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Adobe Acquiring Macromedia on December 3, 2005 262

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the done-deals dept.
dennison_uy writes "Adobe Systems Incorporated and Macromedia, Inc. today announced they have either received or been notified they will receive all regulatory clearances necessary to complete Adobe's pending acquisition of Macromedia. The companies expect to close the transaction on December 3, 2005. Does this mean the end for Fireworks and Freehand?"
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Adobe Acquiring Macromedia on December 3, 2005

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  • Macradobe (Score:5, Funny)

    by Short Circuit (52384) * <mikemol@gmail.com> on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:05AM (#14164989) Homepage Journal
    We mustn't forget the Macradobe song [slashdot.org]!

    To the tune of Yankee Doodle Went to London

    Big Adobe went to town
    Riding with great worry
    "Microsoft might buy our foes
    Goodness let us hurry"

    Big Adobe, buy them out
    Big Adobe dandy
    Mind the lawsuits and the FUD
    And with your cash be handy

    Macromedia went to the web
    With great Flash and vigour
    Then Adobe said to them:
    "We ownz you, start to quiver"

    Big Adobe, buy them out
    Get yourself a trophy
    Buy a business out of fear
    And call it Macradobe

    All you geeks and all you nerds
    Reading this here story
    Remember what the Parent said
    And call it Macradobe
  • by Paska (801395) * on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:09AM (#14165006) Homepage
    Adobe Acquiring Macromedia on December 3, 2005


    That's today you insenstive clod!

    I for one live in the future, which puts December 3rd as, well, right now.
  • by nick-less (307628) on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:10AM (#14165013)
    Does this mean the end for Fireworks and Freehand?" ...it means the end of flash, but I know its just a dream.
    • "...it means the end of flash, but I know its just a dream."

      Given the poor performance and incredible bloat of Adobe's recent releases, the end of Flash may not be a dream much longer. All we have to do is convince Adobe to add some of their shitty 3D code to Flash and nobody will want to watch a Flash movie again.
  • by Cyphertube (62291) on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:11AM (#14165017) Homepage Journal

    I have my own personal bets about what will be going, but of course, that's from my own perspective. From what the majority of analysts say, yes, Freehand will likely go, as will GoLive.

    Much speculation exists regarding Fireworks vs. Photoshop. Photoshop will, of course, stay. What I wonder about is whether or not ImageReady will go. If they could merge some of the features of Fireworks into Photoshop, it would be a fabulous product. I've never liked ImageReady to export photos for the web, and I've not liked using Photoshop for creating simple graphic elements for online either. With enough support, Fireworks may stick around by itself, even.

    While I've consistently used products from both companies, and many an employer will likely reap an initial cost-savings from the merger, I am sad to see that competition in this industry has faded. I don't think even a company with as much cash to burn as Microsoft can break in any time soon. However, the tools themselves are pretty well set, so I think the next cool thing will be modifying the user interfaces to be even MORE user-friendly and intutitive. Go GIMP and bring on some competition!

    • Rooting for a GIMP to keep up with the two most fierce competitors combining forces? Oh, the irony!
    • Linux - because it doesn't leave that Steve Ballmer aftertaste.

      Queeeeiwwww, man, what is that Steve Ballmer's aftertaste?

      O_O
      ---
    • I'd love to see a lineup change that resurects SoundEdit 16, xRes, and Extreme 3D. Anyone else remember those fine Macromedia products? Maybe Adobe could be nice and release the source to any old IP that is just collecting dust in the Macromedia (Macromind!!) basement...

      And while we're at it, go resurect FrameMaker, SuperPaint, and PageMaker from the Adobe^W Aldus basement...

      Adobe could start an open source holding company with those 6 products alone.
  • Background info (Score:5, Informative)

    by JonN (895435) on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:12AM (#14165020) Homepage
    Here are a few links for background information for anyone who needs:

    How the Adobe-Macromedia Merger Could Impact PDF [pdfzone.com]
    Interview of both CEOs [businessweek.com]
    Staff's comments [kottke.org]
    Article with a bit more bulk on the subject [theregister.co.uk] (The article linked about is quite small)

  • "Studio" Bundling? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FearTheFrail (666535) on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:13AM (#14165023)
    Macromedia and Adobe both have histories of understandably bundling some of their related/popular products together into sets with rather high price tags so that we consumers can gag over the steep prices, and then wheedle our bosses into thinking that yes, we do need Flash MX Professional (while all of your fellow web designers sigh with disdainful looks).

