We have already called these two savvy media software vendors as bellwethers – the ones to watch for long term trends especially on the desktop where both companies have large franchises in Web, collaboration, and multimedia tools and software. And of course with the digital revolution occurring in photography, audio, and video helping to eat up CPU cycles and prop up PC sales or the need for cross platform, any device output and presentations or the growing role of eTraining/eLearning in fostering and promoting ever faster product cycles and institutional change – Macromedia and Adobe are “players” well beyond their revenue size in IT and computing.
Recently we have been looking more closely at the companies and their two major cross platform, multimedia delivery engines (quite a mouthful, simplified naming welcome in the comments), Adobe Acrobat and Macromedia Flash. There are surface similarities already implied:
-Both offer delivery of various multi-media content on many OS and hardware platforms;
-Both extend their reach to the fast expanding mobilephones, PDAs, and other smart devices;
-Both are available as free runtime engines primarily for web usage;
-But both offer stand alone runtime engines for use on PCs, kiosks, and other smart devices;
-Both offer great reproduction values carrying the fonts, vector images, compressed bitmaps and the display engine features and smarts to render a page very close to what was originally designed;
-Both offer a growing number of GUI form components and controls for expanded data entry;
-Both offer increasing data processing and interfacing capabilities through XML and APIs;
-Both offer easy creation of their respective media through redirected printer output;
-Both offer comprehensive editing of their media through visual development tools;
However, that said, we all know that Adobe PDFs are used for delivery of cross platform finished and archivable documents and Macromedia SWF are used for Web-based multimedia presentations and demos. After all, Flash SWF is hard pressed to match the printing controls and options available in PDF. And despite the improvements in Acrobat 7, it still does not fit in seamlessly on a Web page nor start performing with the quickness of Flash. Hey, but did you hear that the new Acrobat 7 now supports audio, video and animation objects? And did you know that FlashPaper 2 now supports bookmarks, outlines and hyperlinks ? Or text searching, selection, copying, and pasting ?
Come on now. These are mature and IT smart managements and companies. They are not going to get involved in a Shootout at Multimedia Corral. This is all the hairbrained hyperactive, malfunctionaing brain lobes of the Press – trying to conjure up false contention and rivalry where none exists. Look Macromedias FlashPaper 2 includes PDF as a featured output option. And Adobe Live Motion 2 features Flash SWF as the principal output option …. Nothing but the overactive, testerone laiden conjurings of a steroidically inspired WordPressman attempting to manufacture Shootout mischief.
There is nothing here.
…. however, Abobe has been cozying up to Microsoft lately offering more and more Windows exclusive software and features. With Adobe under its wings, Redmond could bulk up on multimedia delivery capabilities. And have a control/choke point on cross platform delivery of media. Or IBM could use a little juice in its Lotus division and Macromedia is doing some of the most interesting things in ELearning, eTraining, and collaboration software with Breeze, Captivate, Central, Flex, and the like. And IBM could tips the scales with Linux versions of Dreamweaver, Freehand, Flash, Fireworks, Authorware, etc.
Did you hear a Jack Benny-like “Now Stop That!”