Microsoft and Adobe developer/designer death match

I was just adding stuff to my linkblog, cause we missed our plane to Greensboro (got another one that leaves at 1 p.m., we’ll be spending the night in Chicago) and I saw a couple of things that got me to write about the coming Microsoft/Adobe developer/designer death match.

Both Microsoft and Adobe are readying their armies for a massive fight with each other next year over both developers and creative professionals.

Microsoft fired its big gun with the Visual Studio 2005 vs. Dreamweaver page. But, don’t count Adobe out of this fight yet, this is only the first battle in a multi-year, multi-billion-dollar battle. I was over at Adobe yesterday and they have some major things coming next year that’ll play off of Adobe’s strengths and take the battle back to Redmond.

Looking at Microsoft’s list it’s interesting to note what’s not there. Some things that come to mind?

1) Video. Adobe’s Flash is what YouTube used. Microsoft doesn’t have a good video story anymore because it pulled out of the Macintosh, which is where a lot of video folks spend their time.
2) Web standards. Yeah Visual Studio supports most of them, but weird that they didn’t call that out. For designers this is the #1 most important thing whenever I hear them talking at conferences or on blogs.
3) Integration into print workflows. Adobe’s strength is its Acrobat franchise. That came from print fidelity. Things look the same on screen as they do in a magazine. Microsoft is just getting onto that bandwagon with Windows Vista printing. Also, because Dreamweaver rarely sits alone, but as part of InDesign and Acrobat, it has a strong print-centric workflow (ask Printing for Less’ CEO what designers use to create printed items and he’ll tell you largely Adobe software).

So, you can see how Adobe and Microsoft are going to attack each other over the next year. Adobe comes at it from design/video/print/layout. Microsoft will come at it from the programmer’s point of view. Tools. Protocols. Source code control. Debugging.

You’ll see both shoring up their offerings where they are weak. Winners? Both designers and developers who’ll have a raft of new tools and approaches to choose from.

Oh, and me, cause I’ll be videotaping this battle from both sides. :-)

Some of the battlefields where this will be decided on?

1) Security. Who can make it easier to build secure corporate systems. For instance, what happens when your laptop is ripped off? Does Adobe or Microsoft protect your corporate data there?
2) Openess. Which systems really will be most extendable and usable on all platforms. Important now that Apple has been gaining market share again.
3) Collaboration. Which systems let disperse development and design teams work together best?
4) Faithfulness to original creator. If you shoot a photo and on one system it keeps its color integrity, no matter where it’s displayed or printed, and on another it doesn’t, the one that’s faithful will win.
5) Blog-centricity. More and more corporate systems are going with blog-centric content management systems like Moveable Type or WordPress. Even big ones that you might not expect. Neither Microsoft nor Adobe has gotten on these bandwagons yet, but this will be a more important point over time.
6) Multi-tenant system development. More and more of our Web data, especially inside corporations, will be stored on multi-tenant systems. Salesforce.com shot its big guns off with “Apex” which is a toolset to make it easier to develop systems that’ll reside on dozens or hundreds of servers. Watch for Adobe and Microsoft to help developers build these systems too.

Anyway, what do you think? Will designers move to Microsoft? Will developers move to Adobe?

Oh, and Ajaxian points out that we can’t write off Google or third party companies in this battle either.

83 thoughts on “Microsoft and Adobe developer/designer death match

  1. Please. Microsoft is as synonymous with quality design and development as the heiress Hilton is to Mother Teresa. Like always, companies like Google, Apple, Adobe, and Legions of Development Boutiques will bound into new frontiers, and M$ will characteristically buy or steal the most successful ideas and innovations, rewrap them in the grotesque M$ packaging and marketing sewage we’ve all come to expect from these idiots, and trumpet to the unknowing masses of Joe Public that they’ve innovated yet another technological advancement. Idiots buy into it. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat. Period.

  2. Please. Microsoft is as synonymous with quality design and development as the heiress Hilton is to Mother Teresa. Like always, companies like Google, Apple, Adobe, and Legions of Development Boutiques will bound into new frontiers, and M$ will characteristically buy or steal the most successful ideas and innovations, rewrap them in the grotesque M$ packaging and marketing sewage we’ve all come to expect from these idiots, and trumpet to the unknowing masses of Joe Public that they’ve innovated yet another technological advancement. Idiots buy into it. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat. Period.

  3. I like to see both Adobe and Microsoft reduce their license cost to half. I would buy both because either of them can replace the other. However, it is much easier and faster to build static site and sites used other open sources like PHP in Dreamweaver.

  4. I like to see both Adobe and Microsoft reduce their license cost to half. I would buy both because either of them can replace the other. However, it is much easier and faster to build static site and sites used other open sources like PHP in Dreamweaver.

  5. John wrote: Any “designer” who knows Publisher and not Indesign and/or XPress will not be hired at any design firm, nor will he/she be given any freelance work from any major customers.

    Agree with John. Most problems with Publisher are at Press stage. Related to color calibration and management etc. Publisher is for desktop printing.

