Thoughts on Microsoft and Adobe

I was recently on the Fancy Tech Podcast and the discussion of Microsoft and the professional community came up. We discussed the Creative Cloud, Surface Pro 3, and using a Windows PC as a creative professional. While I am no creative professional, I do have several friends who do have Macs for various reasons and I do enjoy doing minor multimedia projects on my Mac including photo editing, podcasting, and home movie production. I work in IT and while my job does require me to be proficient with multiple operating systems, I do prefer the Apple ecosystem and hardware as a whole. I look at the whole experience and I enjoy my tech working together seamlessly primarily because since I maintain computers all day the last thing I want to do at home is fight my own computers. Those on Twitter know that I am in the market for a personal PC and in the process I have looked at Dell, Apple, Lenovo, and many more. In the process I have evaluated my software and other hardware to see how it will fit into things. Since photography is so important to me I have looked at Adobe’s Creative Cloud and it makes the idea of switching platforms easier.

I think that it would be a good move for Microsoft to buy Adobe. Adobe already has a cross-platform experience and Microsoft has a superior cloud that could take the Creative Cloud to the next level. OneDrive is a superior method for storing data and is cheap enough that it would make the Creative Cloud even more appealing. Right now Microsoft has no Adobe apps on their struggling Windows 10 mobile platform, but if Adobe were to rebuild their creative apps as full universal/Windows apps that could help bolster Microsoft’s struggling platform with creative types. Right now Microsoft has the productive software for information workers and programmers, but owning the creative software they could make a compelling case for individuals to go with the Microsoft ecosystem. Microsoft’s treatment of Office365 as a true multi-platform service (even at the cost of their own platforms) has shown that the company is comfortable supporting others. Throw in unique hardware like the Surface Pro 3 they could paint an interesting picture for a creative professional.

The biggest problem with all of this is Microsoft just doesn’t do a great job selling itself. It does a good job selling the Office, Azure, and Windows experience, but for years services like Xbox Music, Windows Live photos, and Zune have suffered from neglect. To be frank, Microsoft is terrible at marketing it’s creative side. Buying Adobe would only be half of the equation. They would have to work against years of Mac vs. PC ads and other mind sets to show everybody that Microsoft is a company that they can come to be the host of their creative work. They would need to show off their cloud hosting the data, their huge array of OEM devices catering to every budget and need, and their software ecosystem that runs on everything from a 4” smartphone to a huge multi-monitor production beast. I think that they could make a compelling case against Apple, the company rapidly evolving into a consumer electronics company at the cost of the professional market. Like I said earlier, I love My Apple gear, but I do believe in competition. A Microsoft forcing Apple to compete at the professional level would make things a lot more interesting for me. Right now I feel like Apple treats the professional market as a given and I think that’s never a good thing.

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