Over the past weeks, I have heard many questions about the impending mergerof Adobe and Macromedia, and the most frequent one is, "What does this mean for the publishing market?"
The quick answer to this is "probably not very much." The merger makes obvious sense from a corporate consolidation standpoint, no doubt about that, but as for changes from the direct impact on the everyday reality of content producers, Im not exactly holding my breath.
The reason for this is simple: Macromedia and Adobe lived in almost mutually exclusive worlds. Macromedia dominates the Web market much as Adobe dominates graphic design and image retouching.
Both companies have powerful, successful brands and products, and neither one can really invade the others space in terms of market presence.
FreeHand has been losing market share to Illustrator for years, and is clearly not on a very aggressive development path. Likewise, Adobe GoLive, despite a strong feature set and strong integration in the Creative Suite, is in no position to pose a threat to Macromedias tools as far as Web development goes.