Microsoft and Adobe holding secret anti-Apple meetings?

Legion of Doom

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer snuck into Adobe to talk with their CEO, Shantanu Narayen, about how they could team up, cartoon villain-style, to take on the growing mobile power of Apple and one Steven P. Jobs. the NYT Bits blog says:

The meeting, which lasted more than an hour, covered a number of topics, but one of the main thrusts of the discussion was Apple and its control of the mobile phone market and how the two companies could team up in the battle against Apple. A possible acquisition of Adobe by Microsoft were among the options.

One person familiar with the discussion said the two companies had talked about the blockade that Apple’s chief executive, Steven P. Jobs, had placed on Adobe’s Flash software for its hand-held devices and whether a partnership by Adobe and Microsoft could fend off Apple, which continues to grow at juggernaut speeds.

Crazier things have happened in tech, so let us know what you think. Would Microdobe (Adobesoft?) pose a larger threat to Apple than either currently does alone? Could we see an Flash Phone 7? CS5 Office Suite? And how will previous Adobe best-fremeny Google feel about being left to third wheel l

[NYT Bits Blog]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Microsoft and Adobe holding secret anti-Apple meetings?


I think it would be a great idea if the two companies banded together, even if it meant an acquisition. Anything to fight Apple's viral expansion floats my boat. Monopolies are bad for consumers.

The League of Losers. Just try to imagine the mind-boggling scale of buggy, insecure bloatware they could create together.

Microdobe Creative Office Suite: updates automatically downloaded every five minutes, with forced reboots in between!

Let me tell you, I would love to have a buggy non working flash player on my phone. But if this happens then you would be able to buy two buggy non working right things for the price of one. There is a reason apple dosent do things other companies do and so far I can see why. Flash player on mobile phone for one.

Adobe creates an amazing creative suite of applications (except maybe flash haha). The thought of Microsoft acquiring Adobe to me means the end of those suites. Every creative aspect Microsoft chases has always failed miserably. I don't mind a partnership but an acquisition would not be in the best interest for Adobe.

@Dennis A monopoly? Are you serious? Since when was the iPhone the only phone or platform? I'm not sure if you've noticed but there is this thing called Android that's been giving this small thing I like to call "competition". I think there may be other platforms and phones as well. The name Palm/HP rings a bell but don't quote me on that. Oh, RIM and Microsoft ... almost forgot them.
Now when you talk about Apple having a monopoly, do you mean they went out and bought the board game? Because that would make much more sense.

Adobe seriously needs to get back to focusing on its actual products. This contact defence of Flash, a dead plugin architecture, by Adobe is just getting stupid.

@Dennis--Monopoly? A microsoft/adobe merger would be closer to a monopoly than Apple ever has been. They could almost exclusively shut own entire industries.

People - Remember, having a monopoly is not illegal. It also does not mean that there is no competing products in a given category, otherwise Microsoft could not have had a monopoly in the OS category in the 90s. Apple was nearing monopoly status with the iPhone...but that has changed dramatically in the last year.
It is also funny that a lot of iPhone users were begging for Flash on the iPhone until Steve said it was not good. That man can sure control a lot of minds and emotions.

I'm not worried over any Microsoft/adobe team-up for one simple reason: Microsoft can't innovate because it's a simple case of too many cooks on the kitchen. Every project is headed up by a committee of hundreds, and that's always watered down any one mans vision. Compare that to apple, what The Steve says goes, no compromises. Voilà, great products. Adding a sluggish Adobe to already sluggish Microsoft is just adding more people to the committee, and nothing will EVER get done.

Mark: When was Apple ever nearing monopoly status with the iPhone? They release products that fit right in established markets: iPod in the MP3 player market. iPhone in the smartphone market. iPad in the tablet market.
I don't think many people were begging for Flash on the iPhone and all of the sudden started hating Flash the next minute. Flash has always had detractors--Flash blockers anyone? I repeat: Flash has ALWAYS had detractors. By your reasoning, Android fans that used to hate Flash (you know, because it is annoying) appear to love it now, just because Apple spurned Adobe. Zoiks.

2007, oh look Apple made a little smart phone. It's cute. They will never sell. Apple go back to your macs, windows mobile is here to stay. 2010, holy crap, we have to do something about that darn phone. Let's get lawyers to stop messing with the drug companies, and sue Apple. We could jump on that bandwagon. Tell them they can't sell anything, iPhones ipads iPods. Opps that has already been done. Guess they should have noticed Apple in 2007, and made better products to compete.


I’m not worried over any Microsoft/adobe team-up... nothing will EVER get done.

Soooo, you're not worried about Adobe never getting anything done? Do you even know what Adobe is? :roll:

I have to LOL at this. Having been a Windows Mobile user for years before I switched to iPhone, I can tell you that the WORST place to get Microsoft products supported properly is on their own OS.
Compare the Windows Live offerings on Windows Mobile 6 and the same offerings on iOS.
Fastest way to kill off Adobe Flash as a mobile standard, or to bring it to the iPhone is to let Microsoft control it.

Rene asked how Google would feel about this alleged Legion of Doom. They could care less. That's why Sprint will be offering what essentially be a "Yahoo" phone running on Android (although Google said from the beginning if Yahoo wanted to make a Yahoo phone, they would be ok with that). Not to mention, if it wasn't for Android allowing Adobe to even make a case to present/share with Microsoft, we wouldn't even be talking about this.
There's more going on here than what's being let on. Silverlight competes directly with Flash. So the real question is: Why would Microsoft want to deal with Adobe even in the mobile space unless the goal is to remove the competition.

Another STUPID report from fan-boy Rene. We understand you love your apple products. But, that does not mean you have to let steve jobs jizz on your face every night. You are the worst editor/writer on your planet. Go get a real job. fag

considering you can't be bothered to proofread your own post ("an Flash"? "fremeny"?) i would just consider this piece of work yellow journalism.

@Tallbuva (#25): I'm certain you meant they couldn't care less.
your position is that google doesn't care. therefore, the way to express that is to say they couldn't -- could NOT -- care any less. saying "they could care less" is the opposite of what you (and others) mean when using this phrase. think about the meaning of words you say, instead of just mindlessly repeating what you hear. :-)

While living in our Apple bubble, let's not forget Microsoft is STILL a far bigger and more powerful company.
Plus it's business. Business competes. This is not illegal. Live with it. I'd sure prefer this to a government controlled market.

Who care's about flash anyway I spend most of my time trying to keep away from flash if they can't stop my MacBook pro from crashing why in the hell would I want my phone to start doing the same?
Flash has been out for year's and only now they want to try and fix it because apple has made a phone and people are going with out it you want to cry like baby's ( they won't let us on they phone to make it suck)