Adobe Play Machiavelli

In a wide ranging interview with CNET.com, ADOBE CEO Bruce Chizen, identified Google and a horde of Web 2.0 startups as his major competition over the next few years and downplayed the competition with Microsoft – desite the fact that Infopath, XMP, Metro and WCF/E puts a bullseye on Adobes Acrobat line of PDF products. Ditto for WPF/E, Expression, and WMA/WMP as Photoshop and Creative Suite targets. And ditto again for XAML, Expression Sparkle/Blend, and a new animation designer in the upcoming Orcas version of Visual Studio that puts round circular targets on Adobe Flash. Oh and double ditto for Expression Interactive, ATLAS, and ASP.NET extensions in the Orcas version of Visual Studio making Dreamweaver and GoLive active targets too.

No no – Bruce is worried about Google and the Web 2.0 players. This may be a case of triage. Microsofts threats are the big thunderclouds on the horizon. Google and Web 2.0 companies are the windstorm now with such products as Googles Picasa 2(free photo editor), Googles Speckle 3D (free online 3D designer, filler tool), Googles YouTube franchise (video on the Web which needs a bolstered online video editor), and other Web 2.0 vendors such as Oracle and salesforce.com

Or this may be a bit of Machiavelli. Bruce knows that the fear and loathing of Google in Redmond is very high. So why not commiserate with Microsofties and even sign an agreement to have a WMP-morphs-to-HD format as a plugin for Photoshop CS3. Forget that Microsoft stymied for the past 3-4 years its direct competitor, JPEG2000, which is available from Adobe Photoshop and most other popular photo editors. Why ? No great financial loss for Adobe if JPEG2000 is scuttled; rather 2007 is the year that Adobe has to renegotiate the Flash player redistribution deal with Microsoft. And Adobe is anxious to get the new Apollo runtime on board Vista and future Microsoft OS versions in the embedded and mobile world. So play best friends with a more distant enemy and see what shakes out.


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