Microsoft & Adobe Discuss Fighting Apple, Merger Possible

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen met recently to discuss how the two companies could work to fight Apple’s growing dominance of the smartphone market. Among the possibilities discussed by the two tech lords was a merger, according to unnamed sources quoted by The New York Times.

The newspaper’s sources, though unnamed, were both internal employees at at least one of the two companies, as well as outside consultants, all of whom were either briefed on the discussions or are simply familiar with internal goings on.

Microsoft wouldn’t comment for the article, telling The Times that the company doesn’t, “comment on rumors/speculation.” For its part, Adobe didn’t deny the meeting took place, and a company spokesperson said that, “Adobe and Microsoft share millions of customers around the world and the CEOs of the two companies do meet from time to time. However, we do not publicly comment on the timing or topics of their private meetings.”

Speaking of those topics, at least one of them was all about Apple’s efforts to block Flash on its iOS platform. The details of that discussion were not revealed, other than a discussion about whether or not there’s something the two companies could do together to fend off the kind of power that makes such an action on Apple’s part meaningful.

The other topic discussed was the idea of the two companies merging. Adobe and Microsoft discussed a merger several years ago, according to the report, but at the time Microsoft was concerned about the U.S. Department of Justice blocking such a merger on anticompetitive grounds.

Today, however, Microsoft is a bit player in the smartphone market, and Apple and Google are seen as the top dogs in the techyard as a whole. As such, the time could be ripe for the two companies to become one.

We thought we might give our design skills a workout to suggest a possible name for the new two companies should they merge.

Microbe Logo

Artist’s rendering of possible logo for a merged Microsoft & Adobe