that they would, but they could. That must change.

The inverse of this is that Apple should try to dominate software where they could hold WIndows hostage. That is where buying Adobe offers them such a position. Apple could hold Microsoft's feet to the fire over this. However, they also would be threatening to cut off a sizeable income from the Windows world. But I think people would just buy Macs instead and that is not a bad thing. Still it is a high stakes poker game in the least.

So to buy Adobe or not to buy. That is the question. But the answer is for Apple to put itself in a position to never be held hostage. Apple has options. They just have to pick one and do it.
post #23 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by visionary View Post

For example, look at what happened with Microsoft and its Office suite. Microsoft leveraged its software to hurt Apple big time. Just image what would happen if MS bought Adobe and threatened to drop Apple support? Apple would get crushed. For defensive reasons Apple must make sure this never happens.

There are anti-trust laws that prevent this kind of thing. In fact, there are a handful of legal precedents involving anti-trust legislation and Microsoft.
Cat: the other white meat
Reply
Cat: the other white meat
Reply
post #24 of 46
Yeah, and these laws didn't stop Microsoft in the past.
post #25 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

There are anti-trust laws that prevent this kind of thing. In fact, there are a handful of legal precedents involving anti-trust legislation and Microsoft.

Surely, you jest. Anti-trust laws prevent nothing. Microsoft was sued after the fact for violating the law. In the US, Microsoft was able to leverage an impertinent comment by the judge after the fact into a dramatic reduction in penalty. Across the Atlantic, Microsoft is fighting an entire continent tooth and nail.
post #26 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by visionary View Post

Yeah, and these laws didn't stop Microsoft in the past.

No, they certainly did have effect. Do your research. MS's business practice is now always under scrutiny. What did you expect?
Cat: the other white meat
Reply
Cat: the other white meat
Reply
post #27 of 46
It is like shutting the barn door after the horses are already out. In the past, Microsoft got away with just about everything. The antitrust laws didn't work - or more accurately, they weren't enforced. In Europe, it is still to be seen.

Yes, Microsoft is under better scrutiny now but I think they could still drag their feet enough on the Apple side to damage any of their Mac products. They could delay versions and blame it on anything they want. They could shift most of their staff over to the PC development side and claim they don't have the resources to keep the Mac side up to par. Nobody can force them to devote equal reasources to the Mac side. Microsoft would not have to kill Mac development immediately. They could have it die a slow death.

Heck, MS could have one of its programmers place nasty bugs in the Mac side code to hinder the development. There are many other options. The main thing is you don't want the fox guarding the hen house.

And why should we trust the government to watchdog Microsoft now when they didn't do a good job in the past? Do you really think the same government that lets a monkey through airport security could keep Microsoft from killing Apple by a thousand cuts? I'm sorry but I don't think we should depend on government to keep Microsoft at bay.

I do have this question though. What if Apple bought Adobe and immediately stopped development for the PC side, like they did with Emagic? Could Apple do this without the feds getting involved?

Or what if Apple kept the PC apps but handicapped them because say, Microsoft didn't have Core Image, Core Animation, Core Audio, etc. In other words, they released PC versions a year or two late and not with every feature. Could Apple bleed Microsoft over a number of years and get away with it? And if they could, is it worth it?
post #28 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by visionary View Post

...

Or what if Apple kept the PC apps but handicapped them because say, Microsfot didn't have Core Image, Core Animation, Core Audio, etc. In other words, they released PC versions a year or two late and not with every feature. Could Apple bleed Microsoft over a number of years and get away with it? ...

That idea has so many problems that it is not even worth thinking about. First off, which app could Apple buy that Windows users need to replace immediately? Word of a defective new Apple-developed app for Windows would spread like wildfire. It would sell maybe two copies.

This does not even get into the question of how Apple would develop such an app in the first place. Microsoft is the only commercial developer that I know of that deliberately inserts bombs into its commercial products. That is not Apple. It is not why people apply to work for Apple. Such a move by Apple--if it were possible--would damage Apple's reputation with its customers, its fans, and its own employees.

