Karl's Corner: What next for Adobe?

June 22, 2006


Editor's Note: Formerly CEO of Planet PDF, Karl De Abrew is now the CEO of Debenu ( -- maker of the Quick PDF Library (formerly iSEDQuickPDF | QuickPDF) (, a powerful royalty-free PDF developer SDK, and Benubird Pro, the easy-to-use personal document management system.

ARTS PDF and Planet PDF are both divisions of BinaryThing

Obviously, Adobe has been much in the public eye lately, with the fresh developments in its spat with Microsoft over the latter's 'Save As PDF' functionality. Along with a decline in quarterly profits as Adobe continues to integrate former rival-cum-recent acquisition Macromedia and the recent departure of one of its more visible employees, former Macromedia CEO Steve Elop, this news has some Adobe-watchers and PDF pundits wondering about the company's future.

In his article for Mercury News, John Boudreau sees a storm of competition on multiple fronts brewing between Adobe and Microsoft, with Microsoft's pending creative design products and Adobe's continued push into the enterprise space. He sees Adobe's relative agility and loyal customer base as major advantages in the battle for the hearts and wallets of creative professionals and high-end PDF trade, but expects that Microsoft to take a significant chunk of the low-end PDF business.

I'm all for competition as long as it's clean -- which is by no means a given considering the players. It seems as though the ante has truly been 'upped', and it's worth noting that some consider that Adobe is to many of the smaller PDF players as Microsoft is to Adobe itself, at least in terms of scale and competitive attitude. One thing's for sure, though: we're in for one heck of a ride!

What do you think? Please drop into the Planet PDF Forum Talkback section and let us know your thoughts.

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