Microsoft to acquire Macromedia?

I hope this is just a rumor, but it seems Microsoft is considering acquiring Macromedia.

This is not good news for a number of reasons. If this actually happens, expect Flash to gradually become “optimized for Internet Explorer”, destroying its biggest strength, cross-platform compatibility. I don’t know how widely-used JRun is, but this might allow them to compete with Sun, at least a little bit, in the Java arena. ColdFusion will probably be phased out in favor of ASP.NET. Or maybe they’ll keep it around, but subtly sabotage the *nix version in an effort to move people towards Windows servers. By picking up Homesite and Dreamweaver, this would give Microsoft a good percentage of the professional web development market, which they barely touch now. This also gives them the graphics applications they need to compete with Adobe.

In a nutshell, this would give Microsoft significant control over all aspects of the web. Client-side: IE, Windows Media Player, Flash. Development: Homesite, Dreamweaver, Flash, Shockwave. Server-side: ASP, ColdFusion, JRun. It’s obvious why they’d want to do this, and equally obvious why no one else should want them to.

I use very few Macromedia products, including Flash plugins if I can help it, except that I do all my web stuff in Homesite (but I still think of Homesite as an Allaire product) and I’ve been thinking of switching to Dreamweaver because I’ve heard it’s got better XHTML and PHP support. I get this feeling of dread whenever something I like is bought by someone I don’t like.


hexed says:

Oooooh… this is Not Good if it’s true. That is, unless they just own Macromedia and take its profits and let it continue like it has. But we both know that wouldn’t happen.

I’m very disturbed by this idea as I’m all about Homesite and have become somewhat fond of Dreamweaver in it’s newest incarnation now that it’s got a more intuitive interface and actually writes really clean code. I do always end up going back to Homesite even when I start something in Dreamweaver, though.

I don’t dare imagine what will happen to these products if they buy Macromedia out.