    One would expect some sort of bundle to pop out of this merger that would combine Adobe and Macromedia products...anyone have any ideas on what it might include? Anything you can think of aside from the "obvious" suspects? (Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator)
    • Based on my daily experience and anti-user/useful corporate sh**-shoveling aside, I see the ideal "One Box Solution" (eventually) being along these lines:

      -Dreamweaver
      "GoLive was for web pages?? I thought it was for database management."

      -InDesign
      F***ing Quark, why won't you just die? Actually a version of Quark from 1996 is listed in the "Goodies" section of the install DVD. It's better than the last 2 versions and easily runs on a Palm Vx.

      -Photoshop
      Will now take an extra 45 seconds to load. Just
  • Too big? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    At what point does consolidation hinder a company's ability to produce and perform?

    All these corporate acquisitions have me worried.
    • Re:Too big? (Score:2, Funny)

      by berbo (671598)
      All these corporate acquisitions have me worried.

      This just in from Time-Warner-Phillip-Morris-General-Electric-Disney -CNN news:

      consolidation is good!

  • Speed (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Thecarpe (697076)
    With all those great minds together, maybe they'll find a way to make pdf's load in less than half a day. Both companies have great offerings, but Adobe's products are slow with a side of slow and an extra helping of slow...
    • Re:Speed (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jearil (154455)
      Have you tried version 7 of the Adobe Acrobat Reader? I was shocked as I figured when I downloaded it it would just add more garbage that slowed it down to even further hights of unusability... and yet when I opened a PDF with it, the whole thing came up in like 3 seconds.

      They definately were going for "teh snappy" with the 7 release. Try it out, it's quite a bit better.

      I still prefer Preview though ;)
      (and damnit.. xpdf can suck sometimes.. why do half of my documents show only pics and no text?)
      • They definately were going for "teh snappy" with the 7 release. Try it out, it's quite a bit better.

        That's because the dumb thing has a process running in the background eating resources so it starts faster. If you disable it the reader will still take a while to load unless you disable most of the plugins that they include with it.

    • by eddy (18759)

      PDF SpeedUp 1.42 [acropdf.com] (win32)

      Not only a fancy way to disable the plugins, it actually removes the splash screen, removes crappy GUI elements (advertisments), etc.

    • It is really incredible to see how fast Apple's Preview application is at loading PDFs. I have also yet to find a PDF that doesn't load perfectly. I don't think I ever bothered installing the Adobe Reader since the Panther came out.

      • > It is really incredible to see how fast Apple's Preview application is at loading PDFs

        I have a really lowend Mac (333Mhz G3 PB with only 192MB), and while Preview starts faster, it's significantly slower at rendering PDFs than Adobe Reader 6. When it takes your machine several minutes to render a complex PDF, it's very noticable.
  • ...and retreat to the lands of Corel, where mighty Painter still blooms with the multicolored light of Fractal Design. There is nothing for us now in the lands of mortal applications.

    Unless they buy Corel too and Painter dies. But surely the Valar would intervene in such a case. Boy, the Silmarillion really ought to address this sort of problem.

  • Stupid idea. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by adolfojp (730818) on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:16AM (#14165039)
    Why would Adobe eliminate a successful product line with a loyal fan base? Why sell only one product when you can sell two? Cheers, Adolfo PS. There is no competition for Photoshop in the image editing market, but for me, Fireworks remains an indispensable website prototyping tool.
    • Why would I hit submit without specifying "Plain Old Text" or without using break marks. :-(
    • by oneiros27 (46144) on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:54AM (#14165226) Homepage
      Adobe could've done the same thing, when they bought Aldus. In fact, they kept Page Maker around long enough for them to get InDesign up far enough for them to start pushing that instead.

      But how did they deal with Freehand, when they already had Illustrator? Why, they sold it off to someone else, and conveniently enough, they're getting it back again.

      So, if they feel that there's a legitimate reason to maintain two seperate programs that do similar things, they'll be likely to slowly change the two until you get to the point where it's easy to jump ship to the one they prefer (basically, make sure that any outstanding features have been migrated to the other product line), and then kill off the old one.

      In the case where they're no significant differentiation in capabilities between the two, they may see the benefit in getting some money back by flipping it to some other company.

      By the time we're done, Freehand will have seen more company trades than WordPerfect.
  • Too bad... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Ajaxamander (646536)
    It won't spell the end of Dreamweaver, GoLive or Flash. I'm getting sick of wading through MM_SwapImage() crap in sites I didn't build but have to maintain.
  • being FORCED to have flash in order to have acrobat. decisions decisions,
  • by pubjames (468013) on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:38AM (#14165137)
    I've used Macromedia products since their early days. They used to be cool - a big focus on the developer and keeping everything open. They don't feel so cool these days, they just seem to want to squeeze as much money out of me as possible, and I've started to resent it.

