Adobe Buys Macromedia Matt 18 Apr 2005

45 comments Latest by ERE

Let’s get those comments in the proper thread: Adobe Buys Macromedia and gets ready to “do battle with Microsoft Corp. over the tools to create, distribute and manage content online.”

45 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Jon 18 Apr 05

As a long time Macromedia user (since the first version of Dreamweaver) I’m not too keen on the idea. Should be interesting to see how everything develops.

So that’s why Macromedia didn’t launch it’s annual “You should upgrade” because this product is a lot better than last years…

Nicholas 18 Apr 05

Does this mean fonts will work in flash now?

Tim Case 18 Apr 05

Adobe buys Macromedia in order to rid the world of Flash, CEO says, “We purchased Macromedia in order to discontinue Flash, we couldn’t take visiting another annoying Flash site.”

jar 18 Apr 05

To some, this bit of news might not sound like a big deal. I have been using products from each company for well over a decade and have watched them fight battles on the desktop publishing front years before taking their war online. And now… they are one… and it happened so quietly. Unreal.

Sean Tierney 18 Apr 05

at least now Freehand will finally be put to rest. it’s actually not a bad play- better than the scenario of MSFT gobbling up MACR. there’s a lot of room for integration opportunities between the two companies’ products.

Brian Oberkirch 18 Apr 05

There are probably any number of people with big ideas that aren’t going to get a fair hearing. With all the integration issues & organizational issues to contend with, I would venture that there are all sorts of potential new companies that will shake out of this. While the Borg tries to focus all these offerings, meet a wide range of needs, assimilate cultures, etc., all sorts of niche plays will bubble up.

Martin Alderson 18 Apr 05

I love Fireworks. I find designing in Fireworks so much easier than Photoshop; it’s unbelievable.

I would like to see some of Photoshop taken over to Fireworks but I expect they’ll do it the other way — some of Fireworks taken to Photoshop; leaving a confused product that doesn’t make much sense.

Chas 18 Apr 05

I prefer Fireworks too — save that it is a complete and ugly memory hog, as are most Macromedia products.

This is awful news all the way around, though. Adobe is a most greedy, thuggish company. We’ll see bigger bloatware and higher prices after this merger is done. Yuck.

misuba 18 Apr 05

More likely that ImageReady will be enhanced with Fireworks-ish-ness. I doubt much more web-focused functionality could be shoveled into PS without other users rebelling. (People do still design for media other than the Web, after all.)

And look on the bright side - at least after one greedy, thuggish company buys out another, there’s one fewer out there. :-)

Chad 18 Apr 05

It’s nice to hear that other people prefer Fireworks. While it is nowhere near as powerful as Photoshop, creating minimalist web design comps is somehow easier and more fun in FW. Sadly, I don’t think it’s going to make it through the merger.

I see them keeping the “Photoshop” and “Flash” names, but consolidating and renaming everything else. That way they can start fresh rather than worrying about the whole CS/MX naming nonsense. Just my guess.

Chris from Scottsdale 18 Apr 05

What about ImageReady? Who even uses it?

I’d be willing to bet they keep FireWorks and market it for web design. It’s a perfect package with Dreamweaver.

I’m wondering what will happen to the nice Macromedia web site and the huge customer focus it has compared to Adobe.

wayne 18 Apr 05

I too love Fireworks; and its integration with Dreamweaver is sweat. My experience with Macromedia has been nothing but positive dating back to their beginnings. Today’s news makes me sad. Has Adobe ever been open to user generated extensions of their software? I don�t know. I do think Macromedia�s customer base is comprised largely developers. It is definitely a different crowd.

The truth of the matter may be that Adobe NEEDS Macromedia. Adobe may own desktop publishing but when it comes to web publishing, they don�t get it. GoLive, LiveMotion, ImageReady, and the lack of a programming language bear witness to that.

We are, however, not talking about idiots. These are savvy business people who will no doubt make this thing work. As of now� we do not know how.

Gene 18 Apr 05

Indeed, Adobe has misfired for the past 4-5 years on the web front… they got the desktop publishing and photoshop is the best there is… but LiveMotion was a joke… adn GoLive makes my skin crawl… and somebody please explain to me just why they insist on cramming ImageReady in my PhotoShop… and why am I writing EverythingLikeThis?

d. 18 Apr 05

Maybe Flash will get a cue from After Effects and get a decent timeline. LiveMotion, although several versions late, worked pretty good as far as animating goes. Freehand rules. Or maybe they’ll merge Freehand and Illustrator, they’ll call it Frustrator!

nathan 19 Apr 05

Adobe is the worst: products too expensive, acrobat reader annoying and bloated, they had that Russian software guy jailed for pointing out the flaws in their ebook DRM, they sued Macromedia for petty UI similarities, and every “web” product they’ve released has sucked.

