Was Adobe’s decision wise?

The big news in the tech world today is that Adobe has bought Macromedia for $3.4 billion. Many people seem to think
that the two make a perfect couple, and complement each other in a
number of ways. While I suppose that’s true, I think this might be the
beginning of the end for Adobe and Macromedia.

The first article I saw on the acquisition was this one,
from News.com. It tends to focus on how Adobe and Macromedia are
“making peace”, so that they can compete better together against, who
else, Microsoft. Indeed, Adobe’s CEO Bruce Chizen said “When I think
about competitors, there’s only one I really worry about. Microsoft is
the competitor, and it’s the one that keeps me up at night.”

Until now, Adobe has been pretty dominant with its PDF format, and
Macromedia has been pretty dominant with its Flash platform. Microsoft
has largely left the two alone, even using both technologies. I
wouldn’t say there has been too much competition So here’s my question:
how does this merger HELP the two compete against Microsoft?

The Adobe acquisition of Macromedia is like a smoke signal.
Microsoft will see it, and all of a sudden, the new Adobe is on the
radar in a much bigger way. Who is Microsoft more likely to pay
attention to, two smaller companies, or one large one? Who poses a
bigger threat to Windows, Adobe, Macromedia, or the two combined?
People describe Microsoft as a ship that constantly changes course to
mitigate new threats. Really, they are more like a fleet of ships. I’d
imagine they’ll dispatch a few to deal with the new Adobe now.

I think Adobe and Macromedia make some excellent products, and it
would be very difficult for Microsoft to come up with direct
competitors. Visual Studio is far beyond Dreamweaver, but other than
that, Microsoft doesn’t really make any competing products. At least
not yet. It’ll be interesting to see what happens now, to say the
least. Best of luck to Adobe and Macromedia, but I’m not sure the
merger is the start of better things!

Read: Adobe and Macromedia