So here I am this fine afternoon pondering the recent news of Adobe buying Macromedia in an all out stock transfer worth about $3.4 Billion. Honestly, I was quite surprised by this announcement and I know many other people were, but really did anyone really see this coming? To me, it seemed like an episode right out of the “Twilight Zone.” Strange as it seems, the deal is done, the duck is in the oven, and the dog is out for the night.
In the end of the day, after all is said and done, I really have to wonder what this means for our current selection of applications from both companies. Much of Adobe’s portfolio doesn’t really overlap with Macromedia’s with the exceptions of 2 applications, 2 from each company that is. Those applications would be GoLive and Dreamweaver, as well as Illustrator and Freehand, and now that I think of it, ImageReady (which is included with Photoshop) and Fireworks pretty much do the same thing, so make that 3 applications that overlap. So what’s to become of these programs? Would Adobe just trash the Macromedia’s applications that do the same thing as their own? Of course they won’t, they wouldn’t be that stupid, they’ll simply integrate the best parts of both applications to make one Super Awesome? application. Here is how I hope things will play out:
Adobe will realize that Dreamweaver is the superior program. They will make minimal changes to the program aside from giving it a new name, making sure it generates valid code if one were to use the preview pane to assemble a simple site, and give the interface a little lift by the way of changing the “Insert” panel to something more along the lines of the Photoshop toolbar but they will keep the properties panel.
Illustrator will not change, visually at least. There will be a number of tweaks to how the program’s code operates but visually it will be the same program. Freehand will more or less absorbed by Illustrator. And copying and pasting from Illustrator to Flash will actually work without doing weird things to the paths.
Fireworks is for “creating and optimizing images for the web” and Adobe already has Photoshop for image creation so that part of the Fireworks is useless to them, all that will interest them will be the optimization part of Fireworks, hence ImageReady will pretty much remain the same, once again there will be a number of code tweaks and improvements, but visually it will stay the same.
I could also see things working out another way. Adobe will change Dreamweaver, Freehand, and Fireworks to visually look like their current products. Fireworks will be incorporated with Photoshop Elements, then GoLive, Freehand, and this Fireworks/Elements hybrid will be marketed as a consumer product, while offering Flash, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, and the rest of their portfolio to professionals.
When it all boils down, one thing can be certain, the future holds some interesting events for the design community. All we can do is hypothesize, wait and watch.
I, for one, welcome our new design overlords.