The Blogosphere (man I hate that term) has been bursting with news of the Macromedia acquisition by Adobe. Some interesting theories have been raised about the rationale behind the acquisition – mostly revolving around consolidating multimedia tools around Flash.
In my opinion, I think this is less about end-users and more about the Enterprise. The innovations that are happening on the web are not fueled by breakthroughs in visual design, but rather the delivery of information and application interfaces. From Silicon.com:
From Adobe’s perspective, the acquisition of Macromedia’s tools for authoring multimedia content also bolsters its standing in the business market. The combined company can offer a fuller suite of cross-platform products for building document-oriented applications and ‘rich media’ web applications. It can also offer Macromedia’s collaboration products.
“The enterprise market is absolutely what this is about,” said Robert Markham, principal analyst at Forrester Research. “It’s really broadening Adobe’s capability to compete in the enterprise as opposed to having off-the-shelf packages.”
The audience for Adobe and Macromedia’s software consists of so-called creative professionals, such as web designers and graphics artists. But the companies are also seeking to expand their business with corporate technology departments.
As to whether the merger ends up being a big’ol mess as a result of egos and territorial thinking, that’s anyone’s guess. Unfortunately, there’s plenty of opportunity to lose focus. Macromedia had a great cohesive story across their products. Only time will tell if Adobe helps realize it, or dilutes it.