Adobe and Macromedia to Become One

April 19, 2005

When I first got on the computer Monday morning, I started to see reports that Adobe and Macromedia were going to merge. This seemed like it was just some crazy rumor so I went searching for more details. I found out it was real. You can read the press release.

OK, so it was more than a rumor. The first thing we all need to keep in mind is that it must be approved by both the shareholders of each company and the government regulators. Neither one of these will happen automatically.

Assuming that this merger does indeed happen, what does it mean to users of graphics software? We can only guess at this point and I’ll do my best to venture a guess.

Many of you are CorelDRAW users so let’s first look at what this means to the vector graphics landscape. There are three major players in Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW and Macromedia Freehand. I think it is safe to assume that features of Freehand would be merged into Illustrator and that development of Freehand would cease. Thus the big question is where Freehand users will go. Will they follow the merger to Illustrator or will they seek out an alternative? I think there is a good chance they will give CorelDRAW a strong look. So I think in this area the news could be good for Corel and its users.

Adobe Photoshop is the leader in image editing. Sure, there are many of us who prefer Corel PHOTO-PAINT because it is easier to use. Macromedia adds Fireworks to the mix but it more closely aligns with Adobe’s ImageReady. Corel also has Paint Shop Pro to compete with Adobe’s Photoshop Elements and Corel’s Painter has no equal. Again, I don’t see any damage to Corel from this merger.

Adobe has declared PageMaker dead. Framemaker is on its deathbed. Then again, Corel has more or less let Ventura die with their extended silence. Adobe has their full weight behind InDesign and Macromedia brings nothing to the page layout table. Unless Corel comes to their senses and gives Ventura new life, I see no change in this market segment.

Corel has no presence in Web development. Macromedia is the leader with Dreamweaver and Adobe has a contender in GoLive. My assumption is that Dreamweaver will survive and GoLive will go dead.

Macromedia has the dominant products in Flash and Shockwave. Adobe killed LiveMotion because they couldn’t compete. Corel has R.A.V.E. but it really is no Flash competitor.

There are more products for server development and video that I won’t discuss mainly because they have little overlap and Corel has no competitive products.

In the end, I don’t see this hurting Corel at all. It could give Corel a benefit as there is one less competitor. It could also awaken them to put out even better products to compete against this newly merged competitor. For all those predicting doom and gloom, I disagree. At this point, only time will tell.

Post Discussion


  1. Simon_66

    This is the first I’ve heard of it, I think it’s a bit scary as I use Corel and MM products, and only use Indesign because Ventura doesn’t seem to have a future, and Acrobat because there is no alternative. (If there is could someone let me know.)
    I find Adobe stuff waaayy too expensive.
    Corel stuff may not be affected, but I did like the independance of MM.

  2. Joseph Stamler

    In order to set the stage as early as possible to attract current Freehand users to CorelDRAW, I would suggest that Foster, Rick Altman, and anyone else who has Corel’s ear, strongly suggest incorporating into the next patch, service pack or upgrade to Draw 12 a Freehand Workspace option. This could then be promoted as a new “feature” making the transition to Draw much easier for Freehand users than the transition to Illustrator, just as the present Illustrator Workspace option makes the transition to Draw easier for Illustrator users.

  3. Brian M

    I think Corel has a slim chance of garnering any converts. I disagree w/ Foster on that point. The interface and usage of MM is much closer to Illustrator than to DRAW. The other short coming is that both Illustrator and MM run on both platforms Windows & Mac.

    What happened to Corel on that issue?!! One release of a Mac friendly version and then nothing. Well it will take some time and effort to get Mac users over but yes price will eventually be the reason. Give away a version of a scaled down Corel DRAW Suite on all new Macs. Then offer some discounted book or DVD/CD training from Altman or Foster.

    I agree that the Corel arsenal is petite, Ventura would have been a great product to put some horsepower behind but I think there is little vision and ingenuity behind the products right now.

    The last great one out there after this merger is Canvas. they have a really cool product and it is made for both platforms. If Deneba can do it so can Corel.

  4. Mike

    Just joined but am a user of Corel since almost day 1. I stopped updating at ver 10. I use Corel everyday on an XP Pro system Will upgrading to 12 offer me much over 10?

  5. tim delaney

    I have to agree with Brian M.

    At work, I’ll continue with Corel, but at home I use a Mac. I manage with version 10, but was quite disappointed with it and wondered whether I’d move to PhotoShop and Illustrator. If Corel came back to the table with competetive product that functioned correctly on the Mac, I’d continue to use it.

  6. Tom W

    I have used CorelDRAW everyday since its initial release. I consider it the Swiss Army Knife of software. If the general business community understood what a terrific business tool it is, they would require all employees with a PC on their desk to attend training classes to learn all the things they could do with DRAW. In the past week, I have used DRAW for personal use to draw plans for my new office, created an invitation for a dinner party, written several letters and drawn a layout for a picture framer to use. I have more than 100 templates for things like invoices, envelopes, letterheads, special labels etc. I have witnessed countless pitiful attempts to create brochures etc. with MS Word (ditto for Publisher).

    I have used DRAW to design just about anything for my clients that can be commercially printed. Of course, until the wide adoption of digital printing, I suffered the stigma of not being a member of the Mac community, but nowadays I supply printers with PDF or EPS files and never hear anything about Macs. That said, it has always been fruitless to attempt to convert a Mac addict to a PC or DRAW. Therefore, it stands to reason that the obvious market for DRAW is the business world.


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Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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