Adobe’s Macromedia

Adobe has bought Macromedia. First let me start by saying that I didn’t even know that Macromedia was for sale. The official statements can be read from the Macromedia website or the Adobe website.

Just went over to Pixelsurgeon, and BAM there was the news. My initial reaction to this current turn of events is skeptical but not hopeful. I actively use both Macromedia and Adobe products. I can’t do without photoshop, and likewise, Flash is an incredible program to use.

Once you take these two applications out of the way, things start to get really fuzzy between the two software companies. The aforementioned Flash and Photoshop aren’t going anywhere (I’ll add Director into that list even though I don’t actually use it), they both provide a particular niche in the market that completely dominates. The fact that Adobe now owns both programs is a MAJOR coupe. I’m more worried about what lies beneath.

Freehand vs Illustrator
The first tussle as far as I can see is the one between the vector drawing applications the new company has at it’s disposal. Both are in direct competition with each other. I’m a Freehand user through and through. It’s more lightweight than illustrator, I like the interface, if I need to make a quick draft and can’t be bothered to use Indesign, Freehand does pages for me. It was the first of the vector programs to provide 3D capabilities. Trace has been a feature for a while, as has the excellent hose tool, and the list goes on. I personally never warmed up to Illustractor. Nothing against the program which I know is very capable, but it’s just a preferance thing isn’t it. That being said something that brings both applications together would be great, although I fear one of the main reasons I actually learnt how to make Freehand sing for me was the fact it was lightweight. This is not something that Adobe seem to really care much about.

It’s completely freaky that this morning I was looking into learning more about the SVG format, as I like open source software as is apparent, and knew there was an alternative to Flash. This was something I’ve been pretty curious about, and since I’ve been working on Emmortel I’ve wanted to see what my options are. Why would you actively try and give a boost to the direct competition to swf when you own the bloody format. It made good business sense before to try and fight Macromedia and provide alternatives, but without any editors that are even half capable (I’m not talking for vector drawing I’m more interested in the animation side of things), this format will take years to bear fruit, if it ever does.

And then there’s Microsoft’s Flash alternative, which I can’t be bothered thinking about right now, Sparkle.

Dreamweaver vs GoLive
Honestly I can’t even see this as a competition. Dreamweaver is about 2 million times more accomplished than GoLive. Having said that, it’s one of MM’s heavier programs, which is to be expected with the amount of functionality it has at it’s disposal. The more I get into programming side of things the more I actually shy away from using DW. I’ve been using Notepad++ for most of my programming of late, with a little help from DW whenever I wanted to test something locally. GoLive should go away.

Fireworks vs ImageReady
Hmm as I only use IR when exporting jpgs to the web, and never got into Fireworks, I don’t really care much about this little battle.

The main thing I guess that will change eventually is the interface. Both companies have worked on this extensively. I guess they could have two views as with the current Macromedia stuff with two versions of view rather than one.

This whole situation kind of reminds me of the Sega/Nintendo battle of the early 90s. Anyone who was a Sega person as well out there knows what I’m talking about. I’m not thrilled about this situation as I’m sure most people at Macromedia are probably scratching their heads going, weren’t we meant to be their biggest competitors? Hell that’s what I thought as well. Apparently not that big. This is not a good thing for the industry as it eliminates that healthy competitive environment. There was a constant one-up-manship involved here and that will soon disappear the way of the dodo. Adobe’s Flash, damn I got the same feeling when I saw Sonic the Hedghog on Nintendo’s Game Cube.


  1. Nice writeup, but don’t you think Fireworks vs Photoshop is a more intresting matchup?

    Long time lurker, first time poster by the way.. :)

    1 Olav Bjørkøy
  2. Well as I cut my teeth on Photoshop, and it is the defacto standard, and for many many reasons I might add, I’ve never really been inclined to play around with Fireworks, even though I love Freehand. Dunno just seemed like not much of an attempt by Macromedia at the time, and I felt they should stick to what they’re good at, or even better at than Adobe. Oh and welcome, what took you so long to post :).

    2 Khaled