Should Google Acquire Adobe?

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Think Adobe would be a smart acquisition target for Google? Allan Leinward of Panorama Capital, a guest at GigaOm believes so, and here are his reasons:

  • Google would acquire some great software in Acrobat, Photoshop and their desktop run-time environment (now called Adobe Integrated Runtime, or AIR).
  • Google needs Adobe Flash for is video : Google needs to own Flash because, as anyone who has used YouTube knows, this software is currently the prevalent method for playing and authoring Internet video.
  • Stay ahead of Microsoft (MSFT) : Microsoft has recently launched its own Internet video-authoring and production software, Silverlight; while will compete with Adobe Flash on millions of computers without the need for either a download or browser plug-in.

Do these reasons make sense? What do you think?

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • Chris Peters

    Why do you need to download the alpha of Silverlight then? I believe Silverlight is something that needs to be downloaded and installed…

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    Chances are Silverlight will come as a default install in future Windows PC’s.

  • Kent Schnepp

    Loren –

    I can understand why Acrobat and Flash would benefit Google, but I can’t see Google being interested in taking over an industry leading application like Photoshop. What do you think would be the main benefit to Google?

  • James

    You can’t be all things to all people, and Google purchasing Adobe would be a mistake for Adobe as a company, and for software users the world over. They should learn from monolithic companies like Microsoft who have tried to get their hand into every candy jar. When you do that, it seems, that they tend to lose the myopic focus that made the company great from the beginning.

  • Bashar

    If they do, first thing they have to do is work out Adobe load time. It’s terrible and got bad reputation.

    Flash is definitely a winner for them against Microsoft, and will heat things up

  • Sushubh

    google is not a software company in the end.

    and adobe has no software application that they can make free after the aquisition. 😛

  • Robert

    I agree with other comments, this would not server either company any good. To say that Google needs to own flash because of YouTube is just plain stupid. They don’t need to own flash, just use it.

    The two companies are in completely different areas of the tech market and combining them would only cause chaos.

  • Ansia

    Yes Robert, I totally agree with you. Google and Adobe are just two different things, there’s no need to put them together.

  • CT

    Google should buy Microsoft!

  • Rob

    What a foolish and borderline moronic concept. “buy flash cause youtube uses it” that makes NO SENSE!! if they had to pay royalties everytime a video was played, then MAYBE there’d be logic, but you’re idea is so far fetched.

    Yes, google has bought things like sketchup, but that helps push their google earth 3D side. Other then the flash player (not the whole scripting program) and acrobat, what good would softwares like photoshop, illustrator, after effects, indesign, golive, dreamweaver and/or premiere do for google? NOTHING…

    sorry to say, but google just needs to put out an Operating system already instead of buying up software to try and compete with MS. It’s not by having design tools that they’ll be in the same league….

  • Falcon



    What about google created an OS online? I mean google can do spreadsheet, word, and online drive like “GDRIVE”

    What if they would develop an Operating System Online.

    🙂 Maybe far fetch but not impossible for google.. What do you guys think?

  • Sushubh

    and you would run the ‘browser’ where? i guess you still need a real operating system.

  • Mark

    Dude know not very much about Adobe. Adobe is a massive player in the digital and print media sector, and I think that business would probably be worth more than their retail software.

  • Dan

    The future of computing lies in smart browsers rendering Web apps that aren’t as elegant or beautiful when written on traditional desktop platforms. Google needs to own that space. Adobe’s Flex 3/Flash/Air combo is light years ahead of Micosoft. Also, alone, Adobe cannot grow much larger. They must continue their M&A march or stagnate. Google’s should take a close look at Buzzword if they want to compete with Microsoft Office–Vista, and all other heavy OS’s will eventually be supplanted by browser-based windowing environment that runs Web apps both whether online or off.
    If MSFT buys Adobe, the lights will go out fairly quickly. Google is an advertising medium with some great Web apps, like Google Earth, but to penetrate the mass market, they need a platform for developing the next generation of beautifully rendered applications. Acquiring Adobe would also significantly extend their developer community.

  • Bob

    They are two companies focusing on different things, i don’t think the acquisition will benefit either company…

  • Rodrigo Romero

    I think it would end up being one of the best buys google could do (aside from buying RIM, Facebook and Wolfram-Alfa); however, Google could either focus too much on a market that is not their main goal or they could let slip a good market own by ADOBE.

    Acrobat, AIR,FLASH, FLEX are good tools to focus on for Google

    But Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Coldfusion, After Effects are not in line with their main goals and focus…sure they could become part of the picasa, sketchup, family and become WebApps, but this is an application market owned by Adobe…would google continue with this dominance and make profit from it? Would we end up having a type of tools by Google-Adobe? nice dream, but not likely to happen in the near future.

    Dont take me wrong i’d love this to happen…as would a buyout of RIM, Facebook and Wolfram Alfa