Macromedia had some problems but overall they “got it” and I agree with other posters here: Fireworks is just right for quickly making and turning around web graphics and comps.

&e 19 Apr 05

Adobe and MM have had gems and some real door stoppers in the past. I think Adobe is king of UI, while MM has (of late) embraced and empowered there customer base (extensions, employee blogs, newsletters, etc.).

Adobe has yet to realize Illustrator is crippled without the support of multiple pages (doesn’t look like it’s coming in CS2 either) and MM has really written (and released) some S-L-O-W software.

It will be interesting to see Adobe entering the realm of server-side technology as well as handling the languages of Actionscript and Lingo. Although, it isn’t widely realized that LiveMotion 2 (not version 1) actually kicked the pants off of Flash’s attempt at Actionscript - and I won’t even get into LiveMotions’ superior timeline (I guess I did). Although, Adobe was way too late to market with LM. Regardless, I am pleased with how far MM has pushed Flash into a real tool (not just animation) and without LiveMotion or any other competition.

GoLive is, for the most part, a joke. DW has to prevail here.

I would also guess that Flash Paper is dead, making way for continued PDF dominance.

Photoshop is second to none in photo editing (understatement), but for interface layout, I must say, I have been leaning heavily on Fireworks of late. Symbols, live objects, much better Vector support, grouping, ease of selection…. etc. etc FW is pretty slick, and unfortunately pretty slow. I really hope Adobe saves FW. I would love to see a perfect blend of the two, but I doubt that could be gracefully executed - even by Adobe. So, maybe PS and FW could focus on their strengths and continue as separate products. Dropping ImageReady of coarse - FW has web graphic production covered hands down as well.

Time will tell if Adobe rests on this treasure trove of creative software… let’s all hope that CS3 is really SUITE!

(could it be possible to just purchase one Suite for all things graphics - I kind of like that - I think)

Will 19 Apr 05

L-O-f’in-L @ claiming LiveMotion was in any way better than Flash, other than being built on an SVG platform. Wake up from your fantasy dream world and join the rest of the class.

monkey dancing shadow 19 Apr 05

Just to balance out all the adobe hating, I’ve been happily using imageready for years, to create everything from banner ads to site comps to finished site templates.

Why is it so much maligned? It’s the perfect end extension of the illustrator to photoshop workflow.

afox 19 Apr 05

GoLive is actually a very fine product. Not many people have used it. It’s coding features is excellent, it’s attention to detail is in general, excellent, and I personally like what they’ve done recently to make it feel like an Adobe app.

Peter Holloway 19 Apr 05

Interesting to read so many comments about Fireworks. The Dreamweaver/Fireworks combination is top class, and I, for one wouldn’t want to see it disappear. I’m more than happy to use Photoshop for print and Fireworks specifically for the web. Please, Adobe, don’t break the DW/FW product.

kk 19 Apr 05

It’s can be a interesting deal.. I want to see the new hybrid software.

Darrel 19 Apr 05

The last two major MM updates had been rather dissapointing to me. Plenty of unresolved bugs, feature bloat, etc. I think MM had run out of ideas…with the one exception being flash.

Adobe clearly bought Macromedia FOR flash. There’s all this talk about ‘flash on the cell phone’ which boggles my mind, but, whatever.

Coincidently, I wrote about some open source options earlier this week. I’m hoping this may give these folks a boost of support:

Darrel 19 Apr 05

Oops. Here’s a link.

&e 19 Apr 05

_claiming LiveMotion was in any way better than Flash, other than being built on an SVG platform. Wake up from your fantasy dream world and join the rest of the class._

Actually, upon some digging (this was like 3-4 years ago) I found a review on Sitepoint that concurs regarding my claim about LM…

bq. “LiveMotion 2.0 features full support for scripting that rivals (and in most cases exceeds!) the capabilities of ActionScript in Macromedia Flash!” it goes on, and they also refer to LMs more powerful and flexible timeline… for the full comparison take a look at

Regardless though, the point wasn’t which app is better, LM is dead. The point was, few gave LM a close look - maybe if more had, Flash might have been pushed even further. And _that_, is my fear of this whole acquisition - the potential of Adobe resting on its laurels.

Dean 19 Apr 05

As a longtime HomeSite text editor user (remember MM bought Allaire a few years ago…) I’ve seen this tool sink to the bottom of MM’s attention span. On Windows it’s beloved by many as “thee” text editor. I can only imagine that it will be “disappeared” once Adobe gets their hands on it…

One the other hand, I’m a Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign user so I think the rest of my toolset is OK for at least a while…

Megan 19 Apr 05

Argh, Dean, you’re right - it’s been sad how HomeSite has been neglected, even though for a long while it had so many advantages in helping create clean HTML over the bloated, messy code that the WYSIWYG tools produced.

