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Against Apple, Ballmer Floats Microsoft Merger With Adobe 520

Ebbesen writes "Ballmer had a meeting with the CEO of Adobe, and among other things: 'The meeting, which lasted over an hour, covered a number of topics, but one of the main thrusts of the discussion was Apple and its control of the mobile phone market and how the two companies could partner in the battle against Apple. A possible acquisition of Adobe by Microsoft were among the options.' Apparently MS has courted Adobe previously, but feared anti-trust regulations. With Google and Apple gaining, Microdobe might be possible."
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Against Apple, Ballmer Floats Microsoft Merger With Adobe

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  • Bleeeechhhh (Score:5, Informative)

    by paimin ( 656338 ) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @06:29PM (#33830582)
    I just vomited in my coffee.
  • Efficient (Score:5, Funny)

    by Again ( 1351325 ) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @06:31PM (#33830588)

    Microsoft and Adobe merging is an option that would increase efficiency. That way I can direct my hatred in one direction with less distraction from various evil companies.

  • How convenient (Score:5, Insightful)

    by swanzilla ( 1458281 ) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @06:31PM (#33830594) Homepage
    One less company to hate.
  • by NoobixCube ( 1133473 ) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @06:32PM (#33830608) Journal

    Adobe bought Macromedia back in distant times, so if Microsoft buy Adobe, won't that make them Micromacrobe?

  • by Bacon Bits ( 926911 ) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @06:32PM (#33830612)

    Oh God, I so hope this happens. Microsoft may have a bad reputation for security, but quite honestly nothing is as big a nightmare for IT than anything and everything Adobe. Reader, Flash, CS... it's all a perpetual pain in the butt that Adobe always drops the ball with deployment and maintenance.

    Plus maybe then we can stop every MS site from needing SilverLight and every MS application installing an XPS Viewer/Printer.

  • So.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BJ_Covert_Action ( 1499847 ) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @06:33PM (#33830626) Homepage Journal
    So....Flash will suck on my Ubuntu machines even more now? I'm going to go cry myself to sleep tonight.
  • Microdobe? (Score:3, Informative)

    by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @06:33PM (#33830628)

    Microdobe? Please.

    If Adobe is lucky, they will be "Adobe, an independently managed subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation".

    More likely, Adobe + Microsoft = Microsoft.

    Double the evil, double the fun.

  • by Kostya ( 1146 ) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @06:34PM (#33830630) Homepage Journal

    It's bad enough Mac users still have to install MS Office because it won't really interoperate with things like iWork or open office. Now imagine all those Mac creative types experiencing the pain of a MS-owned and focused Adobe.

    I have to say, this is a crazy time to be in IT, software, and the mobile space. It's almost reminiscent of the chaos of the dot-com days: constant tech churn, companies rising and falling, etc. Hopefully we can avoid the bubble part ;-)

  • by Chris Tucker ( 302549 ) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @06:35PM (#33830650) Homepage

    ... that has to get Ballmer's sweat stains out of the furniture in that meeting room!

  • Flash for Linux? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 07, 2010 @06:35PM (#33830652)
    I know we all hate Flash, but we need it (sometimes) and I doubt Microbe would continue development on Flash for Linux.
    • What exactly do we need it for? The only things that I can think or are as a bandage fix for what's ultimately MS' refusal to comply with the standards, and at this point it looks like that might start changing in the foreseeable future.
  • ....giggle like a schoolgirl.

  • by Motard ( 1553251 ) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @06:40PM (#33830728)

    Microsoft has replaced postscript with XPS. IE and Silverlight can display XPS, so goodbye Acrobat. Silverlight does video and RIA. Goodbye Flash. Expression Blend can do what Illustrator does, although it's not as mature.

    And with no one giving MS a chance of succeeding in the mobile space, the time may be right to sidestep antitrust issues.

    Microsoft gets a migration path from Adobe to Silverlight. Adobe shareholders get $$$'s and not uncertainty.

