Microsoft and Adobe: sitting in a tree...

By Richi Jennings. October 8, 2010.

Steve Ballmer (Der Tommy @ Picasaweb)
Is Microsoft about to buy Adobe, or are they just dreaming up a Barney announcement? Their respective CEOs have been spotted getting close; what could Steve Ballmer and Shantanu Narayen possibly have to talk about? Are they just their enemies' enemies, or is there some deeper meaning behind the talks? In IT Blogwatch, bloggers think the unthinkable.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention IE6 GPF oops...


Gavin Clarke reports:

Wall St was excited to learn that Adobe's Shantanu Narayen and Microsoft's Steve Ballmer had convened a secret, hour-long meeting. ... Topics on the table were ... how the pair could team up to battle ... Apple's control of the mobile phone market.


A possible acquisition of Adobe by Microsoft was also discussed. ... There's long been talk of a Microsoft purchase of Adobe, but ... there are too many anticompetitive hurdles blocking that deal — a least on the PC.

  Nick Bilton wonders what they talked about:

[We] learned about the meetings through employees and consultants to the companies ... all of whom asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly.


Randal C. Picker, a professor of law of the University of Chicago, said ... that the technology landscape was drastically different now and that an acquisition or partnership of this nature would likely not be halted.

  And was Nick Farrell builded here?

The dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hell on earth yarn. ... The word on the street is that "boss of the year" and serial chair chucker Steve "sounds of silence" Ballmer has been wining and dining ... Narayen.

 You can take the information with a grain of salt because the rumour comes from the Apple press office, or New York Times as it is sometimes called.

  Chris Nerney looks back:

Remember the beating shares of software maker Adobe Systems took last month after it gave a revenue warning? ... Shares tumbled from about $33 to below $26. ... [But] this afternoon ... [the] stock soared as high as $30 per share on rumors that ... Ballmer recently dropped by ... to chat with ... Narayen.


Shares actually had hit a 52-week low Thursday of 25.45 before responding to the Microsoft rumor.

  But Preston Gralla thinks "an acquisition makes no sense":

It won't help fight Apple. ... After all, Flash runs on Android 2.2 phones, and Google didn't have to buy Adobe in order to make that happen.


It won't help fight Google. ... Adobe has no special expertise in search, Web applications, or online ad delivery. Microsoft needs to be worried [about] Google Docs ... but Adobe is no help there, either.


It will be a major distraction. ... Combining two large companies with different cultures takes a major effort. ... Right now, Microsoft executives need to focus on competing against Google and Apple.

And Shira Ovide thinks Google would be a better partner for Adobe:

The search giant has established itself as the counterweight to Apple’s smart phone dominance. Microsoft, by contrast, has gone nowhere fast. ... The lion’s share of Adobe revenue comes from software like Photoshop and Dreamweaver. ... Google’s engineering heft could help [here].


On the flip side, Adobe’s Omniture, which tracks when people click on online ads, can help Google with its ambitions to be the biggest seller of ... search ads online ... [and] banner ads on computers and phones.

Meanwhile, Michael Collado notes the pachyderm in the place:

Adobe and Microsoft are somewhat rivals. Most notably with the Flash versus Silverlight battle that is currently taking place.

And Finally...

Classic IE6 "effect" ported to HTML5
[hat tip: Andy Baio]

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon