Adobe boss slams Apple iPhone business lock-down, slams economy, promises more from CS5 (April announce?) 13

Adobe seems set to announce the next version of its Creative Suite bundle soon, if comments from company CEO Shantanu Narayen and sundry mutterings from the rumour mill.

Speaking at the Goldman Sachs conference this week, Narayen spoke up for CS, claiming the available market for the next bundle of creative apps is “larger than for previous versions”. He also blamed weaker-than-hoped for sales of CS4 on the economy, saying this was a great product, “that came out in an absolutely shitty economy.”

(Which will probably beg the question in some quarters as to why Adobe didn’t drop prices on the suite, particularly in Europe? Take a look around the Amazon listings to see just how little price flexibility there is – we suspect Adobe has a fair few student users…)


Narayen also spoke up for Flash, rejecting any notion the standard would be quickly killed by HTML5, with the two standards co-existing. He also noted that Adobe’s creative tools can output to multiple formats, not just Flash.

On Apple’s resistance to Flash on the iPhone, the Adobe boss said this was nothing to do with technology (right…) and “everything to do with the business model. Apple, he said, wants to keep a proprietary closed system with everything going through the iTune stores.” Flash products play on multiple devices, Apple is trying to lock users in to Apple’s own platform and ecosystems he implied.

Meanwhile, news from the US sees a digital printing conference in Texas perhaps mistakenly claim that Adobe will be announcing a new product that’s part of its “signature suite” in April.

The ‘Adobe Technology Preview’ will be presented by Noha Edell, business development manager for cross media publishing solutions at Adobe. The event website claims “Adobe will unveil a brand new application as part of its signature suite of services. Be among the first to see why this is sure to surprise even the most “in the know” Adobe fans”.

Adobe has hinted at a few of the tools expected to be included in the next version of Creative Suite: including a Painter-style paint system and an After Effects-inspired Puppet tool to Photoshop; and iPhone, iPad and Blackberry app development tools to Flash. (See video clip).

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13 thoughts on “Adobe boss slams Apple iPhone business lock-down, slams economy, promises more from CS5 (April announce?)

  • Joe

    Hey Adobe – what happened to the days when you used to spend your energy writing good software instead of whining about people who no longer want to use your buggy, slow, insecure Flash junk?

    Stop the whining and hire some decent programmers.

  • James

    Poor Adobe. They thought for sure that they could marginalize Apple without any consequence. Apple was always going to remain the 5% market share company that Adobe could throw scraps to. They never expected that their attitude would come back to bite them.

    For years people have been complaining about Flash. It has always sucked on the Mac. Adobe never once even pretended to care. Now, with Apple having huge marketshare in the smart phone business, all of a sudden, Adobe is concerned about Apple. A little late Adobe. Fix you own house first before complaining about Apple.

  • Paul

    What about all the times when adobe delayed updating Flash for os x. Now the shoe is on the other foot and they are feeling the brunt of both technical reasons and business reasons why Apple won’t easily open the door for Flash.

    Why should Adobe’s suite of tools cost more than a mac laptop?

  • Salaryman Ryan

    Oh Adobe, please make this version of CS5, especially Photoshop leaner and faster. I’m sick and tired of Adobe adding zillions of new features that not only make Photoshop a resource hog but also confuses its users by drastically changing the interface!

    Also please please please lower your insane prices. Even your upgrade prices are unreasonable.

  • FlashGordon

    Flash is crap, full stop. Adobe has no excuse. Apple is now using Intel, so its no longer PowerPC. Their coders can do it more easier, and the Macs have been on the surge ever since.. As for the comments against the iTunes Ecosystem, and Apple is proprietary. I think he is pretty lost.. iTunes ecosystem is awesome, and the way they distribute apps and entertainment is as good as it gets. As for Flash, I think Apple did a good thing to ensure Apps are probably built before they put on their devices. Adobe just doesn’t want to write it the way they should. So, its Adobe’s problem, not Apple… If the apps are crap, why approve it

  • Bill Burkholder

    Adobe makes some useful software. But they have way over-priced their tools for what they do. When you can buy similar tools through open source, or use much less expensive products to do the same things, an upgrade every 18 months just does not make sense.

