Mar 27, 2007

Adobe’s big multimedia software introduction

Written by Ryan Blitstein-Mercury News

Two years ago, after spending $3.4 billion to acquire Macromedia, Adobe Chief Executive Bruce Chizen told the Mercury News: “We are in a better position than any other software company in the world.”

Since then, the San Jose maker of Acrobat and Photoshop software has used Macromedia’s tools and talent to expand from the desktop to the Web, online video and mobile entertainment — and Adobe’s stock has risen from about $30 in early 2005 to $43.16 Monday.

Today, Chizen is poised to announce the final piece of that transformation: Creative Suite 3.

The new software includes 13 stand-alone products, six suites and almost 100 million lines of computer code, along with revamped versions of the bulk of Adobe’s creative-solutions products, which accounted for more than half of the company’s $2.6 billion in sales last year. Among those programs are digital-video-and-audio-editing Production Studio and line-and-shape-image editor Fireworks.

“It’s kind of like the Super Bowl,” said John Loiacono, Adobe’s senior vice president of creative solutions. “It’s our largest product launch in 25 years of business.”

An Adobe announcement said some versions of the new software would be available beginning next month, and others in the third quarter.

Until a few years ago, most of Adobe’s main customers, such as graphic designers or Web developers, each usually focused on a specific area of art or design. For example, someone who created print brochures or magazine layouts was unlikely to design Web sites. But now, wedding photographers post videos to the Internet and Web developers create games to be played online or on a mobile phone.

“People aren’t focused on a specific medium, they’re going across all media,” Loiacono said.

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