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October 26, 2010

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Initially I think it's quite easy to see Adobe's current strategy as being a 'shotgun' approach to technology, but after sitting back and looking at what they're doing with InDesign, 'Edge', AIR and even Flash I'm beginning to think they're actually being very targeted - and more importantly focused on the long-term.

Take InDesign for example - a traditional print tool. There's *tons* of people using it everyday as part of very complex workflows, InDesign is a workhorse. These same people now have to create 'experiences' for devices - be it epub, web, flash or app - and anything that is based off of their current workflow (and existing skillsets) is going to have an easier time being accepted over a new, unproven, and unfamiliar tool (ask non-web people about HTML, CSS and JS).

As for 'Edge' it's merely a prototype at this stage - but it's interesting as it potentially opens up many more possibilities for (non-technically inclined) creative folks to create richer experiences on the web--as does Adobe's 'Project Rome'.

I think many developers may be confused by some of the announcements out of MAX as very little of it impacts them directly. However, I think creative media folk (in advertising, print, film, video, gaming, etc) will gladly welcome many of these 'products' at they provide a means of taking back a little control - where they are no longer entirely dependent on small armies of developers to bring their ideas to life.

In terms of Adobe's focus, I see it this way:
- HTML5; absolute necessity, must innovate and deliver here very soon to remain relevant
- Flash; deliver on current promises to save face, innovate to show relevance in future
- media/content producers; enabling them to affordably realise their visions using Adobe's toolset
- getting back to their roots in the media and creative industries...

What do I expect? Agree, Nokia will surprise people in the US market as you mentioned. I also see Adobe becoming the glue that will enable much of the content we're going to be interacting with on devices within a few years.

Hi Matt,

I did wonder if the new keynote format would deliver the message well. This year we focused on solutions, not just products.

This year we folded the Flash BU into the Creative Suite BU, resulting in a new strategy towards fulfilling customer solutions with the best technology choice. Those "vectors" are Web, Print, Video, Gaming and Enterprise - with obvious tooling, framework and runtime options.

It may appear like there are a lot of solutions, but the ~5000 people attending MAX won't be creating magazines in Flex. They want to use InDesign and a familiar workflow that they can control.

For high performance applications we recommend native code, and use our design tools. We're not trying to compete with hand carved c++ on mid-range devices (where customers don't want to pay).

Nokia's mistake was not updating their UI and having business practices that left them unable to innovate. Their focus on Qt doesn't guarantee anything, it's not created for the right customer and their outreach is to hardcore developers. Have you ever seen a Qt design session?

Mark - Adobe

The tools approach does make sense - with the underlying technology (whether HTML Flash or cross compiled native code) existing to serve the needs of the creative.

I'd love to see a world where creatives can bring to life their concepts without having to learn the underlying tech - however I didn 't get that vision or message from the keynote given by Kevin. This is a pity as a vision from Adobe which said "Unleashing the creatives from the shackles of the technology" would have been awesome.

Agreed - there was alot of technology presented. I'm just glad that he didn't spent 90mins talking about runtimes this year.

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