Long story short, such a plan would be a lose-lose proposition.
post #29 of 46
Mr. Me, Your right, that is not like Apple to cripple apps, though some people think that is what they did with the new iMovie. My take with iMovie is I like what they did a lot. They need to give us back a little more audio functionality, slow mo, and chapters, then it would be perfect. But back to the subject at hand.

Do we all agree Apple needs to make sure no company gains a monopoly in a certain software catagory on their platform? Secondly, does Adobe indeed have a monopoly? Thirdly, if we answer yes to the first two questions, what solution should Apple implement?
post #30 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by visionary View Post

It is like shutting the barn door after the horses are already out. In the past, Microsoft got away with just about everything. The antitrust laws didn't work - or more accurately, they weren't enforced. In Europe, it is still to be seen.

Unless you expected Microsoft to get shut down, which is entirely unrealistic, the anti-trust laws certainly did work. You have an axe to grind, I don't. Microsoft today is not the monopoly they were ten years ago, partly because of their own failure, but mostly because the market is now too big for them to control, and with some help of anti-trust legislation. We don't need the government "to keep MS at bay" -- the natural evolution of the market seems to be doing that quite effectively.

I'm sorry, but I just don't see an overwhelming, synergistic effect of Apple buying Adobe. Adobe has done a fine job so far of doing what they do. I can't really say I'd expect Apple to do a better job.
Cat: the other white meat
Reply
Cat: the other white meat
Reply
post #31 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

Unless you expected Microsoft to get shut down, which is entirely unrealistic, the anti-trust laws certainly did work. ...

Now you are being silly. All of the antitrust lawsuits brought against Microsoft for violations of antitrust were brought after the fact. The damage had been done. Microsoft was found to have used illegal monopoly power in merchant operating systems for Intel-based computers. Since that ruling, there have been no significant new entries into the markets in which Microsoft was found to be monopolizing. The numbers have changed on the margins, but Microsoft's monopoly remains. Any weakening is more the result of Microsoft ossification than anything else. Virtually none of it is a result of government action. If you can give an example of Microsoft's being bridled by government intervention, then feel free to give it.
post #32 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by visionary View Post

There is one important point to this question of whether Apple should buy Adobe. It is this - Apple needs to get to the point where it can never be held hostage by another company because that other company controls and dominates a major software market. This is the principle by which to consider the Adobe issue.

The idea of 'being held hostage' is interesting, but I hardly think that this situation is any different from any other company. There are threats to business all the time, and you differentiate yourself and innovate so that you can survive. You force the competition to play on your level. This has been Apple's strategy over the past years.

There are a ton of Adobe users who will throw a fit if MS buys Adobe and cuts Mac support. And why would they do it anyway? Mac users are a great stream of earnings. You don't put your earnings at risk just to sell more copies of Vista. A move like this would benefit PC makers more than MS.

Adobe is an application. Applications can be reworked, remade, and remastered. You can't remaster OSX, and you can't remaster the brilliance of the MacPro. Users love these, and if Adobe is no longer availabe, then someone else will step in (maybe Apple) and make another product that does what the pros need and allows them to remain with their lovely macs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by visionary View Post

That is also why Appleworks died on the vine. Apple could have done an improved version of Appleworks that really could have been superior to MS Office. It is not that Apple didn't care or want to. I think the deal with Microsoft forced them into this and we all suffered because of it. Same with the fabled Apple Basic of long ago. Microsoft held them hostage and we all suffered.

Thats kind of speculation... We don't know why Appleworks died. Many think its because it was weak antiquated and Jobs wanted to start from scratch with a suite that is designed to integrate more seamlessly. He wanted something that could challenge MS Office on a different playing field, not MS's playing field which is PC apps for business. Jobs is obviously channeling the consumer market with iWork, and I think he's like, "here's an alternative if you don't want to drop $$$ on office and you want a beautiful, fully integrated, easy to use suite of apps".

Quote:
Originally Posted by visionary View Post

Since Microsoft is starting to write apps and develop standards that compete against Adobe, Apple maybe doesn't need to buy Adobe right away. It's the old "An enemy of my enemy is my friend." But I think Apple should take a billion and do its own apps and let us be free from Adobe, or at least make it so Adobe or a future owner of Adobe could never hold Apple hostage. Either that or Apple should buyout/merge with Adobe.

