October 6, 2006
According to The Business News Source, Apple and Adobe are at war. Which comes as a bit of a shock to people I know at both companies.
The Business News Source, which bills itself as “a free and impartial review of global business news” obviously isn’t all that concerned with “getting it right”.
Normally, I wouldn’t bother to mention another news “article” if I thought it was pure crap. But this is a special case. In the article titled Are Apple and Adobe at war over Aperture? the article (posted without authorship) makes some pretty special (read: pretty weird and really wrong) statements. This one, in particular is really wrong:
“It now transpires that the team that bought Aperture to market was probably some of the original team that started what became Adobe’s Lightroom.”
Well, no…actually, the fellow that started Lightroom (aka Shadowland) Mark Hamburg is still at Adobe working on finishing up Lightroom. A simple read of my story The Shadowland/Lightroom Development Story would put this bit of silliness to rest. Ironically, Greg Gilly, the fellow that inspired Mark Hamburg to develop Shadowland did end up leaving Adobe and going to Apple (at about the time that Aperture was announced) but Greg has nothing to do with Aperture and Greg never actually “worked on” the development of Shadowland/Lightroom other than to get Mark to work on it. And Greg certainly isn’t a “team”.
The “team” that is primarily working on Lightroom (if there is a concept of team) is largely based just outside of Minneapolis. You can read about the Lightroom engineers in my story A Visit to the Adobe Lightroom Engineers.
The unnamed author of this story also seems to imply that Aperture was a shock to Adobe with this assessment:
“The news apparently came as quite a shock to Adobe, who along with Apple, hold massive sway in the rapidly growing digital photographic marketplace with their own Photoshop software platform.”
Well, no…actually both Adobe and Apple were well aware that each company was working on a similar product for the same market-photographers-so the only mildly surprising aspects were what the Apple product would be named, what it would cost and when it would be officially released. And as time would show, Apple’s first target price of Aperture was a bit on the high-side which lead to Aperture’s price drop earlier this year.
This anonymous author goes on to speculate that Aperture’s 1.5 update “so annoyed Adobe” that “rumors of threats between the companies have been passed through various ‘back channels’“. He also postulates that Apple’s next step in the “war” would be to “take the small leap and build-in similar functionality to Photoshop“.
Small step? I don’t think so. It would be really, really difficult (not to mention pretty stupid) to try to get Aperture to have the same functionality as Photoshop.
So, why did I bother to post this in the first place? There’s enough misinformation out there about Aperture/Lightroom/Photoshop and the Apple/Adobe relationship I thought it would be a public service to point out just how wrong this particular article was. In the event you wish to read the original, uh, “article”, here it is: Are Apple and Adobe at war over Aperture?
Just be sure to read it as a fictional short story written by “anonymous”…