At the recent meeting for financial analysts.Adobe Chief Technology Officer Kevin Lynch outlined the cloud approach for media and marketing.
But first, CEO Shantanu Narayan asserted that all print publishers are facing a transition to online and that there is already momentum for video and television to be watched through the internet. The introduction of PDF as a format has already had an effect. HTML 5 will be developed for mobile devices but there is still potential for Flash on televisions or whatever the devices are to be called that have fairly large screens and stay home.
So watching the presentation, (still stored on the Adobe website for a week or so) I get the impression that Adobe is now a marketing company rather than a technology company. At least there is not a technology driver as with Postscript and PDF for early Adobe or Flash for Macromedia.
Kevin Lynch talks about PDF and AIR as disruptive innovation, incremental innovation as in regular improvement and then what appears as innovation through acquisition. This includes newly purchased service companies that fit the vision of cloud marketing. For Adobe Macromedia was innovation through acquisition. Maybe this can go on indefinitely. There is a marketing operation that could cope with any product.
However I think the classic products such as Acrobat could drop in price a bit or at least other software be considered over time. There was nothing about any development for PDF or Acrobat as desktop software. If it is to be left behind as a "cash cow" in marketing jargon then people will wonder about price levels. Flash still has a way to go given the numbers of screens on the planet but again there may be more and cheaper ways to create Flash files. Loading and editing a video clip could get easier.
"Print and Publishing" still shown as an income stream but not much talked about. I think Shantanu Narayan is right that print publishing is moving online. In the UK the Guardian Media pages and Printweek both carry on reporting print and books as if nothing sudden will happen. But there is talk of "digital first" for newspapers and Haymarket expand online. I think this Adobe meeting could be a point in time when a stage in technology development became clear. This will be looked at again during events in the UK such as Online Information and BETT.