    CS4 was not 64-bit compatible on the Mac. BIG, HUGE mistake! No way was I going to upgrade from CS3 for just a few little tweaks. I want SPEED.

    Dropping support for CS3 under Snow Leopard was another bone-headed move. Especially since it actually works…

    But the biggest bone-headed move was not following Apple’s developer road map over the last 10 to 12 years. Yeah, I’ve heard their insider arguments. From the outside, they just sound arrogant and ignorant.

    Lightroom is the only really good software they’ve done in the past five years. They should use that as a model and just start over from scratch.

  • Tonio Loewald

    I’d like to see Adobe CS5 have a decent UI. Say like CS1 when Adobe apps on Windows looked like Windows apps, and Adobe apps on Macs looked like Mac apps. Maybe that huge, lousy cross-platform widget library is why Adobe’s apps all suck so much.

  • Jeff Mandell

    I’ve got no particular love for Adobe, but I don’t understand the anger about it that’s dominating this discussion. I’m a photographer, and I use both CS4 and Lightroom every day. There is no serious competitive product for Photoshop. Apple does have a competing app for Lightroom (Aperture), but it doesn’t work as well with Photoshop as does the combination of the two Adobe products. It’s similar to why Mac software runs on Macs. They’re engineered to do so from the start.
    I think the last upgrade was disappointing, but I’m not going to blow off one of my main tools because of it. Finally, yes it’s very expensive. It’s unfortunately what’s possible when you have a monopoly on a product, as Adobe does with Photoshop. And, if you’re a professional, $500-$600 isn’t that outrageous. How much does it cost to tool up for any other profession.
    I’m definitely looking forward to the end of RAM limits for Macs in CS5. I’ll buy it for that reason alone.

  • Drunken Economist

    So the best thing Adobe can come up with for CS5 is finger painting and hand puppets. Super. I guess CS3 was the last GOOD thing to come out of Adobe before they offshored all their development.

    Seriously, Adobe can either stay in kindergarten or they can grow up. I’m not holding my breath — it’s easier to just stay with tools that work and wait until they get their act together.

    It’s the old ‘Toyotas after 2005’ argument all over again. Unless I see some REAL innovation and reliability out of Adobe there’s no reason to upgrade.

  • Brian

    All Adobe software is either bloated, slow and obscenely overpriced.

    Apple is absolutely right about not allowing Flash. No one likes Flash, only the Windoze fans are making a big stink about not having it. I like to turn it off completely. It’s got serious security problems which have not been fixed for over 18 months.

    I am a trained photographer, though I make most of my living elsewhere. I would rather use Aperture and GIMP than donate to Adobe.

    Absolutely right that there IS a politcal context to this. Adobe should be ashamed of basically writing off Apple for dead and going with PC first even though huge numbers of graphic artist were Mac based. I seriously thing Adobe took a huge pay out from Microsoft (it would be so typical of Softie to do that!)

    All this after Apple MADE ADOBE in the first place by adopting postscript back in the 80’s when NO ONE ELSE was interested. All the PC goons were using HPGL, if you can believe that.

    Even Acrobat is complete TRASH on the Mac. Preview beats it in every way imaginable.

  • Ados

    Hi Richard,just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy henriag you sing. You are one of my favorite singers. And I wish I could sing as good as you do. You all are such a blessing to me. And I was wondering do you have any cds for sale? I would love to have a cd of all of you. I am sooo .blessed everytime I hear ya’ll sing. And I also love Nancy Harmon she is an awesome lady !!! & I love to hear her talk about the Lord. I love to see people on fire for God. May God bless each & every one of you for being so faithful to him. And for sharing the good news of our Lord to a lost & dying world.Keep up the good work.Debbie