The whole war analogy works only so much. At the end, successful businesses survive because of differentiation and innovation, not by mergers and acquisitions. Look at Cisco. They make a living buying innovation instead of making it organically, and have barely managed to survive since the downturn in 2000. Yes, I think Appple should do its own apps too, but not to avoid being held hostage. They need to do it b/c at the end it will be better than anything Adobe has to offer. And thats why we all are Apple fans. Recently, when they commit to something, its amazing. If they build it, we will come!
post #33 of 46
I'd love to see it happen and I don't think it would necessarily add to Apple's workload if they brought in the development teams. However, I don't see the point. Adobe supports Apple quite heavily - given the amount of work they put into CS3 and bringing back Premiere, it's clear they are going nowhere fast.

If Apple cut off the Windows versions, people will migrate away from the products. This is happening with Shake, some people are just migrating to Nuke. Not least because Shake is EOL but people are not willing to pay for Apple's hardware so they'll even run the old Windows 2.5 version.

If Adobe go Mac-only, they will simply lose their entire Windows sales and Windows pros will easily use CS3 for a decade or more without needing an upgrade. There aren't many places for Adobe to go next.

An office suite would be great if they embedded things like Flash capability and editable PDF but I still don't see it happening - Adobe just aren't in that market. I reckon I'd see Google make an offline office suite first.
post #34 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by visionary View Post

There is one important point to this question of whether Apple should buy Adobe. It is this - Apple needs to get to the point where it can never be held hostage by another company because that other company controls and dominates a major software market. This is the principle by which to consider the Adobe issue.

I think this is extremely insightful. One of Apple's major strengths in recruiting switchers is "we still run Office and Photoshop". People wouldn't buy Macs if support for either of those was missing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Exactly. Adobe + Apple sounds kind of like a creative apps Microsoft, where you end up spending all your time worrying about backwards compatibility and you have so many shops under one roof it starts getting hard to keep everybody moving in the same direction.

Alternatively, Adobe + Apple is a creative apps monopoly. If you want to do anything creative, you're already at least partially an Apple shop. Right now, Adobe and Apple only compete in a few niches in the creative realm, but that's going to change fast on the creative front.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

Surely, you jest. Anti-trust laws prevent nothing. Microsoft was sued after the fact for violating the law. In the US, Microsoft was able to leverage an impertinent comment by the judge after the fact into a dramatic reduction in penalty. Across the Atlantic, Microsoft is fighting an entire continent tooth and nail.

&&

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

Now you are being silly. All of the antitrust lawsuits brought against Microsoft for violations of antitrust were brought after the fact. The damage had been done. Microsoft was found to have used illegal monopoly power in merchant operating systems for Intel-based computers. Since that ruling, there have been no significant new entries into the markets in which Microsoft was found to be monopolizing.

I think you've got it right here. Microsoft's monopolization had the following effects:

1) Keep OEMs away from Linux for a decade.
2) Killed off BeOS
3) Wiped out Netscape as a competitive entity - we saw no real browser innovation from 1998 to 2005.
4) Held Apple to sub-5% marketshare. Only now, in 2007 can someone say "Apple will get 10-20 percent of PC marketshare" and not get laughed at.

Sure, Microsoft was found guilty and punished, but that doesn't bring back BeOS or Netscape (yeah, we have Mozilla now), or undo the years of Mac and Linux marketshare stagnation.

If Steve Jobs hadn't returned to Apple, then Apple and NextStep would both be dead, and Microsoft would be without a major competitor.
post #35 of 46
In a related way, I also see Microsoft's entry into the console wars a move to block the promised NCs, the networked computers people predicted to threaten PCs. It just so happened Microsoft ended up in a good place for the living room media center wars just now starting. But that was luck. Why do I bring this up?

Everything Microsoft does is defensive and reactionary. Wait - You have multitouch, well gee, so do I. I have no question we would still be on plain DOS had it not been for other companies pushing Microsoft.

