Is Microsoft Gunning for Adobe? I Think Not

By David Coursey  |  Posted 2005-06-15 Print this article Print

Opinion: David Coursey says that if Microsoft was going to war against Adobe, the assault would be more organized than it has been with Metro and Acrylic.

"So, whats this about Microsoft deciding it wants to compete with Adobe?" The question came from a friend of mine, a Mac user who knows I follow Microsoft. Like seemingly all Mac business users, shes also an Adobe customer. Any threat to Adobes Acrobat or Creative Suite would concern her greatly.
While I was aware of Microsofts recent announcements of the Metro printing architecture and Acrylic, a freehand drawing program now in beta, I hadnt really investigated them. But, I promised I would, and heres my report:
On the Acrylic front, I spoke with Forest Key, a group product manager in Microsofts developer organization. Its interesting that this graphics product is being managed by the same group thats responsible for Visual Studio and Microsofts other software development tools. That could change, of course, but a real desktop application would be expected to live in a different product group. The history of what is now called Acrylic might be helpful in understanding what Microsoft wants to do with the product. Formerly known as Creature House Expression, Microsoft purchased the Hong Kong-based company in 2003. My impression is Redmond wanted the programmers more than the product, which Microsoft has been giving away via a Web site. Read the full story on Is Microsoft Gunning for Adobe? I Think Not
One of technology's most recognized bylines, David Coursey is Special Correspondent for, where he writes a daily Blog ( and twice-weekly column. He is also Editor/Publisher of the Technology Insights newsletter and President of DCC, Inc., a professional services and consulting firm.

Former Executive Editor of ZDNet AnchorDesk, Coursey has also been Executive Producer of a number of industry conferences, including DEMO, Showcase, and Digital Living Room. Coursey's columns have been quoted by both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and he has appeared on ABC News Nightline, CNN, CBS News, and other broadcasts as an expert on computing and the Internet. He has also written for InfoWorld, USA Today, PC World, Computerworld, and a number of other publications. His Web site is

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