Re: Why should I be worried about the merger?

Subject: Re: Why should I be worried about the merger?
From: Lou Quillio <public -at- quillio -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 19:25:45 -0400


Bill Swallow wrote:

It seems many people are upset about the merger of Adobe and
Macromedia, and many seem upset that there are those of us who are not
upset.

I'm very curious as to exactly why this impacts you, the technical
writer, is such a negative way, especially given the announcement is
hardly 24 hours old.

I'm not upset. Where only the output format is mandated, I don't use the Adobe or MM tools, anyhow. Don't need or want 'em. Have replacements, thanks, good ones.

But quite often proprietary *source* file formats are a requirement. Typically such requirement is for the de facto 'soft' standards that Adobe has made a mint from. Then it doesn't matter if I can hand-code rings around Dreamweaver, wring a PDF out of anything, or produce standard raster and vector images six ways till Sunday with non-proprietary tools. If Word, Illustrator, Photoshop or Frame files are deliverable along with the finished output, I have to own those products. Current versions, too.

And I do. Just don't use them if there's any choice.

The Adobe/MM merger has been *long* anticipated. It had to happen for competitive reasons (think Microsoft). Nobody's surprised. The product lines will undoubtedly be collapsed, altered (proprietary) file formats promulgated as the new quasi-standards, and lip service paid to backward compatibility -- because exciting new 'integration' has been bestowed on the world.

But if you think about it, there are very few new features that anybody truly needs from these mature apps. 'Integration" is what we're offered when there are no more 'features' to devise. What's OfficeXP do that Office2000 didn't? Pitifully little. About five dollars' worth.

I've drawn a parallel between the integration of Adobe and MM and the integration its next line of products is sure to offer because they're the same kind of BS: neither integration seeks to benefit users (that's us), rather stockholders. Market penetration and proprietary file formats are the sole competitive weapons left to Adobe and MM (and MS Office, for that matter). They 'integrate' to leverage share and make those weapons more powerful. No matter what they say, that's what's going on. It ain't a conspiracy, just the natural sound of imploding markets.

The odds that the next round of AdobeMedia products will justify its price tag are slim. That workplaces and clients everywhere will pony-up and fall into step is likely.

Ain't nothin' but churn, product churn and workforce churn. Churn, baby, churn: disco in-churn-o. (sorry)

Hey, I'm only slave to these apps to the extent others insist; nobody cares less than me what befalls AdobeMedia -- on the merits. But I know what they're really up to, and I *will* be bugged if folks sucker for it.

Maybe -- just maybe -- this time we (and our meal tickets) won't.

Keepin' the faith,

LQ


ps. Anybody wanna know how to replace this stuff? Just ask off-list. Really ought to be writing about it.

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