Adobe is an odd bird. The company has managed to make a mint largely if not solely off of creative applications and technologies. They are are essentially a “niche”* product company that has managed to make a lot of money, even though they are “niche.” Almost invariably, creative professionals such as graphic designers, print media […]
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My Thoughts On Adobe

Adobe is an odd bird. The company has managed to make a mint largely if not solely off of creative applications and technologies. They are are essentially a “niche”* product company that has managed to make a lot of money, even though they are “niche.”

Almost invariably, creative professionals such as graphic designers, print media producers, and so on, use Adobe’s products. And for the most part they’re pretty good. However, and this goes for any platform Adobe’s apps run natively on, there seems to be an issue with bloat.

Adobe hasn’t gone back and tightened up the code base in a major way, and performance has noticeably suffered as a result. Speaking of performance, that brings me to…

Flash. Yes, you knew this was coming. And what this whole quarrel boils down to between Apple and Adobe, is the fact that Apple has quickly deflated Adobe’s Flash business. That is to say, Adobe makes money from selling the tools and licensees to make Flash apps and websites. This is all well and good, but Apple simply chose not to include this technology in their latest platforms.

Steve Jobs even publicly stated at the D8 interview, that they chose not to include Flash because they believe it is a waning technology and HTML5 is a suitable, open, replacement that is on the upswing. Adobe is the one fussing over this development, and to be honest for good reason. They’re losing business.

If the iPhone and iPad hadn’t been such hits, we wouldn’t be hearing about this development to this degree. I still believe HTML5 would take over in the long run, but not as quickly as is happening right now. Today, there is a rush, by developers to make everything compatible with some of the fastest growing platforms–iPad and iPhone.

That leads me to this point: If you’re business was this easily turned on it’s head in just three years time, it was doomed to fail anyway.

Now, I don’t know all of the specifics and I don’t claim to, but if I were Adobe, I would slowly drop Flash and give up on this petty war of words with Apple. Instead, I would invest in creating new (or making DreamWeaver better) tools for HTML5 development. Make the best damn HTML5 development environment around and developers will flock. I know I would, if Adobe made such a move.

In summary, Adobe is a large, indispensable technology company, that you can’t help but love. Like any company, it has flaws, that need addressing. Adobe is too old and too entrenched in the industry, especially in the creative market segment, to simply evaporate. Right now however, is the time for Adobe to drop its deadweight and look to the future, because the future is now.

* Niche may or may not be the correct word. Large numbers of people use Adobe apps everyday to get their jobs done, but I’d wager even more use Microsoft Office to get their job done. Everything is relative.

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