Microsoft and Adobe are reportedly talking over the possibilities of a merger and the best ways to combat Apple, according to a posting on The New York Times' Bits blog.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Adobe CEO
Shantanu Narayen reportedly met at Adobe's headquarters to discuss the
possibility of Microsoft acquiring Adobe, according to a new report in The New
The two companies' executives also discussed the best way to battle Apple in
the mobile-devices market, according to unnamed sources paraphrased in an Oct.
7 posting on the Times' Bits blog
Adobe found itself under fire earlier this year when Apple CEO
Steve Jobs decried the performance of Flash, Adobe's software for displaying
rich content on Websites, on mobile devices. Microsoft intends to battle the
Apple iPhone with its upcoming Windows Phone 7, scheduled for launch Oct. 11.
Therefore, both companies have ample motive for discussions over how to best
antagonize their mutual rival in Cupertino.
"Adobe and Microsoft share millions of customers around the world, and
the CEOs of the two companies do meet from time to time," an Adobe
spokesperson reportedly told the Times
. Although that spokesperson did
not deny the meeting, they declined to comment on any possible topics of
discussion between the firms.
After Jobs publicly aired his reasons for banning Flash from Apple's mobile
devices, various competitors wasted no time touting Flash on their own products
as a competitive differentiator. For months, those companies-which include
Samsung, Hewlett-Packard and Research In Motion-have boasted of their
smartphones' and tablets' ability to browse "the complete Web."
However, the lack of Flash on Apple's mobile devices has not proven a
addition to Windows Phone 7 smartphones
, Microsoft is planning a series of
Windows-powered tablets that will compete directly against the Apple iPad.
Should Microsoft acquire Adobe, it would potentially allow the latter's
software to be integrated more tightly with products such as those tablets and
smartphones. Short of a merger, the two companies could certainly collaborate
on how to best bring Adobe's software to mobile devices competing against
In May, Adobe
offered eWEEK a beta version of Flash Player 10.1
, designed to offer
smartphones and other mobile devices the same Web browsing capabilities as
desktops, complete with streaming video and Website animations. In interviews
before that beta testing, Adobe executives told eWEEK that the porting of Flash
10.1 onto Android and other smartphone operating systems meant the brand was
still relevant, despite Apple's then-public denouncement of it.