Friday, April 04, 2008

Anyone? Creative Suite Market Poaching Season

Is there a cold war going on between Adobe and Apple? Recent skirmishes seem to be heating up an already rocky relationship. First that whole, "Flash isn't good enough for iPhone" bit from The Great Jobs, which no one has really independently and technically disputed (at least not that I know of). Then we have a huge shot across the bow from Adobe that their next Creative Suite will not be going 64-bit on the Mac, but will be 64-bit on 64-bit Windows (which has a miniscule market share), at least not until CS5 (latest version is CS3). Can you spell out performance penalty?

Talk about wasting all that Mac Pro Octa Power.

John Siracusa's Rhapsody and Blues takes us all through the historical and technical detail. Apple has for years made public that Cocoa is the future of software on the Mac, and perhaps because of financial reasons, Adobe has kept their software on Carbon.

Dirty minds of course will have to raise the question that this maybe some kind of bargaining, and negotiating ploy by Adobe. And ultimately posturing between these two companies. Apple for one rides its high-end hopes with its stable of creative users. Adobe on the other, full of pride knows this and would like better treatment. "No flash on iPhone? We won't give you 64-bit Photoshop on Mac."

John Siracusa pointed out that porting of Photoshop to Cocoa will be the largest port ever. Which, ultimately translates to dollars spent on developers. No company wants to do that, not when you can keep on working out using the same old technology. Makes business sense for the bean counters over at Adobe. But wait! Doesn't Adobe charge such premium fees for their software suite and has actually mimicked Microsoft's very confusing product line, which isn't really differentiated?

Adobe is setting its sights on webapps, especially with these moves like Adobe Air and Photoshop Express, which is online image editing. Perhaps it doesn't really see any substantial growth in the Creative Suite department. Call me "old fashioned" but there are somethings that WebApps aren't good enough to do. Not yet anyway. Maybe in 10 years, we can really see some amazing webapps that can give desktop apps a run for their money.

The choice that Adobe has made by procrastinating on delivering 64-bit on Mac could be a bargaining ploy, a negotiating tactic. Or it could very well be a shortsighted business maneuver by bean counters. It would take a lot of resources to do that port.

Over the years, Adobe has grown into this huge global enterprise. It is the Microsoft of the creative suite business. Who comes remotely close to Adobe? None. No one. Books to creative professionals have made businesses around Adobe software. It wasn't like Mac users haven't been paying Adobe in the recent years not just in dollar sense but in free advertising.

It will be pointless though to raise the idea that Apple should put Adobe out of their misery, considering how poorly Adobe is executing of late. It just wouldn't be good business sense to splurge Apple's WarChest on such an endeavor. It would be far simpler and far easier for Apple to simply break the glass on its use-only-when-Adobe-goes-too-far plan. Even if Apple doesn't have some silent blacker-than-black-ops photoshop-killer-software around, throwing a few million dollars from the War Chest to make one wouldn't be too big a deal, would it? Come on Mr. Oppenheimer, please crunch the numbers and tell Steve, "yes oh, Great One we can make this happen, money is not a problem".

Cult of Mac on the other hand is speculating that Apple could buy Corel. On a closer note, Corel is cheap but their suite of Applications already collides with Apple's existing product line: iWork. Apple has nothing to gain with buying into Corel. Heck, it could probably gain more by buying Pixelmator, which is already a good basic photoshop replacement. And with the right investment, that little photo-editor that could, could be an excellent foundation to build a new professional photo-editor replacement for photoshop.

I argue, throwing money to write software from scratch will probably serve Apple better going forward. Apple already has iPhoto, Aperture. It already has the basic building blocks not only in experience building the said products but in technology found on OS X.

The entire Creative Suite marketplace not just on Macs but on Windows and Linux as well is ripe for the taking.

Apple will still be selling Macs and iPhones and iPods even if Adobe brings out less than ideal software. Apple's business isn't tied directly to Adobe. This disaster by Adobe to deliver less performance on an already substantial investment doesn't screw Apple, it screws the loyal users of Adobe software who have helped build the creative suite business that Adobe is currently enjoying a substantial market share. Even if Apple doesn't enter the creative suite business, this space is ripe for an assault. If only to give Adobe a run for their money. They've been complacent and arrogant in their market position. However it goes-- Apple or a third party like Pixelmator must rise to compete!


Nick said...


Nick here, from,

I've been following your blog for a while now. And your writing, it has become some of my favorite to read.

I'm currently inviting a few Filipino Bloggers to a collaborative blog. And I am hoping you can join the team.

It's a natural progression, as we have grown in number, we are continuing to lend a more credible voice to the issues of the day.

We launch in two weeks. And in this first round of invitations, I'm only handing out around 7-10.

I hope you can join the team.

please email me with your response as soon as possible, so we can set this up.

If you want to take a sneak peek, I'll email you the url. (I can't reveal the url as of yet, since we haven't completed the registration of the invited bloggers, and our launch date is still two weeks away)

email: nick at