I think Microsoft is a very aggressive company that it is not interested in developing great hardware and software as their first priority. Instead they want to make a lot of money using brutal warfare business tactics. Jobs and Apple - and a whole lot of other companies - AND US USERS - have suffered by so many innovators getting killed off or held back.

Do I have an axe to grind? You bet. As a guy who supported PCs and Microsoft servers for years I saw firsthand the crummy products. Why did I know they were so bad? I had worked on NeXt computers almost 20 years ago. It really was way ahead of the curve - and yeah it was expensive too. Heck, I loved my old Commodore 64 way more than any PC ever. For other people it was Amigas, BeOS, Solaris - if you had seen the alternatives you realize what we missed out on.

I really think Apple could fight back against Microsoft using tough tactics without losing focus. That is why the Adobe issue is so important. But let's not stop there. I think there are other markets Apple could grab. They need to identify the major apps and grab the market. For example, I would love to see them buy Alias and bring Maya and Autocad into the fold. Either that or make Motion into a better 3D app mousetrap.

I would love to see a Quicken like app part of iLife or iWork. How about an business accounting package and make all the source code open source? That way developers would easily and cheaply modify it for many business markets. If they wanted to, Apple could certify the extra modules and sell them through their iTunes store. Apple could storm into this world in a big way. Just some ideas.

Fact is, most people do not buy computers for the operating system or the hardware. A computer without apps is just a novelty. Sane people buy computers for apps. Apple should snag up significant software apps and move them exclusively to the Mac. They wouldn't lose the PC sales income; people would buy Macs instead.

Would other people try to fill the new software gaps left on the PCs? Sure. But you cannot write a Maya or Autocad app overnight. Especially if Apple dropped the price like they have done with many other high end software apps in the video domain. Maya Pro for $1000, Maya Express for $299 - who would want a PC for 3D work?

People can bring up alternative 3D apps but that misses out on the point. Apple needs to repeat their FCP success in many different software areas.

Gaming also figures into this debate. How many people buy PCs mainly for the games? It is time Apple takes games seriously. There has been a little progress lately but much more needs to be done.

So we can debate Apple buying/merging with Adobe but the bigger picture is Apple grabbing the top software apps in markets - especially where one app dominates the market. And if the competeing apps are really expensive in that catagory, then Apple can acquire it and sell it at a tenth of the cost to drive out the competitors.
post #36 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by visionary View Post

Fact is, most people do not buy computers for the operating system or the hardware. A computer without apps is just a novelty. Sane people buy computers for apps.

YES! This is perhaps the most insightful thing I've heard in a few days! It is absolutely and unambiguously true, but has never been stated so blatantly.
post #37 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by visionary View Post

So we can debate Apple buying/merging with Adobe but the bigger picture is Apple grabbing the top software apps in markets - especially where one app dominates the market. And if the competeing apps are really expensive in that catagory, then Apple can acquire it and sell it at a tenth of the cost to drive out the competitors.

I agree with alot of what you say, but not the part about buying apps. Apple is not in the business of market domination when it comes to software (FCP discussed below). Asking them to grab the top software apps means changing their strategic directive. It also means making them be the dominant defender instead of the small innovative company that challenges the status quo.

Give Apple the number one product, and they (like most companies) will flounder around with little or no innovation. I think the iPod is already succumbing to this. We've been on 5G (I dont count 5.5) for 2 years now. Why no major update? Because they don't have to. Nobody is forcing them to innovate. Jobs can sit on his arse and wait 2 years between updates because there's no competition. And now we're all hoping for a touch screen, a cutting-edge technology driven by the research of a new product - the iPhone. Would there be any major update if the iPhone was not driving innovation?

You mentioned FCP as an example for Apple to follow in other categories. Maybe, but this is their flagship of applications, yes? They pour more into this app than anything else ever. how much would they need to staff up to have 6 or 7 apps of the consistent innovation and quality of FCP? I don't know the answer, but I think we are talking about a major shift in Apple that most of us would not welcome.

