Apr 13, 2005

Scenario 1: The Domino Effect

Source: Digital Media Designer
Written by Kevin Schmitt

Editor’s note: while the story is about Apple and the newly announced Motion the story has far reaching implications regarding Apple and Adobe relations. We’ve excerpted the salient bits for Photoshop users and Adobe watchers, but we recommend you read the entire article.

Scenario 1: The Domino Effect

“For the purposes of this scenario, let’s assume the worst about Adobe; namely, that they’re feeling spurned by Apple and that they’re looking for any excuse to standardize as much of their codebase as possible on Windows. There have been enough indications over the last year or so to at least lend some credence to that assumption, from the whole “PC Preferred” debacle to Premiere and FrameMaker being dropped to Encore DVD being written from the ground up a Windows XP -only product. If I’m Adobe, and I’m looking at Apple releasing a competing product that is at a price point way below my product and is quite likely to cannibalize future sales, then bam! There’s my excuse.

I may be thinking of making the next full version of After Effects XP-only. And if I’m me, which I am, I don’t like that prospect very much. Why? Because it’s hard to tell where the line will be drawn. Does Adobe decide that Apple has it in for them, and that it’s just a matter of time before Apple offers it’s own versions of Photoshop , Illustrator, or InDesign? Adobe might be inclined to let the current CS versions of those products languish indefinitely while development continues unabated on the same programs over on the Windows side. That may be pushing things too far, so let me climb back up that particular slippery slope and just leave it at “Adobe takes their After Effects ball and goes home” for the moment.

From there, things really start to snowball. For the sake of argument, let’s put ourselves in the shoes of someone like Discreet . I have absolutely no information on the relative success or failure of a product like Combustion 3 on the Mac, so I don’t have any “real” data to work from here. But bear with me here: I’m Discreet , and I’ve seen Adobe drop the Mac version of After Effects . I may actually see an increase in Combustion sales, at least in the short term, from users that have invested in the Mac platform and are looking for an established and mature product. Now that After Effects is out of the picture, I may be getting looks I may otherwise not be getting. But in the long run, I’ve got to look at the big picture. Motion is out there, and $700 less than my product, and likely getting more capable with every update. Can I afford to slash the price? How many sales do I have to lose before it’s not worth it to keep the Mac version alive? It’s not very hard to see a scenario where Combustion goes Windows-only as well.”

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