There was a lot of whispered discussion about recent software industry mergers that made people really wonder what the landscape will look like next year.

Adobe started the show off with a bang by announcing the purchase of Macromedia for US$3.4 billion. Now that was a stealth deal that

caught everyone with their socks down. Both are very well run, highly healthy companies. There was no rush to the altar so why do it?

The price seems to be “”a little stiff”” but heck if you don’t have to sell; you raise the price bar. For the 800-lb gorilla in its market space, it was a smart move by Adobe because it saw Microsoft drooling over the Web and wireless space.

Macromedia is strong in this arena and the combination gives it a giant leap forward so maybe – just maybe – it was cheap at that price.

Avid’s acquisition of Pinnacle had a lot of people asking questions but no one was talking because of SEC regulations. All their people would say is “”hey this is going to be great for you the customer so don’t worry we’ll be here for you.””

The same was true for InterVideo’s slow takeover of Ulead.

Lots of questions but no answers.

The joining of Adobe/Macromedia makes sense and we don’t see people missing a beat in their applications. It probably even helped some people sign on with Adobe and Macromedia rather than Microsoft because those folks really know video and audio as well as how to get content produced and delivered. Microsoft is a work in progress at best.

But it has to have caused people looking at Pinnacle and Ulead solutions to think twice and perhaps even shelve (or switch) orders. It’s tough for people in any organization that has been purchased to look you in the eye and say with a straight face that the products you are considering will be there after the ink dries and so will they.

Yeah, right.

Max Spindle is the pseudonym for an industry insider

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