    The uncertainty will come from the government.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Or Flash player for Mac and Linux will be 'out sourced' in an extra special way, suffer epic version drift and just be dropped for Silverlight Home.
    • If they did that, there'd definitely be antitrust suits in the future for them. They could probably get around it by releasing enough XPS documentation for other platforms, but still that'd be risky.
    • by dch24 ( 904899 ) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @07:16PM (#33831082) Journal
      You're spot on. Microsoft does not buy other companies to merge with them. Microsoft buys them out and shuts them down.

      If they can eliminate Adobe from the competition, then Apple is the only target left. Ballmer doesn't care at all whether CS, Flash, Acrobat, or mobile devices succeed. He only cares about shareholder profitability. We outsiders will guess and post on slashdot but it won't affect the outcome at all. If the deal goes through, Adobe will fade away.

      Personally, I like Adobe's past, though they've made some serious errors starting around 2001. It may be time to close up shop. I wonder.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by failedlogic ( 627314 )

      Yeah, but MS Paint doesn't quite -yet- match Photoshop. ;-)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kjella ( 173770 )

      The whole reason Silverlight exists is because flash is not Microsoft. Break every browser flash game by going Silverlight only? Microsoft is not that stupid, if they owned flash then they'd be all over it. Same with most other of Adobe's apps, pretty much everything in their Creative Suite has much higher brand recognition than Microsoft's products.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jimicus ( 737525 )

        Break every flash browser game today? Probably not.

        Stop development work on Flash, let it flounder and then when IE 11 comes out with a new plugin architecture (which oh-what-a-shame means Flash no longer runs) kill it altogether? I wouldn't bet against something like that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by avatar139 ( 918375 ) *

      Microsoft has replaced postscript with XPS. IE and Silverlight can display XPS, so goodbye Acrobat. Silverlight does video and RIA. Goodbye Flash. Expression Blend can do what Illustrator does, although it's not as mature.

      Please don't confuse offering really bad alternatives with replacing things.

      Microsoft's been introducing alternatives for years but even in the 90s most companies doing multimedia and pagination knew better and continued to buy Apple as that's always the area that

      Microsoft has never offered anything remotely approaching the functionality of Display PostScript for its operating systems (I still get times even now when I'm working on a client's machine when the OS has problems loading because the resolut

    • by Ilgaz ( 86384 ) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @09:48PM (#33832300) Homepage

      XPS shows everything wrong with MS, even with a rival (!) like Adobe.

      They come up with a "document" standard and yet they didn't even ship a viewer (let alone some virtual printer) for OS X. I am not even mentioning Linux support which is big deal on corporate. I don't want to cost anyone their job at that weirdo company so not giving any examples but it seems, they do create a lot of docs on OS X, export to PDF (or PS), re-export to XPS on a Windows machine/bot.

      That is supposed to be Microsoft's answer to PDF. Just imagine if XPS really replaced PDF. It wouldn't be a nice day for anyone not using Windows on Desktop/Mobile. I am not even sure if there is an official XPS viewer for Windows 7 Mobile.

      I got creative friends and imagine my surprise when I find out about "Expression" software, as I am not in that segment, I asked them and they -too- didn't have a clue about that software. They had a good laugh when they heard they are supposed to use "that thing" (their words) to do work for Silverlight. You know, in dream World of MS (and Ballmer), designers even use MS Visual Studio and OS X using designers install Eclipse to do Silverlight. Yea, right.

  • Microsoft and Adobe are now going to be Microbe, I always suspected they virus'
  • .....and kill off Cold Fusion once and for all.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      ColdFusion used to be great. When it was just owned by Allaire. Then MacroMedia walks into the picture, buys Allaire and starts putting out buggy ColdFusion releases. Then Adobe buys MacroMedia and people thought they would handle ColdFusion better, but soon found out that all they really were doing was cramming Flash in it to make it even buggier and bloated.