  6. John wrote: Any “designer” who knows Publisher and not Indesign and/or XPress will not be hired at any design firm, nor will he/she be given any freelance work from any major customers.

    Agree with John. Most problems with Publisher are at Press stage. Related to color calibration and management etc. Publisher is for desktop printing.

  7. I forgot to mention that Microsoft has been busy with Xbox360, Development of Vista,Office. It’ll be a fun day with the release of vista,office. They will probably gain profits from the security sector.

  8. I forgot to mention that Microsoft has been busy with Xbox360, Development of Vista,Office. It’ll be a fun day with the release of vista,office. They will probably gain profits from the security sector.

  9. Thanks John for Responding.

    Scoble forgets that he doesnt even KNOW how to use Visual Studio or anyother software microsoft made unless its a browser. how much does MSFT make off of VS? last time I checked its like 700Million, does that include cost of dev? I dunno but its nothing compared MSFT.

    MSFT would have a better time buying media companies like music companies and monopolize the industry. there for you have Apple,YouTube and mostly alot of power leverage.

  10. Thanks John for Responding.

    Scoble forgets that he doesnt even KNOW how to use Visual Studio or anyother software microsoft made unless its a browser. how much does MSFT make off of VS? last time I checked its like 700Million, does that include cost of dev? I dunno but its nothing compared MSFT.

    MSFT would have a better time buying media companies like music companies and monopolize the industry. there for you have Apple,YouTube and mostly alot of power leverage.

  11. Orbit: Because you asked about Publisher in comment #32.

    Many of the people who write stuff – Expression etc – do not actually use creative type apps for a libing and do not understand teh intracasies, just as teh people who do use creative type apps haven’t the foggiest idea about builing databases.

    MS’s poor execution of Publisher and any other creative type apps they’ve introduced – none ever being accepted in the pro design industry because they performed – would not bode well for future acceptance.

  12. Orbit: Because you asked about Publisher in comment #32.

    Many of the people who write stuff – Expression etc – do not actually use creative type apps for a libing and do not understand teh intracasies, just as teh people who do use creative type apps haven’t the foggiest idea about builing databases.

    MS’s poor execution of Publisher and any other creative type apps they’ve introduced – none ever being accepted in the pro design industry because they performed – would not bode well for future acceptance.

  13. how is Publisher even being compared here. First Scoble goes “Expression, the Adobe Killer” ,once he isn’t getting paid by MSFT its .. “Goo Goo Adobe,,Yay Adobe”. If msft sells it for cheaper than it can take marketshare away from adobe but I havent used the products only when they first came out.

  14. how is Publisher even being compared here. First Scoble goes “Expression, the Adobe Killer” ,once he isn’t getting paid by MSFT its .. “Goo Goo Adobe,,Yay Adobe”. If msft sells it for cheaper than it can take marketshare away from adobe but I havent used the products only when they first came out.

  15. Orbit: Publisher is very,very bad for professional page layout – causing all sorts of problems at the press stage. It is simply not used in the professional design industry. The vast majority of publications will not accept Publisher created ads due to the many problems. MS itself has stopped trying to market it to the pro design/page layout market and now pushes it for laying out in house publications to be run off normal laser printers.

    Any “designer” who knows Publisher and not Indesign and/or XPress will not be hired at any design firm, nor will he/she be given any freelance work from any major customers.

  16. Orbit: Publisher is very,very bad for professional page layout – causing all sorts of problems at the press stage. It is simply not used in the professional design industry. The vast majority of publications will not accept Publisher created ads due to the many problems. MS itself has stopped trying to market it to the pro design/page layout market and now pushes it for laying out in house publications to be run off normal laser printers.

    Any “designer” who knows Publisher and not Indesign and/or XPress will not be hired at any design firm, nor will he/she be given any freelance work from any major customers.

  17. Bess, My College recommends Publisher highly. I don’t know much about these print shops but why would they laugh if a client needs something done. different clients have different requests.

  18. Bess, My College recommends Publisher highly. I don’t know much about these print shops but why would they laugh if a client needs something done. different clients have different requests.

  19. It is about what the shirts upstairs want built for the corporate operation.

    http://www.marketwire.com/mw/iwprf?id=171625

    If the servers are IIS, the applications are going to have to run on that platform. Simple as that.

    There isn’t “a” developer market – as though the people writing web-based application backend code are suddenly going to jump onto the Photoshop/Flash bandwagon and vice-versa. Also, a graphic design studio is a very different animal than a web design firm, and neither look like an application development shop. Apples and oranges? More like apples and differential equasions. Different kinds of businesses need different kinds of tool sets.

    I don’t see Adobe slipping among the visual design group, though if it kills the Home Site product it will lose a lot of hand coders. Conversely, I don’t see MS losing many programmers. The buzz may be video, but the dull fact is that for every splashy YouTubey kind of site you see, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of small, not-for-public-consumption web-based apps with minimal multimedia and a heck of a lot of daily use.

    FAW

  20. It is about what the shirts upstairs want built for the corporate operation.

    http://www.marketwire.com/mw/iwprf?id=171625

    If the servers are IIS, the applications are going to have to run on that platform. Simple as that.