    For instance, making a "professional" version of the Flash tool - I'm sure pretty much everyone who buys Flash is a professional, the "professional" version is just an excuse to charge extra for things that should be in the main product.

    And they are trying to push developers in the direction they want them to go, rather than providing what developers want. For instance, they have a heavy focus now on using Flash for on-line forms and applications, but when was the last time you actually used a Flash application online? And yet many developers use PHP and are now interested in Ruby and AJAX but Macromedia have very poor support for those technologies.

    I would like to think something positive will come out of this merger, but I'm afraid the new Adobe will just use their new powers to try to force developers in the direction they want them to go and find new ways to squeeze more money out of them.
     
    • Amen where the Flash stuff is concerned. Still, I think their own philosophy of the niche the software was supposed to occupy required that approach. They were/are pushing flash as the ultimate rich media supplement to web pages, in many cases capable of supplementing HTML entirely. To pursue a tack like that without providing at least the same data acquisition tools would have been ludicrous.

      The Kottke summary linked in the writeup cites Tim Bray as saying that he thinks Flash will be phased out, since i
    • Overall, I view Macromedia and Adobe as fairly similar: some fairly good stuff, some bad stuff, some openness, and a lot of proprietary stuff.

      I think both Adobe and Macromedia are getting squeezed out of the market anyway: open formats and changes in technology are eating into their market from one side, and Microsoft is threatening them from the other. Flash is likely going to disappear altogether over the next decade, and PDF will probably be created entirely with non-Adobe tools, many of them free.
    • And they are trying to push developers in the direction they want them to go, rather than providing what developers want. For instance, they have a heavy focus now on using Flash for on-line forms and applications, but when was the last time you actually used a Flash application online? And yet many developers use PHP and are now interested in Ruby and AJAX but Macromedia have very poor support for those technologies.

      You go develop a web app with AJAX, and then do the same in flash, and come back and tell u
  • Does anyone think that Adobe's primary reason for buying macromedia was part of a build up getting ready to sue MS over anti-trust and monopoly abuse. MS is going to "bundle" sparkle with Vista, and many think it has the potential to kill Flash. In any case, there is not much debate that it's going to at least take a bite out of flash's market share.

    Macromedia is expensive for Adobe, but it might be enough to slow/stop MS from jumping into Adobe's primary business (Photoshop, Illustrator, and inDesign).
    • Re:how about this. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by johneee (626549)
      I was in a meeting with a couple sales people from Adobe. Now, we have to take this with a grain of salt, since they were trying to sell us on a massive document and information management system, but the main reason for the purchase is so that Adobe could have Macromedia's presentation tools for forms and paper management.

      Right now, a massive portion of Adobe's income comes from the Acrobat/PDF/LiveCycle products, and it's the part that is growing the fastest. Macromedia had been developing 'Flash Paper'
    • Adobe buying out Macromedia is actually very good news for Microsoft.

      Macromedia had been slowly repositioning themselves as a development tool vendor. Flash was moving from animation to a "RAD" tool. Dreamweaver was becoming a competitor to VisualStudio for web development. ColdFusion was reinvented into a J2EE tag framework. This is all compeititon directly aimed at Microsoft's bread-n-butter tools.

      Meanwhile Adobe has always been very good at focusing on the design and "epaper" markets and staying the hell
  • ColdFusion shoutout (Score:4, Interesting)

    by markhb (11721) on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:51AM (#14165207) Journal
    With everyone commenting about the art tools, I have to wonder what Adobe's plans are for ColdFusion. I know that the official line is "CF is selling very well, so they have no reason to dump it." I'm not sure if I put that much faith in Adobe's common sense.
  • by PingXao (153057) on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:51AM (#14165208)
    Macromedia should school Adobe on how to do proper Help files. Seriously, for high profile products like Adobe has I have NEVER seen worse built-in "help". Acrobat and Premiere use PDF files. Photoshop and Premiere use clunky HTML pages. Both suck ass. I realize Adobe likes to standardize on cross-platform solutions, but they seriously need to consider proper Windows help file formats, preferably HTML Help 2.0. Their existing HTML help files are already probably 80% of what they need to be for HTML Help 2.0. At least Macromedia provides decent Help. Adobe should take a cue from them. Unfortunately, they'll probably take only Flash and Dreamweaver and toss the rest.
  • Livemotion & Flash (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shoolz (752000) on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:59AM (#14165252) Homepage
    What would be nice is if Adobe starts to integrate their powerhouse bitmap transforming & rendering technologies into Flash.

