Wired is suggesting that Adobe Systems may launch a competitor to Microsoft Office. Not only would this not be surprising (though I see little evidence in the article pointing to the presumption), but if anyone were to do it well, it would be Adobe.
The only thing better would be if Adobe, Apple, and OpenOffice could get together. Open source plus two of the most innovative makers of software in the industry...I'm salivating. (In fact, don't you think that it makes a lot of sense for Apple to acquire Adobe, given the similar corporate mentalities/competencies? Me, too.)
From the article:
The software maker famous for Flash and Photoshop is poised to take the plunge into the lucrative world of office applications. It may sound far-fetched at first, but the stage is set for Adobe to flex its muscle in the office-app arena. The company already has a strong presence in business software with its Acrobat suite of products and interest in its new platform for Web-enabled applications that run on the desktop is rising quickly.
According to Adobe group manager for platform evangelism, Mike Downey, it wouldn't be outlandish to predict the company throws its hat into the ring soon.
"Though we have not yet announced any intentions to move into the office-productivity software market," he says, "considering we have built this platform that makes it easy to build rich applications that run on both the desktop and the browser, I certainly wouldn't rule anything like that out."
Nor would I.
Think about it. The power and scope of the Web integrated into the performance and comfort of the desktop. I've been toying with Adobe's Apollo and find it fascinating, powerful, and very, very cool. I'm not a big fan of Web-only desktop-replacement applications. I'm a very big fan of these integrated desktop/Web applications, however.
Adobe is well-positioned to be king of this new territory. Microsoft should be very concerned.