Adobe CEO Chizen: Apple has no plans for ‘Photoshop Killer’

PC Magazine Editor-in-Chief Michael J. Miller recently had the opportunity to talk with Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen about open-source software, the Macintosh and the software scene. Here are the Apple and Mac-related questions and answers:

MM: Obviously most of your applications run on Mac, to some extent, fewer now than it used be to because you’ve pulled back in some cases because Apple was in the space.

BC: It didn’t make sense to compete against Apple.

MM: How is the Mac platform doing in the corporate space from your perspective?

BC: When you look at our overall revenue, or percentage of revenue, we get somewhere between 22% and 25% of our business from Macintosh customers or software that runs on the Mac. If you factor out Acrobat and the server products, our Mac business has stayed relatively strong, which is good news. And I believe, at least what our customers are telling us and what our revenue is telling us in terms of mix, that those loyal Macintosh users, continue to be loyal to the Mac. What we don’t see are a lot of graphics professionals moving over, back from Windows to Macintosh, but those who are on Mac, because of all the great things that Steve [Jobs] has done, are sticking with Mac. Most of our customers are telling us they have plans to move to G5 this year, which is good news for the industry and good news for us.

MM: What about the applications, like Premiere, like Photoshop Album, things like that, that aren’t currently available on Mac?

BC: The two major applications that we chose not to do on Macintosh were Premiere and Photoshop Album, and basically for the same reason: Apple already had an offer, and it doesn’t make sense for us to take our resources and try to compete directly with them, where in effect they either give away the software or they have a competitive advantage that it doesn’t make sense for us to try to compete against. And in the case of video, they’re tied into Quicktime, they’re tied right into the hardware. It was easier for us to focus in on Wintel and try to produce a more compelling solution. In the case of Photoshop Album, they give away iPhoto free. Why compete with free? So, the good news is, Apple’s serving its customers. So the customer is not getting cheated out of it, and we get to, in effect, produce a better product for the Windows customer, that doesn’t have Apple producing software for them.

MM: Clearly in the video area, you had a product before Apple did. They came in; they did a nice job, no question. FinalCut is a very nice product. Are you at all worried that they’re going to do that for Photoshop, or something like that?

BC: Michael, if you look at a category like digital imaging, or now even layout, Adobe has such a strong position in a market that’s been around for many years. We continue to innovate, and I’d be surprised if Apple tried to compete with us in those areas. Apple has told us that’s not their intent, and I don’t believe they will.

Full article here.

24 Comments

  1. High end digital imaging isn’t something the average Joe is going to do, so it doesn’t make sense for Apple to waste time making an app to compete with the likes of Photoshop. All the image editing a regular person need is or will be built into iPhoto.

  2. rageous – high end digital video isn’t something the average Joe is going to do either – but Apple made Final Cut Pro, bought Shake, DVD Studio Pro, etc – and have made profits. Regardless, I’d lose all respect ffor apple if they did make a “photoshop killer”. Ray’s right when he says we need a standard in the mac/windows community.

  3. i’d bet if you factored out acrobat pro, more like 40% are mac users. I see WAY more macs in print and broadcast design now then ever, well over 3/4s of are Mac in Detroit. Apple has no business competing with photoshop – even the very term “photoshop” has become part of American lexicon. i have clients tell me everyday – “can you fix it in photoshop?” Mr Jobs would never want to compete there. even with crappy premiere gone (who uses that for pro video, anyways?), adobe has jumped in with InDesign, which is a really nice product.

  4. lets face it, Adobe rode on Apple’s QT and then would not add any compelling Mac only products… so Apple showed them what innovation is truly about… but read the writing… Adobe is getting into bed with Gates…. what’s the bet they start privileging WM formats!

    Off to watch my fav movie with a title dear to my heart: Kill Bill ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  5. Well, The reason Apple doesn’t have a Photoshop killer is because there’s no good imaging program (potentially up for sale) for Apple to buy and rebadge as thier own.

  6. What we really need is an alternative to Word and Excel, or just a better version of AppleWorks.

    In the UK, we cannot get AppleWorks for PC and move our school over to that, not at all, nada. Can’t even buy it with the US Dictionary!!!

    I don’t know why Apple don’t just buy up Nisus and Mariner’s offerings, improve and repackage.

    my 5p’s worth

  7. I agree that Apple should not compete in Photoshop market now, but I disagree with the reasons posted here. Why does Apple have no business trying to take over Photoshop market? Why should Apple not get in it to keep your respect?

    Apple is a business. Decisions should be made in terms of profit for their shareholders, advantages for their consumers and the company’s well being. It won’t be the first time Apple enters a completely different market (iPod, anyone?) or competes with a popular software (FPC). Would anyone suggest that it’s not Apple’s business to enter the browser market since IE rules that market anyway? As for standard, it is not software standard (as in all softwares should look and do alike) we need, it is format standard that we need, preferably open and license-free standard (ugh, I sound like one of those /.-ters). As long as the format open, then companies can compete of feature sets and performance on different levels (low end to pro). This argument also works for office suite. There are examples of multi-platform softwares already but some of them can’t compete because of the need to be compatible to a proprietary but popular format.

    Apple should keep Photoshop in mind in case Adobe fails to deliver. Has anyone notice that Adobe’s software performances on Macs are not what it is used to (and then boasted that PCs are faster)? Chizen does not seem to be a reliable ally to have and Apple would do very well to be prepared if and when it happens. Apple would be irresponsible not to.

  8. The average joe doesn’t use the majority of the features in Final Cut Pro yet Apple created it. So the argument for that just got deep-sixed.

    The reality is that Photoshop is just IMHO WAAAY more complicated than putting something like Final Cut Pro together. Apple already has technologies related to digital video, what do they have related to digital imaging?

    It just wouldn’t make sense.

  9. Shoot! I knew I should have preview it first. Sorry for the typhos and the grammatical errors (if you notice them ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”raspberry” style=”border:0;” /> )

  10. “Apple already has technologies related to digital video, what do they have related to digital imaging?” – Chomper

    They could start with open source projects such as GIMP.

  11. “BC: The two major applications that we chose not to do on Macintosh were Premiere and Photoshop Album, and basically for the same reason: Apple already had an offer, and it doesn’t make sense for us to take our resources and try to compete directly with them, where in effect they either give away the software or they have a competitive advantage that it doesn’t make sense for us to try to compete against.”

    In the case of FCP, that competitive advantage would be what,… hmm… lets think,….. It works great, everybody wants it (even average joe 6pack) and once it came out no body would even give our product (premiere, remember) a side ways glance.

  12. The average joe doesn’t use the majority of the features in Final Cut Pro yet Apple created it. So the argument for that just got deep-sixed.

    Not really, since the average Joe doesn’t have FCP on their mac. Apple has been in audio/video editing for some time, but not in the desktop publishing arena.

    these are very different fields.

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