    There isn’t “a” developer market – as though the people writing web-based application backend code are suddenly going to jump onto the Photoshop/Flash bandwagon and vice-versa. Also, a graphic design studio is a very different animal than a web design firm, and neither look like an application development shop. Apples and oranges? More like apples and differential equasions. Different kinds of businesses need different kinds of tool sets.

    I don’t see Adobe slipping among the visual design group, though if it kills the Home Site product it will lose a lot of hand coders. Conversely, I don’t see MS losing many programmers. The buzz may be video, but the dull fact is that for every splashy YouTubey kind of site you see, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of small, not-for-public-consumption web-based apps with minimal multimedia and a heck of a lot of daily use.

    FAW

  21. As a web developer and designer (I work with .Net,HTML/CSS/JavaScript,Flash and XML) I work with VS2005, Frontpage and TopStyle at work, and Dreamweaver and TopStyle at home. Based on my experience using Microsoft products(VS2005, Frontpage 2003 and Expression Designer) and Adobe products (Dreamweaver, GoLive, etc.), both companies have a long way to go before they can convince designers and developers to jump ship from their current favorite platform to the other side.

    For example, both GoLive and Dreamweaver have weaknesses in their coding workflow:
    - No JavaScript code insight (Frontpage has it, and it beats using the O’Reilly reference sidebar)
    - Weak Accessibility, Validation tools (VS validates webspage on the fly based on the DocType you select)
    - Clumsy integration with server-side tech (even the free VS web developer edition comes with an ASP.Net 2.0 web server built in, so you can test dynamic pages on the fly).

    On the other hand, Microsoft’s web development tools show that they still don’t truly understand the web design process:
    - Jumpy interface (try switching from a C# page to an HTML/.aspx page to a CSS page. Painful.)
    - Limited HTML tools for basic tasks such as inserting images. Eg.Dreamweaver inserts the dimensions of the image and a relative path. Frontpage inserts a file:/// path at times, and VS doesn’t insert anything but the IMG tag and path to the image. Whether I’m working with a few images or many, that can easily double the time to develop a single page.

    There’s more, but too much for a blog comment. Currently, I’m using a combination of VS2005,TopStyle,Frontpage and who knows what else to design and develop my websites, because there isn’t one tool that can do both design and development really well. And I’m tired of it. Enough with the NIH attitude. Get on with it.

  22. As a web developer and designer (I work with .Net,HTML/CSS/JavaScript,Flash and XML) I work with VS2005, Frontpage and TopStyle at work, and Dreamweaver and TopStyle at home. Based on my experience using Microsoft products(VS2005, Frontpage 2003 and Expression Designer) and Adobe products (Dreamweaver, GoLive, etc.), both companies have a long way to go before they can convince designers and developers to jump ship from their current favorite platform to the other side.

    For example, both GoLive and Dreamweaver have weaknesses in their coding workflow:
    - No JavaScript code insight (Frontpage has it, and it beats using the O’Reilly reference sidebar)
    - Weak Accessibility, Validation tools (VS validates webspage on the fly based on the DocType you select)
    - Clumsy integration with server-side tech (even the free VS web developer edition comes with an ASP.Net 2.0 web server built in, so you can test dynamic pages on the fly).

    On the other hand, Microsoft’s web development tools show that they still don’t truly understand the web design process:
    - Jumpy interface (try switching from a C# page to an HTML/.aspx page to a CSS page. Painful.)
    - Limited HTML tools for basic tasks such as inserting images. Eg.Dreamweaver inserts the dimensions of the image and a relative path. Frontpage inserts a file:/// path at times, and VS doesn’t insert anything but the IMG tag and path to the image. Whether I’m working with a few images or many, that can easily double the time to develop a single page.

    There’s more, but too much for a blog comment. Currently, I’m using a combination of VS2005,TopStyle,Frontpage and who knows what else to design and develop my websites, because there isn’t one tool that can do both design and development really well. And I’m tired of it. Enough with the NIH attitude. Get on with it.

  23. Yes Scoble pimped the shitty MS Expression when he was suckin Bills asshole for money. Now he is with Pimptech he disses his former masters like the worm he is…..how anybody can take the dribble he spouts seriously is fucking beyond me…..he doesnt even know how to use ANY of these tools….his software of choice is a browser!

  24. Yes Scoble pimped the shitty MS Expression when he was suckin Bills asshole for money. Now he is with Pimptech he disses his former masters like the worm he is…..how anybody can take the dribble he spouts seriously is fucking beyond me…..he doesnt even know how to use ANY of these tools….his software of choice is a browser!

  25. Steffen: I am referring to Microsoft wanting to get into designer space to compete with Adobe. I remembered a client use Microsoft Publisher to design newsletter layout. Many printers we contacted laughed about it.

  26. Steffen: I am referring to Microsoft wanting to get into designer space to compete with Adobe. I remembered a client use Microsoft Publisher to design newsletter layout. Many printers we contacted laughed about it.

Comments are closed.