Microsoft and Macromedia?

by Steve Anglin

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From TheServerSide: "A computerwire article reports that 'Microsoft Corp is believed to have trained its acquisition crosshairs on Macromedia Inc, lining up a deal that would throw enterprise Java into a spin.' Macromedia has built its Flash and Coldufusion server platforms on top of J2EE which provides an entry point into the J2EE world for flash/coldfusion programmers. A Microsoft acquisition of Macromedia would inevitably see Flash, and Macromedia's other cross-platform tools, tailored purely for Windows and .NET."

This may be Microsoft's best opportunity to truly enter the multimedia market for its Windows OS. As far as the enterprise aspect, such an acquisition could also be a play into the Java arena given a recent anti-trust court ruling requiring Microsoft to carry Java in Windows. Macromedia's JRun J2EE container would be key in this instance; however, Microsoft is certainly not giving up on .NET.

Don't forget about Microsoft's potential interest in acquiring Borland as well. However, given that Borland is the only other significant Windows tools vendor, my take is that such an acquisition would eventually be blocked by the U.S. FTC. I guess we'll see.

Happy Holidays!

What do you think of these potential acquisitions?


2002-12-27 17:30:21
M$ and MM
It would be a match created by the devil himself. M$ has yet to express concern for creativity on the enterprise level unless it brings in more money for their .NET enterprise system.

Macromedia, at last, has squandered its acquistion of Allaire's Cold Fusion and turned it topsy turvey with the latest endeavor in java programming. Even Ben Forta has reservations.

In view of the court decision against M$ in favor of Sun Micro and its 'java' platform, this seems a belated effort by the megapolis firm to run another platform down the tubes, but who can forecast the future....

CF has a substantive following of creative users and programmers, some of whom spell much better than myself. It appears they will be sorely disappointed if such an acquisition goes forward and we/they are all forced to shove our code into ASP, which, by the way, is alright in small bits, but truly lacks substance overall.

It reminds me of the good old days, when Studebaker had bright white 'hawks' driving down the roadways of the nation, and their owners were common people with enough grit to get out a brush and some soap and keep their vehicles clean and bright, waxed and ready for the next trip.

M$ reminds me of the days when I worked undercover and drove big rigs for Uncle Sam, pulling into truck stops in mid-America where most of the vehicles had never seen the inside of a truck wash, much less an owner with concern over appearance. All they wanted was their .30 cents a mile at all costs, and the rest of the world be cursed.

Somehow, in all of it, the truckers were at least concerned enough about the public to stop and help when one of their own had a problem along the road. M$ doesn't even seem to have that much going for its company these days. They remind me of many of the drivers who only gave lip service to others on the CB.

I'm proud of the fact that I got to put some of those jerks in prison.

Gates is without doubt a bright young man, and has done many good deeds in his short life, charitable, honorable, honest deeds for mankind.

If his firm acquires CF and the related MM software, I sincerely hope he realizes what a jewel he has in his hand, a diamond in the rough that can be cut, polished, and made to sparkle in the bright sun of this world. All of us like to see a 'hawk' running down the interstate, with the wind in its radiator, humming joyful tunes through the old tube radio.

2002-12-27 20:41:04
why buying?
why should MS buy MM? much easier: just giving MM the money for integrating .NET into the MM-tools...

look how quickly MM jumped on the wagon when intel gave MM the money for including intel 3D-technology in director... (look how many 3d-shockwave application exists on the web... obviously intel was one of just few peoples wanting the 3D-features...)

2002-12-28 00:50:20
Still the same old rumors...
The same rumors keep surfacing from time to time, usually near the end of a quarter. One of the oldest example is avaialable here:

2003-01-30 08:33:52
this could be a good thing
I may be the only developer in the world who thinks that this could be a good idea - or at least not the final triumph of EVIL EVIL EEEVIL .

MS's product lines actually tend to be more open and extensible then MM's. Their standards compliance is better and the overall quality of their development tools and language design is superior. With the MX series MM has begun to proprietize significant areas of development. Their Communications and Remoting servers are based in closed protocols / formats. And they've begun to compete with developers in the emerging market for Flash MX components. MS is quilty of similar sins , but I'd argue that their proprietorship has usually been leveraged to enhance interactions among their product family rather than to lock off such interaction completely. The net result of an acquisition would likely be to make Flash and other MM products more open , extensible, and standards based.

If Flash were a native MS technology it's likely that we'd finally have robust mechanisms for extending the Flash Player. This would make Flash more viable as a UI layer within desktop apps and generally enhance the usability and security of browser based Flash apps , largely by integrating the player natively within IE.

The downside is the likelyhood that the development of the Flash authoring environment and player would become increasingly MS-centric , reducing the portability of Flash web apps. The player is heavily MS-centric already.

I don't regard MM's use of J2EE as a good in and of itself , so adapting CF for .Net doesn't really bother me. Frankly CF is a bit too Fisher Price for me.

of course much of the protest surrounding this issue may also be inspired by the fact that most flash developers couldn't survive an influx of .Net programmers into the market for Flash apps.

2003-02-21 09:06:15
Better Future for Flash
It cant get any better for Flash to be owned by MS than any other company. With ms enabling its products and technologies standard's based, i think ms will not make flash bound to only windows. It is clear that they will not provide Flash support for Java as Macomedia does but it is competiton and I dont blame MS for that.