Should Apple buy Adobe as leverage against Microsoft?

“If Apple buys Adobe, is the operating system market up for grabs? It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see why. Borrowing heavily from Mr. Cringely’s terminology, there are several industry realities and stories, each having its own vector/trajectory that might lead one to seeing the importance of Adobe to Apple’s well being. Adobe owns key graphic sector applications. Meanwhile, Microsoft has a strangle-hold over Apple with Office for the Mac. Were Apple to buy Adobe, it would give Apple the leverage it needs to ensure Microsoft keeps making Office for the Mac,” John Kheit writes for The Mac Observer.

“Make no mistake, Apple is much like Blanche DuBois; it relies on the ‘kindness’ of Microsoft. At any given time, all Microsoft has to do to put Apple down like a sick pony is stop making Microsoft Office for the Mac,” Kheit writes. “Right now Microsoft will not do that for a slew of reasons, e.g., antitrust issues, Microsoft makes a boat load of money on sales of Office to Mac users, etc. Nevertheless, were it to become threatened as Apple transitions into more markets, Microsoft will not hesitate in pulling the plug on Office, and down the tubes Apple will go.”

Kheit’s “transitions” include:
• Apple’s ‘iWork’ office suite, which Apple is developing “at a glacial pace”
• Apple and Intel: the target is Windows
• Apple Media dominance: iPod+iTunes, potential future CE products

Kheit writes, “Were Apple to buy Adobe (and what the heck, maybe Quark), it would own enough key applications necessary to Windows users to thwart Microsoft. Should Microsoft threaten to pull Office from the Mac, Apple could then threaten to pull the Adobe products from Windows. This would be bad for both companies, and basically get them into a big ole game of mutually assured destruction (or at least mutually assured losses of revenue). Could Apple do this? Sure it could. Adobe’s market cap is around $17 Billion. Apple has well over $7 Billion in cash and its market cap is over $60 Billion. Apple has enough cash and stock for a buyout. And if Apple purchased a majority stake, the stock would soar for both companies; you might even see a dip in Microsoft stock. That would be a home run for Apple.”

Full article, an excellent, thought-provoking read, here.
Is Microsoft Office really that critical for Apple Mac? Seriously, would Apple’s Mac platform just up and die without future versions of Microsoft Office? Apple would have to stop doing promotions like this: Get Microsoft Office for up to 50% off when you buy a new Mac at the Apple Store, but doesn’t the Mac have a lot more going for it besides the ability to run Microsoft Office? Anyway, Apple would gain Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, Flash, etc. if they bought Adobe. It would be a blockbuster deal, that’s for sure. What do you think?

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Related MacDailyNews articles:
Adobe to acquire Macromedia in $3.4 billion stock deal – April 18, 2005
Apple and Adobe go to war – March 26, 2003
Adobe prefers (and promotes) PCs over Macs – March 24, 2003

113 Comments

  1. Adobe makes some good products. The real question is how much would it cost? Are they overvalued?

    As far as MS Office being ‘crucial’, I don’t think so – not anymore.

    A year ago, I would have agreed, but I have setup many Macs for friends/family in ’05 and MOST of them are MS Office free.

    They go with either OpenOffice or iWork. Office is critical for Macs in Business settings, but Apple isn’t exactly burning up the sales at Fortune 1000 companies, are they.

    Even with a 100% compatible MS Office for Mac, selling Macs at big companies is a tough sell. It shouldn’t be.

  2. “At any given time, all Microsoft has to do to put Apple down like a sick pony is stop making Microsoft Office for the Mac”

    This is idiotic. First off, Office as it is, is already a bloated mess, trying to be too much to too many. And Those that already have Office aren’t suddenly going to have to stop using Office is Microsoft cancelled support for it. The development community is way to adaptive to let something like this take much of a toll, if any. The only problem I’d see is with selling new windows switchers. There would have to be a compelling alternative, however since there is no need for one right now, there isn’t much of an alternative.

  3. I’d say it depends on what they’re doing with iWork inside Apple. If its nowhere near ready to work as a real office suite, and particularly if they don’t have a replacement for Exchange server coming along, then yes a game of MAD by buying Adobe would make aLOT of sense. (If it were me and I had the cash, I’d buy Adobe just to kill all the apps except for the products of the former Macromedia. But that’s just me. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  4. If Apple were to (fingers crossed) actually threaten Microsoft’s Dominance in the OS world, I doubt they COULD pull Microsoft Office. A move like that would CLEARLY be a monopolistic tactic and very much illegal. Yes/no?

  5. Yeh-heh-hehesssss, behold “John” the dipshit. I love seeing morons making fools of themselves — that’s why i gig on Conan. I love it. It keeps me young.

    But seriously, who de hell cares about what Gates and his rim jockeys think? Check it out with de D.O.J., write de check, and lock it up! Do what’s best for Apple, and screw de rest.

    Hey, it worked for Leno.

  6. Not only would Apple own Adobe but also Adobe’s new acquisition: Macromedia. Thus, Apple would control all of Adobe’s shitware as well as Dreamweaver, Flash, Contribute, and all the other wonderful Macromedia stuff.

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