MICROSOFT AND ADOBE are in the embarrassing position of having to deny a rumour claiming that Steve Ballmer wants to buy the Flash maker.
The source of the rumour is none other than the New York Times, which is famous for printing Apple press releases pretending they are news. This rumour is pure Apple spin.
The idea of linking Microsoft and Adobe is something that is very important to the Jobs' Mob mythos.
Apple has always traded on the fact that it is a little guy standing up to the evil Microsoft and lately it has been warring against Adobe and hoping to drive Flash off the Internet. What better story could there be than having two enemies linked together?
The New York Times rumour was based on unnamed sources who claimed that Steve Ballmer had a big meeting with Adobe about how the two could see off Apple. Supposedly on the table was a possible buyout of Adobe.
There is no doubt that the meeting happened, Adobe certainly has not denied it.
You can almost hear the hysteria rising in Apple's alternate reality. "Steve was right, Abobe is as evil as Microsoft and they are allying against us. We must buy another Iphone 4 immediately," they will be saying.
The only problem with the story is that it assumes that the much touted Apple myth about Microsoft being the enemy is true.
However Apple and Microsoft are not serious competitors and have not been for some time. The only area where they have rival products is in PC operating systems, where Mac OS X runs on less than five per cent of the world's PCs, mostly in the US.
But for Apple and its media lackies, Microsoft has always been the easy target. Even today a negative Apple story will attract comments from fanbois claiming that somehow the writer is in the pay of Microsoft. However that rivalry only applied in the 1980s. Apple's biggest rival now is Google.
So why should Ballmer have a meeting with Adobe to talk about removing a competitor that he is not actually competing against? Ballmer even flogs Apple the Bing browser.
True, Microsoft would like to be back in the mobile market, but an alliance with Adobe would not achieve that goal and in fact it would make matters worse.
If Ballmer bought Adobe, then he would confuse the hell out of developers over what tools they should be making for Windows Phone 7. Ballmer would prefer that everyone is happy with Microsoft's new software. To do that no one should be confused at all.
If you skip the Apple propaganda there would be a good reason for Microsoft to buy Adobe, but it has nothing to do with Jobs' Mob. Adobe has a range of products that would fit very nicely with Microsoft's business - Photoshop, InDesign Publisher, Illustrator and all the production software. It was for this reason that it was suggested that Microsoft would want to buy Adobe years ago.
Ballmer does not need Flash. Like Jobs, he would prefer that it would go away. He has Silverlight to promote.
The question is how Apple even got linked to this story anyway. For that we have to blame the impact of hiring Apple fanbois as hacks and then allowing them to report everything from a Cappuccino coloured perspective where all good is Apple and all bad is Microsoft. µ
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