    Actually, Adobe already tried this with Flash competitor called Live Motion [adobe.com]. It was a tool that had great potential, but it couldn't make inroads into the market that Flash totally dominated. Adobe admitted defeat and pulled it from market in 2003.
  • Speed (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Muppski (918156)
    With 2 as 1 maybe they can make Acrobat Reader launch faster or atleast not crash my browser oh btw http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/rd_intro.php [foxitsoftware.com] A nice small pdf reader
  • Now flash will not only make for highly intrusive ads, they will keep running after you block and shut them down, and hog your system resources like never before.
  • The future (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NoSuchGuy (308510) <do-not-harvest-m ... dot@spa.mtrap.de> on Friday December 02, 2005 @10:10AM (#14165310) Journal
    will bring us more:
    - more PDFs on web pages
    - more Flash on webpages
    - more Flash in PDFs
    - more PDFs in Flash

    • - much less of that favorite format of mine that shall SVG remain nameless (not that Microsoft's XAML and WhatWG's canvas help)
    • more Flash in PDFs - more PDFs in Flash

      Once that's possible, you can embed a Flash in a PDF within a Flash within a PDF... and so on. Place the things all around the web and bring the computers of the world (well, the Windows boxes, anyway) to their knees as they all break down in an infinitely recursive downward death spiral of shallow content. Ha ha haaa!

  • The current versions of Freehand and Fireworks are tightly integrated into .SWF creation. Since the Macromaedia crown jewels are SWF, you're not going to see an immediate dismantleing of the porduct line. However, The underlying object models are not the same and it will take quite a bit of engineering effort to move FH/FW to I/PS.

    This won't be completely straightforward. There are design and user philosophy's that will need to be reconciled between the engineering groups.

    I believe it will be 2 years or
  • Imagine... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Seltsam (530662)
    ...embedding Flash "things" in PDF files. It would be cool to have a motherboard manual with an interactive Flash diagram of the board. While not exactly useful, it would be neat.
  • This is all because of the high quality and free open source alternative known as the gimp eating their market share.

    That was supposed to be ironic / funny. Alas, the fact is that gimp sucks compared to commercial offerings and is a major black eye for proponents of F/OSS.

  • 64-bit plug-in (Score:2, Informative)

    by dusik (239139)
    Does this mean that Adobe will speed up the development of a 64-bit Flash plug-in? IMO, that's long overdue.
  • Yes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by techsoldaten (309296) * on Friday December 02, 2005 @10:24AM (#14165399) Journal
    Yes, this does mean the end of Fireworks and Freehand. Neither have ever been the "professional's choice", meaning Adobe has to justify it's investment in the whole CS2 line over the last several years.

    But consumers should benefit from integrated products nonetheless. Let us remember the big interface lawsuits of just a few years ago between these companies. Adobe sued MM over the fact you could configure your interface with floating palettes to look like just like their products, and MM was forced to come up with the whole dockable palettes thing.

    what I imagine is going to occur, and what I have held off purchasing the latest MM studio for, is this:

    1) Freehand goes away completely, it's already too much like Illustrator to survive.

    2) Fireworks gets rebranded as an Illustrator lite, and some of it's rasterization features are taken away. It's made into a lightweight production tool for Flash and Web graphics and given all sorts of hooks into Illustrator.

    3) Dimensions returns as a 3D solution for Flash.

    M
  • I've never gotten the hang of using the pen tool in illustrator. Lets see...option-click on a point to drag out a BCP...Oops! I've created a duplicate path by mistake! Give me Freehand's interface any day!
  • I predict that the Macromedia apps will all be allowed to die a slow death, just as the way Adobe has treated Frame Technologies and its product FrameMaker after acquisition. The development will be sent to Bangalore, and the code will rot.
  • I used Freehand back when it was an Aldus product, through version 4. It was a great drawing program that supported both the Mac and Windows, which was good because we had both platforms where I worked.

    I hope Adobe does not discontinue Freehand, I'd hate to see the market shrink down to just Illustrator.
  • After they completely swallow Macromedia, and the Macradobe engineers get together - especially after Apple's transition to X86 - Software Product names will be irrelevant.

    Photoshop will change in the wake of Aperture.

    Illustrator will become part of the Flash Suite, which will be drastically reorganized and simplified.

    GoLive will shed its skin in favor of Dreamweaver's.

    ColdFusion will die a slow quiet death or be spun off into a separate organization. Possibly with an OpenSource component.

    --
    I, for one, wel
  • Does this mean the end for Fireworks and Freehand?

    We can but hope.
  • so.. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Kuku_monroe (753761)
    "Does this mean the end for apps that take less than 2 minutes to boot?"

Whoever dies with the most toys wins.

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