Venture Chronicles has an article detailing why Apple should acquire Adobe. I say “hell no”. No offense, I’m a longtime reader of the blog.
It just doesn’t make any sense unless you’re looking to buy Adobe and Apple stock to sell off after the merger announcement.
Apple Should Focus on the Platform
The last thing Apple needs is a multi-billion dollar portfolio of software products to maintain. It’s already a major undertaking to provide not only OS X but the polished Cocoa API and Objective C that keeps developers for the OS X platform happy.
Can You Say Creative Monopoly?
Apple already has a suite of products geared toward the creative professional be it music or photography or general web content creation. Do we really want Apple to own the whole spectrum of digital creation? Even with their skill at making great software products, certainly not me. We need the competition.
Too Much Code Cruft
We’ve all seen the storm of words flashing with practically every Adobe product that’s been around. Even Adobe Reader takes forever to load with all these mysterious APIs being loaded and a truck load of names listed under the product names. Adobe products still take forever to load too (even the new Universal Binary version of Photoshop takes a bit of time to load).
These Adobe products have been developed over decades and for cross platform compatibility. There’s a boat load of code there that wont go away without being rewritten. Investing in a code base like this would probably present more risks than opportunities for Apple. It’s a multi-billion dollar behemoth with a long history.
What About Windows?
The fact is over 90% of the world is still Windows. Do we really want Apple to own a major chunk of windows software (I’m a mac user by the way). Despite their best intentions, I doubt Apple will be as diligent with the windows version. Most of the code is ready built for Windows so an acquisition by Apple might take it in the opposite direction.
Is it Worth Billions of Dollars?
From a monetary valuation view, sure but maybe not for Apple. Integrating Adobe’s culture, getting familiar with the codebase, and handling the sales will dilute Apple resources and may bring both down like the HP/Compaq merger. Such large scale mergers rarely make sense unless your a bank.
All in all, if Apple acquires Adobe or any large software company, they’re in for a nasty surprise and a rocky road ahead. Not only that, they run the risk of alienating the diverse, wonderful third party developers happily cranking out great stuff for the mac platform.
Of course, all this is hypothetical so there you have it.