When confronted with the idea of Microsoft acquiring Adobe, my visceral reaction was not that of an analyst or a journalist, but as a user personally and professional dependent on a variety of Adobe applications. That reaction? "PLEASE. NO. DON'T."
I've got nothing against Microsoft as a company; I'd have reacted similarly if if Apple or Google were the suitor, albeit with lower-case horror, and with a few different reasons. I don't think Adobe is perfect, either. For the most part, my objections stem from fears of the standard side effects of big mergers and acquisitions and the role that Creative Suite plays in today's contentious and tumultuous delivery environment.
It would be disruptive. All mergers and acquisitions add an element of uncertainty to product development plans. Right now, we're experiencing significant changes in the various mobile and desktop software platforms, and more than ever, content developers need as much tool stability as possible.
As a photographer and a camera tester, I rely on Adobe churning out an update to Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) every few months. Adobe does it because its core audience requires it, but it's more likely to become just a blip in Microsoft's product portfolio. With the insane pace at which cameras, camcorders, mobile devices, and Web platforms change these days, we need faster, more nimble product updates, not just an endless stream of security patches (Acrobat's leakiness nothwithstanding). And as Christopher Gizzi (@soitscometothis) tweeted "Suddenly Quark became a lot more relevant."
Products like InDesign are unlikely to be considered part of Microsoft's core strategy. Furthermore, as with any acquisition, a large chunk of Adobe employees would become redundant, and a lot of good people would either be let go or quit rather than be assimilated. None of this bodes well for the products I use.
On the Web development side, there would be a lot of product overlap between Adobe's server software and development tools and Microsoft's competing products. I doubt users who've committed to either platform would like to see theirs disappear, but maintaining both wouldn't make sense.… Read more