Should Apple Buy Adobe?

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
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!!!
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,221member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 45
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 45
    irelandireland Posts: 17,785member
    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!!
  • Reply 4 of 45
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,665member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 45
    mysticmystic Posts: 514member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 45
    icfireballicfireball Posts: 2,594member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 45
    bg_nycbg_nyc Posts: 189member
    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?
  • Reply 8 of 45
    mysticmystic Posts: 514member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 45
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,665member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 45
    bg_nycbg_nyc Posts: 189member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 45
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,665member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 45
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 45
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,665member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 45
    bg_nycbg_nyc Posts: 189member
    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'?
  • Reply 15 of 45
    trobertstroberts Posts: 702member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 45
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,354member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 45
    bg_nycbg_nyc Posts: 189member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 45
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 45
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,221member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 45
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    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.
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