Richard Edwards, Ovum principal analyst.
AUSTRALIA: Microsoft and Adobe have been around for a very long time and their software products can be found on just about every PC, but of late these vendors have been relegated to the chorus line with Google and Apple now occupying centre stage.
The last 20 years has seen the PC -- with Microsoft Windows in particular -- dominating innovation in the world of IT, but this has already started to change. Despite Microsoft's best efforts with Windows 7, Apple iOS and Google Android are now the new platforms for innovation, with the mobile phone replacing the PC as the must have tool for information workers.
The mobile "apps" business is now the place to be for software development companies, and Microsoft and Adobe have yet to make any real or significant impact in this market. If the two companies were to merge then it would have to be the mobile apps market driving the deal, as this is where both companies need to score big time.
There has always been a strong sense of "co-opertition" between Microsoft and Adobe, with both companies vying for the hearts and minds of creative software developers and office workers. It would certainly strengthen Microsoft's position in the "prosumer" market if the company were to acquire Adobe, and the enterprise market would benefit too if Adobe LiveCycle (the company's back-end business integration platform) became fully integrated with Microsoft SharePoint.