Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Adobe buys Macromedia. Lovely.

So now instead of two competing creative tool-making giants, there is now one.
Instead of innovation, we are likely to see extermination of the competing product, namely Dreamweaver will die so that the hardly-used GoLive will live. Freehand will die, so that Illustrator will live. Flash will live on (by sheer biomass), but the emphasis will be "How do we lock down content for big companies?" instead of promoting and supporting the virulent user-publishing community.

I'm not fond of Adobe as a company. They're so paranoid, they locked a Russian programmer in jail for six months for merely writing a program allowing blind people to hear their purchased eBooks. (It required breaking the pathetically simple encryption first). They added pointless and innefficient code to Photoshop to prevent people from scanning U.S. currency, without even LOOKING at it first. And they've crippled the full use of photos you've taken with the latest Nikon cameras, for fear of being sued by Nikon. (Though that's largely due to the stupid Digital Millenium Copyright Act and Nikon deciding to encrypt the white-balance information of your photo).

Apple has done a great job at stealing some of Adobe's thunder, having the advantage of being able to ship and promote their own software through their Macintosh line. But Apple is under a lot of pressure too, and despite their seemingly pro-user stance, they cripple software to please the media cartel policing forces. Of course, there's infamous Microsoft, which through their monopoly, user-end agreements, and business-strongarm tactics are able to force us to use bloated, slow, and even faulty and dangerous software without any real need to innovate.

I don't admire corporations anymore. For a number of reasons, the ecosystem they live in is too hostile. Even if a company is great for a time, the legal pressure to grow incessantly forces them to merge together, even if it's not good for the World or seems preposterous.
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posted by Brian at 10:54 AM


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