Adobe and Macromedia and Web 2.0

I’m relieved that Adobe’s acquisition of Macromedia is finally completed. Over the last eight months I’ve had a chance to get to know some of the key Macromedia people who are now part of Adobe, and I’m extremely excited about the new energy and expanded vision that they bring to the combined company, and the promise of the new Adobe playing a key role in the “Web 2.0” ecosystem.
One of the most exciting things is the broader perspective around “platform” mandated by our expanded set of solutions. At times the pre-Macromedia Adobe behaved as if PDF and the Adobe Reader client were the only game in town. Now, we have client technology that is more broadly proliferated than Reader (FlashPlayer) and the leading authoring tool for HTML (DreamWeaver). So our view of the overall platform necessarily goes beyond PDF and Reader, and IMO should help us keep PDF focused on what it was designed to do (represent a final-format paginated document), while applying other technologies (like Flash, Flex, and HTML) where they are more appropriate.
From the perspective of ePublishing, there are an increasing number of online reading applications that use Flash to provide a richer user experience without requiring a separate client download. While animated “page flipping” effects may seem gratuitous, anything that gives users an increased comfort level in reading digitally should not be taken lightly. When we were competing with Macromedia these solutions – including Macromedia’s own FlashPaper technology – gave us heartburn. Now, they are simply additional arrows in our quiver.