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October 21, 2005

Adobe vs Microsoft on phones

Posted by David Hunter at 10:52 AM ET.

Andrew Orlowski at The RegisterPhone buy puts Adobe head-to-head with Microsoft:

Macromedia is to acquire Mobile Innovation, a privately-held design and integration house in the UK with around 50 staff, for an undisclosed sum.

What makes this deal noteworthy is that Mobile Innovation designs phones as well as user interfaces. It’s an integrator, and Tier One handset manufacturers devolve a lot of design decisions to MI. It’s similar to Apple’s relationship with Tony Fadell’s design shop – which created the iPod – only on a larger scale. MI declines to mention which companies it works with because of confidentiality agreements with phone OEMs, and an opaque web site gives little clues as to what it really does.

But it’s well known amongst industry insiders that Mobile Innovation was responsible for the Nokia 9300 Communicator design and other high-end Symbian smartphones, Nokia’s Series 90 user interface, and Hildon, the GUI for Nokia’s Linux tablet.

So what on earth is Adobe, which last week received DoJ clearance to acquire Macromedia, going to do with a smartphone design shop?

The answer is Flash, Millar told us today. Macromedia thinks Flash is going to be very, very big on non-PC devices and Millar agrees.

And it suggests that one of these epic battles that litter the computer industry is about to commence, with Adobe deadly serious about putting its platform software on every device that can possibly run it.

Hit the link for the details, but it would be more exciting if Macromedia hadn’t just done some odd tinkering with Flash player availability on Pocket PC’s.



Filed under Adobe, Coopetition, Macromedia, Windows Mobile

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