Barring the recent downturn, the stock price is doing great, driven not by sales, but rather by hopes and expectations. Proof: AAPL is trading at 35xEPS (bested in the tech sector only by google), while XOM, one of the most profitable companies in the world, is trading at only 12xEPS. This tells me that people love the size of Apple Inc, they support Jobs, and they love the innovative nature of the company. I think most people are like me. They want Apple to stay small and innovative and grow slowly and organically, not by M&A.
post #38 of 46
Bg_nyc, you may be right on all accounts but I'm not so sure. Changing their strategic directive is not that uncommon for Apple now. The iPod, iPhone, and AppleTV are three examples of change. Before that was Final Cut, Logic, Shake, and others. So I think there is evidence to say Apple has changed directions or at least expanded into new directions. In all these directions, Apple has brought their innovation and changed the status quo. I'm guessing a few more apps would not change them into a dominant defender.

As for the iPod becoming stagnant, I also disagree. I think the iPhone is the new top-of-the-line iPod and one cannot call that stagnant. Any lack of innovation on the other iPods can be explained by Apple devoting their limited resources to the iPhone. Also, I expect to see some of the iPhone technology trickle down into the iPod line, basically a video iPod minus the phone and internet stuff. So I don't think the iPod is a good example of Apple not innovating.

As for FCP, it is their flagship product. But that is not to say Apple couldn't have a few more of them. If Apple bought or merged with a company like Adobe, Apple would keep the current Adobe staff and let them continue doing what they do. So I wouldn't expect that big of shift in either Adobe or Apple.

While Apple stock is doing good, I don't think it is because people are satisfied with the size of Apple. I for one would love to see greater market share. I also would like to see Apple control more of the significant apps, and Apple expand into more consumer electronics like the living room. For example, I would like to see Apple TVs, a media center (with HD-DVD/BR-DVD, Tivo, cable, etc.), 5.1 surround audio system, single remote and the whole thing be connected by only a few cables.

I also would like to see Apple get into developing content both music and video so they can assure product to sell on iTunes. They have Disney as an ally and that is good. Also Apple could open iTunes up to independent TV producers to reach niche markets too small or being ignored by the few big tv companies.

And what about buying out Apple Corp and Apple then having its own label? Musicians would then not have to sign with a traditional label for distribution but could go right to Apple. Apple could also add a button for ordering a physical CD right in iTunes so people would not have to go to Amazon to get a physical CD. Again, just some ideas.

Now none of us want to see Apple get too extended and lose focus. I think we all agree on that. But Apple has surprised us in the past and they pulled off way more than we thought possible. Given their track record I think they should keep expanding into areas that make sense. I think the Adobe question is one of those areas that I think make sense.
post #39 of 46
I get your points and agree. The iPhone is now the top iPod, but that doesn't excuse their lack of updates in 2 years. Its actually a testament to the quality of the iPod that no device has presented a strong alternative during all that time. I'm upset about the lack of updates, but I will be totally satisfied if the iPhone features 'trickle down' like reaganomics to the iPod line. In fact, they better trickle down, or I'll be downright pissed. Can I get a 100GB touchscreen to replace my ancient 3G?! This year?!?! ;-)

As far as Logic and Shake and others, Apple was very focused on acquiring those and creating a dominant position. If they can stay focused and maintain innovation while buying more products as you say, I would be esctatic. And I had mentioned earlier in this thread that there are so many avenues of growth, so they need to choose one and focus on it. But maybe as you say they can choose 2 or 3 and still stay focused.

This is an interesting time for Apple. They iPhone hype is over, iLife08 is out, FCP is updated, Leopard is coming, along with new iMacs, updated MacPros (Macworld SF?), new iPods and new minis. They are coming to a point next year where almost every product will have gone through an update in the past 12 months, and they can focus on new areas of growth. Where will they go? Is the next thing already in the pipeline, ready to be revealed? Regardless of our thoughts about where the should go, Jobs already has a plan and we will soon see.
post #40 of 46
I agree that it is an interesting time for Apple. I think Jobs and company have been way ahead of us on many things and they have done a good job. I'm sure they have multiple things in the pipeline and look forward to seeing their vision.

The question is where they are going to go. I don't know - but I see many good potential directions they could go and I want Apple to to do them all if possible. I think they really can do better then the current products and status quo.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Mac Software
AppleInsider › Forums › Software › Mac Software › Should Apple Buy Adobe?