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April 21, 2005

Angst about Adobe/Macromedia

Some have suggest that the merged company be renamed. “Macrobe” appears to be the leading contender.

There is lots of anxiety about software, especially where the two product lines intersect. Illustrator or Freehand? GoLive or DreamWeaver? I would bet on the tool with better market share, which would be bad news for Freehand (Macromedia) and GoLive (Adobe).

You’ll notice that Freehand doesn’t even make it onto the main products toolbar at Macromedia’s web site. Mouse over the Products link in the navigation bar. You’ll find Studio, DreamWeaver, Flash, ColdFusion (in that order), and eventually the humble “More.” FreeHand is part of the Studio suite, but so are DreamWeaver and Flash, and they merit separate links on the main navigation bar.

This article also mention possible implications for Quark. Charlie Corr, group director at InfoTrendsCAP Ventures, said:

Clearly Adobe has picked up share and they have a broader play [both in multimedia as well as enterprise]. Quark has become sort of a one trick—well arguably, they’ve always been a one-trick pony.

The merger shouldn’t be a problem for unique products. Thus, we have:

  • PDF (Adobe)
  • Flash (Macromedia)
  • InDesign (Adobe, print publishing)
  • Director (Macromedia, multimedia authoring)
  • ColdFusion (Macromedia, high-end web development)
  • Breeze (Macromedia, online presentations)
  • Premiere (Adobe, digital video)
  • Typefaces and PostScript technology (Adobe)

Generally, Adobe is much stronger for print publishing while Macromedia excels on the web side. Both have a strong presence among professional users — graphic designers, print publishing professionals, and the like. Adobe has made more of an effort in the consumer market with software such as Photoshop Elements. Macromedia has almost no presence in the consumer market — with the possible exception of DreamWeaver.