Dreamweaver seems to have gotten to the point where most developers who are serious about good, stable design that looks and works well cross-platform and cross-browser will at least consider using it, but we still love HomeSite for our own work. Not really looking forward to switching, however… :/

pb 19 Apr 05

To see how a PDF reader should be integrated into the browser, Mac users should check Schubert|it PDF Browser Plugin.

MH 19 Apr 05

I used Golive at work back at version 3, when it was called CyberStudio and it was still owned by GoLive. UI-wise, it was a different approach than Dreamweaver (at version 1.2 at the time). And it was really extensible in that you could create new palettes with HTML & Javascript (I think MM later cribbed this for DW, but I could be wrong about the order).

It was a nice app when it wasn’t crashing. Which it did CONSTANTLY.

And the Javascript that it output was just…insanely cryptic. Not so much obfuscated as supergeneralized up the yingyang. Nutty German developers.

I bought my own personal copy of GL4 when it was released by Adobe—I figured, oh, they HAVE to have fixed the crashing issues. Nope. Near as I can figure they did a search and replace on the manual (a 400+ page monster) to change the product name, and changed the splash screen. I honestly coundn’t figure out what else had changed between 3 and 4.

pk 19 Apr 05

i am so ready for macromedia to be out the door. they were floundering in 2001. i was creative directing with a company which allegely had a “tier one relationship” they’d paid 300K for.

300K apparently buys you support (not free, that’s additional) launching sites built on products they’re going to discontinue immediately after they coach you in using (generator). they also a revolving-door policy with their own employees. so i never knew who would be managaing our relationship for, you know, the next three hours. god, they were awful to work with.

B 19 Apr 05

“Your tool sucks. My tool is better.”

Use whatever works for you. Make do with what is available. Final product says it all.

Paul Larson 19 Apr 05

Will the merger bring about some steep discounts on Macromedia products? In other words, is there an advantage in timing a future software purchase based on the merger? I rarely go for bleeding-edge version updates, but this might be a reason to keep our eyes open for some price reductions.

Darrel 19 Apr 05

To see how a PDF reader should be integrated into the browser

Brent 19 Apr 05

I’m not so sure the FlashPaper is dead, though it might be. I could see something like PDFlight or something that would replace FlashPaper but be viewed with the Flash Player. Or even make the Flash Player read PDF’s. Then you could interegrate your PDF’s into a page design… the world just got more interesting. (As if it isn’t enought already!)

Robert Morris 19 Apr 05

Whatever they do, just don’t allow Flash animations to be embedded into PDFs! =-o

smoothj 19 Apr 05

Flash animations already can be embedded into PDF’s. Nothing new. Just noone knows (or cares) about it.

Alex Juneau 20 Apr 05

The 4 main products that should stay:

Macromedia Homesite+
Macromedia Fireworks
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Illustrator

The rest… do what you want with.

Elliott Rosenthal 20 Apr 05

mate, you gotta add dreamweaver and flash to the above list!

Darrel 20 Apr 05

(Woops…my comment got cut off)

To see how a PDF reader should be integrated into the browser…

Who said it should be integrated? ;o)

pb 20 Apr 05

Not me. Although I do much prefer the PDF Plug In to Preview.

Paul Larson 20 Apr 05

Is everyone in agreement that Freehand should go? I personally use it all the time - mainly because my University used it in the CG cirriculum.

I’m so set in my Freehand ways I’d actually be sad to see it go..

Todd Warfel 20 Apr 05

Adobe seems to have owned the print world (minus Quark), but Macromedia clearly is the 800lb gorilla in the web world.

GoLive (when it was CyberStudio) really outdid Dreamweaver. Not long after Adobe took it over, Macromedia got with it and Dreamweaver has been the one to beat ever since.

We own both the MX Professional Suite and Creative Suite. We use Flash/Dreamweaver and Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign respectively. But we bitch and moan about the lack of underlining, bolding, and multi-page support with true mutliple masters in Illustrator - when is Adobe going to get with it? (perhaps CS3)

The biggest concern in my opinion is that MM did a really great job at marketing to get the Flash plug-in shipping by default with OSs and browsers and the development of the whole Dev community for Flash and Dreamweaver. This is something Adobe has never really been good at. One of the main reasons Quark still has such a stronghold on the market, despite their attempts to kill themselves with terrible service, is that they’ve built a huge development community for plug-ins. There are a significant number of companies out there whos workflow relies on a few plug-ins for Quark that simply don’t exist for ID and hence will never switch (until that’s addressed). Adobe just doesn’t do this well.

One other thing. MM has a history of observing how people are using (abusing) their products and running with it. That’s why Flash is what is today - an application development environment, not an animation tool (which is what LM really was). Adobe could bode well to learn from this and improve their products (multiple pages and masters in Illustrator…)

GUInaut 26 Apr 05

It’s all about Flex. What else is there to say. It is the future. With Longhorn on the horizon, this is Adobe’s ONLY shot at being competitive in the future of web-based applications — especially in the enterprise.