      I love CFML, but I haven't used Adobe's ColdFusion in over 2 years. Railo and BlueDragon for me.

  • If this happened, the merged company should be called Adobe. MS would do best to try to leave it's past behind. And it's present.

  • Death of Flash (Score:5, Interesting)

    by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @06:57PM (#33830908)
    Well, that merger would spell the death of Flash pretty damn quickly. What, you think Microsoft would keep Flash _and_ Silverlight? You think they'd keep Flash _instead_ of Silverlight? Don't kid yourself - they are a corporate culture company with political infighting of the worst degree. The Microsoft team would do everything and then some to ensure that all products that Adobe made that duplicated existing Microsoft products were wiped from the face of computing. If they're willing to nonchallantly stab fellow Microsoft execs in the back to ensure their product gets favoured treatment, just think how ruthless they'll be against non-Microsoft execs...
  • When these two bloated behemoths merge, a black hole will inevitably form... and my job is just on the other side of Lake Washington, at UW. There's no way we'll escape from the gravitational well!

    I think I'm gonna call in sick on the day they sign the merger papers.

  • Clearly, any potential merger makes for a damn good reason to keep Flash off the iPhone, and support HTML 5. Platform neutrality is rather important here.

  • As I recall, the reason OpenOffice can export to PDFs natively and Office can't is because Adobe didn't trust Microsoft with the relevant code. (Or it may have been something to do with licensing, could someone else chime in here? Either way, Adobe wouldn't let them do it.) Anyhow, I would expect we could see that feature "coming soon to a Ribbon near you".
    • Office for Mac can because on OS X anything that can be printed can be turned into a PDF.

    • Re:PDF in Office (Score:5, Informative)

      by bflong ( 107195 ) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @07:18PM (#33831100)

      As far as I know, that is not correct. PDF is an open format, and anyone can write software to create PDF's without needing a licence from Adobe. The reason PDF export isn't built into MS Office is because MS decided not to do it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Found the story about it, seems to be kind of a funny issue. Apparently Adobe sued MSFT in Europe because they didn't want the competition with Acrobat, but you're right, PDF is an open format, and Adobe at another time said anyone could work with it. Guess it's just because Office would be making money off it? Here's the story []
  • So will adobe reader be rebadged as windows 8?

  • by jjohnson ( 62583 ) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @07:28PM (#33831216) Homepage

    Two large, lumbering companies with zero agility that have coasted for a decade on their successful products from the 90s and failed with everything since, decide to become one larger company that's less agile, less creative, and even less likely to do something game changing or even newly profitable.

    Yeah, that's some scary competition. What did Bill Gates say so many years ago? Something like "We didn't want to become IBM"? Well, IBM, in a corporate sense, has become far more dynamic than MS is today. Don't see a merger with Adobe changing that.

  • Doubtful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by igadget78 ( 1698420 ) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @07:28PM (#33831222)
    I highly doubt that Microsoft will buy Adobe. More than likely, they are looking into possible ways to get Flash on their new Windows 7 Phone OS so that they can have a larger legion of developers making games for their new mobile OS to more easily compete with the iOS from Apple.
  • Bad idea... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by __aagmrb7289 ( 652113 ) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @07:46PM (#33831346) Journal
    I don't see this as a good idea for either company. Both companies have similar strengths and weaknesses - call them evil, rail against them or whatever - the companies have products that hit the same value curve in the market place. They are weak against their competition in the same ways, and strong in the same ways, to state the point again. Add to that the other points brought up in this conversation - how Microsoft has already attempted to compete against every one of Adobe's primary products - and there isn't much motivation for Microsoft or Adobe to make this happen. I'm a little skeptical that this will go anywhere.

Receiving a million dollars tax free will make you feel better than being flat broke and having a stomach ache. -- Dolph Sharp, "I'm O.K., You're Not So Hot"