|Traded as||NASDAQ: ADBE
S&P 500 Component
|Founded||Mountain View, California, U.S.
|Headquarters||Adobe Systems complex,
San Jose, California, U.S.
|Key people||Charles Geschke
(President & CEO)
|Products||List of Adobe products|
|Revenue||US$ 4.40 billion (2012)|
|Operating income||US$ 1.18 billion (2012)|
|Net income||US$ 832 million (2012)|
|Total assets||US$ 9.97 billion (2012)|
|Total equity||US$ 6.66 billion (2012)|
Adobe Systems Inc. (// ə-DOH-bee), is an American multinational computer software company headquartered in San Jose, California, United States. The company has historically focused upon the creation of multimedia and creativity software products, with a more-recent foray towards rich Internet application software development.
Adobe was founded in December 1982 by John Warnock and Charles Geschke, who established the company after leaving Xerox PARC in order to develop and sell the PostScript page description language. In 1985, Apple Computer licensed PostScript for use in its LaserWriter printers, which helped spark the desktop publishing revolution. The company name Adobe comes from Adobe Creek in Los Altos, California, which ran behind the houses of both of the company's founders. Adobe acquired its former competitor, Macromedia, in December 2005, which added newer software products and platforms such as ColdFusion, Dreamweaver, Flash and Flex to its product portfolio.
As of 2010, Adobe Systems has 9,117 employees, about 40% of whom work in San Jose. Adobe also has major development operations in Orlando; Seattle; San Francisco; Lehi, Utah; Minneapolis; Waltham, Massachusetts; and San Luis Obispo, California in the United States; Ottawa, Canada; Hamburg, Germany; Noida and Bangalore, India; Bucharest, Romania; Basel, Switzerland; and Beijing, China.
Adobe's corporate logo, featuring the stylized "A", was designed by Marva Warnock, wife of John Warnock, who is also a graphic designer.
Adobe's first products after PostScript were digital fonts, which they released in a proprietary format called Type 1. Apple subsequently developed a competing standard, TrueType, which provided full scalability and precise control of the pixel pattern created by the font's outlines, and licensed it to Microsoft. Adobe responded by publishing the Type 1 specification and releasing Adobe Type Manager, software that allowed WYSIWYG scaling of Type 1 fonts on screen, like TrueType, although without the precise pixel-level control. But these moves were too late to stop the rise of TrueType. Although Type 1 remained the standard in the graphics/publishing market, TrueType became the standard for business and the average Windows user. In 1996, Adobe and Microsoft announced the OpenType font format, and in 2003 Adobe completed converting its Type 1 font library to OpenType.
In the mid-1980s, Adobe entered the consumer software market with Adobe Illustrator, a vector-based drawing program for the Apple Macintosh. Illustrator, which grew from the firm's in-house font-development software, helped popularize PostScript-enabled laser printers. Unlike MacDraw, the then standard Macintosh vector drawing program, Illustrator described shapes with more flexible Bézier curves, providing unprecedented accuracy. Font rendering in Illustrator, however, was left to the Macintosh's QuickDraw libraries and would not be superseded by a PostScript-like approach until Adobe released Adobe Type Manager.
In 1989, Adobe introduced what was to become its flagship product, a graphics editing program for the Macintosh called Photoshop. Stable and full-featured, Photoshop 1.0 was ably marketed by Adobe and soon dominated the market.
In 1993, Adobe introduced PDF, the Portable Document Format, and its Adobe Acrobat and Reader software. PDF is now an International Standard: ISO 32000-1:2008. The technology is adopted worldwide as a common medium for electronic documents.
Arguably, one of Adobe's few missteps on the Macintosh platform was their failure to develop their own desktop publishing (DTP) program. Instead, Aldus with PageMaker in 1985 and Quark with QuarkXPress in 1987 gained early leads in the DTP market. Adobe was also slow to address the emerging Windows DTP market. However, Adobe made great strides in that market with the release of InDesign and its bundled Creative Suite offering. In a failure to predict the direction of computing, Adobe released a complete version of Illustrator for Steve Jobs' ill-fated NeXT system, but a poorly produced version for Windows.
Despite these missteps, licensing fees from the PostScript interpreter allowed Adobe to outlast or acquire many of its rivals in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In December 1991, Adobe released Adobe Premiere, which Adobe rebranded to Adobe Premiere Pro in 2003. In 1994, Adobe acquired Aldus and added Adobe PageMaker and Adobe After Effects to its product line later in the year; it also controls the TIFF file format. In 1995, Adobe added Adobe FrameMaker, the long-document DTP application, to its product line after Adobe acquired Frame Technology Corp. In 1999, Adobe introduced Adobe InCopy as a direct competitor to QuarkCopyDesk.
In 1992, Adobe acquired OCR Systems, Inc.; in 1994, the company acquired Aldus Corporation. On May 30, 1997, Adobe reincorporated in Delaware by merging with and into Adobe Systems (Delaware), which had incorporated on May 9, 1997. Adobe Systems Incorporated (Delaware), the surviving corporation, changed its name to Adobe Systems Incorporated concurrently with the merger.
The company acquired GoLive Systems, Inc. and released Adobe GoLive in 1999 and began shipping Adobe InDesign as a direct competitor to QuarkXPress and as an eventual replacement for PageMaker. In May 2003, Adobe acquired Syntrillium Software, adding Adobe Audition to its product line. In December 2004, French company OKYZ S.A., makers of 3D collaboration software, was acquired. This acquisition added 3D technology and expertise to the Adobe Intelligent Document Platform.
On December 12, 2005 Adobe acquired its main rival Macromedia in a stock swap valued at about $3.4 billion, adding Adobe ColdFusion, Adobe Contribute, Adobe Captivate, Adobe Acrobat Connect (formerly Macromedia Breeze), Adobe Director, Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Fireworks, Adobe Flash, FlashPaper, Adobe Flex, Macromedia FreeHand, Macromedia HomeSite, Macromedia JRun, Adobe Presenter, and Macromedia Authorware to Adobe's product line.
In January 2007, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom was released to assist photographers in managing digital images and post production work. Adobe acquired Scene7 in May of the same year. The company makes an image processing and display platform used in many retail sites on the web. In July, Adobe released Soundbooth. This product was not intended to replace the existing Adobe Audition but merely to provide an environment for professionals not specializing in audio. On August 3, 2007, the company announced their plans to discontinue development of Authorware, the “visual authoring tool for creating rich-media e-learning applications for delivery on corporate networks, CD/DVD, and the Web.” Authorware was one of the development tools acquired in the Macromedia/Adobe merger. It was replaced by Adobe Captivate. In October, the company acquired Virtual Ubiquity, along with its online word processor, Buzzword.
On November 12, 2007, CEO, Bruce Chizen resigned. Effective December 1, he was replaced by Shantanu Narayen, Adobe's current president and Chief Operating Officer. Bruce Chizen served out his term on Adobe's Board of Directors, and then continued in a strategic advisory role until the end of Adobe's 2008 fiscal year.
Adobe released Adobe Media Player in April 2008. On April 27, Adobe discontinued development and sales of its older HTML/web development software, GoLive in favor of Dreamweaver. Adobe offered a discount on Dreamweaver for GoLive users and supports those who still use GoLive with online tutorials and migration assistance. On June 1, Adobe launched Acrobat.com, a series of web applications geared for collaborative work. Creative Suite 4, which includes Design, Web, Production Premium and Master Collection came out in October 2008 in six configurations at prices from about USD $1,700 to $2,500 or by individual application. The Windows version of Photoshop includes 64-bit processing. On December 3, 2008, Adobe laid off 600 of its employees (8% of the worldwide staff) citing the weak economic environment.
Adobe announced two acquisitions in 2009: on August 29, it purchased Business Catalyst, and on September 15, it bought Omniture. On November 10, the company laid off 680 employees. Adobe announced it was investigating a "coordinated attack" against corporate network systems in China, managed by the company. This same attack was also brought against Google and over 20 other companies. Adobe announced the new Creative Suite series (CS5) launched globally Monday, April 12, 2010. New software such as Flash Catalyst and Business Catalyst were also announced.
Adobe's 2010 was marked by continuing front-and-back arguments with Apple over the latter's non-support for Adobe Flash on its iPhone, iPad and other products. Apple CEO Steve Jobs claimed that Flash was not reliable or secure enough, while Adobe executives have argued that Apple wish to maintain control over the iOS platform. In April 2010, Steve Jobs published a post titled "Thoughts on Flash" where he outlined his thoughts on Adobe Flash and the rise of HTML 5. In July 2010, Adobe bought Day Software integrating their line of CQ Products: WCM, DAM, SOCO, and Mobile and bringing along Chief Scientist Roy Fielding principal author of HTTP and co-founder of the Apache software foundation.
In January 2011, Adobe acquired Demdex, Inc with the intent of adding Demdex's audience-optimization software to its online marketing suite.
At PhotoShop World 2011, Adobe unveiled a new mobile photo service. Carousel is a new application for iPhone, iPad and Mac that uses Photoshop Lightroom technology for users to adjust and fine-tune images on all platforms. Carousel will also allow users to automatically sync, share and browse photos. The service was later renamed to "Adobe Revel".
On November 9, 2011 Adobe announced that they would cease development of Flash for mobile devices following version 11.1. Instead they will be focusing on HTML 5 for mobile devices.
|Shantanu Narayen||President & Chief executive officer|
|Karen Cottle||Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary|
|Mark Garrett||Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer|
|Donna Morris||Senior Vice President, Human Resources|
|Kevin Lynch||Senior Vice President: Experience & Technology Group, Chief Technology Officer|
- Desktop software
- Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Fireworks, Adobe Soundbooth, Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Audition
- Server software
- Adobe ColdFusion, Adobe Content Server and Adobe LiveCycle Enterprise Suite, Adobe BlazeDS
- Portable Document Format (PDF), PDF's predecessor PostScript, ActionScript, Shockwave Flash (SWF) and Flash Video (FLV)
- Web-hosted services
- Adobe Kuler, Photoshop Express, and Acrobat.com
- Web design programs
- Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Contribute, Adobe Muse, Adobe Flash Builder, Adobe Flash Catalyst, Adobe Flash, and Adobe Edge
- Video editing and visual effects
- Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Prelude, and Adobe SpeedGrade
- eLearning software
- Adobe Captivate
- Organizational software
- Adobe Extension Manager and Adobe After Effects
- Web content management Software
- Adobe Web Experience Management (WEM)
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As of February 2007, Adobe's market capitalization was roughly US$23 billion; as of August 2007, its shares were trading on the NASDAQ for around $40, with a P/E ratio of about 49 and EPS of about $0.82.
As of March 2008, Adobe's market capitalization was roughly $18 billion; its shares were trading on the NASDAQ for around $33, with a P/E ratio of about 27 and EPS of about $1.21.
As of April 2011, Adobe's market capitalization was roughly $17 billion; its shares were trading on the NASDAQ for around $33, with a P/E ratio of about 19.73 and EPS of about $1.70.
Adobe's fiscal years run from December to November. For example, the 2007 fiscal year ended on November 30, 2007.
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Since 1995, Fortune has ranked Adobe as an outstanding place to work. Adobe was rated the fifth-best U.S. company to work for in 2003, sixth in 2004, 31st in 2007, 40th in 2008, and eleventh in 2009. In May 2008, Adobe Systems India was ranked 19th of great places to work in India. In October 2008, Adobe Systems Canada Inc. was named one of "Canada's Top 100 Employers" by Mediacorp Canada Inc., and was featured in Maclean's newsmagazine.
Adobe has been criticized for its pricing practices, with retail prices being as much as twice as high in non-US countries as in the US. As pointed out by many, it is significantly cheaper to pay for a return airfare ticket to the United States and purchase one particular collection of Adobe's software there than to buy it locally in Australia. In June 2009, Adobe increased its prices in the UK by 10% in spite of weakening of the pound against the dollar, and UK users are not allowed to buy from the US store.
The company has been criticized by angry users for providing corrupted software and for extremely bad customer service. In August 2009 Adobe apologized on their main support web page for poor customer service.
Adobe's Flash Player has also been criticized for, among other things, suffering from performance, memory usage and security problems (see criticism of Flash Player). A report by security researchers from Kaspersky Lab criticized Adobe for producing the products having top 10 security vulnerabilities.
Observers noted that Adobe was spying on its customers by including spyware in the Creative Suite 3 software and quietly sending user data to a firm named Omniture. When users became aware, Adobe explained what the suspicious software did and admitted that they "could and should do a better job taking security concerns into account". When a security flaw was later discovered in Photoshop CS5, Adobe sparked outrage by saying it would leave the flaw unpatched, so anyone who wanted to use the software securely would have to pay for an upgrade. Following a fierce backlash Adobe decided to provide the software patch.
In 2011, after the company revealed that it will only allow owners of the most recent versions of Creative Suite to upgrade to new versions, Scott Kelby, The President of The National Association of Photoshop Professionals, wrote an open letter to Adobe requesting it re-thinks its product upgrade policy.
