Adobe, Macromedia Make One Interesting Couple, Er Company


Macromedia's Flash players are nearly as ubiquitous as--dare I say Windows? IE? Pretty damn close. Ditto with Adobe's PDF format and Acrobat readers.

In ancient times—say eight to ten years ago—Microsoft took on Adobe in fonts with its freebie TrueType. More recently it launched its anti-aliasing display technology, the name of which escapes, but which was the subject of big Comdex hoo-haw a few years aback.

Now Microsoft's got Metro—or it will have it when Longhorn ships. Metro is Longhorn's printing capability that promises to let users print out documents, files, whether or not they have the application that created them.

Asked whether that was an anti-Adobe move, Windows client product manager Greg Sullivan said only that Microsoft was reacting to customer needs and wishes to be able to print out documents with a high degree of fidelity.

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So there's the printing thing with Metro, attacking one Adobe flank. Then there are hints within Longhorn's graphical shell that it's also taking on Adobe in display technologies. The "Virtual Office" capability to come with Longhorn sometime in the future, will allow even non-Microsoft documents to be previewed on screen, according to Greg Sullivan.


For those who just can't get enough Microsoft WinHEC news, here's a good Engadget interview with Bill Gates on Microsoft's consumer efforts. This guy asks some good questions.


"What's up with these weird dinosaur Microsoft Office commercials?" one of my many bosses demanded to know this morning. These bewildering (her opinion) spots have apparently inundated major consumer media. Sadly unaware of them, I immediately googled and found several references to them. From what can be gleaned here, the ads depict users of older Office versions as dinausaurs and gently nudge them to get with the (new) program. How Office XP, 98 etc. users will feel about such depictions is open to debate. Isn't it a tad risky to ridicule customers for using your own albeit slightly aged product?

If these search results are any indication, Microsoft and its agency of record had better run, not walk, back to the drawing board.

Microsoft's mega-million-dollar campaigns for the last several years --since Windows 95 Start Me Up in fact—are living proof that money can't buy happiness, or even good ads.