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.