In May 2011 a civil antitrust complaint was filed against the company alleging that "Adobe has violated federal and state antitrust laws by abusing its dominant position in the professional vector graphic illustration software market" (Adobe had acquired FreeHand, a computer application competing with Adobe Illustrator, and later said that it would discontinue the program). In November 2012 a letter of complaint was sent to the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, accusing Adobe of "holding a monopoly upon consumers through the use of anti-cooperative proprietary file formats and complete market dominance and saturation that is against a free market".
According to an "Adobe Licensing and Audit Behaviour Survey" (March 2013), 72% of IT asset managers see no value in their Adobe vendor relationship.
Creative Cloud controversy
In May 2013, Adobe Systems, the dominant supplier of applications for creating content, announced plans to end perpetual software licensing for its Creative Suite products in favor of a subscription-based service model called Creative Cloud, which had been introduced as an alternative licensing model in May 2012. Shifting to a software as a service model, Adobe announced more frequent feature updates to its products and the eschewing of their traditional release cycles. Customers must pay a monthly subscription fee and if they stop paying, they will lose access to the software as well as to the work they saved in proprietary file format, which is not backward-compatible with the Creative Suite (Adobe admitted that this is a valid concern). They must have Internet connection to download the software and to use the 2GB of provided storage space (or the additionally purchased 20GB), and must validate the license monthly.
This shift has been met with mixed reviews by both corporations and independent designers, with many people expressing their displeasure on the web and through multiple internet petitions calling upon Adobe to continue selling creative software under the perpetual licensing model. Among these were a Change.org petition which reached over 30,000 signatures within a few weeks of the announcement. According to the critics, the move to a perpetual rental scheme was highly disruptive to many users, and caused an unprecedented loss of trust in Adobe as a company and an attendant rise in anxiety among their customers. College officials expressed their concern with the new licensing terms, worried about rising costs and have asked about switching to alternative products.
Adobe VP of Creative Solutions responded that they "expected a higher degree of this type of reaction from the hobbyist photographic community". Despite a storm of customer criticism over Adobe's move to subscription-only pricing, the company anounced that it would not sell perpetual licenses to its software alongside the subscriptions - "We understand this is a big change, but we are so focused on the vision we shared for Creative Cloud, and we plan to focus all our new innovation on the Creative Cloud". Critics pointed out that with the new subscription model Adobe will not need innovation to drive sales of upgrades. Users noted that they not always wanted to, or could afford to upgrade to the newest versions of the software, and the new licensing was essentially forcing them to do this.
Digital Photography Review wrote that the new license scheme increased fear, uncertainty, doubt, expense and risk. The website suggested that serious photographers reestablish a trusted and "Good Photography Workflow" without monthly payments for the next 10 years. Online articles began offering examples of replacements of Photoshop, Illustrator, and other programs, with competing products such as CorelDRAW, PaintShop Pro, and Pixelmator directly offering alternatives, and launching promotions for Adobe customers. David Hobby, the author of Strobist.com, tweeted: "I like Photoshop; I still use CS3. But I am *not* renting PS for $600/yr. Period. Big winner: Capture One, which now needs a LR clone."
Current users of Creative Suite 3 and higher get discounts for the Creative Cloud service for a limited time, after which the subscription cost increases. In a survey conducted by CNET and analyst firm Jefferies, respondents overwhelmingly said they were not interested in moving to the Creative Cloud. Of Creative Suite CS6 users, 76 percent planned never to make the move. Hundreds of Adobe users condemned the Creative Cloud on Adobe’s Photoshop Blog page and on Adobe Creative Cloud's Facebook page, where users arranged ways of taking action. "PR-wise, Adobe couldn't have made it much worse if they'd offered to kill a puppy with every purchase of Photoshop Creative Cloud", Ctein, a world-renowned expert in photographic arts and technologies commented.
Creative Cloud has been criticized for troubles with subscription renewal and for broken file syncing, one of its core features. In May 2013 Adobe announced that it was suspending the file-sync desktop preview "for the next couple of weeks". Reviewers of Creative Cloud highlighted its limited value beyond CS6 applications at launch and were disappointed with the functionality of the cloud storage. Users complained about the buggy nature of Creative Cloud and its poor customer service, and were concerned that they would be forced to upgrade their computer hardware when it is no longer supported by the current version of the Creative Cloud software.
As part of its Lehi, Utah, campus construction, Adobe supported an Artist In Residence program at Thanksgiving Point Institute, in which artist Andrew Smith constructed a kinetic sculpture to be placed in the new Adobe campus building.
- Adobe Engagement Platform
- Adobe Solutions Network
- Adobe MAX
- US v. ElcomSoft Sklyarov
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