It is funny how Matt and I can read the same article and come up with different conclusions.

I read this article and thought that Adobe’s entry into the Office applications market has little to do with OSS or Open Standards, so no need to blog about it here.

Matt says:

“The only thing better would be if Adobe, Apple, and OpenOffice could get together….In fact, don’t you think that it makes a lot of sense for Apple to acquire Adobe, given the similar corporate mentalities/competencies? Me, too.)”

Apple, likely the most closed vendor on the planet is supposed to be the “last great hope against Microsoft’s Office franchise”? Maybe Matt is down to half a glass of OSS Kool-aid daily and doesn’t care if he’s supporting a Traditional or OSS vendor in the “good fight against Microsoft’s hegemony”.

All kidding aside, I can’t wait to see what Adobe has in this market. I am a MS Office user. I tried OpenOffice and even Google Docs, but neither seemed to fit my needs vs. the tradeoffs to switch. I wonder if the problem is that OpenOffice and Google Docs feel like they were designed by developers. On the other hand, Adobe products feel like they were designed by designers. Watching an Adobe AIR demo or app created with AIR most of us think “ooh, ahh” (Note: I hate reading text on most Flash websites – I just needed to say that).

As Cote says in the Wired article:

“It’s not a technical question, it’s a cultural question,…All the geeks and everyone like myself would love to play around with an Office competitor from Adobe to see what that would be like. But when I talk to normal office workers who use Microsoft Office, they don’t get all warm and tingly like I do with the prospect of different office software….People who use Microsoft Office are into using Microsoft Office.”

How true.

It’ll be interesting to see what Adobe does here. Putting on my strategy hat: Entering the Office Apps market is only a step towards their broader goal to drive extensive adoption of Flex and AIR. So, look for an open API that allows designers/developers/ISVs/customers to extend the Adobe Office suite. By expanding the reach of Flex & AIR, Adobe can sell tools (not just IDEs) to designers & developers that want to create AIR apps. In essence, AIR (and Flash before it) is a runtime environment just like the Java JDK and MS CLR. It just so happens that AIR is for client-side apps (vs. predominately server-side for JDK) that look sweet and deliver ease of use vs. traditional client-side apps (i.e. predominately MS CLR). As this occurs, I suspect that customers and vendors will start looking for a standards body around the AIR runtime technologies. So, maybe there is a Standards tie to this story after all :-)