Adobe’s CEO: "Our Mac Business Has Stayed Relatively Strong"

When some folks got the news that Adobe was discontinuing its development of FrameMaker for the Mac they took that as a sign that there was a rift between Adobe and Apple. Indeed, many think that Adobe is abandoning the Mac platform after years of a successful relationship.

Wouldnit it be great to have a sit-down with Adobeis CEO, Bruce Chizen, and ask him some pointed questions about Apple, Adobe, Linux, and Windows? Michael Miller of PC Magazine got just that opportunity recently, and posted the complete interview of the PC Magazine Web site. Here an excerpt from the article, Interview: Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen:

Michael Miller: OK, letis talk about Mac then. Obviously most of your applications run on Mac, to some extent, fewer now than it used be to because youive pulled back in some cases because Apple was in the space.

Bruce Chizen: It didnit make sense to compete against Apple.

MM: How is the Mac platform doing in the corporate space from your perspective?

BC: When you look at our overall revenue, or percentage of revenue, we get somewhere between 22% and 25% of our business from Macintosh customers or software that runs on the Mac. If you factor out Acrobat and the server products, our Mac business has stayed relatively strong, which is good news. And I believe, at least what our customers are telling us and what our revenue is telling us in terms of mix, that those loyal Macintosh users, continue to be loyal to the Mac.

What we donit see are a lot of graphics professionals moving over, back from Windows to Macintosh, but those who are on Mac, because of all the great things that Steve [Jobs] has done, are sticking with Mac. Most of our customers are telling us they have plans to move to G5 this year, which is good news for the industry and good news for us.

MM: What about the applications, like Premiere, like Photoshop Album, things like that, that arenit currently available on Mac?

BC: The two major applications that we chose not to do on Macintosh were Premiere and Photoshop Album, and basically for the same reason: Apple already had an offer, and it doesnit make sense for us to take our resources and try to compete directly with them, where in effect they either give away the software or they have a competitive advantage that it doesnit make sense for us to try to compete against. And in the case of video, theyire tied into QuickTime, theyire tied right into the hardware. It was easier for us to focus in on Wintel and try to produce a more compelling solution. In the case of Photoshop Album, they give away iPhoto free. Why compete with free?

So, the good news is, Appleis serving its customers. So the customer is not getting cheated out of it, and we get to, in effect, produce a better product for the Windows customer, that doesnit have Apple producing software for them.

MM: Clearly in the video area, you had a product before Apple did. They came in; they did a nice job, no question. FinalCut is a very nice product. Are you at all worried that theyire going to do that for Photoshop, or something like that?

BC: Michael, if you look at a category like digital imaging, or now even layout, Adobe has such a strong position in a market thatis been around for many years. We continue to innovate, and Iid be surprised if Apple tried to compete with us in those areas. Apple has told us thatis not their intent, and I donit believe they will.

There is much more in the full interview at PC Magazineis Web site.

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