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No. of Recommendations: 6
I've been reading through the posts on Fool_>Macromedia and thought I'd throw some thoughts out and surely get some opinions back. I will own up to the fact that I am a *very green* investor (less than 3 months in the market with stocks... learning quickly as you can), but I truly believe as a web professional my opinions may offer some POVs for consideration by the group.

I am a seasoned web developer and have owned my current company for about 3 years and have been working in computer graphics for about 7 or 8 years now. I'm versed in Adobe, Macromedia and most likely every package in between.

I've been a Macromedia user since Freehand 5, before they began their branding efforts through that (forgot their name) UK design company. I'm seeing many posts related to Adobe and a few pointing out Adobe is the stronger survivor through the dot com shakedown. I agree, but I think when the smoke begins to clear we'll see Adobe still fairly stagnant in their web ventures while Macromedia grows, partially due to the Allaire deal. I truly believe that it's not an issue of Adobe vs. Macromedia. The markets barely overlap, IMO. The user bases are two different people, as far as I've encountered in my professional work.

Adobe is really a legacy print company trying to to offer 'me-too' products. Adobe was 'first' with print and they will never escape the Adobe=Print positioning equation.

Macromedia has been the innovator of the two. They were first on the streets with the web-only product lines and in my opinion they own every new development company today. Unless you come from a print background you are more likely to invest in Macromedia packages because of features and the pricing alone. Macromedia also offers a more affordable upgrade path and future release cycles that makes sense. Their upgrades are always major, vital changes to the software. Adobe charges way too much for upstarts and their upgrade history is not as rich. Further... Macromedia products are getting more and more integrated between themselves. When each product first launched, you got the feeling they were developed by people who just weren't talking to one another. Now... everything has the same feel.. the same look. Things are shared between the packages in a way that makes perfect sense.

In my dealings with larger firms with print backgrounds, they all use Adobe and haven't made to switch to web based content as easily as Adobe has promised. It's about more than the software, it's about knowing the way the development team works, and the way the most popular sites are designed. Almost 85% of the sites I see developed in Adobe products suffer from various HTML layout issues which Macromedia offers integrated workarounds for. Part of that is experience as well. If you come from a print background, you just aren't going to get the most out of a web product that caters to your print mindset.

Macromedia has had an excellent history of listening to it's user base and making some of the best upgrades of any company I've ever encountered. In fact, I've personally submitted feature requests through their 'wishlist' and have actually found my requests in upgrades of both Fireworks and Dreamweaver packages. A big company that listens? As a developer I am married to this company til death do us part. I believe in this company because I know they represent me as a developer.

My company just joined a development group that is 100% Adobe & Mac. We're PCs and 100% Macromedia. The reason I am there is this: Adobe may offer web tools, but they suffer from legacy issues. They are really a print oriented company with some me-too products. Print layout people are the majority of the users buying their products by name recognition alone. These individuals are trying to figure out how to put print knowledge to work on the web while Macromedia users are producing sites. The whole idea that print and web can be the same was a very dumb road for Adobe to go down. It's like amphibious cars. Nice idea, but how many people do you know that own one? My company is there among the Adobe Mac'ers now because the Adobe users have given up. They are investing in the Macromedia Mac tools and getting a 100% compatible solution for both companies. IMO, The PDF is as far as web & print should have gone for Adobe.

Adobe is attempting to take the web development market as they have print. Sad matter of fact is they were there second. The rules of positioning favor Adobe for print, Macromedia for web.

Macromedia was first in 'true web development' so in the minds of developers they are the central provider for web development tools. Even Microsoft attempted to jump on the Flash bandwagon and failed (Was it liquid motion? I forget the product.. it died that fast). If that kind of R&D and marketing clout can't push a wedge in... I don't think anyone can. LiveMotion is a me-too that won't last. Macromedia has the jump on them.

I realize I've gone long in the tooth here but just wanted to offer up a final view on Allaire. This was a smart move. Cold Fusion is an excellent product and it fits with the Ultradev idea. Anyone who used CF before the UltraDev integration knows it wasn't very web-page-layout friendly. With the trend for database driven web sites growing rapidly, tools are needed that allow designers to easily integrate the messy coding for them. An interesting news post about MACR and Allaire is here:

I'm currently using UltraDev on a 10,000 userbase project being developed for major airlines and know for a fact it would never have seen the light of day without Ultradev. Also, UltraDev is open to working with a wide array of web-enabled DBs, making it attractive far beyond the CF user base.

In any case.. the ramblings of a long term Macromedia user and new Macromedia investor. I think it's a company that will live through the slump and offer returns on anyone who really looks at the company as one that is positioning themselves for the long run. Slice, dice, flambe' if required. Your thoughts are appreciated (and trimming my original thoughts is probably smart!)

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