Re: Why should I be worried about the merger? What if?

Subject: Re: Why should I be worried about the merger? What if?
From: Bill Swallow <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2005 14:46:19 -0400


> I'll agree with you that there are plenty of other editing tools for PDF
> out there, however, none have even close to the market share that Adobe
> Acrobat has. And for what it is worth, Adobe continues to develop and
> produce newer "versions" of the PDF standard which don't always work
> properly with older versions of PDF. So PDF in-and-of-itself is a
> strange file format that CAN act peculiar if you don't use the version
> of software that created it.

Well, no, and I think you're confusing some terms here. PDF is a file
format, and yes, it is maturing over time to allow for increased
functionality within readers. But, you can use a new version of
Acrobat to create a older version-compatable PDF file. And of course
newer readers can open older files. But as for % of market share, what
does it matter that Adobe Acrobat has it (makes sense since PDF is
their technology) or some other company has it? Does it change the
fact that either can work with PDFs?

> I'm saying that software companies in general are in business to make
> money. So depending on their business plan, they either serve the
> shareholder first, or the customer first. We would like to believe it
> is the customer that is number one, but we all know that is not always
> the case. Software sometimes ships with bugs and some companies may not
> fix the problem if it would cost them too much money and cause a recall
> of product. They look at the bottom line.

Any company (aside from charity) is in business to make money.
Otherwise they wouldn't be in business.

> I believe that Open Standards tend to lend themselves to the best minds
> and best technology without the oligarchy of a business. XML basically
> lets you write your own markup language. Just as XHTML and HTML are
> considered subsets of XML.

And companies are leveraging that by building tools that use XML to do
stuff. Sure, these tools are proprietary, but the content you develop
can (in almost all cases) be burped out as XML for use elsewhere. So
yes yo uhave a proprietary application doing all this, but really it
boils down to whether you buy a pre-fab app or build a solution
yourself. Either way there's a cost, a benefit, a maintenance issue,
and the risk that the tool becomes obsolete.

> MSDN is one way, and that's a development program, not COTS software
> that may be in place for 10 or 20 years. Of course you could pay much
> less to develop for flavors of Linux, Unix, Solaris or Mac OS X. If you
> want to develop on a Microsoft Platform, MSDN is the ONLY way and YOU
> WILL PAY Microsoft. To be fair, hopefully you can make good ROI and it
> will pay off.

No, you can buy Visual Studio and other IDEs complete with the SDKs
you need without getting a MSDN subscription.

> There are different schools of thought concerning the how the electronic
> frontier conducts business. There is a threshold of pain that most
> people's purse strings can endure. The idea of adding an additional
> monthly payment plan can hardly thrill anyone, unless you can write it
> off your taxes.

It's not additional, and I fear we're drifting a bit off topic. But,
consider that maybe sometime in the future Adobe announces that you
can now get a Photoshop subscription for $45.95/month (just theorizing
here, folks... don't think this is informed by anything other than my
own imagination)... And compare that to the product price of roughly
$600. And consider that there may be updates/new versions on a yearly
or so basis. Does it really make a difference? Also, suppose you're on
a 3 month contract and need Photoshop... then would you rather get it
for about $140 for the time you need it or pay $600 for it and let it
go unused (assuming you use software for active work) for 9 months?

I don't see subscriptions as a bad thing. It's just a different model.

> To get back to the original topic, should I be worried about the merger?
> I don't think that if you are watching the marketplace and technology
> spheres to see what happens next. Be proactive not reactive (if you
> can). Develop transition plans and strategies just in case that company
> is no longer available in the future.

Exactly my point. :-)

> I think that both companies have been great (Adobe and Macromedia),
> providing many of the top notch applications I use everyday. I look
> forward to seeing results of the synergy that the creative labs of these
> companies offer us in the upcoming years.
>
> Just as someone had mentioned in this thread, "Who moved my cheese?"
> Even when you find the greatest cheese, you just better keep an eye out
> for more! :-D

Agreed. :-)

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References:
RE: Why should I be worried about the merger? What if?: From: Spitzer, Judd L

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