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Adobe/Macromedia Merger: Separating Fact from Fiction

MXDJ's Editor-in-Chief Talks Exclusively With Macromedia's Chief Software Architect, Kevin Lynch

Like many of you, I woke up on Monday morning to the news that Macromedia and Adobe were joining forces. As of 5:00 pm, I had over 230 e-mails with all sorts of wild speculations. Let's deal with facts and then I would like to add a simple editorial opinion (I will distinguish between them).

First of all, this is not a merger, but a PROPOSED acquisition for approximately $3.5 billion. It is NOT a done deal (I am using the capitalizations for a reason).

Both Macromedia and Adobe are publicly-held corporations. As a result, they are under the scrutiny of the Securities and Exchange Commission. These are the same good folks that put the brakes on Microsoft due to the dangers of US anti-trust laws (i.e., monopolies). Before this is a done deal, it must be approved by the SEC and then voted for by the stockholders of the two corporations.

While Macromedia/Adobe gives this process three to nine months, industry analysts I spoke with feel that is being overly optimistic. Also, there is a very real danger that the SEC could block the deal due to the dangers of anti-trust.

Assuming that all is goes as planned, Macromedia will cease to exist. Everything will be in the Adobe name and with the Adobe interface.

What does this mean for the MX product line?

I had a late afternoon telephone conference with Macromedia's Chief Software Architect Kevin Lynch. Much of the roadmap has not been laid out yet and, what little has been planned, cannot be discussed due to the due-diligence filings with the SEC. When I tried to pin him down to specifics, he and his PR person just responded with a scripted response stating that they could not discuss it or they did not know.

Of course, all of this was coated with a large amount of spin. I got the very distinct feeling that they have not fully assimilated all of this (at several points, Lynch used the words We and Us. When I pointed out that there would be no "We" or "Us" and just Adobe, he seemed to hesitate). They also said that the product development and release schedules would go forward as planned. When questioned about how this could be, they once again reverted to the script I mentioned above.

You now have all the facts. Anything else is mere speculation.

Now for my speculation (based on my own sources):

The desired products are Flash, Dreamweaver, and ColdFusion. The other products will be killed or merged into existing Adobe products. As Tom Green stated to me earlier: "this proves that we must be skill-centric as opposed to being product-centric." I would like to think that I could use my skills regardless of the product.

I will keep all posted as news becomes available. Keep checking here regularly.

More Stories By Charles E. Brown

Charles E. Brown is the former editor-in-chief of MX Developer's Journal. He is the author of Fireworks MX from Zero to Hero and Beginning Dreamweaver MX. He also contributed to The Macromedia Studio MX Bible. Charles is a senior trainer for FMC on the MX product family.

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