Friday, October 8, 2010


I was going to write about the secret of happiness, but the recent revelations about a possible merger between Microsoft and Adobe come first.

The New York Times reported on a secret meeting between the CEOs of Microsoft and Adobe to discuss how to contain Apple’s growing dominance in mobile devices. Reportedly, a merger between the two giants was one of the options considered.

Now the really interesting thing about this is that neither Microsoft nor Adobe has any credible mobile device. This would be like Häagen-Dazs and Fruit-of-the-Loom teaming up to take on Toyota.  Apart from Java Chip underwear, what have they got?  Sure, Microsoft has been trying to upset Adobe’s Flash supremacy with Silverlight, but that’s just Microsoft being Microsoft. Actually, Adobe attempted to do the same thing to Macromedia before they relented and took the “If you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em” route.

Microsoft has made several unsuccessful forays into the mobile device operating system game, the latest one being on the market for less time than the product announcement took. It seems that having smart phones run the same OS as desktop computers may not be as appealing as having smart phones that are useful.

As for Adobe, their presence in the mobile market is currently limited to having a few apps that run on various iThings. Adobe has re-invented itself more times than … well, than Apple. First they were the printer software company. Then they were the graphic arts and photo-retouching software company. Then they were the other document company (Xerox being the document company.) Then they were the rich internet applications company. Now they’re the rich internet applications and other documents company.

Wouldn’t Microsoft be better off marrying Google? At least Google has Android, the principal rival to Apple’s mobile software. Of course, a Microsoft/Google merger would be like a love affair between Glenn Beck and Nancy Pelosi.

And if Adobe’s going to sell out to some other giant, maybe they should consider Google. At least they’re both in the Internet applications arena. And after all, what are mobile devices but Internet browsers? Even phone calls these days are done over the Internet.

Anyway, what are they going to call this Microsoft Adobe hybrid? Microbe?

About that secret of happiness thing? Relax.

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