May 2, 2007

Designers Welcome Microsoft/Adobe Competition

Source: eWeek
Written by Darryl K. Taft

LAS VEGAS—Designers welcome Microsoft’s foray into the design tools space and the software giant’s competition with Adobe, because in the end the designers ultimately win, some design professionals said.

Indeed, designers said the increasing competition between Microsoft and Adobe is likely to lead to better technology and better values for designers.

Microsoft has been touting its Expression Studio suite of tools for designers at the company’s MIX 07 conference here this week. And designers weighed in on how they see the market changing.

“It feels a little clunky when Microsoft tries to reach out to designers,” said Lee Brimelow, a designer at Frog Design Inc., in Palo Alto, Calif. “It’s a little odd at first, but I really feel like they’re putting out some powerful tools.”

“They’re definitely battling with Adobe directly,” said Mark Ligameri, executive creative director at Frog Design. “But being the center of that battle is fun.”

Brimelow said Microsoft is only following its heritage. He said the company’s tit-for-tat attitude of announcing new functionality, products, pricing or gadgets to beat back a competitor “is what Microsoft and other tools companies did for developers for years, now they’re doing it for designers.”

That is nothing but beneficial for the users, he said. Meanwhile, Nick Petterssen, a product designer at Electric Rain, in Boulder, Colo., said the best part about the competition is “we’re all going to win. We’re going to benefit from the competition—it’s a great time to be an application developer.”

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